Passover Introduction – Perfect Lamb Slain – Blood Applied
Last week we were talking about the Passover lamb, and when He sees the blood He’ll pass over, and I made a point about passing over is more than escaping judgment, and it’s more of a shelter, that when He passed over He hovered on all the houses that had the blood. In the mid-sixties I was taught a little chorus (that’s a few years ago, by the way) and it’s called “Under the blood of Jesus. I was so surprised that my grandson found it online. Everything is online. Anyway, I would like us to sing through this. I’ve asked my grandson if he wouldn’t mind singing it first, and then we’ll all join.
“Under the blood of Jesus, safe in the Shepherd’s fold. Under the blood of Jesus, safe while the ages roll. Safe, though the world may crumble, safe though the stars grow dim; under the blood of Jesus I am secure in Him!”
As we come to look in the word, I remind you that many things are helpful as you study the Bible, but there’s only one thing indispensable. God wrote the Bible and only God can reveal God; total reliance of God’s Holy Spirit. I’m going to read a very famous passage, and then we’ll pray. Matthew 11, “At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise You Father, the Lord of heaven and earth, that You’ve hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, this way was well pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal it. Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me. I’m gentle and humble in heart, and you’ll find rest for your soul. My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
It blessed the Lord Jesus that God hid His truth from the wise, the prudent and the intelligent, and it was pleasing to Him to reveal it to little children, to babes, to infants. When we read, “Come unto Me all you who are weary and are heavy laden,” we usually apply that to poor sinners coming to the Lord for the first time. Of course, that applies in that case, but it’s really an invitation about Bible study. He’s telling us how to study the Bible. He’s hidden it from the wise, and He reveals it to babes, and He says, “Come to Me and learn from Me.” Let Him be the teacher. Weary and heavy laden is the extreme case, and everything under that is included, so whatever our need, let’s take His invitation and bless His heart, and come to Him, and let Him teach us. Let’s pray.
Heavenly Father, thank You for that invitation. Lord, we want to bless Your heart, and we confess that we’re infants and babes, and we don’t know anything, until You show us the Lord Jesus in our heart. We commit our meditation unto You, and we ask you, Lord, to guide us and speak. I pray that You will protect Your children from anything I might say that’s just my own. We pray that You would be the Teacher. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
We’re studying together the book of Exodus, but that’s not really true. We’re studying the Lord Jesus, and it’s through the book of Exodus. Every book in the Bible is designed to show us who the Lord is. We gather, not to learn facts about the Bible, but to know the Lord. With that in mind, let me bring you up to where we are. We’ve been meditating on the tenth plague. God gave ten plagues to Egypt before He delivered His people.
Exodus 11:4, “Moses said, ‘Thus said the Lord, “About midnight I’m going into the midst of Egypt, and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstone; all the first-born of the cattle as well. Moreover there shall be a great cry in all the land of Egypt, such as there has not been before and such as shall never be again.” You remember the record, that God was very patient, very long suffering with Pharaoh. But Pharaoh was stubborn. His heart was very hard. Nine times God attempted to soften him by some of those plagues. They were mercy plagues, but they were to no avail. The illustrations often given that the same sun that melts wax, also hardens clay. I think that Pharaoh was clay, and all of the moisture had been evaporated out of him and he became very, very hard.
In our last session I was trying to introduce this tenth plague, and what we call the pass over, and the feast of unleavened bread. Of course, the message of the last plague is God’s salvation. But it’s not only the message of the last plague, it’s the message of the entire book. The whole book of Exodus is about God’s saving His people. God is a deliverer, and He wants to deliver them out of Egypt. That’s just a picture, and we’ll see that more later on. It’s a picture of sin. God wants to call His people out of Egypt to save us from sin. Way back at the burning bush, before Moses and Aaron got to Pharaoh and Egypt, we read these words, Exodus 3:7, “I’ve surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters. I’m aware of their suffering. I’ve come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up to a land, to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite, Hivite, Amorite, Perrizite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.” God delivers His people from and God delivers His people unto. Most of the time people just think of from, “I’m delivered from Egypt and from sin.” Really, you are delivered unto the Lord. Canaan pictured that. Deuteronomy 6:23, “He brought us out from there in order to bring us in.” Bringing us out is one thing, but He also wants to bring us in.
