If you asked your typical familiar-with-the-Bible Christian, what is the "high point" of the whole Bible, the answer would be the death and resurrection of Jesus. Christians measure time as before and after the coming of Jesus. Its the focal point of time to Christians
So what is the "high point" of the Old Testament?
These two chapters are it! (This means pay attention! J)
Ask a Jewish person what Biblical event is the high point or center point of the Bible would probably answer "The Exodus out of Egypt." This is the birth-time of a new race of people, and a new religion.
The Hebrew nation already existed prior to the actual Exodus.
They were "born again" (spiritually) as the Exodus began.
One of the moments Iíve always treasured in my walk as a Christian was the first time I ever studied this passage, particularly Chapter 12.
I remember learning that there were "hints and clues" of Jesus all over the Old Testament. I starting reading the Old Testament just to look for "Jesus passages".
In particular about this chapter, Paul says that Jesus is our passover lamb:
For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. (1 Corinthians 5:7b NIV).
I remember reading the whole passage about the passover instructions and thinking, "This is amazing. Jesus is in every verse of this thing!"
If youíve never done this, Iíd encourage you to stop at this point, and read chapter 12, particularly the instructions on how to prepare the Passover meal, and look for the "Jesusí references". It will do wonders for your faith.
(Or, you can cheat and read the rest of this lesson! J)
My notes for these two chapters is going to emphasize two issues:
1. How Jesus is in almost every passage.
2. How these lessons apply to our life today.
One of my goals this year is to emphasize the Bible as a life application book rather than a history book!
What I am not going to emphasize is the modern Jewish ritual of Passover.
If you ever get a chance to visit a religious Jewish household when they are having a "Seder" dinner (another name for Passover), do it!
There are a lot of Jewish "traditions" in a Seder dinner that point so obvious-to-us as Jesus that Jews turn a blind eye too!
The Jews for Jesus organization (http://www.jewsforjesus.org/) usually has a "tour" of Passover dinners all over Southern California near the actual date every spring. I highly recommend attending one.
One can read about Passover and all its technicalities and not see Jesus. It amazes me how a modern Jew can miss the obvious. I have to remind myself of what Paul said about Jewish understanding of the Old Testament:
"But their minds (Jews) were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant (Old Testament) is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. (2 Corinthians 3:14-16 NIV)"
What Paul is saying is unless you are born-again, you wonít get it.
Youíll read the Passover passage as a bunch or rules and regulations and miss the obvious implications of Jesus at ever passage!
Back to my original point. I am making the claim that the "Exodus" is the high-point of the Old Testament. What evidence do I have for this?
Well, for starters, God wants the Israelites to take it very seriously.
God says you are to have a holiday specifically to remember this event every year!
Jews are to remember this event forever, not just until "The Messiah" comes.
It is important enough to God in that it is the first holiday in the Bible announced and ordered by God himself.
It is important enough that God announced that the month in which this occurs will now be the first month of the year!
It is the only time in human history (so far!) that God has interfered in the affairs of man on a massive, obvious scale on the behalf of one race of people!
OK, let me answer the obvious question. Iím not Jewish, other than the fact the Passover points to Jesus, why should I really care about Passover?
Glad you asked. J
There is a great biblical saying one should remember:
"The Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed."
"The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed."
Although the Bible is 66 separate books by about 40 authors, it is a single message written for our learning.
God wants us to understand that model for the whole redemptive plan of Jesus Christ is written in the Old Testament. Why?
For Jews, as to not give them any excuses if they fail to see Jesus as their promised Messiah.
For Christians, the Old Testament is a set of "models" and "types" to show us Godís redemptive plan and what God expects from us out of obedience.
If this is confusing, read through some of the applications Iíll show in this lesson (& other Exodus lessons) and see how these stories about the Exodus out of Egypt applies to our life today.
OK, time to get back to God, Moses & Pharaoh Ö 11:1 And the Lord said to Moses, "I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt; after this he will release you from this place. When he releases you, he will drive you out completely from this place. 11:2 Instruct the people that each man is to request from his neighbor, and each woman from her neighbor, articles of silver and gold."
