Is Jesus Christ Your Passover?

Category: Full Sermons

The Passover points to the redemption that is found in Jesus Christ. Yet there is no point in knowing about the meaning of the Passover and what Christ did, if you don’t realize it applies to you. Are you trusting in Jesus Christ as your Passover?

Transcript

Good morning. It is a real delight and a privilege to be here once again. This conference is such a blessing to me with the messages so far, with Mack and Jesse and Ryan, of course, it's just so practical, so helpful. The Lord always meets us with just what we need to hear. If you'll open your Bibles with me to the book of Exodus 12. And we're going to look at the Passover, and the significance of this for you on Judgment Day. So let's all stand as we read God's Word. Exodus 12 from verse 1: "The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 'This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the 10th day of this month, every man shall take a lamb according to their father's houses, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons, according to what each can eat, you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. And you shall keep it until the 14th day of this month when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight. Then, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the doorposts, and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night roasted on the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, they shall eat it. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted its head with its legs and its inner parts. And you shall let none of it remain until the morning. Anything that remains until the morning, you shall burn. In this manner, you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord's Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast, and on all the gods of Egypt, I will execute judgment. I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. This day shall be for you a memorial day and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations as a statute forever. You shall keep it as a feast.'" Let's pray. Our Father, as we look now at this instruction that these are to build their lives, their calendar around this event, we pray, Lord, that You would help us to build our lives around what this points to. Show us wondrous things from Your law now, that we may live for Your glory. And we ask, Lord, that You would show Yourself to people through this Word as the Passover for them. In Jesus' name, Amen. You may be seated. So the people of Israel in our text here... they are living at this point as slaves in misery and bondage in the land of Egypt. And after they cried out to the Lord to save them from this, God answers their prayer by sending Moses and Aaron in to Pharaoh, who was, of course, the king of Egypt, with God's demand to Pharaoh: "Let My people go, in order that they may serve Me." A point worth noting here, brethren, is that God was already raising up Moses to answer this prayer of deliverance long before they even cried out. You see, long before these people even cried out to the Lord for help, God had already seen their affliction. He was already raising up Moses and preparing him for this task years before they even got to the stage of crying to God for help. You see, what this tells us is that when we pray and when we ask God for help, it's not as if at that moment, God is suddenly made aware of our problem. And then He starts to move in order to answer our prayer. But rather, God has already seen what you're going through. He's already seen your need, and He has been preparing the answer to your prayer long before you even ask Him. But secondly here, in those words, "Let My people go in order that they may serve Me," which is a repeated phrase you see in this account, God delivering the Israelites from the slavery and bondage in Egypt - that's a picture of salvation - When God delivers us from the slavery and bondage and the misery of our sin. And the point I want to make here is when God says, "Let My people go in order that they may serve Me," you see, in their case, freedom from Pharaoh, freedom from the slavery and bondage they were under in Egypt, didn't mean they were free then to go and live as they like apart from the Lord. But, as the Lord demanded to Pharaoh through Moses and Aaron here, "Let My people go that they may serve Me." You see, in the same way, when God frees someone from the slavery and bondage of sin at salvation, that does not mean the person is free to go on in sin and be lord of their own life. Otherwise, that's not freedom from sin, is it? That would just be like these Jews here saying they are free while they are still in the chains in Egypt. But you see, we are freed from the penalty and slavery and misery of sin in order that we may serve the Lord. Them being in slavery was stopping them from serving the Lord. So the Lord frees us, that we may be His people. You see, if Jesus is your Lord, you serve Him. You do what He says. You follow Him. For someone to say, "No, Lord," is, of course, an oxymoron. Oxymoron - you're familiar with that word? It means two words