We’ve stressed over and over again that this whole story, this redemptive history in Exodus is just a picture. It’s historic. It’s not allegorical. It really happened. It’s a true story, but it also tells a spiritual story. It’s a grand picture of how God delivers us from and to. Last time we tried to answer this question. Let me review that and then we’ll look at our new material. God delivers us from, but from what? On the surface, if you just come Exodus, you’ll say it’s from Egypt, and all that it pictures, which would be bondage and slavery and sin and so on. But as I showed you in the introduction, before God can deliver us from sin, from bondage and addiction, He must deliver us (don’t miss this) from Himself—salvation from God. Exodus 12:30, “Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no home where there was not someone dead.” Everybody was under the wrath of a holy God. God was angry with sin. Judgment fell on guilty Egyptians. Judgment fell on guilty Israel. Everybody was guilty. I showed you that the firstborn just represented everybody. Not one person did not deserve to be judged. The Holy Spirit through Paul in the New Testament states it very succinctly. Romans 3:26, “The demonstration I say of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” That was the problem. How could a holy God, just, who can’t overlook sin, forgive the sinner and still be just? The answer is (love found a way, and we’ll get into that) that it’s all pictured by the Passover lamb. Every house had death. But when you read the record, here’s what you see. In those houses, mostly the Egyptians, there was the death of the firstborn. But the Israelites had death, too, but it was the death of the Passover lamb; the death of the substitute. There must be death. God is holy, and He’s got to judge sin. He can’t overlook it. It’s either my death, or the death of a substitute. I sit before you saying I’m so thankful that Jesus was my substitute, and I hope you can say the same thing. Before we can ever talk about being delivered from Egyptian bondage, we must be sure we’re saved from God, from the wrath of God, from the wrath of a holy God. We’ve offended Him by sin. Every one of us deserves to be judged and judged forever. To sin against an infinite God demands infinite wages. We’re finite, so to pay an infinite wage is going to take us forever. That’s the whole doctrine of eternity.
Here’s the great the truth, and here is His love; judgment fell, and it had to fall, but it fell on the substitute lamb. Exodus 12:13, “The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live. When I see the blood, I’ll pass over you. No plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.” That was the call and that’s why we sang the song, “When I see the blood, I’ll pass over you. Under the blood of Jesus, safe, in the Shepherd’s fold.” Then and then only will we have been delivered from God. Once we’re in His favor, then we can talk about threefold salvation, justification, and sanctification, and glorification, and so on. Salvation from God comes first.
There are five facts of redemption that are given on the hand out sheet, and what I’d like to do beginning today is to go through those five points. Let me begin with the most basic thing. Though we’re going to look at those five points, probably today only three, everything that Exodus is talking about is about the lamb, the Passover lamb. We’re not going to understand the spiritual meaning if we don’t understand the lamb. There’s no doubt when we read in Exodus about the Passover lamb, who that is pointing to. It’s pointing to the Lord Jesus. Listen to the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 5:7, “Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.” We’re studying in Exodus about the Passover. In the New Testament Christ is our Passover. Jesus is the Lamb that was talked about back then. Remember that John the Baptizer in the New Testament, John 1:29, “The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!” Jesus is the Lamb. 1 Peter 1:19, “Knowing you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb, unblemished and spotless; the blood of Christ.”
