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January 3, 2016

"THE BEGINNING OF MONTHS"

TEXT: Exodus 12: 1-13
READING:
 1 Colossians 3: 1-17

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SUBJ: The Passover as a most precious type of the redeeming work of Christ our Lord and the fact that the Lord indicated to them its great significance by marking their year from that date.

AIM: That we might be ever in the way of “newness of life” as we contemplate all our salvation as having its origin in Christ our Passover.

INTR: It is well that we return from time to time to significant events in sacred history and there to be reminded that these things all point to the ultimate event which was the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ to redeem His people from their sins.
1. While many have read and remember we must be reminded that not all have and that we that have need to reconnect and renew our knowledge in the Word.
2. The deliverance of the Children of Israel from Egypt and the events through which it occurred became to them a point of reference and a confirmation of their identity with the Lord.
3. Furthermore, the connection in the New Testament confirms its importance to us in that it was honored by our Lord and then that His crucifixion became the antitype: Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 1 Corinthians 5:7.

THESIS: The attention to detail given in the institution of the Passover leads us to study and to see the exacting manner in which our Lord was sacrificed and the necessity that He be properly recognized as at the center of all. If it is not about Christ, this narrative us just another story!

I. The Lamb and the Blood (vv. 3-7)
1. The reference of John the Baptist is clear as he pointed to Christ with “Behold the Lamb of God.”
1) As a Jew He would have been in anticipation of this revelation and
2) As the forerunner of Christ it had, no doubt, been revealed to him that this was Him!
2. This Lamb was to be the provision for every house – a lamb for a house
1) There was to be a special consideration if a house was too little for the lamb in that they could combine to make sure the lamb was consumed.
2) There was to be a count made for the lamb so that none were slighted and the lamb would be completely eaten.
3. From the tenth day to the fourteenth day it was kept and inspected that it be without blemish in that it would be depicting the spotless Lamb of God.
4. We note the use of the singular in that they were to kill it (although thousands were killed.
5. The blood was applied to the door post and the lintel in an unmistakable image of the cross.
1) It was applied with hyssop – David would later pray “purge me with hyssop and I…”
2) We are reminded that we are sprinkled: Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22.
6. The blood would identify the houses wherein its occupants would be feeding on the lamb and so the dual application to us in that we are saved and that we feed upon Christ our Lord.

II. The Consumption of the Lamb (vv. 8-10)
1. In that night they shall eat the flesh –
1) Roast with fire – signifying the wrath of God poured out on Christ for our sins
2) With unleavened bread – received in purity, sincerity and truth and not with the leaven of sin and the idolatry of Egypt and the world.
2. The manner of preparation was explicit as was the manner in which Christ would be our Passover – fully spent and fully consumed by those for whom He died – only the bones and the indigestible parts were to remain and they would be burnt with fire!
3. Consider the words of our Lord: And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. Matthew 26:26.

III. The Manner of eating the Lamb (vv. 11-12)
1. There was then and always has been a sense of urgency with regard to salvation and redemption applied:
1) What was about to occur was without recourse and there was no alternative
2) Departure was imminent and no delay or hesitation would be tolerated – the approach of the death angel was a reality and deliverance from Egypt was mandatory.
2. We then attach great significance to being fully dressed, shoes on our feet, staff in hand eating quickly.
3. Judgment was to be executed quickly and thoroughly:
1) The death angel would and did pass through and no walls would prevent his entrance (from fortresses to huts) – it would only be the blood that would avail!
2) The object was the firstborn and the gods would be judged: And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. Exodus 12:30
4. And Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron and the Exodus began!

IV. The Beginning of Months (vv. 1-2)
1. While there is much to be studied and learned and contemplated concerning this type, we turn to the significance of “beginning.”
1) To the Israelites it meant that their life with the Lord would be marked from that day and their year would begin by remembering this event
2) Of far greater importance is that we are ever pointed to the fact that Salvation is ultimately secured forever by the sacrifice to end all sacrifices.
3) It is to us to mark beginnings as well”
i. In looking often to the foundation upon which we are built
ii. By looking especially to the emphasis given in the Word of God to Christ our Lord (how can we neglect reading of One who has done so much, Who has loved us so and Who we profess to love with all our heart and soul and mind and strength!
iii. In noting that with our own New Birth that we have been raised to walk in newness of life and that all that went before is essentially without consequence – our real life began when we were thus sprinkled with the blood of Christ and the death angel passed over us.
2. While we are about the process of marking the beginning of a new year, it is that which was begun in Christ that shall be forever.