The Seven Feasts of Israel – Passover (Part 2)
Andrew Giles at Blessington, Ireland
December 16, 2007
Luke 3:23 ‘And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph…’
The word “son” continues all the way through until we get to verse 38.
Luke 3:38 ‘Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.’
We can see that the Lord had a son; He was a Father. He had a son called Adam. Adam, as we’ve heard, was a created son; he was not a begotten son. Jesus was a begotten son; Adam was a created son, but he was a son of God and God was a father to him.
I have a question for you. If God is showing Himself to us as being a Father—what a father should be like—why then did God say to Adam, “If you sin once, you’ll die”? I never said that to my children. (Undeciphered answer from the congregation and Brother Andrew continues…)
There was an answer that it was an act of mercy to say to them, “I’m not going to let you live forever in that state.” I think all of us here, conscious of the battle that goes on inside us, are filled with hope by the fact that there is an end to the warfare. This schizophrenic situation we are in, where we have two natures inside of us, warring against each other—the life of the Spirit and the life (or death) of the flesh—that we choose between all the time—it’s really a blessing for us to know that there is an end to this! So it was an act of mercy that He said, “You are not going to live like that.” But, He didn’t just say that, He said, “In the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.” Why was that?
When my sons sinned, I brought them to me and I might have given them the “five-fold ministry” (spanking), but at the end of that, I didn’t kill them!
What does a father want to have with his children? A relationship and fellowship. There is no point in having children if you don’t have a relationship with them. There are parents who are so disappointed and upset about their children—I’ve even heard a parent who said, “I wish I had never had them!” What has happened is the relationship is broken down.
God didn’t just want to have children simply to procreate—simply to populate a planet. He doesn’t need to populate planets; you can see none of the other planets are populated. It is not like He wanted to do that just for the sake of having little ants running around on top of the surface of the earth.
He wanted relationship! He wanted relationship with His children! He made Adam a son and He wanted relationship with him. Adam sinned; what then becomes the problem? They can’t have a relationship. Why can’t they have a relationship? Sin separates. Why does sin separate? Darkness and light cannot abide together. God dwells in unapproachable light; unapproachable as far as any other thing that has darkness in it. God is so pure that He cannot look at iniquity.
There were two choices when Adam sinned. Either, God had to compromise His standard, or there had to be separation. God is unchangeable; He is immoveable. God could not change! So He gave Adam a commandment so that Adam became a responsible person.
Adam chose to break that commandment and God could not just say, “Well there, there, Adam; let’s just try harder the next time,” or “bend over”, or whatever a father says to his children. He could not do that because if there continued to be a relationship after sin, that sin would have contaminated God. He would have had a relationship with something that was different from Himself and He could not compromise His standard.
Now that’s different from the way I was with my children because I am the same nature as my children! I could discipline them, but sin did not bring a separation. It does bring separation in a small way in that things have to be sorted out, but I was of the same nature as my children and I am not like God in that respect. In the book of John it says, ‘In Him there is no darkness at all.’
In that context with Adam, God could not do other than have separation between Himself and Adam. That is what caused Adam to die; it was a separation from his father—from the life source.
I was never in the position with my children that God was with His son because I was never in the position where I was totally uncontaminated.
There was also a legal requirement that God had to move in as He dealt with Adam’s sin. God is a judge and a judge has to move justly or else he is not a good judge. For God to be a good judge, Adam could not be excused from his sin. God had to be a righteous judge. Adam had sinned and therefore, there had to be a penalty. When you break the law, there is a penalty. It happens on earth and in the heavenly kingdom, too. God says when you break the law, there has to be a penalty; disobedience is punished. There’s no way under the law of God that you can avoid punishment, or else the law is made a fool. The law isn’t a fool; it’s ‘perfect’, the Bible says.
There had to be a proper consequence for Adam’s sin. That’s where the requirement for a Savior comes in. There had been a separation and there was a legal requirement for punishment and we needed a way for restoration.
God, as a Father who loves, as well as having this situation where He couldn’t compromise His holiness and He had to be a righteous judge, is a God of mercy and compassion.
Let’s turn to Ephesians chapter 2. There was a separation caused by our sin—the sin of the human race. Although I’m taking a verse out of context here, it’s partly talking about the separation of Gentiles, particularly, rather than the Jews, but this verse is not inappropriate to apply here.
Ephesians 2:13 ‘But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes (that means “once”, ye who once) were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.’