We’re in the beginning of the Bible in Exodus. When you get to the end of the Bible, that’s the climax, and where everything is brought together. The book of Revelations, the climax of everything. And in the last book of the Bible, all you read about (I know people get hung up on events and what’s coming next), if you read it carefully, all you’ll see is the Lamb. The two most important words in Revelation, emphasized over and over again, is the Lamb (twenty two times). There’s two words for “lamb”. One is a mature lamb, a sheep. One is just a little baby lamb. Every time it’s that baby lamb. The word “throne” over and over and over again. Do you know why? It’s because the message of the last book of the Bible is “the Lamb upon the throne”. When you get to the end you see the Lamb upon the throne. We’re not teaching Revelation, but I just want to illustrate that when the book begins it’s all about the worship of the Lamb. Revelation 5:8, “When he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with You blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”
After you get to the first part of Revelation, the worship of the Lamb, we read a strange figure in Revelation 6:15, “The kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
You start with the worship of the Lamb, and then He begins to show you the wrath of the Lamb, and then in Revelation 7:14, “I said to him, ‘My lord, you know.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” You go through Revelation; the worship of the Lamb, the wrath of the Lamb, washed in the blood of the Lamb. Then when you come to Revelation 7:19, “Let’s rejoice and be glad, and give glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” Now you are to the marriage and it’s all about the Lamb; the worship of the Lamb, the wrath of the Lamb, the victory of the Lamb, the marriage of the Lamb. Revelation 21:27, “And nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” In this connection I like Revelation 13:8 calls Him, “The Lamb slain from before the foundation of the earth.” What a picture! Our Lord Jesus has always been in the mind and purpose of God to send the Lamb, so that we could have forgiveness. The Lamb stepped out of eternity into time, to make it possible for me to step out of time into eternity. The whole book of Revelation is nothing but the Lamb. Revelation 7:16, this is the mixed metaphor, “They’ll hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of living water…” It’s all about the Lamb in Revelations. When you come to the end Revelation 21:23, “The city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and it’s lamp is the Lamb.” It’s all about the perfect Lamb of God.
We’re looking at such a seed form; just the beginning, the Passover Lamb. It’s going to be developed, so that we finally see a full view of Christ. Back here it’s just history, and little pictures, and the Passover lamb. If you don’t have the sheet, the five facts are these. It’s got to be a perfect lamb, and it’s got to be slain, and the blood has to be applied, and you’ve got to feed on the lamb, and you’ve got to dress up in pilgrim clothes. All of these facts tell a spiritual story. I pray that as we look into this we’ll see that story.
Fact number one. There must be a perfect lamb. Exodus 12:5, “Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or the goats.” An unblemished lamb. Remember that the lamb pictures Jesus, but it has to be unblemished. What did unblemished mean according to the law? When they chose the lamb what did they look for? You don’t see it in Exodus but if you read Leviticus 22 you’ll get the description. Leviticus 22:21, “When a man offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord to fulfill a special vow or for a free will offering of the herd or of the flock, it must be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no defect in it.”
What did they look for? According to Leviticus 22, they say that if the lamb doesn’t have perfect eyesight, especially if it’s blind, you can’t offer that. If it’s ever been scratched or hurt, you can’t offer that. If it has a running sore, you can’t offer that. If it has scaly skin, you are not allowed to offer that lamb. If there’s any scab showing that it had previously been hurt, you can’t offer that. If the lamb in any way is deformed, even if an ear is twisted, you can’t offer that. If the reproductive organs have been ruined in some way, injured, you can’t offer that. All that is just a picture. It has to be blameless and perfect and unblemished. Why was God so strict? It’s because those lambs were to picture the spotless Lamb of God, your Savior and mine. He had to be perfect. Hebrews 7:26, “It was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.” Hebrew 4:15, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” Jesus lived a perfect life. He had to satisfy the law of God.