To understand Godís promise to Moses, I like The Living Bibleís paraphrase of Verse 1: "after that he (Pharaoh) will let you go; in fact, he will be so anxious to get rid of you that he will practically throw you out of the country. (Exo. 11:1b The Living Bible)
After the death of the first born, I pictured the Egyptians saying "Look, just get out, go, now! What do you want, want our stuff? Great take it, just go. Want the jewelry? Terrific, take it all, just go, leave now, just get out."
This is a promise of unconditional surrender by Pharaoh/Egyptians to Moses and the Israelites.
Whenever the world is getting you down, you feel like the evil of this world is taking over, read the last 2-3 chapters of the Bible. We win. The world loses. This is a foreshadowing of what is to come.
Now the Lord granted the people favor with the Egyptians. Moreover, the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, respected by Pharaoh's servants & by the Egyptian people.
It is amazing how often religious people are "respected" by the world. Watch how sinners treat "men of the cloth". Do they repent? No. People falsely think "If Iím nice to religious people, theyíll put in a good word to God for me. Doesnít work that way!
And Moses said, "Thus says the Lord: 'About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt, 11:5 and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl who is at her handmill, and all the firstborn of the cattle.
First question: Why the first-born? Why not just a random-killing or a complete wipeout of the Egyptian people? After all, they refuse to repent after 9 plagues.
Even the Egyptian people are not innocent. The Egyptians still accepted Pharaoh as their leader. They could have revolted.
For starters, the answer was given back in Chapter 4, Verses 22-23:
"'This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son, (23) and I told you, "Let my son go, so he may worship me." But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.'" (Exodus 4:22b-23, NIV)
The concept of "first-born" is a title. Sometimes it is used as a title, and other times it literally means "the first to be born".
God used the "first-born" analogy as any parent could relate to this.
There is always something special about your first-born child. Itís not that you donít love all your children, but the first time you experienced having a child, there is a great love to that experience.
God wanted to use that model to understand how much he loves us. It is like the love of a parent of a first-born child.
Therefore God is saying to Pharaoh "Hey, you are messing with my first-born child?! You mess with my first-born, Iíll mess with your first-born! Let Ďem go or Iíll wipe out your first born!
Look what the writer of Hebrews said about Moses:
"By faith he (Moses) kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel. (Hebrews 11:28 NIV)
What about Jesus and "first-born"?
A common title in the New Testament for Jesus is the "first-born".
He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (Colossians 1:15 NIV)
Notice also the text does not say the Hebrew children would be spared. This is a model here. All are guilty before God. Only by trusting "The blood of the lamb" and by showing evidence of yourtrust in the promise (smearing of the blood) were they saved!
So are Christians also "first-borns"? After studying the New Testament references to "first-borns", Iíd say no. The "church" is something special. We are "grafted" in to the family of God, adopted as sons. We as Christians look to Jesus as "the first-born" son. We are adopted into the family of God. (See Ephesians 1:5 for a cross-reference).
And there will be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever will be again. 11:7 But against any of the Israelites not even a dog will bark against either people or animals, that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.' 11:8 And all these your servants will come down to me and bow down to me, saying, 'Go, you and all the people who follow you'; and after that I will go out." And he went out from Pharaoh in great anger.
Reading the end of Verse 8, you get the impression this whole speech was read to Pharaoh. Pharaoh was warned about all that was to come. Pharaoh can not plead to God that he was not warned about what was to come.
Notice the promise to Egypt for the future in Verse 6. There will never again be anything like this to Egypt. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11). Also, God promises never to repeat this event as to distinguish this event.
And the Lord said to Moses, "Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt."
Moses had to be wondering at this point why he was even bothering to keep delivering these messages. God was reassuring Moses that God has a greater purposes than just to proclaim his message to Pharaoh.
Sometimes, our witnessing appears to be a failure. God is saying "hang in there, Iíve got a greater purpose than what you see. They may not get it now, but it may sink in later. Or there may be an innocent bystander who is picking up the right message". Donít question Godís orders. Keep moving.
So Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh; but the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not release the Israelites from his land.
Here is a sad summary of human history summed up in one verse. God makes obvious evidence of his existence. People can look all around, and see evidence of design in the universe. Yet they refuse to acknowledge the designer.
