Summary: The Passover Feast predicted Jesus coming and points to the freedom offered at the Cross.
The Passover Feast, Exodus 12:14-27 (Jewish Feasts-1)
This morning we will begin a series of sermons in examination of the six major Jewish Feasts of the Old Testament. While these will be primarily teaching sermons, reminding us and perhaps opening our eyes to some new information, our focus will not be merely the accumulation of information about the roots of our faith, but to learn how to apply that information in relevant ways.
Of primary concern will be for us to see the ways in which every major Jewish Feasts points to Jesus Christ. You see, the Old Testament is not divorced from the New Testament. Jesus did not establish a profoundly new way of relating to God; He fulfilled all of the promises of the Old Covenant. He became the revelation of the fullness of God which is alluded to in types, figures, and shadows in the Old Testament; that is, the covenant which God made with Israel.
Israel was, and in many ways remains, God’s chosen people, though which God would bring life to the entire world. It is rightly said that Israel is the vehicle, the vessel, or the conduit, through which God has brought salvation to the world.
While it occurs to me that many Christians and the Western Christian Church in general has not focused a great deal attention on the feasts, festivals, symbols, and beauty of the doctrines and theology of the Old Testament, within these things are contained a wealth of beauty for the modern believer. In remembering the Old we do not lose sight of that which has come to us in Christ, but see every more clearly the wonder of God’s unfolding revelation and intentional plan.
The World War I era American Evangelist Gipsy Smith once wrote, “Remembrance is a paradise from which we need not be driven.” In remembering the Holy Feasts of Israel, it my deepest desire that we may be exposed to or reminded of an increased appreciation for the beauty of intentionality with which the Sovereign God of the universe has revealed Himself unto His creation.
As Israel celebrated the Holy Feasts which they had been commanded to observe in the Law, they celebrated the very thing which would free them and us from the consequences of our inability to keep the law; Christ! So, as we move into this series of sermons, let us prepare our hearts to see Christ in new ways.
There are some things in this life that are bittersweet. I remember when Sebastian was just a little child, about the age of 6 months old; he loved to eat raw lemons. If Christian and I were at a restaurant and a lemon came on the rim of our water or drink, he would point to it and fuss until we gave it to him. He would proceed to eat all of the body of the lemon, save for the rind, which he would gum a little and chew. I could never understand what it was about that lemon that tasted good to him, but he enjoyed it greatly.
There are many things which are bittersweet. The Passover Feast is one of these things in the Bible. The Passover was held every year in celebration of God having “passed over” the children of Israel during the last of the 10 plagues which God delivered to Egypt as the result of Pharaoh’s disobedience to the will of God as delivered to him by Moses and Aaron, to free the Jewish Nation from slavery after more than 400 years of captivity, bondage, and slavery.
Exodus 1:6-14: Introduces the situation in Israel. Joseph, the youngest and favored son of Jacob, you will recall had been sold in slavery in Egypt by his brothers, largely out of jealousy. But what they meant for evil, God meant for good. Joseph amassed great power in Egypt, becoming the second in command in all of Egypt, the only greater power was Pharaoh himself.
The events described in the early portion of Exodus bring us to a place generations after Joseph; to a time when the Israelites had become enslaved, were persecuted, and even feared because of their great numbers. We see again in the events leading up to the Passover event which the feast commemorates and is ultimately fulfilled in Christ, and commemorated to this day each time we celebrate communion; we again see God using Pharaoh to nurture the one through whom He would bring great blessing to Israel.
Joseph had gained great power in Egypt and Moses was raised the secretly adopted son of Pharaohs very daughter. Herein is a great principal which we do well not to fail to recognize in our own lives. The Lord, He who is sovereign upon the earth and seated high above all of the powers and rulers of this earth, is able to use whatever means He deems fit to deliver and bless His people. The blessing of God may, and often does come through unlikely sources.