that don't go together; two words that contradict. Like hot snow or heavenly devil. Or rap music. Or another one is iced tea. If you'd have thrown that stuff in the sea, the English would be celebrated. But you see, when God frees us from the bondage and slavery of our sin, it's in order that we may serve Him. But at first, when Moses went in to Pharaoh demanding, "Let My people go," Pharaoh's initial response was not only to stubbornly refuse to let them go, but to greatly increase the misery and bondage these Israelites were under. And so God then sends 10 plagues upon the land of Egypt inflicting judgment upon them. They are escalating with each one. They get more and more severe, as Pharaoh continues to dig his heels in and stubbornly refuses to let the Israelites go. And so this is where we pick up in Exodus 12:1 in which the Lord is about to send the 10th plague now upon Egypt. If you look with me there, it says, "The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 'This month shall be for you the beginning of months.'" It's going to be the start of the year for you, that is. On your calendar. "It shall be the first month of the year for you." You see, the big thing that all these events in the book of Exodus have been building up to so far is now about to happen. This month, which falls around March or April, this time of year in our calendar today, was to be the beginning of the year on the Jewish calendar. So then, what are we meant to learn from this? What is the principal we can take from this and apply to our lives? Well, in order to answer that, we must first ask, what did this mean for these Jews here? Well, simply this, what God is about to do now in the Passover and then delivering the Israelites through the Red Sea. What God is about to do now for these people is so significant that they are told here to build their calendar around it. So is that the application for us? Are we today meant to do the same as these Jews here and make this the start of the year for us? And build our calendar around the Passover and the escape from Egypt? Is that how we are meant to apply this? Well, the answer is, not literally. The answer is yes, but not literally. You see, it is what these events point to... it is what the Passover points to that we are to build, not merely our calendar around, but rather every day of our lives around. That's the idea. You see, the event that the Passover and God delivering these people points to - it is so significant that we are to build our whole lives around it. What does it point to? What does the Passover point to in God's judgement passing over them, of course, is the redemption in Christ Jesus. As the Apostle Paul said, "Christ, our Passover." Jesus Christ is our Passover. And as John the Baptist declared, "Behold! The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." Behold, Jesus Christ is the true Passover Lamb of God. He takes away our sin. You see, we are called to build our lives around the true Passover. Now, of course, today the calendar we use is based upon the first coming of Jesus Christ. We have the time period B.C.: "Before Christ." And then the time period from when He was born into the world: A.D. from the Latin, "Year of our Lord." But whether someone has a calendar like this or not, the whole of history revolves around the coming of this Savior and what He would do for us. You see, what this event of the Passover and the escape from Egypt points to is the most significant event in history. Notice a similar thing in verse 14, when it says, "This day (the day of the Passover) shall be a memorial day and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations as a statute forever. You shall keep it as a feast." Now, we'll consider the instruction given for the feast and how they are meant to reenact it in a moment, but the point I want to make here is that these Jews, notice, they're told to keep the feast of the Passover and reenact it year upon year on this day. They're told to do it through all the generations. And it even says there this will be a statute forever. It will be an everlasting ordinance. So, how are we meant to apply this one? Does this mean that we as Christians are meant to celebrate the Passover? And since this is an everlasting ordinance - it's something forever - does this mean that there will be people who will still keep this feast and reenact it in everlasting life? Dispensationalists might say yes. I've heard them say that. So I say, does that mean then, they'll be slaughtering the lambs in eternal life? Which they don't believe, so they say well, we're having a vegetarian Passover. You see, once again, the answer is: not literally. Because once again, you see, it is what this feast points to that is the everlasting part about it. It's the redemption that is in Christ Jesus that will be the everlasting ordinance that Jesus Christ is our Passover. You see, not even these Jews here are called to keep this Passover today in our day in a literal sense. Because once the true Passover came - Jesus Christ - there's no need for the shadow anymore. As Galatians 3:22, 25 and Hebrews 13 makes abundantly clear, that these