9 Minute Read
TODAY’S BIBLE READING:
TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
Exodus 12:13 “The blood on the houses where you are staying will be a distinguishing mark for you; when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No plague will be among you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”
REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
I mentioned in a previous post that Jesus showed up quite often in bodily form in the Old Testament.
In fact, the Old (and New) Testament is all about Jesus! He is the main character, the hero on every page.
Yet, His presence isn’t limited to those times when He showed up in bodily form. Quite often, we see Jesus’ shadow … a picture of Him in a story. It’s an Old Testament shadow that points to the New Testament reality.
For instance, when we read Exodus 12, we don’t see God showing up in bodily form. But, we see a shadow of Jesus. Clearly, the story of the Passover Lamb is pointing directly to the Son of God.
So, let me spend the rest of our time together pointing out how Exodus 12 points to Jesus.
The people of Israel were in bondage to the Egyptians. In the Bible, Egypt almost always typifies the world and sin. Israel represents God’s chosen people.
So, when we begin Exodus 12, we see a picture of someone who is being called to salvation by God but who is presently still in bondage to sin. They are still in a lost, unbelieving condition. But, they are being called away from sin and to be set apart for God.
Now, let’s look at the text…
Exodus 12:1 (CSB) “The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: ‘This month is to be the beginning of months for you; it is the first month of your year.'”
We read in verse 1 that this is a new beginning for the Israelites. What God is about to do in their lives will start their life anew and afresh.
This is also true for the believer. When we are called to salvation, when we place our trust in Jesus, we are “a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Salvation is the beginning of a new life with Jesus.
So, what initiated this new start?
Exodus 12:3-5 (CSB) “Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month they must each select an animal of the flock according to their fathers’ families, one animal per family. If the household is too small for a whole animal, that person and the neighbor nearest his house are to select one based on the combined number of people; you should apportion the animal according to what each will eat. You must have an unblemished animal, a year-old male; you may take it from either the sheep or the goats.”
Each Israelite family was to select an unblemished, one-year-old sheep or goat from their flocks.
What were they to do with that animal?
Exodus 12:6 (CSB) “You are to keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembly of the community of Israel will slaughter the animals at twilight.”
Each family was to keep that one-year-old lamb or goat with their family from the 10th day of the month to the 14th. That would be long enough for the children to feel like the animal was a pet. Their hearts would soften to this precious animal.
And then they were to slaughter it. This act was intended to cause incredible grief and tears within the family. It was to picture how the death of Jesus on the cross, as the Ultimate Lamb of God, would cause unspeakable sorrow.
But, also notice that the Israelites were told exactly when to slaughter their pet – “at twilight.” First century Jewish historian, Josephus, wrote that the Jewish priests in the first century understood this to mean 3 PM – 5 PM. The Passover lambs were killed as the sun was making its way to the horizon.
As we read the Gospels, we understand that Jesus was put on the cross at 9 AM but breathed his last breath at 3 PM during Passover – as the slaughtering of the Passover lambs in the Jerusalem Temple began. Just read Luke 23:44-46.
So, when the Passover lamb was killed, what were they to do with it?
Exodus 12:7-11 (CSB) “They must take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses where they eat them. They are to eat the meat that night; they should eat it, roasted over the fire along with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or cooked in boiling water, but only roasted over fire—its head as well as its legs and inner organs. You must not leave any of it until morning; any part of it left until morning you must burn. Here is how you must eat it: You must be dressed for travel, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You are to eat it in a hurry; it is the LORD’s Passover.”
There is a lot in these verses but suffice it to say that the Israelites were told to put the lamb’s blood on the doorway into their home. Further, they were to roast and eat the lamb. But, they were to eat, prepared to take off on their journey out of Egypt.
This pictures how Jesus’ blood was shed for us.
It also pictures how Jesus’ life is given to us. We “feed upon Him” as He comes to dwell within the life of the believer. And just as the food gave the Israelites the energy to go on their journey, so we are “able to do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Finally, just as the Israelites ate the meal as they were dressed and prepared to begin their journey, so trusting in Jesus for salvation is the beginning of our journey. As we begin our new life with Him, we begin our new life of loving, submitting to, and obeying Him.
What would the lamb’s death and blood do as far as God was concerned?
Exodus 12:12-13 (CSB) “I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night and strike every firstborn male in the land of Egypt, both people and animals. I am the LORD; I will execute judgments against all the gods of Egypt. The blood on the houses where you are staying will be a distinguishing mark for you; when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No plague will be among you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”
God is a holy God. He cannot tolerate sin. In fact, because He is good and just, He MUST punish sin where He sees it.
So, He prescribed a way for the Israelites to be protected from His judgment. He told them to slaughter a Passover lamb and smear its blood on the outside of the doorway to their homes. When He passed over each home in Egypt to administer justice, He would extend grace where He saw the blood. No judgment would be administered where He saw the blood.
This pictures how those who have placed their trust in Jesus for salvation are protected from God’s judgment. The blood that Jesus shed, applied to our lives, forgives us of all of our sin (1 John 1:7) and protects us from God’s coming wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:10). Because of the blood of Jesus applied to the life of everyone who trust in Him, we are recipients of God’s grace and favor, not His wrath and judgment.
There is SO much more in Exodus 12 that points to Jesus but I need to bring this post to a close.
I would simply ask you to develop eyes that are looking for Jesus in the Bible. He’s there … you just need to look for Him.
1 Corinthians 5:7 (CSB) “… Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed.”