Ever hear discussion about "if the Earth were just a few miles closer to the sun, life wouldnít exist, of if the Earth had an average temperature a few degrees hotter or colder all life wouldnít exist? All of this is true: "evidence of design". People acknowledge the existence of God. But refuse to do anything about it.
Pharaoh saw all the evidence of God, but refused to repent.
The Egyptians still looked to Pharaoh as their leader. No rebellion.
People today still refuse to change their lifestyle. "Oh yeah, I believe in God. OK, I admit I violate the 10 commandments every now & then, but Iím a pretty good person overall, God understands the way I am". Satanís greatest lie is that one can get into heaven by being "a pretty good person." It is the refusal to repent and seek the true God of the universe.
The next set of verses Iím going to take on a verse-by-verse basis. There are too many wonderful pictures of Jesus to miss. If you havenít already read Chapter 12 in a straight reading, it may help to do so "as to see the forest from the trees". Chapter 12 is the instructions on how to be preserved from the death-of-the-first-born plague to hit Egypt.
Here comes the Passover: 12:1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,
The Israelites were born in Egypt. This is an important "type" to understand.
Egypt is a "type" of the world. We as sinners, are born in the world. It is only after we acknowledge God, and become born-again, do we exit the world.
"This month is to be the beginning of months for you; it is to be for you the first month of the year.
This event is so important from Godís perspective, that God starts a new calendar.
For those of you with some knowledge of the Jewish calendar. An explanation is needed here. There are 12 months in the Jewish calendar. The Jewish new year "Rosh Hashanah" is celebrated in the fall month of "Abib". So why does God say to make the spring month (called "Nissan") the new month? Are Jews violating this command?
There are two "new years" in a Jewish calendar. The fall "new year" is used to mark "ordinary time". The spring new year is used for religious purposes to mark their calendar. Jews use the spring new year to calculate the dates for Passover and other Jewish holidays. The fall new year is used to celebrate "the passing of another year". Jews believe the first year of time as started in Genesis Chapter 1 begins with the fall month.
Tell all the congregation of Israel, 'In the tenth day of this month they each must take a lamb for themselves according to the house of their fathers-a lamb for a house.
OK Class, first question, why "take a lamb" on the 10th day? If God wanted to make a big memorial out of Passover, why not start on day 1?
First of all, God is giving Pharaoh and Egyptians time to repent.
I can just see an Egyptian walking up to an Israelite and saying "OK now, Iíve had enough plagues, now explain this lambís blood thing to me again?
Second, 10 days would be enough time to explain to two million-plus people exactly how to perform this procedure. Word needed to get out.
Third, prophecy! The 10th day was the day the lambs were chosen. They became "pets" in the home. They were not to be slaughtered until the evening of 14th-15th,
Jesus rose on the 3rd day, or the 17th day of the month. This to us is Easter Sunday. The 10th day is "Palm Sunday", the day Jesus rode on a donkey to be presented before the Israelites. On the 10th day (Palm Sunday) the lambs were examined for defects, and chosen as to which were to be sacrificed. Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey is saying in effect "Hey Guys, pick me! Iím the one! Iím the true sacrificial lamb.
And if any household is too small for the lamb, the man and his neighbor who lives nearby are to take a lamb according to the number of people-you will make your count for the lamb according to how much each one can eat.
God wanted the whole lamb consumed. If a household was too small to consume a whole lamb, invite somebody over.
This is a picture of Jesus being sacrificed for us.
All of us are to partake ("according to how much each one can eat".
Jesus provides "enough" to satisfy all appetites.
"He (Jesus) broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." (1 Corinthians 11:24 NKJV)
God wants us to worship him as a family. If you are an adult single, you are a family. A couple is a family. If you have children under your roof, thatís your family.
Worshipping God is not just something to be done on Sundays or individual prayers before bedtime. There needs to be family worship time.
People often ask, "do children automatically go to heaven?
I could argue scripturally that children of believing parents do, until they are at an age where they can make their own decisions. Youíll notice later that the young children of Israel were saved because of the actions of their parents.
