11: – 12:13
“The Lord Does Make a Difference”
II.) Vs. 1-11 A blessing or a final blow?
III.) Vs. 12:1-6a A Chosen lamb.
IV.) Vs. 6b-13 A lamb slain.
Life, from our perspective, is all about choices. To make right choices, which all of us would like to do, we need good information. Most of us believe that with good information we will continually make right choices. The truth of the matter is that this is not so. There are those times when we choose wrongly and suffer the consequences of our actions. Such is the case before us with Pharaoh and the Egyptians. Their wrong decision to this day has become the basis of the greatest celebration in Israel (Passover). More then that it is the greatest for-runner to the work of Christ in all the Bible. We have before us today is the source of praise songs to God, yet those praise songs include the wiping out of Egypt’s firstborn sons. According to 12:30 “there was not a house where there was not one dead.”
Can you imagine for a moment a Nazi group not only going to the Holocaust Memorial and sing praise songs against the 6 million people slaughtered? Some people feel the same about God for taking the first born sons of Egypt as they would Nazi’s singing at the Holocaust Memorial. All the plagues have been the “acts of God” this one however is the hand of God. How are we to view this passage differently then we would man’s inhumanity to man?
II.) Vs. 1-11 A blessing or a final blow?
Vs. 1-11 Here we are given the “preamble” to the Passover. To understand chapter 11we need to realize that Moses does not place this in chronological order. Instead verses 1-3 happen right before 10:24-29 where Moses went in to Pharaoh to hear his final offer. Further more Moses’ speech to Pharaoh, (11:4-8) happen in between verses 10:26-27. Lastly 10:28-29 happened right after 11:8a where Moses explains that the Egyptians will say, “get out!” That’s how all of this unfolds chronologically. With this as the picture we can begin to see the responsibility that Pharaoh and the Egyptians had to their own destruction.
1.) Through out all of the 9 plagues God had been revealing to Pharaoh and Egypt the futility of worshiping their gods. In fact, God says so in chapter 12:12 where He says, “..against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am LORD.” What Pharaoh, the Egyptians and the rest of the world was worshiping is Themselves! The gods that the true God was destroying are none other then the images of ourselves that we set up to worship. God in His mercy and grace shows that they are not able to sustain or provide for us. In fact, it was the death of their firstborn sons that would remind them of the fact that they are not in control, which is why they did not want the Israelites around any longer.
Clearly a distinction had been made by God that it was far better to be His child then to be fatherless.
2.) Lastly, God gave Pharaoh and Egypt a choice, and they choose not to obey the Word. All of Egypt knew what He had said, we are told that they even thought of Moses as, “great”. They could have done just as the Israelites had done and the angel of death would have passed over them as well. In fact, some did as we are told in 12:38 that a “mixed multitude” went out with them. God did not take and kill the first born sons, their own pride did! This is not the Nazi’s wiping out 6 million Jews. This is Egypt committing mass suicide upon their own first born sons!
So why sing praise to God about it? What we praise is that God’s mercy and grace was available to us who just as much deserved to die in Egypt yet we received what He offered freely.
God bless his children two ways:
- 1-3 Grace: He gives them what they don’t deserve. Some versions use the word “borrow”, but the word actually means to request. Though this was a payment for a debt owed them it was Gods grace which provided it, through the favor in which the Egyptians now saw them, in fact 12:36 describes their wealth obtained from the Egyptians as “plunder”. Moses reflects back upon what God had said in chapter 3:21 “I will give you favor in the sight of the Egyptians and you shall not leave empty handed.” Back wages for 400 years of forced slavery. God had promised Abraham in Gen. 15:14 that they would leave Egypt with “great possessions” and God provides back all of what was owed His children.
- 4-8 Mercy: The Lord clearly warns Egypt what awaits them. The death of the “first born” has several elements to it.
1.) Vs. 5 It was without discrimination. All of the first born sons would be effected equally, from the highest to the lowest would be taken. The judgment was not based upon position or personal stature.
2.) Vs. 6 That it was unparalleled: They could not look at this as some coincidence. By the way that this judgment fell upon those Egyptians they could not deny that it was super-natural. Only those first born sons were effected.
- 7 It was selective: Only the Egyptians who did not take part in the Passover were judged. A dog did not even bark in the houses of the Israelites.
Now Israel was just as sinful as was Pharaoh and Egypt. They were not getting what they deserved and it is based upon the obedience to the word of the Lord. Man is that ever true in our lives we are no different then most of the folks in the world, we are sinners just like them.
III.) Vs. 12:1-6a A Chosen lamb.
Vs. 1-3 Moses now speaks the word of the Lord to, he goes from Pharaoh and Egypt to the “congregation of Israel”. The Jewish nation had two separate calendars but both are according to a lunar calendar. This is why the Jewish Passover differs from year to year and is not always related to our Easter.