The death of the Lord Jesus Christ was a proper, legal punishment for man’s sin; it was the proper consequence. God had said that in the day that you sin, you will die. Jesus took the punishment; it was the proper consequence of sin and we were restored. Because the sin was taken out of the way, there was no compromise to the Father’s holiness and we could be restored and brought back as the children of God.
This is the Passover. The true Passover, which Jesus our Passover Lamb sacrificed for us, restores us into the family. We were estranged by our sin and we are brought back in so that we could once again, not just in a sort of universal sense, but once again in an individual and personal way, say “Our Father.” We can now call God our Heavenly Father.
‘Consider the lilies of the field; they toil not, neither do they spin,’ even Solomon was not clothed like one of them, but then Jesus said, “Your Father—your Heavenly Father—knows what you need and will provide food and raiment for you. The birds He feeds, how much more will your Heavenly Father look after you!” We have an assurance because of our restored relationship with our Father that He will not see His children begging for bread. We are cared for; we get the family package, as it were, and it’s because of the blood of Jesus. We were brought nigh; we were restored into the intimate relationship with the Father because of what Jesus did. That’s hallelujah territory!
In “Passover-Part 1” of this “Seven Feasts of Israel” series, we saw that ‘the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world’ and that the sacrifice is eternal and in the heavens. There was a progressive revelation, from the beginning, of the need for there to be a sacrifice and of the effect of it. We considered the skins that were used to cover Adam and Eve and we considered the offering of Isaac by Abraham.
There was also a statement made with Abel and Cain that it was going to take the sacrifice of a lamb for there to be acceptable worship before God; what we brought to Him would not be acceptable if it did not include and was not based on the sacrifice of an animal.
Exodus 11:4 through 12:14 ‘And Moses said, Thus saith the Lord, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee: and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger. And the Lord said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land. And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.’
The Lord says He’s making a difference between the Egyptians and the Israelites. There is a difference in God’s mind between Egypt and Israel.
We have already been talking about how sin separates; just like light and darkness cannot have communion. You remember how Paul says that there are some things that we must not have fellowship with. God also has no fellowship with certain things and He says, “I am making a distinction—I am drawing a clear line of distinction between Egypt and Israel.”
We can see as we look at this story, what is found in Egypt and what is found in Israel. What is found in Egypt, very clearly, is death. The punishment of God and the plagues of God are found in Egypt. What are found in Israel are, very clearly, the mercy and the grace of God and the acceptance of the Israelites as His people because of the blood of the Lamb.
Judgment passes from Israel because of the Lamb. God makes a difference; He says very clearly that He is going to judge Egypt and He says when He comes to judge Egypt, He is not judging Israel because the Lamb has taken the judgment.
We have a very clear statement that what God is doing for us and what God has done for us in the Lord Jesus Christ, is that He has brought us out of a place of death and into a place of mercy. We’ve crossed the line that God sees as a very, very clear line of distinction.
It would be wonderful if you and I could see the line as clearly as God sees it! We cross the line so frequently getting back into the areas which are areas of death, and switching back into life and going in and out of the house, as it were.
In verse 22 of chapter 12, God says, “None of you are to go out of the house until morning.” Just imagine being in the house in Israel with an understanding of what was happening. You knew this was the night when God is going to pass over by using the Angel of Death—He’s going to pass over and only if you are in the house where the blood is, are you going to survive! You would be very careful.
We are in that situation. I am in that situation; very conscious of it! I trust that maybe you are conscious of it, too. Where ‘sentence against an evil work is not being carried out speedily’, we aren’t so careful as we ought to be about staying in the house.
Verse 22 says, ‘None of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.’
When the new day breaks, that is the day when we are free, but at the moment, we are in a place of great jeopardy because there is a realm of death out there and God is saying to us, “Stay under the blood; stay under the mercy of God; stay within the new life; don’t go back out there into death.”
It’s clear, too, as God comes to us and redeems us and does a work in our lives, that it is not a work of repair or improvement! The nation of Israel was in Egypt. He didn’t just come to them and say, “Look, I’ll make your conditions a bit easier in Egypt.” He didn’t say to them, “We will give you a 40 hour week and double your pay.” He didn’t do anything to improve Egypt’s condition. He gave Israel a totally new life. He said, “I am separating you out of Egypt.”
Let’s understand that “in this world”, “in this flesh”, and “Egypt” is all that is in men naturally; in these are death. God says, “I’m pulling you out of that; I’m giving you a brand new start! I’m giving you a new life!”
Exodus 12:2 ‘This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.’
He didn’t do anything by way of a continuation of the old; He started His people off with a brand new life!
