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The Lord's Family Fellowship

 

JON’S SERMON EXODUS 12, PART TWO

 

altII.Exodus 12:5-7 “Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.”

 

A.    To understand the significance of the Passover, let us reflect on prior scriptures that point to God’s requirement of the shedding of blood for the atonement of sin, the covenant God made with Abraham, the offering of Isaac, and the providence of God in “providing for Himself the lamb,” which pointed to God’s providence in providing His Son for Himself as the final sacrifice for our sins. Even from the very beginning, God taught His people the only means of forgiveness for their sins and reconciliation from their estrangement from God was through the shedding of innocent blood, thus pointing their eyes toward the coming of their Messiah who would once and for all atone for their sins by the cleansing power of His blood.

 

1.      Genesis 3:21 “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.”

2.      Genesis 4:4 “Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions and the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering.”

a.       The Bible had not been written at the time of Abel, so how did he know to offer the firstlings of his flock to God? We are told that God instructed Adam in the Garden, which Adam then passed on to his sons—the same pattern God continually reiterated throughout His Word.

b.      When Joseph rebuffed Potiphar’s wife’s advances with “How could I do this great evil and sin against God?” how did he know it was a sin against God when the Pentateuch had not been written? From Seth to Noah from Noah to Jacob, from Jacob to Moses to David, there is a specific godly lineage of men who knew God’s commands because their fathers had passed on God’s instruction to them—all of them.

c.       Joseph’s brothers knew it was a sin to sell or kill their brother because their father Jacob had taught them God’s commands. The brothers admitted this truth when first confronted by Joseph in Genesis 42:21,22 when they said, “We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us. And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required.” Again, Genesis 9:6 had not been written: “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.”

d.      Since my mother’s requirements changed from time to time when I was growing up, I thought God and His requirements were subject to change, as well. Yet as we have seen over and over in these lessons, although men are subject to change, God’s law never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

e.       Fathers, we have the benefit of the written Word. Let us use it to instruct our children so that they know the Word of God that they will not sin against Him.

3.      Hebrews 11:4 “By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous…” 

a.       Why was Abel’s sacrifice better than Cain’s sacrifice? It was not because the vegetables were rotten. Indeed we must look carefully at this lesson, for man often offers God that which he thinks is acceptable rather than looking to God’s Word to see what God commands. Cain offered that which he wanted to give rather than listening to his father’s instruction on what God required—a substitutionary atonement that foreshadowed Christ—the only acceptable offering to atone for sin. Cain refused to submit and act according to the Lord’s instruction.

1.      See, faith comes from hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17) and obeying the Word of God.

a.       John 14:15,24 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.… He who does not love Me does not keep My words…”

2.      Referring to lawless men, Jude 11 reads: “They have gone the way of Cain.”

3.      Cain thought his judgment better than God’s. All deviant systems of worship rise up from the sin of presumption.

a.       1 John 3:12 “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.”

b.      So let us pray with David in Psalm 19:13: “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.”

4.      Genesis 8:20,21 “Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, ‘I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.’”

a.       When reading about the Israelites, do you separate yourself from their sinful ways, thinking that you would never act in such a pernicious way? Have you thought of them as absolutely stupid when they desired to go back to Egypt after God had miraculously delivered them? Candy and I certainly possessed those thoughts in earlier years. But now we know that we were included in God’s summation of mankind when He said, “The intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”

b.      If God’s Word is true that man’s heart is evil, how does God know that Abraham will keep the covenant? Was it because of Abraham? Let us see in this next verse.

5.      Genesis 17:1-11 “Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be blameless. I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly…As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you will be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you. I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.’ God said further to Abraham, ‘Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you.’”

a.       Was it due to Abraham’s goodness that he was able to keep the covenant? Hebrews 6:18 says, “It was impossible for God to lie,” and in Numbers 23:19, “God is not man, that he should lie…” So did Abraham keep the covenant on his own volition? If we go back to Genesis 15 when God made the covenant with Abraham, we see that only God walked between the sacrifice, for Abraham was sound asleep. This clearly showed us that God alone would take the responsibility to keep and fulfill all the conditions of the covenant. Apart from God’s Holy Spirit, “There is no one righteous not one,” not even you or me. So lest we deceive ourselves to think we are better than we are, let us remember Ephesians 2:8-10 that “by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” And in 2 Chronicles 6:14, “O LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant and shewest mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts.”

b.      Again, God is the just and the justifier (Romans 3:26).