- The first one was the civil calendar, which started in our September – October at the end of harvest season, and it is during this time that Jewish people celebrate their new New Year “Rosh Hashanah”. But this falls of the 7th month of their religious calendar. Today Israel only recognizes the civil calendar.
- The second one is sacred and the Lord instituted this religious calendar. Which started in the month of Abid (ear month because the grain was in the ear.) After the Babylonian captivity the name was changed to Nisan which was a Babylonian name for the same time period.
God is saying that as far as He was concerned they were having a spiritual “new birth”. In fact, He wanted them to realize that time was starting over for them as He was delivering them out of bondage. God chooses Spring to do that because it is in the Spring the “new life” is made visible. Israel entered Egypt with 70 plus family members and they are leaving with several million as they become a nation. God is saying to them that as far as He is concerned the year starts at the time of their redemption. We have a “new beginning” in Jesus and we need to continually see ourselves as new creatures in Christ. It is there that I’m refreshed by Who He is and reminded that it is He Who alone cleanses me from my sin and failure.
Vs. 3 We are told the first thing about redemption, always involves a sacrifice. With in the concept of redemption and freedom, there must always be some form payment price. The price for human redemption is death. And there are two kinds of death’s represented here.
- The first is seen in the death of the first born. To reject the Lord is to pay the price. Which of coarse not accepted.
- The second, is seen in the Passover lamb.
It is interesting that both of these are fulfilled in Jesus who according to John 3:16 was Gods “first born” Son, who on the cross became the Passover lamb (1 Cor. 5:7).
a.) vs.3 It was personal: There was a lamb in for every house. God did not want some lamb that was outside of each family. He wanted the families to understand the price of their redemption. God does not save nations He saves people in nations, and through those people He reaches others.
- 3, 6 It was to be precious: This lamb was to live with them for four days. I’m sure they became fond of the lamb, it was part of the family and everyone in that house new that this little lamb was going to die for them. They saw the lamb was innocent it had not done a thing wrong.
- 4 It was to be private or intimate: Centered around the family if the family was to small then they were to get with the family next. The point being that God desired that the lamb would be closes enough to each person, so they would understand individually the cost being paid for their redemption. Notice that it was according to each mans, need. The lamb was given according to need.
- 5 It was to perfect: The word blemish means an “acquired defect”. It could have gotten tangled up and damaged by the world in which it lived in. No scars. Peters says that Jesus was also with out spot which means that it can have no inherited defect as well. Jesus was both without an acquired defect from the world as well as without an inherited defect.
IV.) Vs. 6b-13 A lamb slain.
Two more things here that I want you to see:
- 5,6,7 Notice Moses did not say you shall keep “them” but you shall keep “it”. The words “it” (singular) speaks of the lambs (plural). He was speaking of sacrificing 1000’s of lambs that night yet as this is written every one of those lambs points to only one Lamb, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
- 6 All the assembly was involved in the deaths of the lamb: All of us are responsible for the death of Jesus as it was for all our sin that He dies. The only difference lies in appropriating His blood. There was not one person who could claim that they were good enough to not have the Passover lamb be sacrificed for them. The ones that thought that they did not need to sacrifice the lamb were the Egyptians Now a spot as they faced the death of their first born sons. Those lambs died so their sons did not have to, they were a substitute.
Vs. 7 They were to take the blood Now a spot as place it upon the doorposts of the home. Interesting because in so doing the blood would form the points of the cross. It was the life of the lamb that saved them from the judgment of death. Just as Moses would latter write in Lev. 17:11 “without the shedding of blood there is no remission”. It was not enough that they knew that the lamb had to be killed, if all they did was know the truth and not apply it then they were to be judged right along with the Egyptians. Neither could they watch their neighbors apply the blood and sit at their house and not do it, the act of what their neighbors did could not save them.
Vs. 8-10 They were not to boil it and eat it whole because not a bone was to be broken and to put it into a pot would mean that you would have to break its bones. It was to be roasted in the fires which speaks of judgment. Bitter herbs to remind them of the price of their redemption. No leaven or yeast in the bread because yeast speaks of sin and they were to leave that old life style behind they were to no longer be slaves to sin. They were to leave nothing behind, appropriating all of the sacrifice. They were leaving Egypt and nothing was to be left behind in the former life.
Vs. 11-13 There was a moving or walk associated with the sacrifice. If Pharaoh and the Egyptians would have obeyed the command, they too would have been saved. God says, “when I see the blood, I will pass over you.” There was not a person saved who was doing his or her best, or because they were honest and good. God said I’m only looking for the blood!” They were not to look out the window and see if it was really going to happen if they did they would have died. Nothing needed to be added, it was simple trust in God’s only provision.