Exodus 12* The beginning of the year changed, The passover instituted.(1-20) The people instructed how to observe the passover.(21-28) The death of the first-born of the Egyptians TheIsraelites urged to leave the land of Egypt. (29-36) TheIsraelites' first journey to Succoth. (37-42) Ordinancerespecting the passover. (43-51)1-20 The Lord makes all things new to those whom he deliversfrom the bondage of Satan, and takes to himself to be hispeople. The time when he does this is to them the beginning of anew life. God appointed that, on the night wherein they were togo out of Egypt, each family should kill a lamb, or that two orthree families, if small, should kill one lamb. This lamb was tobe eaten in the manner here directed, and the blood to besprinkled on the door-posts, to mark the houses of theIsraelites from those of the Egyptians. The angel of the Lord,when destroying the first-born of the Egyptians, would pass overthe houses marked by the blood of the lamb: hence the name ofthis holy feast or ordinance. The passover was to be kept everyyear, both as a remembrance of Israel's preservation anddeliverance out of Egypt, and as a remarkable type of Christ.Their safety and deliverance were not a reward of their ownrighteousness, but the gift of mercy. Of this they werereminded, and by this ordinance they were taught, that allblessings came to them through the shedding and sprinkling ofblood. Observe, 1. The paschal lamb was typical. Christ is ourpassover, #1Co 5:7|. Christ is the Lamb of God, #Joh 1:29|;often in the Revelation he is called the Lamb. It was to be inits prime; Christ offered up himself in the midst of his days,not when a babe at Bethlehem. It was to be without blemish; theLord Jesus was a Lamb without spot: the judge who condemnedChrist declared him innocent. It was to be set apart four daysbefore, denoting the marking out of the Lord Jesus to be aSaviour, both in the purpose and in the promise. It was to beslain, and roasted with fire, denoting the painful sufferings ofthe Lord Jesus, even unto death, the death of the cross. Thewrath of God is as fire, and Christ was made a curse for us. Nota bone of it must be broken, which was fulfilled in Christ, #Joh19:33|, denoting the unbroken strength of the Lord Jesus. 2. Thesprinkling of the blood was typical. The blood of the lamb mustbe sprinkled, denoting the applying of the merits of Christ'sdeath to our souls; we must receive the atonement, #Ro 5:11|.Faith is the bunch of hyssop, by which we apply the promises,and the benefits of the blood of Christ laid up in them, toourselves. It was to be sprinkled on the door-posts, denotingthe open profession we are to make of faith in Christ. It wasnot to be sprinkled upon the threshold; which cautions us totake heed of trampling under foot the blood of the covenant. Itis precious blood, and must be precious to us. The blood, thussprinkled, was a means of preserving the Israelites from thedestroying angel, who had nothing to do where the blood was. Theblood of Christ is the believer's protection from the wrath ofGod, the curse of the law, and the damnation of hell, #Ro 8:1|.3. The solemn eating of the lamb was typical of our gospel dutyto Christ. The paschal lamb was not to be looked upon only, butto be fed upon. So we must by faith make Christ our own; and wemust receive spiritual strength and nourishment from him, asfrom our food, see #Joh 6:53,55|. It was all to be eaten; thosewho by faith feed upon Christ, must feed upon a whole Christ;they must take Christ and his yoke, Christ and his cross, aswell as Christ and his crown. It was to be eaten at once, notput by till morning. To-day Christ is offered, and is to beaccepted while it is called to-day, before we sleep the sleep ofdeath. It was to be eaten with bitter herbs, in remembrance ofthe bitterness of their bondage in Egypt; we must feed uponChrist with sorrow and brokenness of heart, in remembrance ofsin. Christ will be sweet to us, if sin be bitter. It was to beeaten standing, with their staves in their hands, as being readyto depart. When we feed upon Christ by faith, we must forsakethe rule and the dominion of sin; sit loose to the world, andevery thing in it; forsake all for Christ, and reckon it no badbargain, #Heb 13:13,14|. 