6.      Genesis 22:2,6-8,13,14 “He said, ‘Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you’…Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, ‘My father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ And he said, ‘Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’ Abraham said, ‘God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.’ So the two of them walked on together…Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son. Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, ‘In the mount of the LORD it will be provided.’”

 

a.       Mark carefully the words, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering.” This most assuredly points to Christ! God provides for the only sacrifice truly acceptable for taking away all unrighteousness.

 

7.      Exodus 24:8 “So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, ‘Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.’”

8.      Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.”

 

B.     Atonement means “agreement; reconciliation, after enmity…Expiation; satisfaction… made by giving an equivalent for an injury, or by doing or suffering that which is received in satisfaction for an offense or injury…In theology, the expiation of sin made by the obedience and personal sufferings of Christ.”

 

1.      Isaiah 53:5,10 “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed…. But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering...”

2.      Romans 3:24-26 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God had set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

3.      1 Corinthians 5:7 “…For Christ our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.”

4.      1 John 1:7 “…the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

 

C.     So when Moses tells the people that they are to take an unblemished lamb, he is pointing them to their Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ, in whom there was no sin. So just as the lamb was to be chosen from the flock for its flawlessness, so, too, Christ was chosen because He was sinless. And only a sinless sacrifice, a perfect sacrifice, could satisfy a holy, sinless God. Christ kept the law perfectly and thus glorified His Father.

 

1.      Leviticus 22:18-22,32-33 “Speak to Aaron and to his sons and to all the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘Any man of the house of Israel or of the aliens in Israel who presents his offering, whether it is of their votive or any of their free will offerings, which they present to the LORD for a burnt offering—for you to be accepted—it must be a male without defect from the cattle, the sheep or the goats. Whatever has a defect, you shall not offer, for it will not be accepted for you. 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. Those that are blind or fractured or maimed or having a running sore or eczema or scabs, you shall not offer to the LORD, nor make of them an offering by fire on the altar to the LORD…. You shall not profane My holy name, but I will be sanctified among the sons of Israel; I am the LORD who sanctifies you, who brought you out from the land of Egypt to be your God; I am the LORD.’”

a.       Do we give our merciful Father our best, or do we give him what is left over, that which we really don’t need or want?

2.      Malachi 1:8-14 “‘But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘But now will you not entreat God’s favor, that He may be gracious to us? With such an offering on your part, will He receive any of you kindly?’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘Oh that there were one among you who would shut the gates, that you might not uselessly kindle fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘nor will I accept an offering from you. For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure; for My name will be great among the nations,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘But you are profaning it, in that you say, “The table of the Lord is defiled, and as for its fruit, its food is to be despised.” You also say, “My, how tiresome it is!” and you disdainfully sniff at it,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and you bring what was taken by robbery and what is lame or sick; so you bring the offering! Should I receive that from your hand?’ says the LORD. ‘But cursed be the swindler who has a male in his flock and vows it, but sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord, for I am a great king,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and My name is feared among the nations.’”

3.      Hebrews 7:26 “For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens.”

4.      1 Peter 1:17-19 “If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that 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.”

5.      1 Peter 2:21-24 “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 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.”

6.      Hebrews 9:26 “…He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”

7.      Matthew 3:16,17 “After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.’”

8.      Matthew 17:1-5 “Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, ‘This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him.’”

9.      1 John 2:2 “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins…”

10.  Ephesians 5:2 “Walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

 

D.    Furthermore, just as the lamb was to be singled out for shedding its blood for deliverance, so, too, Christ was singled out to shed His blood for the redemption of God’s people. Not in the course of time, after man sinned, but before the foundation of the world. Therefore, the Covenant of Grace, which was established before the foundation of the world between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, efficaciously delivered the saints of old prior to Christ’s manifestation upon the earth. For men have always been saved by grace.

 

1.      Revelation 13:8 “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.”

2.      John 17:9,12,25 “I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours…. While I was with them, I was keeping them in your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled…. O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that you sent Me.”

3.      Ephesians 1:3-14 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to us the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to this purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”

a. Amplified: “May blessing (praise, laudation, and eulogy) be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual (given by the Holy Spirit) blessing in the heavenly realm! Even as (in His love) He chose us (actually picked us out for Himself as His own) in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love. For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will (because it pleased Him and was His kind intent)—(So that we might be) to the praise and the commendation of His glorious grace (favor and mercy), which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses), in accordance with the riches and the generosity of His gracious favor, which He lavished upon us in every kind of wisdom and understanding (practical insight and prudence)…”

4.      2 Timothy 1:9 “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” In NAS it says from all eternity!