The law demanded two things, if He’s going to be a substitute. We usually think of one thing; He paid my debt that I owe God for my sin. And that’s absolutely true. I owe God a debt that would have taken me eternity to pay. I could never finally pay. He had to pay that in full. But it’s bigger than that. God not only required that He pay my debt, but God required that He live a perfect life. When He paid my debt He washed the slate clean. I’m clean. But a clean slate is not enough. There’s got to be something on that slate in it’s place. Jesus paid the price I couldn’t pay, but He also lived the life I couldn’t live: a clean slate is one thing, but then having on that slate the righteousness of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
I’m going to give an illustration, and I don’t want to take a lot of time with this. You know in Revelation we read the verse, that your name has to be in the book of life or you are done. My name has to be in the Lamb’s book of life. For years I thought the Lamb’s book of life was like a New York telephone directory, and had a bunch of names in it. And one day God is going to take it and go through the book and say, “Oh, yes, Ed Miller. Okay, you can come in.” Just like a registry of names. But Revelations 21:27 says, “…and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” What is the Lamb’s book? It’s not just a list of people who have accepted Jesus. What is the Lamb’s book of life? If you read Revelations 20 & 21 you are going to see that God has kept records on every person who has ever lived, from the time they’ve been born until the time they die. He doesn’t need record books, but He’s going to bring it out at the judgment, so everybody is without excuse. You need to see it. Every thought you’ve ever had, and every place you’ve ever gone, and anything you’ve ever done is all recorded, and all in books. At the white throne judgment we see that those books are brought out. Revelations 20:12, “And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.” Every thought you ever had and every thought you should have had, everything you’ve ever done, every sin with your mind, with your tongue, with your heart, with your hands, with your legs, everything is recorded.
Revelations 21:27, it’s called the Lamb’s book of life. Let me tell you what the Lamb’s book of life is, and it’s not a directory. God kept records on your life, and He also kept records on the life of Jesus. It’s the Lamb’s book of life. It’s His life, and it’s the whole record of the life of Jesus. It’s His record book. What does it mean to have my name in the Lamb’s book of life? It means to have His record. When I stand before God, and He says, “What right do you have to come into my heaven?” I will tell him that I’ve lived for thirty three and a half years in the Person of Jesus my substitute, and I never once sinned with my mind, with my tongue, with my eyes, with my ears, with my hand. At all times and every moment of my life I loved the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul, and all my strength.” I have His record book. And when your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life, it’s not just a registry, but it’s a record book, and God has not only forgiven you a clean slate, but on that clean slate He has given the righteousness of Christ. Jesus, pictured by those little lambs, that had no running sores, and Jesus had no bondage to sin. They had no eczema, and no itch and Jesus never had the desire to sin. They had no scars, and Jesus never had sinned in His past. He was the perfect Lamb picture.
1 Peter 2:22, “Who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” Nothing but a 100% perfection can ever be accepted in heaven. If you don’t have a perfect record you aren’t going in. Even one sin will keep you out forever. We need 100% perfection, and Jesus gives us that. We have in Exodus 12:3, “Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their father’s households, a lamb for each household.’” And then in Exodus 12:6 it says, “You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month…”
What was the point in Exodus of them selecting a lamb on the tenth, tying it to a stake in front of their house, and not killing it until the fourteenth? The Bible doesn’t spell it out, but my educated guess might be… It was a capital offense, if you happened to get a lamb and there was a mark, you not only couldn’t offer the lamb, but you’d die. You are not supposed to pretend to bring an perfect sacrifice. I think for letting it sit there for four days, they had a good chance to examine and make sure there were no scars or flaws or deformities, or anything. The other possibility, we’re talking about two and a half million people, and according to Josephus (If you believe him), he said that probably three hundred thousand lambs were killed that night in Egypt. Can you imagine the Egyptians as they looked up at Goshen and saw in front of every house a lamb tied? They’ve got to wonder. I think part of it is testimony. Later we’re going to read that a mixed multitude went out, and some of them might have gotten saved because of that. Anyway, God could have intended something else, but my point is that the lamb had to be perfect.
Let’s say that this strict requirement to have a perfect lamb, was that enough to bring salvation? God gave the command in Exodus 12:5, “Your lamb shall be an unblemished, male, a year old. You may take it from the sheep or the goats. Keep it until the fourteenth day,” and at the end it says, “kill it at twilight.” They chose a perfect lamb, under a year old. They tied it to a stake. They followed the rule. Let’s say that on that night of Passover that the Lord, also called the destroyer, the avenger, came and flew over the houses. He’s passing over. What is He looking for? You know He’s looking for the blood. But let’s say He passed over a house and He saw a lamb tied to a stake, and He investigated, and it was a perfect lamb. Would that be enough to save the firstborn in the house? The answer is no. The firstborn would have to die. It’s not enough that Jesus came and lived a sinless life. That’s why there are several facts.