things in the literal sense were only meant to be kept until the first coming of Jesus and His redemption that it points to. You know, to use an illustration, before a movie comes out, they show you a trailer, a preview, don't they? And people get all excited about the trailer. Thinking what's the movie going to be like? Well, once the movie comes out and you've watched the movie, you no longer have need of the trailer, do you? The preview. You don't all sit down as a family and say let's get the popcorn out and watch the movie preview; the trailer. Because it's only a preview of what is coming. You see, this reenacting of the Passover was a preview of what Christ would do when He came. The last Passover in a literal sense with any significance, was, of course, the one that Jesus ate right before He went to the cross, where He showed Himself to be the true Passover Lamb. You see, it is Christ being our Passover that we are to build our lives, our calendar around here. And for us, it's not just a once a year thing. But we are to do all we do for the glory of God. That's what it means here. That's the lesson from building your calendar around this. We're to do all we do for His glory knowing we've been redeemed. That God's judgment has passed over us, so do works out of gratitude. And just as verse 6 says here, we read the whole congregation of the children of Israel coming together to keep this feast. In the New Covenant, we set aside the Lord's Day, don't we, to meet and assemble. Because that's the day Jesus rose from the dead showing us our sins have all been paid for. Let's look though at how they keep this Passover feast and what it means to us. In verses 4 to 6, they're told to take a lamb that must be without blemish. That is, without any flaws or spoils in it. So why is this? Why must this lamb we are about to sacrifice, why must it be without any flaw or blemish? Well, again, it's what it points to. This is to teach us that the true Passover Lamb, the one who would die for our sins, God's promised Savior Jesus Christ must be innocent. He must be without any flaw or blemish. Because we have all sinned against God. And so there is a penalty on Judgment Day to pay. And so, in order to save us, God promised to send a Savior who would pay the penalty. He promised to send the Passover Lamb, who must be without flaw. You see, someone who had sinned could not pay our penalty, because they would have to pay for their own penalty. You know, you have all this nonsense going on in the Catholic church with people praying to saints to try and borrow from their merit. You see, the idea behind all that is that after all the good those people did, after paying for their own salvation with their own merits, with all the good they did, they had enough merit left over. And so they can share it with others to pay off their sins. If you'll pray to them, and of course, give a donation to the Catholic church. But the Bible is clear, no one has any merit to pay for their own sin. Not them. Not anyone. All are guilty. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. There is none righteous. Not even one. It's either Jesus Christ pays it all, or you pay for it all. There's no middle ground there. There's no 99% Jesus and 1% you. It must be all Him or all you. You know, I was in Krakow in Poland recently and we just planted a church there, so please keep that work in prayer, I ask you... but in Poland, they took me on a tour of a cathedral - the big cathedral there. And it was a museum of idolatry. You go around and there is one shrine after another where you pray to all these saints. And you know, they've got artifacts in, like a bit of Jesus' cross and things like that, so they say. And the idea is that you pray to it and you get time off purgatory and things like that. Well, when you get to the end of it, as you walk around the room, they were telling me, Pope John Paul II who is from that city, he is bigger than Mary now there. And so they had this - it looked like the Ark of the Covenant elevated with some of Pope John Paul II's artifacts in. And if you pray to it and give a donation, he was telling me, I think it was, you get completely absolved from purgatory. Brethren, I can't remember the exact things in there, but it was something as ridiculous as Pope John Paul II's slippers. It's just ridiculous isn't it? You couldn't make it up how some people try and get forgiven. There's no other man than Christ who has any merit to pay for our sins. You see, in verse 6 here, we are told this spotless lamb was to be killed. Teaching us that in order to be forgiven, in order for God's judgment to pass over us, the price must be paid. Since we could not pay for it ourselves. Since we are not without blemish. Only Christ could and would pay for it. And then in verse 7 they are told to paint some of this blood of the Lamb upon the lintels and the doorposts of the house. What does this teach us? What does this teach us here in that they not only needed to have this spotless lamb sacrificed for them, but they had to apply the blood. They had to apply it to the lintel and to the doorposts of the house. You see, what this