The Passover Lamb

Read Exodus 11:1-7

This was one of the greatest nights in the history of the Israelites, one of the most tragic and terrible in the history of the Egyptians.

God had for some time been dealing with this heartless people through the plagues (9). Pharaoh hardened his heart.

This was the final, “Yet I will bring one more plague upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt.” Chapter 11:1.

“All the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die.” 11:5

For 430 years the Israelites had sojourned in Egypt, first as royal guests, then as slaves.

One family (Jacob’s) of whom Joseph was the best known, went into Egypt as royal guests. Later they became slaves. Finally, under God’s hand, two million took part in the greatest evacuation of all times known as the “Exodus.”

The Judgment Announced Chapter 11:4, 6

All of the firstborn in the land shall die, this included the animal creation as well.

“And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, there never was a cry like it and never will be.” v. 6

But God assured Moses that He would put a difference between the Egyptians and the Israelites, Goshen.

Read Exodus 12:1-11

v. 2 Redemption was the beginning of real life.

Past history was a blank. Redemption was to constitute the first step in real life.

Exodus 12 is the perfect picture book of redemption.

Salvation by the blood of the Lamb is clearly taught.

This is the grand theme of the Scriptures, from Abel’s lamb to the cross.

The prophets spoke, the psalmist sang, the melody of heaven’s new song will every be, “Thou hast redeemed us unto God by They blood.”

Every detail of this picture is a masterstroke full of deepest meaning.

v. 3 Take every man a lamb. (v. 3 A lamb, v. 4 The lamb, v. 5 Your lamb)

v. 5 The lamb was to be “without blemish” and “a male of the first year.”

These are emblems of meekness, purity, strength.

1. Meek: He was led, as a lamb, etc. He prayed for His execution.

2. Without blemish: Perfectly pure, infinitely holy.

Less than this would have been unfit for sacrifice.

Jesus Christ was perfect. Lev. 22:21-22, The lamb must be perfect. He did no sin, 1 Peter 2:22.

He knew no sin, 2 Corinthians 5:21.

In Him was no sin, 1 John 3:5.

Perfect as the Babe at Bethlehem, the boy of Nazareth, Son of Man, as the Lamb of God.

3. A male of the first year.

As such he died in the full vigor of his manhood.

He also died as the Son of God from the bosom of the Father “mighty to save.”

Psalm 102:24, “Cut off in the midst of His days.”

v. 6 “You shall keep it up until the fourteenth day.”

This was the testing time, defects.

Our Lord Jesus was tried. His life was the testing time.

Heaven, earth, and hell tried Him.

Some results of their investigation:

Heaven: The Father testified, “This is my beloved Son,” etc.

Demons: “We know who Thou art, the Holy One of God.” “What have I to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of the Most High God?”

Man: Pilate “I find no fault in Him.”

Judas “ I have betrayed innocent blood.”

Centurion “Truly this was a righteous man.”

Dying Thief “He hath done nothing amiss.”

Friends and foes alike testified that He was the Lamb without blemish.

Precious, perfect, spotless Lamb of God.

The Manner and Time of His Death

The whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it, in the evening, v. 6.

Everyone had a part in the death of our Lord Jesus.

Acts 4:27 “Against Thy Holy Child Jesus whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel were gathered together.”

The representatives of man’s wisdom, man’s power, man’s religion were at the cross, condemning Him.

The inscription in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.

I was there; you were there.

It was to be killed in the evening, the judgment came at midnight.

v. 8 Thou shalt eat the flesh roast with fire.

The lamb, round which the congregation assembled, and on which it feasted was a roasted lamb.

It had undergone the action of fire.

Christ our Passover was slain for us, He was tried under the fire of divine holiness and judgment and was found perfect.

Psalm 32:4

My moisture is turned into the draught of summer. This explains the Lord’s cry from the cross, “I thirst.” His thirst was the effect of the agony of His soul in the fierce heat of God’s wrath.

“His head with legs inwards and heart” v. 9.

Seat of understanding, His outward walk, and all that pertained to them. They were all submitted to the action of fire, and were entirely perfect..

This precious, perfect, spotless lamb of God is the food of the Redeemed. Occupation with Christ, feasting on the Lamb.

The lamb had to be eaten with unleavened bread.

While we are indulging in known sin, there can be no communion with Him.

Leaven speaks of evil.

The feast of unleavened bread lasted “seven days.”

This teaches us that as long as we are in the body we are called to a life of practical holiness.

Then there were the “bitter herbs.” Remorse of conscience.

As we remember His sufferings and think of the cause, my sin, our hearts are touched with the deep dark mystery of Calvary and we are awestruck as the bitterness and the gall enters our soul. “Bitter herbs.” Philippians 3:10 “Fellowship with His sufferings.”

v. 11 They were to eat it with their loins girded, shoes on their feet, staff in the hand.

They were to eat it as a people, prepared to leave the land of death and darkness, wrath and judgment, and to move forward to the promised land.

The blood of the lamb had delivered them from the powers of Egypt, bondage, slavery.

Now they were to walk with God toward the land which flowed with milk and honey.

They were now a redeemed people, separated people, pilgrim people, expectant people, dependant people.

The girded loins spoke of 1) intense separation from all around them and also denoted 2) a readiness to serve.

The shod feet declared their readiness to leave the scene. Deuteronomy 29:5 Led you forty years, garments did not get old, neither did their shoes. Shoes of iron, never wore out, their feet never swelled, Deuteronomy 8:4.

The staff in hand is the emblem of a pilgrim people. Philippians 3:20 “Our citizenship is in heave.” 1 Peter 2:11 “Pilgrims and strangers.”

The staff is the Word of God.

May these things characterize us as we walk ever upward to our heavenly home.

Eat it in haste.

They expected the Lord to come and pass over them.

Any moment they might be called to arise and leave the land of bondage.

They expected the imminent coming of the Lord.

Apply this.

v. 14 “And this 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 forever.”

What was Israel’s response to this command?

Scripture only records seven instances of this feast ever being kept.

1. In Egypt Exodus 12

2. In the wilderness Numbers 9

3. On entering Canaan Joshua 5

4. In the days of Hezekiah 2 Chronicles 30

5. Under Josiah 2 Chronicles 35

6. After the return from captivity Ezra 6

7. The Lord Jesus celebrated the Passover with the disciples just before the institution of the Lord’s Supper.