As with us, there were 12 months in the year for Israel. This was the month “Abib” that they were just coming into. Abib was the seventh month of their calendar. Israel today runs the old secular calendar and the month “Abib” is the seventh month of the year. The Jewish new year is in the autumn; it is not in the spring. Abib is the month that falls March-April time. This is not a calendar that natural Israel has adopted. This is a calendar for the people who have found new life in Christ.
God says, “This is a beginning of a brand new life for you!” Why did He pick that particular month? Because it was as far away from the old as He could get it, in the context of time. Egypt started their year in month one; Israel started their year in month seven. He started off a brand new year. Today, He has started for us a brand new life in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now we have a choice! We can live in one calendar or another! We can live in one method of living or another! We can live in the old or the new! They are totally opposite! They are life and death! The old is death; the new is life!
God is saying to His people all the time, “Come and live in the new! I set before you life and death; choose life! Don’t live in the old secular—live in the new life in Christ; the new spiritual calendar!”
The old calendar was based on the agricultural year. Passover was a harvest time; it was not a seeding-sowing time. The agricultural year started in the autumn and Passover was the time of the first of the harvest—the barley harvest. A bit later they had the wheat harvest and then at the end of the year they had the harvest of the olive and grape. They based their year on an agricultural year.
In the agricultural year, what they were focusing on was what the earth brought forth. We were just talking about Cain and Abel. What did Cain bring? He brought what the earth brought forth. So God is saying that we are setting up a totally new system. We are not looking at what the earth brought forth!
What will the earth bring forth? Nothing but the curse, because God has put a curse on it!
God says, “Now we will start a new year, not based on what the earth brings forth, but based on the sacrifice of the Lamb who cleanses us and brings us new life and through whom we have been brought near—brought back into relationship with God—brought nigh, by the blood of the Lamb and a new life starts for us.
Our life in Christ starts with a blood sacrifice. Abel was acceptable because he did not bring of the fruit of the earth.
Exodus 12:2 ‘This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.’
This is like light as against darkness. Praise God for a new life!
He says in verse 3:
Exodus 12:3 ‘ Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:
If I were starting a brand new calendar and a brand new year in this way, I would have said, “On the first day of the month.” Wouldn’t you? God has something to say to us, doesn’t He?
Why would He give instructions first about the tenth day of the month? What does the number 10 mean? Testing. This is a test.
What happened on the tenth day of the month in Jesus’ life? The tenth day of the month of the week of Passover when Jesus died, was the day He came into Jerusalem on the ass and they said, “Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” Matthew quotes the scripture from the Old Testament, ‘Behold your King cometh unto you meek and lowly and riding on an ass and on the colt of an ass.’
The crowd in Jerusalem recognized that Jesus came into Jerusalem. “This is a savior!” Hosanna means “save now”. They acknowledged that as He came into Jerusalem that day and they cried out to Him and said, “This man can save us now!”
That would have been on a Sunday when that happened and the next days up until, I believe, Wednesday—I personally believe it was Wednesday, others might differ—when Jesus died. But, from Sunday to Wednesday, there were seven tests that Jesus experienced. He was examined by the chief priests and elders, then by the Pharisees’ disciples and the Herodians, then by the Sadducees, then by a lawyer, then by the Caiaphas the high priest, then before Pilate and finally by Herod. You will remember that they came up with all sorts of questions like, “This woman was married and her husband died and then she married his brother…seven times…who is going to be her husband in the resurrection?”…and that sort of thing. That was from the Sadducees who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. That was a test for Jesus—not the question; I don’t think the question was ever the test. He was not disturbed by the question one bit. The thing that was happening in Him was that He was being tempted to doubt the resurrection of the dead; that was the test. Every time He passed the test; every question!
Another test came from a lawyer who came to Him and said, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Here’s a Man (Jesus) who knows eternal life is based on His faithful obedience to the Father and on His walking in the Spirit and not His performance of the law and this lawyer comes along and starts challenging Him. It was a test of faith. At the end of it all, the highest authority out of those seven, who was Pilate, says, “I find no fault in Him.”
They had all judged Him and the words coming out of the mouth of the greatest one of those seven—the one who had the highest earthly position of them all—said, “There’s nothing wrong with this man.” It was the time of testing. But at the same time Jesus was being tested, there was another test going on.
The ministry was telling me that in Montana they heard Brother Eldred Linden speak a word and said it was phenomenal. It was about Daniel. I haven’t heard the word, but the point that Eldred made was when Daniel was in the lions’ den, the judgment was being made on the lions!