teaches us is that it's no use just knowing about Christ's death. It's no use just someone knowing all the details about this Passover, even much more intricate than what I'm giving now. It's no use someone knowing about the details of the Passover and how it points to the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. That's all no good, if you don't apply it for yourself. To yourself. You see, just as they applied the blood, you too must apply this to yourself. You see, what you must see is the true Passover Jesus Christ and what He did as something that applies to your life. You are to apply it by faith, by trusting, by believing, that this applies to me. This applies to me that when Jesus Christ, God's Passover Lamb died upon that cross, He was dying to pay the penalty in full for my sins. And so, now on Judgment Day, because God sees not my merits, but because God sees the blood of Christ shed for my sins, He will pass over giving me the wrath I deserve because Christ has paid the penalty. You see, it's no good just knowing about all this, if you don't think it applies to you. It's no good just knowing this, if you only think it applies to other people. What good is that to you? No, just as these people, they had to apply the blood to the lintel and the doorposts of the house, and so when the death plague swept through Egypt that night, when God saw the blood, He passed over, and His judgment did not fall upon them. You too must apply Christ's shedding of His blood for you. Apply it by faith. Realize that this applies to you. That God's judgment will pass over you, because Christ has shed His blood for you. And then in verses 8-9, they are told to roast this Passover lamb and eat it. Literally, barbecue it. Roast it on hot coals. You know, it always seems to me that our Lord liked a good barbecue. One of the first things we see Him doing after His resurrection is barbecuing fish on a beach. You know, when I think of a barbecue, I think of joy. Especially one there on a beach. Isn't it interesting, you know, our Lord - He did His first miracle at the celebration of a wedding. A celebration of great joy, and one of His first resurrection appearances was to have a barbecue on a beach. And yet there are some who think that being a Christian means you are to be miserable. As if that is being more holy or more spiritual. No, the sin of not being a Christian is where the miserableness is. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones once said, you can't believe this Gospel - that you were deserving of hell, and yet Christ has forgiven you of every sin and He has given you everlasting life. You can't believe that and be miserable. It's a contradiction. You see, when a Christian falls into being miserable, they've either forgotten this, or they never knew it in the first place. And of course, the Israelites were later instructed here to burn with fire the barbecue, the flesh of the sacrifice, the later sacrifices, that is, beyond this. And it speaks, doesn't it, Scripture of the sacrifices being a pleasing aroma to the Lord. You know, just like when you smell a good barbecue, it's a pleasing aroma. You know, back in Manchester, in our church, we sometimes in the summer time, which is about three days in Manchester every year, but we sometimes have a barbecue for our church fellowship meal time. Some have come to our meetings, the first time they've come to our church is, you know, we're having this barbecue just outside the church, and they just happen to be walking past and it smelled so good, they've come in and later got converted. But speaking of a pleasing aroma though, the Bible often speaks of our works. The things the Christian does is a pleasing aroma to the Lord. But you see, only when it's not done in trying to earn salvation. You see, when people do good works in an attempt to earn forgiveness, that's not a pleasing aroma to the Lord. That's a stench. And keeping this Passover today in the New Covenant, we take the Lord's Supper together, don't we? That's the way we do it as a memorial, remembering that Christ is our Passover there. Remembering as we take the bread and the wine together that God's judgment will pass over us because He's seen the blood Christ shed for our sins at the last Passover. When Jesus Christ said, "Do this in remembrance of Me." And so, think about this every week, when you take the bread and the wine, the bread symbolizing the body of Christ broken for you; the wine symbolizing His blood shed for you. We are reminded there that when Jesus judges us on Judgment Day, He's seen the blood that was shed for us, and so His judgment will pass over us. No wrath will fall upon us. That's the reminder there at the Lord's Supper. As Lloyd-Jones said, when you take the Lord's Supper as a church unless you realize that you've been completely forgiven because of what Christ has done - unless you realize that, then you've not taken it. You've just had a snack. Because the reminder is there, that Christ is our Passover. That because of the shedding of His blood, because of His body being broken on our behalf upon the cross, there's nothing left for us to pay on