It’s interesting that Exodus 12:6 says, “Kill it at twilight.” Let’s say there were three hundred thousand. “Kill it at twilight.” There’s one lamb, and even though there are hundreds of thousands, there is only one lamb, and that perfect lamb is pictured by all of these lambs. 1 Corinthians 5:7 again, “Christ our Passover…” When you go through the Old Testament you are going to see oceans of animal blood. Why? The oceans of animal blood spilled on Jewish altars is just a tiny picture of the ocean fullness of the blood of the Lord Jesus. All those lambs just picture the ocean fullness of the Lord Jesus.
After they killed the lamb, we’re told that they collected the blood in a basin. Exodus 12:22, “You shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel…” I admit that the word “basin” has another meaning, and sometimes in the Old Testament the basin actually refers to the threshold. Some say that would picture complete protection. But there are others that object because of Hebrews 10:29, “How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant…” And some would say that if they put the blood on the threshold where you stand, and where you walk, that would dishonor, and would be trampling the blood of Christ. I incline to that position.
Let me give another scenario. The angel of death is coming over every house, and He comes down and doesn’t only see a lamb that is perfect that is tied to a stake, but the lamb had to die. And now there is the blood in the basin. Let’s say that the angel of death, the destroyer, flew over the house and saw the blood in the basin. Would that save the firstborn in the house? The answer is no. The firstborn would have to die, because He demanded more. He’s making a picture. It’s not enough that Jesus lived the perfect life, and it’s not enough that He died. Some people think that’s all it means; “I know He lived a perfect life, and I believe that Jesus died on the cross, and I’m going to heaven.” It wasn’t enough to have a perfect lamb, and it wasn’t enough to have that lamb die. Thousands today believe that Jesus lived a perfect life.
There’s a third requirement. Exodus 12:22, “You shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning.” Hebrews 11:28, “By faith he kept the Passover…” There has to be not only a perfect lamb, not only the shed blood, but that blood has to be applied by faith. That’s why by faith they kept the Passover, so that he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them. Exodus 12:23, “For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over…” That’s salvation. That’s why we began with this song that we sang, “Under the blood of Jesus, safe in the Shepherd’s fold, under the blood of Jesus, safe while the ages roll. Safe though the world may crumble (and it’s crumbling), safe though the stars grow dim. Under the blood of Jesus, I’m secure in Him.” There had to be the application of the blood, as well as the death and perfect life. There is no other way to get saved. Jesus said that nobody comes to the Father but by Me. There’s only one name under heaven whereby we must be saved. That’s what is being pictured here. Jesus lived a perfect life. Jesus died in our place, and now by faith we say, “I accept that, and I put that over my heart, and then I’m secure.”
Let me give you another scenario. Let’s say there was a very religious family, and they didn’t want to die either, and so they say, “Well, the destroyer is soon going to come over our house, and he’s going to look for something on the door. I don’t want to be slain,” so a wealthy man may just think, “We’ll run around and gain a lot of wealth from Egypt, and maybe let’s put some jewels or some gold on the door.” That’s not going to help anybody with jewels on the door. Another says, “I know that’s not going to help with jewels on the door, but if we made a list and impressed God of all the good things we did in our life, and all the times we’ve been a good neighbor and submitted to human government, and if He could see our benevolent list and all the charities we’ve supported, then God would be impressed; when He sees my attendance pin hanging on the door, and when He sees all my trophies and I’ve got a whole list of endorsements and people who will vouch for me.” There is no hope. He said, “When I see the blood I’ll will pass over you.”