When Jesus was going through the tests, the judgment was also on the people! They had said, “Save now! You are the Savior!” And three and a half days later, they said “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” They didn’t pass the test; they changed their minds during those seven days!
Jesus made this statement this during that three and a half day period:
John 12:31 ‘Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.’
It was a time when the world was also being judged. God brought a Man whom He had chosen! God had never backed off from His choice of who the Lamb of God was, but men backed off from their choice! Having identified Him as their Savior on the 10th of the month, by the 14th of the month they said, “Crucify Him!” But Hallelujah, God had not changed His mind and still had Him as the Savior! Of course, it was whom God chose that really mattered.
The word says that ‘he who believes not is condemned already’. They chose not to believe on the Son of God as their Savior and condemnation came to them. It was a time of judgment.
One of the significant reasons God chose the 10th of the month for the Lamb is that the number 10 speaks of judgment. The number 1, of course, speaks of God’s own number. He is bringing us to that; we’re not there yet. I don’t think He is quite ready for us to come into number 1 at the moment; we have to come into Jesus and into salvation.
I read a booklet of Brother Sam Fife’s and he said the number 14 is the number for salvation. I haven’t verified that from the scriptures, but there is no reason to doubt it. They kept the lamb from the 10th to the 14th.
Another reason I think why it was the 10th of the month before this happened, was that something had happened prior to the 10th of the month. Before Jesus came and was displayed as God’s chosen answer for our sin and for our estrangement from Him, God had done something already. What had God done for our salvation before Jesus? He made a provision and we know the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world, but what about us? Where did we start in our salvation?
The Bible says that we were chosen in Him from the foundation of the world. God chose us in the Lord Jesus Christ from the very beginning. There is something that happens before Jesus is actually manifested on the earth. We are already chosen to salvation!
Satan works on schemes and plans and that sort of thing and we are not ignorant of his devices. God, also, works on plans! He has a plan of salvation and we are part of the plan! He has planned salvation for us!
This is not saying that His plan makes us free from responsibility; it doesn’t make us free of responsibility at all! We have to stick to the plan! God was doing something. He is there on the first; Jesus is manifest at an appointed time on the 10th.
Exodus 12:3(b) ‘In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:’
The house of our Father is the Church and God has chosen a lamb for us.
Exodus 12:4 ‘And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.’
I think this is phenomenal! Not because of what it says, but because of what it does not say! Let me just say it this way, “If a household be too little for the lamb, invite another family in!”
Something in my weird and wonderful brain says, “If the household is too little for the lamb, that’s what you do and if the household is too big”…but it doesn’t say that!
Is it possible that the household could be too big for the Lamb? Not in God! Only in the natural, perhaps; you would have to have a pretty big household to eat a lamb anyway, but in God, the household is not too big! There is always sufficient in the Lord Jesus Christ for our problem!
It says if the household is too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor come together! So the first thing that tells me is there is never a situation where Jesus is not the answer! There is not a sin from which He cannot cleanse us. There is nobody who is fallen too low for Jesus to come and reach them! The Lamb is always sufficient! He is never insufficient! Only sufficient! The alternative of shortage in the supply of the lamb is not even countenanced in the picture that you have in the scripture.
Do you know when Jesus died, He didn’t just die for the Church? Let’s look at some scriptures on that. His sacrifice is so amazing!
Romans 5:18 ‘Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation: even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.’
The free gift came to all men. Justification happens by faith, but the free gift is available to all men!
I John 2:2 ‘And he (Jesus Christ) is the propitiation (the mercy seat or the thing that stops God being angry with us) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.’
Jesus’ death and the price He paid were sufficient for every man and woman on the face of the earth to come into salvation. There is not sort of an eliminating factor about it. We go to the store and we buy one of these great big boxes of soap powder and it ought to last us a long time, but it still has a limited life. You keep using it and keep using it and eventually you get to the bottom of the box. It isn’t like that with the blood of Jesus.
If a million people come and put their faith in Jesus, the blood of Jesus is effective for all of those million and still available for the next million. There is no running out of the power of the blood! It is there for the sins of the whole world! He died and took upon Himself the sins of the world. Otherwise, there would be a problem that we would have in that although we might have passed from death to life, God would still have anger against the world. We’re part of the human race! But, God’s anger has been appeased! He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world! God has stopped His universal anger against the world provoked by the sin of Adam. That has been lifted from them.
Now opportunity has been given to all men—maybe not in this life, but opportunity will be given to all men to put their faith and trust in Jesus for salvation. There will never be a question as to whether that one Man’s death was enough, because it was! God has declared, it was!