Judgment Day. That's what the word redemption means. If someone has been redeemed, then the price has been paid in full. There's nothing left to pay. And notice in verse 10, after the Passover was roasted, they were to eat it there and then, and none was to be left until the morning. Anything they didn't eat, they were to burn with fire. Now this may have been to prevent people from keeping leftovers, and being superstitious about it. People have done that kind of thing down through the ages. Made relics of things. But the lesson here, and I think it's a good one, is that when we take the Lord's Supper and remember Christ is our Passover, make sure it's not done out of superstition or ritual. You know, there are people who do this. They actually take it thinking they are being forgiven for taking it. Or they think that because there's some miraculous thing in the substance of the bread and wine. Well, if you take it that way, it's of no eternal value to you. You're just having a snack. You see, it must be taken as a reminder of what the Lord has done. That you are completely forgiven because Christ has paid for your sins. And also in verse 11, and this is important, "And thus you shall eat it with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand, you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord's Passover." The idea here by eating the Passover in haste with the sandals on your feet, your loins girded up, your staff ready in your hand... the idea here is that they were to eat this Passover ready to depart from Egypt. Fast. You see, just as these were to eat this Passover ready to make a quick getaway from Egypt, you and I are to live with a mindset. Ready to depart from this world and be with Christ. Again, it's like when we take the Lord's Supper, we're reminded there, aren't we, that He is coming again. You see, we are to live ready to depart. We are to remind ourselves that because Christ is our Passover, we are ready to be with Him, one day soon will be with Him. And then, they were given instruction in verses 18-20 about clearing out the leaven, the yeast. Those who did not do this were cut off from Israel. When we get to the New Testament, we find this cutting off applies to church discipline and clearing out the leaven of sin. You see something else we're told to do at the Lord's Supper is examine ourselves. Make sure we're not holding on to any known sin. But notice verse 12. "For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and I will strike 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 so, what we're being taught here is that, notice in verse 12, God promises a judgment and a deliverance. He's going to execute judgment on those in Egypt. But on those covered by the Passover, He will pass over. There's a judgment and there's a deliverance. You see in building our calendar, our lives around this event, we are to build our lives preparing for the coming judgment of the Lord and a deliverance. This is how all the people in this world we meet around us - they're either facing the Lord in judgment or in deliverance. All those not covered by the Passover Lamb will face the wrath of God. But on all those who do apply the blood, God will pass over. You see, this distinction will be is how it is at the final judgment. No harm will come to God's people there. No harm will come to those who have applied the blood of God's Passover - Jesus Christ. But, the other side of the coin is for all those who refuse this salvation, for all those who still insist on proudly trying to save themselves, or those who are indifferent to it, none of those people will escape. That's the other guarantee. And when it says back in 12:12 that God will execute judgment upon the gods of Egypt. That is the false deities that they worshiped there. You see, what this is teaching is that all the false gods, all the false religion, that the Egyptians were trusting in, cannot save them. Think about this, those Egyptians, when this death plague came, they were no doubt crying out to all the false gods. But the Lord is showing them here that He is the Lord. Those false gods, false religions that people cry out to, false ways of salvation cannot deliver you. Only this Passover Lamb Jesus Christ can. Notice verse 13. "Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over, and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land." You see, this blood is to be a sign. I keep repeating myself, but as Lloyd-Jones said, that's the art of good preaching: repetition. But this blood shall be a sign, that when the judgment of God comes, His judgment's going to pass over. It will not fall upon anyone who believes this good news of Jesus Christ as your Passover. You know, it's just like we get that promise of the rainbow, don't we? Back in Genesis, after God poured out His judgment with the flood there, and He preserved Noah and his family. God gave the rainbow as a covenant promise. That's why in Revelation, there is a rainbow surrounding the throne of God there. Giving us the promise that God is no longer, and will never be, angry with the believer. Those trusting in Christ. When you see a rainbow in the