As to "non-believing Children", the Bible is a bit more vague, but I believe they are saved. I do believe God is a fair & just, and will judge accordingly.
You must take a perfect animal, a male that is one year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.
The key word is "perfect" animal. Jesus as a type of perfect sacrifice for our lives.
Peter caught on to this type too: "but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. (1 Peter 1:19 NIV)
And you must care for it until the fourteenth day of the same month, and then all the congregation of the assembly will kill them between the evenings.
Take the lamb into your house, and care for it from the 10th until the 14th night.
Imagine how paranoid the first Israelites might have been.
They knew that if they screwed up, it would cost the life of their first born.
Imagine how well they checked lambs for no blemishes or spots!
Imagine how well they took care of the lamb for 4 days!
Their life depended upon it. So does ours!
We should never take lightly what Jesus did for us.
Like the Hebrews, our lives depend upon it.
I love this verse: 12:7 Then they will take some of the blood and put it on the two side posts and on the lintel of the houses in which they will eat it.
There is an interesting connection with verse 22Ö "12:22 And you must take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin."
So picture a lamb that has been slain. The blood is now at the basin of the door (Verse 22). With a branch, blood is now placed on the side-posts and the top of the door. (Does anybody else see blood-stained heads, hands & feet as from the form a crucifix! I get chills thinking about that image!)
And they will eat the meat the same night; they will eat it roasted with fire, with unleavened cakes, and with bitter herbs.
The blood of the lamb is now on the door. That is their protection from death.
They (and us) are to remember this night by eating the lamb.
This is a model of our communion. Eat in remembrance.
So what is with the unleavened cakes, and the bitter herbs?
Leaven in the bible, is associated with sin. Leaven is another word for yeast.
When you put yeast in bread, it grows.
Sin is the same way. Left alone, it grows
Paul caught on to this too. "Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5:8 NIV)
So if leaven (yeast) speaks of sin, God wants it out of our lives before we come to him.
Prior to taking communion, God wants us to examine ourselves, do a "self-check" of sins and remove them prior to eating communion. That is what "removal of leaven" and the "bitter herbs" speak of. The sin of our lives. The bitterness speaks of the actions of our sins. Confess it, ask God for forgiveness, and then enjoy the communion with the fellow saints of God!
Paul said "Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord." (1 Corinthians 11:27 NIV)
Do not eat it raw or boiled in water, but roast it over the fire, its head, its legs, and its inner parts. 12:10 And you must leave nothing until morning, but you must burn with fire whatever remains of it until morning.
Jesus sacrifice must not be eaten raw (prior to crucifixion, people who accept Jesus as good man, but not God), or boiled in water. Boiled in water represents "softening up" like mixing wine with water softens the wineís flavor. This also speaks of people who take Jesus "lightly", as they accept some of his teachings, but not all.
"Burning" is a reference to judgement. God accepted Jesus as the perfect sacrifice. Jesus was "fully consumed" once and for all, for our sins. That is why the whole lamb had to be consumed & burned.
And this is how you are to eat it-dressed to travel, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you are to eat it in haste. It is the Passover of the Lord.
Do you know any people who have procrastinated accepting Jesus?
I have accepted the sacrifice of Jesus as a substitution for my sins.
Others think about, said theyíll do it on their deathbed, or "Iíll change someday".
God is saying "Do it in a hurry! Do it now" Verse 11 says "Eat in Haste!
Be ready to travel right afterwards. God wants to change your life! Immediately!
And I will pass through the land of Egypt in the same night, and I will kill all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both of humans and of animals, and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment. I am the Lord.
Our God is a God-of-Love. He loves us like a first-born child. He is also a God of Judgement. Never forget that. He will not stand worship of any other god. It is one of the 10 commandments. It was necessary for God to judge the other "gods". We have seen this through out the other nine plagues.
Pharaoh himself was considered a god. This final judgement was against Pharaoh himself as well as all the animal-gods that Egypt looked to for protection.
The blood will be a sign for you on your houses where you are: when I see the blood I will pass over you, & the plague will not be on you for destruction when I strike the land of Egypt.
If you were a first-born Hebrew son, do you think you slept well that night?
"Hey dad, you sure you got that blood in just the right place? Hey dad, are you sure there were no defects on that lamb?