Revelation 22:17 ‘And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.’
‘Whosoever will, can take the water of life freely!’ When you came and the gospel was presented to you, nobody ever said, “We hope the blood of Jesus will cleanse you from your sin.”
Without becoming denominational here, the whole doctrine of purgatory is really because of a lack of understanding of the effectiveness of the blood of Jesus and that there is still something that I have to do because I hope the blood of Jesus will cleanse me from sin, but I have to add to it.
There is no adding needed! The blood of Jesus cleanses from sin! The household is always too little for the Lamb; it’s never too big for the Lamb!
We find in Exodus 12:4 there is another lovely thing that happens in the blood of Jesus and that is, community starts!
I heard this rather incredible statistic—incredible because I can’t work out how anybody could ever make such a statistic—but, they said that the average life of a community is two years. I can’t remember who said it now, but all sorts of communities spring up: hippie communities, ecological greens, kibbutzim, and all sorts; we are not the only ones who have an idea of community.
But, communities do not work; even marriages do not work! You bring two people together and in these days, one in three, or something like that, do not even survive living together! Just two people! A community is a miracle if it survives! It really is!
The problem is, everybody is their own kingdom and kingdoms fight each other! Every time you try and bring two kingdoms together, you do not get unity while there are two kings! You have to have somebody lay down their rights and say, “You be king and I will be submissive.” That is the only hope of bringing two kingdoms together. It can happen voluntarily or by force, but that is the only way of merging things.
Individuals in the Adam nature do not lay down their rights! They do not say, “Molly, you be king and I’ll be your servant.” What happens is everybody rises up inside themselves; they rise up with authority and they want control. They want decision-making freedom; they want to express their own opinions and think they have certain rights.
In the Adam nature, we do not come into community; we do not come into unity and oneness. But in Christ, in the life of the Lamb, something different happens; there is a new life inside and the life of the Lamb is submissive; it’s obedient; it’s serving; it’s loving!
We were talking in a family meeting earlier this week about serving one another. What we are talking about is living in the life of the Lamb.
The Lord says to Israel, “Look! The lamb is bigger than you think! You can come and share the life together! That will make one house come into another house and an amazing thing will happen! They will be feeding on the Lamb together and they will find life together!”
God was prophesying from the very beginning that community can work, but it can only work when we come into His life.
You find in the day of Pentecost this actually happens. They come into the life of the Lamb—3,000 people—on the day of Pentecost and they start to walk in the Spirit and community breaks out! It is the only place it can happen!
The children of Israel come out of Egypt and immediately they keep the Feast of Tabernacles. The first night they come to a place called Succoth, which means “booths” and immediately they are making little shelters for themselves together and they are keeping the Feast of Tabernacles together. It happens in the life of Jesus! In the life of the Lamb!
When we first started to meet people who lived in community, it was quite a comfort for us, I think, because Michael and Alison Bailey, and my wife, Kathy, and I had been baptized in the Holy Spirit and so had others over there in Cheam, Surrey where we lived. Our lives were getting entwined with each other. It was not a forced thing; it was not an unnatural thing for us to sell our homes and move together. It was because of the life that had come to us in the Lord.
We find that there is community in the Lamb. If you are struggling with community—with fellowship—with unity—with communion—with being together; if you would rather keep everybody at a distance, I would suggest to you that you need a good taste of the life of the Lamb! The life of the Lamb brings God’s people into unity.
James 4:1 ‘From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?’
If you are out of the life of the Lamb and people are a problem to you, James says the problem is the lusts of the flesh; the flesh is the problem.
Exodus 12:5 ‘Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:’
In the old covenant when people sinned, they offered up an animal for forgiveness of sins and to get restored. You can read about it in Leviticus; I think I have counted at least 14 times, after an animal was sacrificed the word says, ‘it shall make atonement for you and your sins shall be remitted’ or some phrase very similar to that.
The animal sacrifice was sufficient. If a person sinned they could come along and put their hand on the head of the animal and transfer their sin by leaning on the animal—by faith—and the animal would be killed. They were saying, “This is you dying instead of me.” God says it makes atonement for you. It makes you one again—at one—and your sins are forgiven. Hallelujah! Brilliant arrangement; …. except for the animal; not so good for the animal!
But what could the animal do for you? It is an animal! If there is an exchange taking place—we found in the story of Abraham and Isaac that there was a substitution taking place—all that could happen was an innocent animal would take your sin and you would be restored into the place of an innocent animal. God does not want innocent animals; He wants sons because He is a Father!