5.      1 Corinthians 2:7-10 “But we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written, ‘Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.’”

6.      1 Peter 1:18-20 “Knowing that 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. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.”

7.      Acts 2:23 “This Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.”

8.      Luke 22:22 “For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!”

9.      So that Job could confidently state in 19:25 “For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.”

a.       Do you know that your Redeemer liveth? Is He real to you? Does His Spirit reside in your heart?

 

E.     What we are going through in Exodus is a foreshadowing of what Christ did on the cross. It is hard for us to realize that time and space belong to us; it does not belong to God. God is not limited by time or space, for He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We cannot understand that, but we can believe it, for God’s Word says it. God is beyond time. He is infinite; He is eternal!

1.      Psalm 90:2 “Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”

2.      Psalm 102:12,27 “But You, O LORD, abide forever, and Your name to all generations… But You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end.”

3.      Isaiah 40:28 “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.”

4.      1 Timothy 1:17 “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

5.      Exodus 3:14 “I AM WHO I AM.”

6.      Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

7.      Jude 1:25 “To the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

8.      2 Corinthians 1:20 “For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.”

 

F.      We might question why God would create us if He knew that we could not keep the law and thus be condemned to hell. God created us, and the world, for His glory, yet by learning of Israel’s unfaithfulness, we understand the magnificent mercy and loving-kindness towards our sinful natures and the magnanimity of His provision for our salvation.

 

1.      1 Corinthians 1:20 “Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?”

2.      Romans 9:22-24 “What if God, desiring to show His wrath and to make known His power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of His glory for vessels of mercy, which He has prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.”

3.      Isaiah 43:1-7 “But now, thus says the Lord, your creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel, ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place. Since you are precious in My sight, since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life. Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, “Give them up!” and to the south, “Do not hold them back.” Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters for the ends of the earth, everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed even whom I have made.’”

 

G.    Now let us look at God’s provision for His people, whom He redeemed from their slavery to Satan and sin. From the beginning, God created man in His image to fill the earth with His glory. He redeems us, He purifies us, He makes us zealous for good deeds which “He prepared beforehand that we should walk in them,” so that He may be glorified.

 

1.      Genesis 12:1-2 “Now the Lord said to Abram: ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great.”

2.      Titus 2:14 “[Christ] gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for Himself a people of His own who are zealous for good deeds.”

3.      Ephesians 2:9,10 (Amplified) “Not because of works (not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands), lest any man should boast. (It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.) For we are God’s (own) handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, (born anew) that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us (taking paths which He prepared ahead of time), that we should walk in them (living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live).”

4.      1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

5.      1 Peter 2:12 “Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the things in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

6.      Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine among men that they may see your good deeds and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

7.      1 Peter 4:10,11 “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

 

H.    Ultimately, God saves us for His namesake.

 

1.      Isaiah 48:9-11 “For My name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of My praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you but not like silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, for My own sake I do it, for how should My name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.”

2.      Ezekiel 36:21-32 “‘But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations where they went. Therefore, say to the house of Israel, “Thus says the Lord God, ‘It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. And I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,’ declares the Lord God, ‘when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. For I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness, and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. And you will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, that you may not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations. I am not doing this for your sake,’ declares the Lord God, ‘Let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded of your ways, O house of Israel!’”‘”

a.       My wife and I discuss the fact that as we have grown in Christ, we see more sin in ourselves. It is not that we are becoming more sinful, but that God continues to reveal more of our sin to us. In other words, the closer we get to the throne of Christ, the more Holy Light is shed upon our hearts, making it ever more clear the depth of our depravity and the need for His grace and mercy.

 

I.       Again, let us realize that the Covenant of grace for God’s people existed prior to the Law, as the scriptures demonstrated, before the creation of the world. Indeed this is our only hope, for none can keep the law. Salvation, then, has always come through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, rather than through the blood of animals. They just foreshadowed Christ, thus the Law never invalidated the Covenant of Grace, but served as our tutor to point us to Christ.

 

1.      Galatians 3:17,24 “What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise… Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.”