Another said, “Well, I have a certificate and I’m educated. I could put my degree up there on the door, and I could put my baptismal certificate up there on the door, and I have ordination papers. Maybe if God sees that He’ll be impressed and pass over.” You know where we’re going; nothing but the blood on the door is going to satisfy a thrice holy God. Hebrews 9:22, “According to the law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” If you just believe that He lived a perfect life, even if you believe He died on the cross, it’s not enough. There’s got to come a time in every man’s life, and every woman’s life, boy and girl, everybody, where they say, “Thank You, Lord. I accept the blood. It’s You or me. I’m going to die myself or the death of a substitute. I accept Your death.” When He sees that you are saved, and you are cleansed, and He enters into your heart and into your life.
When we’re on our death bed and ready to go into the presence of the Lord into eternity, nothing but the blood of Christ will avail in that hour; nothing. I used to be an orderly in a hospital, and I was pleading with a man who was ready to die, moments away, and I was begging him to accept Christ. I told him, “You are made for two worlds, and you are about to leave one and about to enter another, and you are not prepared.” And he screamed out, “I have no time for God,” and he died. Those were his last words. I couldn’t finish the day. I had to go home. It was just so heart breaking. There’s no other way. Thank God for Exodus and these pictures, and then for the reality of our Lord Jesus who lived that sinless life, died that substitutionary death, and rose again so that we could have life.
We looked at those first three things; He had to be perfect, He had to die, and by faith that blood had to be applied, and we are secure because of that. Now, no matter how I feel or what I think or how many doubts I have, my whole safety, my security is wrapped up in those first three facts; He lived a perfect life, He died and the blood is applied. That’s my security. Next week we’re going to introduce the last two facts; the feasting on the lamb and the dressing in pilgrim’s clothes. That does not have to do with security. One keeps me safe—the first three are keeping me safe—and the last two keep me sane. One has to do with security and the other has to do with peace.
Exodus 12:8&9, “They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails.” Exodus 12:11, “Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste—it is the Lord’s Passover.”
Those two facts, feeding on the lamb and getting ready to be a pilgrim and dress and go out to a land of milk and honey, that has to do with assurance. That has to do with confidence. There could have been people in that blood protected home who were shaking in their boots, scared to death. They were still saved. My mother was one who was terrified of an elevator. She had bad legs and had the vein problem and had a lot of pain, but she’d walk fifteen flights before she’d get into an elevator. She was terrified to be in an elevator. That didn’t affect her security because in an elevator she would be as safe as that elevator is safe, and the same cables that are bringing up other people up and down would bring her up and down, but she couldn’t wait until the door opened and she could step out. She was always suspicious.
I want you to picture this blood protected home on the night of Passover. The blood is on the outside, and you are on the inside and you don’t see that. That’s not for you. That’s for God’s eyes. God sees the blood, and you don’t see the blood. But you are living inside. Picture a terrified firstborn. He’s on the inside and he’s saying, “Dad, are you sure you put that blood on the door? Do you want to go check, just to make sure? I don’t know all of the rules, but were you sincere when you put the blood on the door? You took the hyssop, right, and you didn’t leave any bare spots, did you? Make sure the whole thing is painted on the sides and on the top, because I’m the firstborn. I wish I wasn’t the firstborn tonight, but I’m scared.” That kid didn’t get a moment’s sleep all night long. Now, he’s safe as a babe in his mother’s arms, but he is terrified. No matter what the parents would tell him, “Son, just relax, take it easy, you can go to bed and rest,” he’s saying, “No, I can’t. I’m terrified.”
Another, slightly different, but the same identical point, imagine some kid, and it’s not hard to imagine, that had committed some overt sin and his parents didn’t know about it. It could have been anything. It could have been idolatry or theft or violence or some sexual immorality, and he’s really worried. “Are you telling me that the blood of a lamb, an animal… You don’t even know how dirty I am. You can’t see my heart, Dad and Mom. You don’t know what I’ve done, and God sees my heart. I’ve been through nine plagues. I know He’s serious. He means business, and I am scared tonight because I know who I am. And I’ve got to trust that blood is going to take care of me?”