So here we are; because of what Adam did, we are brought down into the beast realm. God made him a living soul; he sinned; he became a dead soul. God does not want to have a relationship with a dead soul and even if he is a forgiven dead soul, that really is not enough for God, who is life, to have relationship with it.
The sacrifice system is when you have an animal and it becomes a substitution and an exchange takes place and all that happens is you become an innocent animal! You do not become a son! You can read in Ecclesiastes 3:18 that man is a beast! You can read it in Psalm 49:12, man is a beast!
What is the good for God having innocent beasts in His creation? When Adam was in the garden, all the animals were brought to him and he named every last one of them! He knew the nature of every one of them! But there was not found amongst any of those animals a help meet (we use that word as one word “helpmeet”, but it really is two—a helper suitable or appropriate) for Adam. There was not an appropriate partner found—one with which he was compatible.
Although man might have been forgiven by the animal sacrifices, he does not become an appropriate partner for God! He does not by an animal sacrifice become one to whom God can relate in an intimate way of fellowship. It is not an eternal answer.
God then has to say, “I did not make these people so they could just be in the beast realm; even a forgiven beast, that is not good enough. I made them so I could have sons!” He is a Father! He wants to have relationship and fellowship with you and me!
God was going to have a ‘meet’ or appropriate substitute for us—who we were going to exchange with— so He put His Son into the world. Now we come by faith and we put our hands on the sacrifice of the Son—the Lamb of God—and an exchange takes place and we become the children of God! Now the Father can have a relationship with us because we are no longer in the beast realm, we are into the restored man realm—the forgiven man realm—an exchange has taken place.
What we are doing here is choosing our lamb. By faith, we have chosen the Lord Jesus Christ, and we find as we look at Him that He is perfect! You need a perfect sacrifice for a perfect salvation! Anything that is less than perfect is not going to be eternal! We look at Him—just like they did during those days from the 10th to the 14th of the month; they looked at Jesus and they could find no fault in Him. Hallelujah! He now becomes a perfect Savior for us and a source of eternal salvation, because He is perfect!
He says, ‘Your lamb shall be without blemish; a male of the first year’—that’s the year that we are talking about—the acceptable year of the Lord.
Then He says, ‘ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats’. I think Proverbs chapter 27 is the explanation of this; see what you make of it. You probably were surprised when we read that it could have been a sheep or a goat; they do different things in the sacrificial realm. This verse will tell us the two different things that they do:
Proverbs 27:26 ‘The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field.’
Jesus said the field is the world. What was Jesus doing when He died on the cross? He wasn’t dying for our sins only, but He was dying for the sins of the whole world. When Adam sinned, he yielded up to Satan the government of the world and Satan took it over, but Jesus has bought it back. We do not yet see all things under His feet, but we see Jesus crowned with glory and honor and we know that He has paid the price; He has purchased the world back and He is going to take it back. He’s going to come and claim it. He is not going to come and claim it by robbery, He is going to claim it by purchase. He has paid the price for the field. It is no longer rightfully Satan’s. Satan is a thief, a squatter; he is holding onto the world as long as he can, but it has been bought by Jesus! Hallelujah!
The lambs are not for some general purchase of the world; the lambs are for your clothing. So when Jesus came and died and you put your personal, individual trust in Him, you became covered like Adam and Eve in the garden when they were covered by the skins. You became covered by the blood and the work of Jesus.
We go to God in this context and the covering—under what Jesus did; under His blood, under His work, there is no other way into the presence of God, but under the blood of Jesus.
Those Israelites were to paint this blood on the lintels as well as the doorposts. They were going to be under the blood; their house was under the blood.
Jesus did not just purchase the world in which we lived; He became our clothing. The scripture talks of the “robe of righteousness”. I think we have to be careful about the concept of the “robe of righteousness” because it can be taken in such a way that it takes away from us any sense of responsibility to be obedient. We can think we are “under the robe of righteousness” or that we are “covered over with the robe of righteousness”. No, you have to stay in righteousness to be in the robe of righteousness, but you can approach God on the basis of the righteousness of Jesus. He gives us the clothing of the sheep.
Exodus 12:6 ‘And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.’
The phrase “in the evening” in Hebrew means “between the evenings”. It was generally taken to mean the period between 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., which is very wonderful because Jesus yielded up His spirit at 3 o’clock in the afternoon on the fourteenth day of the month Abib. This is exactly at the time prophesied. The scripture says it was the “ninth hour”, which is 3 o’clock in the afternoon. He exactly fulfilled the pattern here in Exodus 12.