4. The feast of unleavened bread wastypical of the Christian life, #1Co 5:7,8|. Having receivedChrist Jesus the Lord, we must continually delight ourselves inChrist Jesus. No manner of work must be done, that is, no careadmitted and indulged, which does not agree with, or wouldlessen this holy joy. The Jews were very strict as to thepassover, so that no leaven should be found in their houses. Itmust be a feast kept in charity, without the leaven of malice;and in sincerity, without the leaven of hypocrisy. It was by anordinance for ever; so long as we live we must continue feedingupon Christ, rejoicing in him always, with thankful mention ofthe great things he has done for us. 21-28 That night, when the first-born were to be destroyed, noIsraelite must stir out of doors till called to march out ofEgypt. Their safety was owing to the blood of sprinkling. Ifthey put themselves from under the protection of that, it was attheir peril. They must stay within, to wait for the salvation ofthe Lord; it is good to do so. In after-times they shouldcarefully teach their children the meaning of this service. Itis good for children to ask about the things of God; they thatask for the way will find it. The keeping of this solemnityevery year was, 1. To look backward, that they might rememberwhat great things God had done for them and their fathers. Oldmercies, to ourselves, or to our fathers, must not be forgotten,that God may be praised, and our faith in him encouraged. 2. Itwas designed to look forward, as an earnest of the greatsacrifice of the Lamb of God in the fulness of time. Christ ourpassover was sacrificed for us; his death was our life. 29-36 The Egyptians had been for three days and nights kept inanxiety and horror by the darkness; now their rest is broken bya far more terrible calamity. The plague struck theirfirst-born, the joy and hope of their families. They had slainthe Hebrews' children, now God slew theirs. It reached from thethrone to the dungeon: prince and peasant stand upon the samelevel before God's judgments. The destroying angel entered everydwelling unmarked with blood, as the messenger of woe. He didhis dreadful errand, leaving not a house in which there was notone dead. Imagine then the cry that rang through the land ofEgypt, the long, loud shriek of agony that burst from everydwelling. It will be thus in that dreadful hour when the Son ofman shall visit sinners with the last judgment. God's sons, hisfirst-born, were now released. Men had better come to God'sterms at first, for he will never come to theirs. Now Pharaoh'spride is abased, and he yields. God's word will stand; we getnothing by disputing, or delaying to submit. In this terror theEgyptians would purchase the favour and the speedy departure ofIsrael. Thus the Lord took care that their hard-earned wagesshould be paid, and the people provided for their journey. 37-42 The children of Israel set forward without delay. A mixedmultitude went with them. Some, perhaps, willing to leave theircountry, laid waste by plagues; others, out of curiosity;perhaps a few out of love to them and their religion. But therewere always those among the Israelites who were not Israelites.Thus there are still hypocrites in the church. This great eventwas 430 years from the promise made to Abraham: see #Ga 3:17|.So long the promise of a settlement was unfulfilled. But thoughGod's promises are not performed quickly, they will be, in theirseason. This is that night of the Lord, that remarkable night,to be celebrated in all generations. The great things God doesfor his people, are to be not only a few days' wonder, but to beremembered throughout all ages; especially the work of ourredemption by Christ. This first passover-night was a night ofthe Lord, much to be observed; but the last passover-night, inwhich Christ was betrayed and in which the first passover, withthe rest of the Jewish ceremonies, was done away, was a night ofthe Lord, much more to be observed. Then a yoke, heavier thanthat of Egypt, was broken from off our necks, and a land, betterthan that of Canaan, set before us. It was a redemption to becelebrated in heaven, for ever and ever. 43-51 In times to come, all the congregation of Israel mustkeep the passover. All that share in God's mercies should joinin thankful praises for them. The New Testament passover, theLord's supper, ought not to be neglected by any. Strangers, ifcircumcised, might eat of the passover. Here is an earlyindication of favour to the gentiles. This taught the Jews thattheir being a nation favoured by God, entitled them to theirprivileges, not their descent from Abraham. Christ our passoveris sacrificed for us, #1Co 5:7|; his blood is the only ransomfor our souls; without the shedding of it there is no remission;without the sprinkling of it there can be no salvation. Have we,by faith in him, sheltered our souls from deserved vengeanceunder the protection of his atoning blood? Do we keep close tohim, constantly depending upon him? Do we so profess our faithin the Redeemer, and our obligations to him, that all who passby may know to whom we belong? Do we stand prepared for hisservice, ready to walk in his ways, and to separate ourselvesfrom his enemies? These are questions of vast importance to thesoul; may the Lord direct our consciences honestly to answerthem.
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