Our trust in being saved, and not being damned to hell is the trust that the blood of the lamb fully covers our sins.
Remember how John the Baptist first introduced Jesus to the world?
"Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29b NIV) People were expecting Messiah The King. John was introducing Messiah The Sacrificial Lamb!
We can sleep well at night, knowing that no matter what, Iím trusting in the Blood of the Lamb to cover my sins.
This day will become a memorial for you, and you will celebrate it as a festival to the Lord-you will celebrate the feast perpetually as a lasting ordinance.
Notice the verse does not say "celebrate this until the Messiah comes". Itís forever.
Therefore the question. Are Messianic Jews REQUIRED to keep the Passover today?
In my opinion, yes they are. Itís not a salvation issue, but one of obedience out of love. The same way Jesus commands all Christians to love one another and to fulfill the great commission, I see this as an obligation of Messianic Jews through out their generations. (Again, many disagree with this view.)
Are Non-Jewish (i.e. Gentile) Christians obligated to celebrate Passover?
No. I see communion service as our equivalent. Also in Acts 15:20, you the church in Jerusalem gave the requirements/obligations of the Gentile believers. Celebrating Passover and other Jewish festivals is not on the list.
For seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. Surely on the first day you must put away the yeast from your houses, because anyone who eats leavened bread from the first day to the seventh day may be cut off from Israel. 12:16 And on the first day there will be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there will be a holy convocation for you. You must do no work of any kind on them, only what every person must eat-that alone may be prepared for you. 12:17 And you will keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because on this same day I brought your multitudes out from the land of Egypt, and so you must keep this day perpetually as a lasting ordinance.
Now we come to a new festival. This is separate from Passover, called the "feast of first-fruits". It is one of seven festivals ordained by God through Moses.
The most important thing to remember as Christians about "Firstfruits" is that it speaks of Jesusí resurrection and our resurrection as Christians.
Here is Godís command to the High Priest to begin "First-fruits": "He is to wave the sheaf before the LORD so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. (Lev. 23:11 NIV)
Notice the "day after the Sabbath". Thatís Sunday to you & me. Jesus was crucified on Passover. He rose again on the 3rd day, which was Sunday.
That means in approx. the year 32 AD, in Jerusalem, on the same day the High Priest was waving the sheaf to commemorate "first-fruits", a symbol of resurrection, was the same day of Jesusí resurrection! (Isnít that cool!)
In Paulís Letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 15 is known as "the resurrection" chapter, as it speaks of the importance of Jesusí resurrection and our resurrection after Jesus.
"But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruitsof those who have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:20 NIV emphasis added)
God wanted the Israelites to have a seven-day holiday/remembrance that they were saved from eternal damnation by the blood of the lamb. For Christians "first fruits" speaks of Jesus resurrection and our resurrection.
More on "first-fruits": 12:18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, in the evening, you will eat unleavened bread until the twenty-first day of the month in the evening. 12:19 For seven days leaven must not be found in your houses, for whoever eats what is leavened-that person will be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether a foreigner or one born in the land. 12:20 You will not eat anything leavened; in all the places where you live you must eat unleavened bread."
Just because we are saved, does not mean we are free to live our lives however we want from then on.
we are saved, we are to live a life of obedience out of gratefulness.
Further, it is not out of self-disciple that we have the power to be obedient, but by letting God work through us to change our lives.
The focus of "first-fruits" for us is to avoid leaven (yeast). Again this speaks of sin. When we turn our live over to God, he not only accepts us, he cleanses us. God starts removing the "leaven", i.e. sin, out of our lives.
Then Moses summoned the elders of Israel, and said to them, "Draw out and take small animals for yourselves according to your families; and kill the Passover. 12:22 And you must take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you will go out the door of his house until morning. 12:23 For the Lord will pass through to strike Egypt; and when he sees the blood on the lintel and the two side posts, then the Lord will pass over the door, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter into your houses to strike you.
These next verses focus on the obedience of the people.
Every now & then, youíll see some repetition of facts in the Bible. First God will give a command to one of his prophets, and then the Bible will record the same information as people obeyed those commandments. God loves obedience so much he records those incidences for us!