Exodus 12:6(b) ‘the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.’
Do we think this is an unusual phrase? Why is this an unusual phrase? If I were writing that, in my English I would have said, “every household shall kill them” or some phrase like that. This is not quite the way I would have written it. I find the Bible is not written the way I would write it because I didn’t write it!
The command just talked about every household taking a lamb, but now they say, “shall kill it”! As far as you are concerned, if you want to be in the congregation of Israel, everyone of us—individually—have to come and say, “There is only one Lamb for me; it is the Lord Jesus.”
Although there is this reference to the “households” before, now it is very clear it is brought down to the fact that there is only one Lamb and every individual member—every person who is in the congregation of Israel—has to come to individual faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and none other. If you want to be in the assembly of the congregation of Israel, Jesus is the way in. This is the way. If you do not, you are out there in Egypt and the Angel of Death is coming. Scary stuff.
Exodus 12:7 ‘And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.’
Every house has two side posts and one upper doorpost. We have a lot more than one door to get in and out of our house, but these houses had one door. They had two side posts and one upper doorpost in each house. There was only one door described for these houses.
Somebody came along to the door and took hyssop (you can read about hyssop in verse 22 of Exodus chapter 12), which is a plant, and put the hyssop in the blood and I’m sure they put lots and lots of blood on; they really painted it. I don’t think this was a little splash; I think there was plenty of blood applied. They knew they had to get this right. Things were happening here; they had seen the plagues on Egypt and they wanted to escape.
They took this blood and they put it on the doorposts and they put it across the top and the only way into the house was through the blood-painted door. There was no back door; there was no side door. There was only one blood-painted door. Nothing that kills can enter.
Inside you and me, we have the life of Christ; the new life that came to us because of what Jesus did. There is this idea that Jesus is changing us, but that would imply a mixture between evil and good; a mixture between the old life and the new life. There is not a mixture. Nothing that is evil can get past the door. There is only one door and nothing evil can get in there.
The only way in which He is changing us may be this and there is just one scripture that I can think of that talks about us being changed and it uses the Greek word “metamorphosis” when it says ‘we are being changed from one degree of glory to another’. The only change that would happen is because we are living in the house more and more and more and choosing not to go out. So we manifest differently, but we are not different. It is just that we have two places that we can live and we are choosing more and more—day by day—to live in the house where the life is—in the safe place. ‘The righteous run into the name of the Lord and it is a strong tower and they are safe.’ That is in the house where the blood has been applied.
I like to think of this, too, as the blood being applied to the lintel and door posts of forehead and my hands, so that my thoughts and my deeds—where my problems have been—are covered by the blood. He wants His blood on our thoughts. Don’t we need to think new, with a renewed mind? Don’t we need to think thoughts that are in Him rather than outside of Him and deeds that are in Him rather than outside of Him?
So much the blood needs to touch our thoughts. We have a new mind. Thank You, Lord, for the new mind that Jesus gave us!
I like it, too, that it is the spirit of a sound mind that the Bible talks about. When the Holy Spirit comes, if we are thinking in the Spirit, we have sanity. Thinking outside of the Spirit is where the world is, because they cannot think in the Spirit, so we find the whole head is sick and there is insanity everywhere. God has given us a mind with the blood painted on it. Thank You, Lord.
Exodus 12:8 ‘And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.’
This is talking about what was going to happen to Jesus. He was going to be roast with fire—that talks about the judgment of God coming upon Him. The fire is the judgment of God. You remember the first earth was destroyed by water; the second earth—heaven and earth—is going to be judged with fire. Fire is the judgment of God. When Jesus hung on the cross and you see everything that happened to Him—the sky going dark, the crown of thorns, the whipping, all the things that happened, the hatred of men against Him and the protection of God being totally removed from Him. The hand of God was taken off Him and men were allowed to do their worst to Him and they did their worst.
Even when Jesus was dying there, they shouted at Him, “He saved others; himself he cannot save! If you be the son of God, come down from the cross!” And I’m sure that they didn’t say it nicely; it was with such mocking. Evil men were allowed to do their worst to Him. God removed Himself and Jesus was roast with fire. It was the judgment of God.
I do not know what is the most painful way to die, but I suspect that fire has to be up there. It has to be a really, really painful way to go. Jesus was roast with fire; not the literal fire, but the fire of God’s judgment. When God removed His light and turned His face away from Jesus, that was so, so painful; beyond anything that you and I can imagine because we have never been as pure as He was pure.
Eating unleavened bread is such a blessing. It is the holy life coming inside us—the pure life being taken into our own person.
