December 16, 2012
Today's Scripture Reading: Exodus 12:1-14
Have you ever given your children hints about their gifts under the Christmas tree? Let's face it, we all like a hint! It's part of human nature—inquiring minds want to know! This fact fuels much of the media, magazine, and tabloid industry. People want that juicy bit of gossip, or that spoiler, or the down-low on the most recent scandal. In fact, wasn't it this desire that first got Eve on Satan's hook? In Genesis 3:5, he told her, “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Fortunately, God who made us, understood well the human inclination for clues about upcoming events. For that reason, the Old Testament is wrought with signs of the coming Redeemer and what he would do for those who put their faith in Him. Those clues are like the beam of a flashlight shining into the future, creating a “shadow” of what is to come, and perhaps, the greatest of these shadows came with the institution of the Passover.
In our previous studies, we have already looked at the events that led up to the slavery of Israel in Egypt. Now, as slaves, the Israelites are holding tight to the promise given long ago—the promise of a deliverer. God sends that deliverer in the person of Moses, and through the obedience of Moses, he provides the sign of the passover. The passover pointed to the the ultimate deliverer, Jesus Christ.
The passover took place as the last plague of Egypt was about to strike. Because Pharaoh would not let the people go, God was going to send the angel of death to take all of Egypt's first born. In order that the children of Israel would be spared, they were to kill a lamb and spread it's blood with hyssop over the lentils and doorposts of their homes. When the angel of death saw this sign, he would “pass over” that home. In addition, the passover was to take place at sunset and proceed until the end of the next morning. By the end of that time, all of the lamb was to be consumed.
So how is the passover a “hint”? Consider these similarities.
Hint 1) When John the Baptist saw Christ approaching, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) During the passover, a lamb was slain in each household, providing an individual portion for each person. When Christ was killed for us on the cross, he provided each individual an opportunity to be freed from sin, if they would only repent of their sins and accept Him into their heart and life!
Hint 2) The blood of the lamb was spread with hyssop over the doorposts and lentils. The angel of death saw this sign and “passed over” each marked home. Likewise, when a Christian faces death, Christ blood is visible over his heart, and he is spared the deserved punishment for his sins.
Hint 3) The use of hyssop is also a clue. In Psalm 51:7, David writes: “Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean, wash me and I will be whiter than snow.” Hyssop is a strong smelling herb that is associated with healing. Christ's blood, when applied to our hearts, heals us from sin.
Hint 4) The times set for the passover are mirrored by the suffering and death of the Lord. The meal of the passover lamb was to be taken at sunset. Christ took the passover meal with his disciples. Later that night the soldier's took him. The passover meal was to be entirely consumed by the end of the following morning. Just before noon on the day He was crucified, Christ cried, “It is finished!”
How blessed we are to have a Heavenly parent who gave us such marvelous insights of His love for us. These insights took place throughout Biblical history, and then were mercifully recorded for all generations, through His holy and inspired word ,the Bible. Don't miss this hint! If you haven't already, follow the flashlight's beam to the gift of Christmas. Accept Jesus Christ personally today!