"hyssop" symbolically speaks of cleansing or purging in the Bible.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. (Psalm 51:7 NIV)
Verse 22 says "none of you will go out the door of his house until morning".
Godís protection requires Godís obedience. Their salvation is not dependent upon their "works" of putting the blood on the door, it is their trust in God that the death-angel will "pass-over" them (and thus the name.)
And you will observe this event as an ordinance for you and for your children forever. 12:25 And when you enter the land that the Lord will give to you, just as he said, then you must observe this service. 12:26 And when your children say to you, "What does this service mean to you?"- 12:27 then you will say, 'It is the sacrifice of the Lord's Passover, when he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt, when he destroyed Egypt and delivered our households.'" And the people bowed down low to the ground. 12:28 And then the Israelites went away and did exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron.
God not only wants us to walk in faith, but to testify of his faith to our children.
is better in developing your childrenís faith then telling them of what God has done in your life as well as teaching the Biblical facts.
It happened at midnight-the Lord struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the prison, and all the firstborn of the cattle. 12:30 And Pharaoh got up in the night, along with all his servants and all Egypt, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no house in which there was not someone dead.
Letís stop for a second. Read this paragraph and then stop & close your eyes. There were millions of deaths. Millions of people dying, lots of animals dying (depending upon how many were left, post-plagues). Imagine the horror of seeing one of your own children dead. Seeing your own parents, or aunts/uncles dead because they were the first born.
Now catch your breath. What is equally as scary is thinking of all the millions who are condemned to hell forever for not obeying God. Never truly dying, just being forever tormented.
And he summoned Moses and Aaron in the night, and said, "Get up, get out from among my people, both you and your children! Go and serve the Lord as you have spoken! 12:32 Also, take your flocks and your herds, just as you have spoken, and leave. But bless me also." 12:33 And the Egyptians were urging on the people, in order to send them out of the land quickly, for they were saying, "We are all dead people!"
Godís promise of Chapter 11, Verse 1 is hereby fulfilled.
Pharaoh saying in verse 32 "But bless me also" is not repentance. Itís more of a cry to not let God punish them anymore.
I personally see the Pharaohís & the Egyptians repentance like a person committing a crime, and now is serving time in jail. They are not remorseful for their crime, they are remorseful for their punishment. Notice the lack of repentance, just the cries of sorrow.
And the people took their dough before it was leavened, with their kneading troughs bound up in their clothes on their shoulders. 12:35 And the Israelites had done according to the word of Moses-they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing. 12:36 The Lord gave favor to the people in the eyes of the Egyptians, and they gave them whatever they wanted, and so they plundered Egypt.
God is a god of vengeance. Make no mistake about it. The Hebrews worked for centuries without earnings. God makes up for it.
God will not tolerate injustice. We donít always see Godís revenge in our lifetime, because a loving God will also wait to see if the guilty repent.
Do people appear to get away with horrible crimes? Yes. Do they get away with it eternally? No.
This is why the Gospels speak far more of hell & judgement than of heaven.
I can sleep well at night knowing that not only there is a God who loves me, but also a God who performs revenge on the wicked.
The Israelites journeyed from Rameses and Sukkoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children.
These verses mark the beginning of the actual Exodus out of Egypt. A new nation of "born-again" believers in God. A rough estimate is two million people.
Itís sort of mind-boggling to think of two million people doing anything in an organized fashion. How did they keep in ranks? What about the kids? What about going to the bathroom? This truly was a miracle of God.
And a mixed multitude also went up with them, and flocks and herds-a very large number of cattle. 12:39 And they baked cakes of unleavened bread with the dough they had brought from Egypt, for it was not leavened-because they were thrust out of Egypt and were not able to delay, they could not prepare food for themselves either.
No time to prepare food. When God calls us to move, MOVE!
When we become Christians, we now take orders from God. We travel without sin (the leaven) in our lives, and we trust in God for our provisions.
That does not mean by the way, we sit around and wait for God to feed us!
It means move as God directs, and then God will provide.
Verse 38 says a "mixed multitude" came with them, possibly "believing Egyptians".