God chooses us in the ‘furnace of affliction’. The Bible talks about the ‘bread of affliction’; this bread at Passover is the ‘bread of affliction’. Affliction of my soul is where I say, “Nothing for me and all for Him.” We are going to find out as we move onto the next feast that God has set us on a path, from the beginning, where He says it should be unleavened bread all the way. This is the first taste of unleavened bread and it is at the very beginning, but my life is meant to continue that way. All for Him and none for me.
The bitter herbs were to remember Egypt and what happened to them in Egypt. In Exodus chapter 1 when God looked at the position of the Israelites, He heard the cry because of the bitter condition that they were in. Time and again through Exodus and more particularly through Deuteronomy, God said to His people, “Remember what happened in Egypt! Remember what it was like in Egypt!”
You know that when the Israelites started to go through the wilderness that they got this “rose-tinted” view of Egypt. All of a sudden, their bondage and slavery to Egypt became a holiday! It was like lying on the beach in the Mediterranean eating leeks and garlic and cucumbers and sipping a glass of wine and the lovely Egyptians running around and waiting on them—suddenly, they forgot what it was like in Egypt—and God said, “Remember the slavery of Egypt!”
When you are tempted, remember the slavery of Egypt. Remember how nasty it is to feel guilty. Remember the hopelessness of life without Christ. Remember the danger outside of the door. He said, “Eat it with bitter herbs.” It seems to me it is saying, “Remember how bad Egypt is and do not get a wrong view of Egypt; remember you were bond slaves in Egypt! It was a nasty experience; it is nasty out there! Do not go out of the house; it is much better in the house! Stay in the life of Christ! This is the place for you; this is the safe place! This is the nice place; this is the warm place; this is the fed place; this is the place where the Lord is! Do not go back out there!”
So the bitter herbs are like sucking a lemon. This is to remind us that we do not want to go back there again! Remember that Jesus brought you out into a new life and you do not want to go back, so you eat of Him with a memory of how bad it was.
If you do not remember how bad it was, then look around at a few other people and see what they are in and surely you can pick it up from a few other lives, even if you cannot remember it from your own!
Maybe God has sheltered many of us, but even if you have led the most sheltered life, you know what it is like to be separated from God because of your sin and it is not a nice feeling—the bondage of Egypt.
The apostle, Paul, who was raised in a religious, protected environment said,
Ephesians 2:1-3 ‘And you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world (don’t be friends with this world), according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.’
Even Paul, who was ‘as touching the law, blameless’, said, “I was under the prince of the power of the air and I did what he told me to do.’ And Paul said,
Ephesians 2:4-6 ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace ye are saved; and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.’
‘He has made us to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus’—in the house.
Exodus 12:9- ‘Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire (there is no salvation without sacrifice); his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof (His thoughts and His walk have to be taken by us; and all the other parts. We cannot reject anything that Jesus brings us into). And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning (You have to eat it during the time that is set for us; this is the time for feeding fully on all that Jesus is); and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s passover.’
What Jesus did for us as brilliant and wonderful as it is, is not everything! This is the beginning! The generous goodness of God poured out; His benevolence seen; His compassion toward us in an incredible way! This is His own son given so that we can lean on Him and come into the relationship with a heavenly Father who is perfect so that we can have a perfect relationship from a perfect life inside us with a perfect Father!
He did all this for us and then He says, “Be ready for a journey because this is not everything. There is more that I have for you. This is only the beginning.”
‘And He who did not spare His own son, but freely offered Him up for us all; how shall He not also with Him freely give us all things.’ (Romans 8:32)
So this is only the beginning; there are all things to follow. He says, “Come on now! This is your foundation; this is where the house is built; this is the beginning—the blood and the work of Jesus. Now, get ready! Put your outdoor clothes on; gird up your loins; get your sandals on your feet; we are going on a journey!”
It is a journey in a new life in freedom. A life in the Spirit that would never be possible for any man if the Lamb had not been slain.
So forever He will be, the Lamb upon the throne;
Gladly bow your knee and worship Him alone.
Father, thank You for what Jesus has done for us. This gift of Your Son is beyond words and unspeakable. Lord, we join the hymn writer and say, “Amazing Grace”! Amazing Grace, Lord God! Thank You for life. Thank You for forgiveness and pardon. Thank You for washing. Thank You for the sound mind. Thank You that we have passed from death to life. Thank You for community; the gift of fellowship in the Lamb. Lord, You are wonderful. Thank You, Lord, for the journey and for the things that are going to be ours in the morning. Amen.