You can see that these last two have to do with confidence and assurance and knowing. Safety depends on the work of Christ. Security depends on God’s word concerning the work of Christ. One depends on work, and the other depends on His word, and believing what He said. Exodus 12:13, “When I see the blood I’ll pass over you.” If you believe that you’ll have peace. It’s about His word, because the Lord views the blood. My only hope of salvation is when I can rest and believe in what God says about what God has done. So, I need His work, but I also for security need His word. Many Christians are saved, and have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, but they’ve never had assurance of their salvation. They never have had confidence. They are always wondering, “I wonder if I meant it. I wonder if I was sincere. I wonder if I did right. I wonder if I left something out. I wonder if there was some defect,” and so on.
This matter of assurance is very important to me. I don’t want to embarrass her. My Lillian, for many many years struggled with this whole thing of assurance. I think some of you may have heard her testimony about that. I’ll give it again. I think it bears repeating at this time. My Lillian is one of those who has no date specific, “I got saved this day, this hour.” She doesn’t know. She was blessed. She was brought up in a Christian home. Some can give the very day and the very hour. I’m one of those. I had a very dramatic conversion, and so I can say, “On January 29, 1958, blah, blah blah…” But some can’t do that. In fact, I think most who give a date, get it wrong. The reason I say that is because of John 3:5, the most King James verse in the Bible, “The wind bloweth where it listeth; thou heareth the sound thereof, and can’st not tell from whence it cometh, and withereth it goeth.” Then it says, “So is everyone born of the Spirit.” I used to think that verse “the wind” is like the Holy Spirit. Not in that verse; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit. The wind pictures the Christian in that verse, and you don’t know when it started and where it’s going. So, nobody really knows the date. You might know the date of your birth, but you don’t know the date of conception. There’s a difference between when someone is conceived and when someone is born. I can give a date of when I was born, but when God began His work….
Anyway, Lillian was brought up in a Lutheran home, a Christian home. Her mom and dad read their Bible. She loved the Bible. She would go through her confessions and her catechisms and all that kind of stuff. As a teen she worked at a summer camp in New Jersey; Liberty Corner. She heard many messages, and every time she would give her heart to the Lord. She wanted to get saved. When my kids that come to me and want to get saved, I would never give them assurance. I wouldn’t say, “Well, yes, do you remember two years ago you gave your heart?” I would never do that. I want their assurance to come from the Lord. Some of my kids accepted the Lord a hundred times, because I’m not going to give them assurance. I want it to come from the Lord. Anyway, then on another occasion when with her parents she went to a Billy Graham Crusade in Madison Square Garden, and once again they affirmed their faith.
Well, after Lillian and I got married I would present a message or we would go to church, and she would come home, “I’m not sure I’m saved. I need to have Jesus come into my heart.” And so we’d pray and pray and pray. In my heart I just said, “This needs to be dealt with.” Praise God she was saved but she needed to know. I was sure she was saved, but that didn’t help her. So, this one time I said, “Honey, we’ve got to deal with this.” We got down on our knees and we were praying. She was crying and I was crying. I wanted her to have assurance that she knew that she was going to heaven. After a season of prayer I began to sing, “Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul.” And then I sang it a second time. Then I started singing it a third time and she joined me, and she began to sing, “Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul. Thank You, Lord, for making me whole. Thank You, Lord, for giving to me, Thy great salvation so rich and free.” And full assurance flooded her heart. I’ve never heard her again since that day many years ago; she stopped saying “please” and she started saying “thank You”. That’s the difference between His work making me safe, and believing; His word gives me assurance.
Next week we’ll begin those last two; the feast and the wardrobe, where we can look at that. Let me close with a couple of verses here. Romans 5:1&2, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” Titus 1:2, “God, who cannot lie, promised…” That should be on a plaque. We can trust His work, and we can trust His word concerning His work. Happy are those who have salvation; happier are those who know it. Let’s pray…
Father, thank You for Your precious word, and this wonderful story in Exodus of the Passover. We know that Christ is the fulfillment; Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us. We bless Your name because of that. Thank You that You not only forgave our sins, but You’ve put our names in Your record book. In Jesus name. Amen
(This transcript is available to download in a Word document from www.biblestudyministriesinc.com)