Later this group turns out to be trouble. Symbolically, the "mixed multitude" refers to half-hearted believers. The history of the church has been plagued with this problem, as most of the New Testament writers speak of this problem.
Now the length of time the Israelites lived in Egypt was four hundred thirty years. 12:41 And at the end of the four hundred thirty years, on the same day, all the divisions of the Lord went out of the land of Egypt. 12:42 It was a night of watching for the Lord to bring them out from the land of Egypt; and so on this night all Israel is to keep the vigil to the Lord for generations to come.
This is Mosesí commentary. Moses stopped to reflect upon the accuracy of Godís prediction to Abraham.
Then the LORD said to him (Abraham), "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. (Gen. 15:13 NIV).
Therefore, 30 years of positive treatment, 400 years of enslavement.
Moses reminds us to remember this (Verse 42), so we need to pass this on to our kids.
Now that theyíre on their way, Godís next command to Moses is as follows: 12:43 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "This is the ordinance of the Passover. No foreigner may share in eating it. 12:44 But everyone's servant who is bought for money, after you have circumcised him, may eat it. 12:45 A foreigner and a hired worker must not eat it.
There is a time to witness to the world, and a time to be alone with believers worshipping God. We can invite strangers to church, but we worship as the "body" of Christ. This is why non-believers are usually not allowed to eat communion at church.
It must be eaten in one house; you must not carry it around outside from one house to another. And you must not break a bone of it. 12:47 The congregation of Israel must observe it.
There is a wonderful bit of trivia in Verse 46: "Do not break a bone of it"
There are wonderful Messiah predictions being crucified, but not one broken bone.
"he (God the Father) protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken." (Psalm 34:20 NIV) John confirms this as prophecy in "John 19:36".
Isnít it interesting that on the cross, the Roman soldier was ordered to break the bones of the prisoners on the cross, and violated that order in Jesusí case. (John 19:32-33).
You think the Roman soldier knew he was violating Hebrew prophecy? J
We just past my self-imposed 10-page limit, Iíll miss it by half a page.
J 12:48 And when a foreigner lives with you, and wants to observe the Passover to the Lord, all his males must be circumcised, and then he may come near and observe it, and he will be as one who is born in the land-for no uncircumcised person may eat of it. 12:49 The same law will apply to the person who is native-born and to the foreigner who lives among you.
This passage is focusing on fellowship (i.e. hanging out with) fellow Jews.
In the Old Testament, one needed to be circumcised as a sign of evidence of faith. (Who checked, by the way?
The same needs to be applied to Christians for communion (See #34a-above).
Last two verses: 12:50 So all the Israelites did exactly as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron. 12:51 And on that very day the Lord brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt by their divisions.
If Verse 50 were written about me in my obituary, Iíd be a happy man:
So all the Israelites did exactly as the Lord commanded"
Unfortunately, Iíve sinned (literally meaning "missed the mark") as much as the next person.
Verse 51 states again the birth of a nation. Promise fulfilled. The day the Israelites put their trust in the Lamb of God, is the same day God brought them out in a new life.
Letís stop and look at the big picture for a moment: Pretend you area a Hebrew elder. You just witnessed nine incredible plagues, most of which spared you & your family. Other than having faith that God promised your ancestors, that one-day, you would be saved, you havenít done much with your life other than have faith that God exists. One day you get word that in order to spare your life, you have to take a one year old lamb, keep it as a pet for four days, then kill it, put blood on your door, BBQ it whole & eat it with bitter herbs and flat bread, and that will save your life from a death plague! The whole thing sounds preposterous. Couldnít you make up a better salvation story than that? The only thing that sounds crazier is that by believing in one guy dying on a cross 2,000 years ago is responsible for your eternal salvation
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV)
Letís Pray. Father our redemption was paid for on a cross 2,000 years ago, and as so well predicted centuries earlier for our proof. For those of us who have accepted your sacrifice, help us to walk in obedience in accordance to your will. Help us not to try to obey you out of self-discipline, for that glorifies ourselves and not you. Help us to look to you, and trust you to work through us, so that you may be glorified through us, We ask this in the name of Jesus, the lamb of God, the first-born over all creation, Amen.