sky, it's a reminder that God will never be angry with you. That He remembers your sins no more. Because Christ has dealt with them. But you see, it's the same with the blood here. You know, if you so much as cut your finger, that should be a reminder to you that God has completely forgiven you because of what Jesus Christ has done. If you see the blood on a steak or in the symbol of the red wine, remember Christ as your Passover. And you're forgiven because of what He's done. So in closing, let me ask you this. Is Christ your Passover? Or are you still trusting in false religion like these Egyptians here? Notice that there's nothing deserving about these Israelites that earns them this. There is no merit in them that makes God choose them. But it's the shedding of Christ's blood - that's the only merit you must apply. Is Christ your Passover? Or have you just heard about these things but not yet applied it to you personally? You see, just as these were called, commanded even, to apply the blood - you are also invited, commanded, to apply what Christ has done for you to yourself. You are invited to see that this applies to me. You are invited to apply this to yourself this day even. Notice there, "When I see the blood, I will pass over." Just think about that. "When I see the blood, I will pass over." On Judgment Day, who is the one who judges us? Jesus. He says when I see the blood of His suffering, I will pass over you. Well, if He's the one who judges us, and He's the one who shed His blood, He's not going to miss that, is He. He's going to see His own suffering there. "When I see the blood..." ... that Jesus has paid my debt. "When I see the blood, I will pass over you in judgment." You're invited to believe this for yourself. Believe it. And say this is for me. You're invited to believe that when Christ sees His own sacrifice, He will pass over your sins. He will see the travail of His soul and be satisfied. In verse 32, Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and told them to go. The people, the Egyptians, and Pharaoh are now urging the Israelites - just go. You see, just as it was only the Passover that set these people free; the other miracles didn't quite do it. Only Christ can make you free on Judgment Day. If you'll make Him your Passover. And just as they left in haste here, they left fast. You are called to believe on Christ as your Passover at once. Just as these Israelites were not to delay. You are not to delay believing upon Christ as your Passover, and apply it to yourself. If you're troubled about your soul, if you're concerned about your soul, I'd be glad to talk to you. But since I'm only going to tell you the exact same things I've been repeating here, why don't you just cut out the middle man and go straight to the Lord and trust in Him? See Christ as your Passover. Make haste and apply this to your own life. Believe that the Son of God's blood was shed for you. And so God's judgment will pass over you because of this. Don't put it off any longer. Don't try to use, "let's talk about this some more," as an excuse to put off what you've already heard and should be doing now. Don't try to use tomorrow as an excuse to put off what you should be doing today. Don't try and use, "I might do it later," as an excuse in order to delay what you should be doing right now this moment. Look at one last verse, verse 40, The sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was 430 years they were there. They were in slavery and bondage for a long time, weren't they? This night they were free. You see, it doesn't matter how long you've been bound in sin. These Israelites were in slavery and bondage for the best part of 430 years, but on the night of this Passover, they were made free. You see, it doesn't matter how long you've been in bondage and misery, you too can be free, right now, this moment, this day by applying this blood. By realizing that Christ's blood was shed for you. That this applies for you. That you can be forgiven because Christ is your Passover. You know, there's many, many young people here. There's no age limit on this. You know we have four year old's even, five year old's, six year old's, seven, eight... You don't have to wait any longer. If you see others in your family and you too want to be saved... How many times have you heard this good news? But you need to apply it. And you can apply it right now. Believe Christ is your Passover. That's what you're called to do. To delay is sin. So let's pray. Our Father, Lord, just as you speak through donkeys, I pray, Lord, that You would use this word, because the seed is good, the message is good, simple though it is, the great news of what you've done, that anyone in here, anyone who hears this message can be forgiven right now by seeing that Jesus Christ is their Passover, that on Judgment Day, God's judgment will pass over them, not because of anything they've done, but because Jesus Christ has shed His blood for them. I pray You would help apply it by faith. And for all of us here, we pray, Lord, that we build our lives around this event every day. That Jesus Christ would be at the center. In Jesus' name, Amen.