2.      Hebrews 9 “Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the holy place. Behind the second veil there was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies, having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod which budded, and the tables of the covenant; and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat; but of these things we cannot now speak in detail. Now when these things have been so prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle performing the divine worship, but into the second, only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed while the outer tabernacle is still standing, which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience, since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation. But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives. Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, ‘This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you.’ And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood. And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.”

3.      Hebrews 10:1-25 “For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, ‘Sacrifice and offering You have not desired, but a body You have prepared for Me; in whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure. Then I said, “Behold, I have come (in the scroll of the book it is written of Me) to do Your will, O God.”‘ After saying above, ‘Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have not desired, nor have You taken pleasure in them’ (which are offered according to the Law), then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will.’ He takes away the first in order to establish the second. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart, and on their mind I will write them,’ He then says, ‘And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’ Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”

4.      Matthew 26:28 “For this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.”

5.      Psalm 32:1,2 “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit!”

6.      Revelation 1:5,6 “…Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

 

J.       Tony Warren writes: “Christ’s sacrifice was not limited by time, and this truth is very important to the faithful. Time (thus timekeepers, the Sun, Moon, and stars) was created for man, not for God. He is infinite! So though time must unfold for man, God, being omniscient and omnipresent, sees these things as completed. He is outside of time! Those who are under the blood of Christ, He predestinated it, willed it, and saw it accomplished from the foundation of the world. But though God saw it done, the redemption still had to occur in the fullness of time ‘for the Elect’ who live in time. This is why we have the language of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the World. It is portraying the timelessness of Christ’s Sacrifice, to make possible ‘the Eternal election of Grace.’” (from The Mountain Retreat: “What Does It Mean, The Lamb Slain from the Foundation of the World?” http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/faq/slainfounda.html)

 

K.    Interestingly, just as the lamb was chosen four days prior to it being slain, Christ was singled out by John the Baptist around four years prior to His crucifixion.

 

1.      John 1:29 “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’”

 

L.     A year old was to signify that Christ was in the prime of His life when His blood was shed for the transgressors.

 

1.      Isaiah 53:8,12 “By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people was He stricken... Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and He will divide the spoils with the strong, because He poured out His life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

 

M.   Before we go any further, let us reread Exodus 12:1-5 together and make a note of when God tells Moses to tell the congregation that they are to take a lamb, the lamb, and finally your lamb.

 

1.      Exodus 12:1-5 “Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, ‘This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. 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 fathers’ households, a lamb for each household. Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb. Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old.”‘”

 

N.    Now let me read to you a precious commentarybyA. W. Pink from Gleanings in Exodus, page 89. He writes: “In verse 3 it is ‘a lamb’; in verse 4 ‘the lamb’; in verse 5 ‘your lamb.’ This order is most instructive, corresponding to the enlarged apprehension of faith. While in our unregenerate state, Christ appeared to us as nothing more than a Lamb; we saw in Him no beauty that we should desire Him. But when the Holy Spirit awakened us from the sleep of death, when He made us see our sinful and lost condition, and turned our gaze toward Christ, then we behold Him as the Lamb. We perceived His uniqueness, His unrivaled perfections. We learned that ‘neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other Name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12). Finally, when God in His sovereign grace gave us faith whereby to receive Christ as our own personal Savior, then could He be said to be your Lamb, our Lamb. Each elect and believing sinner can say with the apostle Paul, ‘Who loved me and gave Himself for me’ (Galatians 2:20).”

 

1.      Acts 4:12 “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

2.      Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

 

O.  As we reflect upon these scriptures, let us realize the richness of His mercy. So what is our purpose? To glorify God! For He is the one who redeemed us for His glory. God sets us apart, and it is He in whom we are to glory. God redeems us to purify for Himself a people. God prepares the deeds; we are to walk in them. Let your light shine that you may give glory to your Father in heaven. God supplies the strength that He may be glorified. God saves us for His namesake for the sake of His praise. He has concern for His Holy Name. He cleanses us. He gives us a new heart. He causes us to walk in His statutes. Then we will remember our evil ways and loathe ourselves for our iniquities.

 

Let us, then, examine our hearts to see where we are before God—the waywardness of our hearts and the sinfulness of ourselves—so we realize that it is God who works in us, and He is the One who is to be manifested in and through His Word. And in this understanding of God’s holiness and awesome power, we may truly grasp His immense love for us, knowing that while we were yet sinners, He died for us.

 

1.      Romans 5:8-11 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”