Thursday, October 6, 2011

Blood of the Lamb


A couple of weeks ago at a C4 midweek service, Tyson spoke on the Passover. The Passover is one of the most important events in the Bible...it is not just an event or a concept, it is the foreshadowing of an even greater event.
Exodus 12:1-13, 21-27 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door frames of the houses where they eat the lambs. That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs. Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover.  “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the door frame. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning. When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the door frame and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.  “Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” Then the people bowed down and worshiped.
To give you a little history, the Israelites were being held captive in the land of Egypt. They were slaves to the Pharaoh...when God sent Moses to free them, Pharaoh's heart had been hardened and would not let the Israelites go. God sent plagues and famine and locusts and all sorts of nasty things...but still Pharaoh said no. So that's where we get all caught up, the final act of God is the Passover. The Passover is when God came down and passed over the land of Egypt and killed the firstborn male of every household.

You might say that it's harsh...and maybe it is, but there cannot be freedom without the shedding of blood. God killed his own son to free you and I...it might seem harsh but there is no greater act of love ever shown...and the Passover is just foreshadowing the greatest story of all time. Blood speaks louder than your past and the blood of the lamb brings life, hope and favor.

In Exodus it tells us that this took place on the 14th day. It happens at the beginning of the year...when the Lamb's blood is applied to our lives it symbolizes newness of life.

In verse 1, we see that God came to Moses and Aaron while they were still in captivity in Egypt...just like he came to us while we were still sinners. The Lamb of God was slain for the sins of man.

In verses 4-5, it talks about the lamb...that it must be without blemish. Jesus came and lived a perfect life...he was not tainted with even the smallest speck of evil. In verses 6-7, we see the door frames. This is significant because door frames are made of wood...the door frame points to (foreshadows) the cross...Jesus hung on a cross of wood and his blood stained the wood.

The blood applied to your life puts God's claim, seal, and promise on you and your life. Jesus fulfilled the promise word for word...He was the spotless Lamb of God, his blood was shed for the freedom of our souls and he hung on a cross of wood.

The passage in Exodus goes on to describe the meal. The bitter herbs are a reminder of being delivered from the bitterness of sin, death, depression and bondage. The unleavened bread symbolizes purity. God wanted what they ate to be pure.

He didn't set us free to go back...he is the one who makes us free but we are the ones who stay free. The orders from God required the Israelites to believe and act before anything happened. They had to believe they would be free while they were still in captivity. They had to believe before they saw. They were ready to be free before freedom happened. We can't wait for God to show up before we put our faith and trust in him...we've got to step out and believe that he will do what he says he will.

As they were leaving Egypt, God told them to rest...the Sabbath is a reminder that their freedom came as a gift from God and not from any of their actions or from the leadership of Moses and Aaron. We don't earn our salvation..we can't save ourselves. The blood was shed for you while you were a slave to sin...rest in him. We can't just do whatever...we must keep ourselves holy.

This is how we know that the Bible is God's word and Jesus is God's son because only God could do this...no man could come up with this or pull this off.
1 Corinthians 5:7 Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
Jesus is our Passover Lamb...he died on the day before the Passover Sabbath...
John 19:31-37 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.
He is enough for you, you can't earn it, you don't deserve it...but he is yours. Trust him...he'll do what he said he would do...the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world

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