Sunday, April 20, 2008



Key Scriptures: Exodus 3 NLT

7 ¶ Then the LORD told him, "You can be sure I have seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries for deliverance from their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering.

8 So I have come to rescue them from the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own good and spacious land.

We are saved to serve not saved to sit.

Today is Sunday, April 20th, 2008, the first day of the week. According to the Jewish calendar today is the 15th day of the month Nisan in the Jewish year 5768 as recorded since the creation of Adam in the Garden of Eden.

Today is the first day of the feast of unleavened bread which will last seven days in memory of the Children of Israel’s hasty departure from Egypt. They were set free after the tenth plague which occurred at midnight on the night before, the first Passover.

Passover is still celebrated on the same day each year, the 14th of Nisan, which this year began at sundown Friday evening and lasted until sundown Saturday evening, April 19th, yesterday.

Occasionally the 14th of Nisan is on the Sabbath day as it is this year. When this happens there are some specific ordinances and rules that come into play which are of more detail than we need to discuss this morning. However, suffice it to say that yesterday in Israel, and for all the Jewish people, was considered Shabbat HaGadol, the Great Sabbath, or in other words, the most important Sabbath of the year.

Believers in Jesus as Messiah also believe this, recognizing that according to the Jewish calendar, it was on this day in history, just before sundown, when Jesus died on the cross and became the Passover Lamb Whose blood paid for the sins of the whole world.

Lets look at the scriptural account of that first Passover as we turn to the book of Exodus, Chapter 12.

It was somewhere near 1500BC or around the Jewish year 2260, give or take a few years either side depending on whose arguments one considers, when God visited the Egyptians with 10 plagues in efforts to force Pharaoh to “let His people go!”

We join the story in Exodus 12, the night before the tenth and final plague, which was the death of every firstborn male from every family, Jew and Egyptian, who was not covered by the blood of the Passover Lamb.

Exodus 12 NKJV

1 ¶ Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,

2 "This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.

3 "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.

4 ‘And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb.

5 ‘Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.

6 ‘Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.

7 ‘And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.

8 ‘Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

9 ‘Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails.

10 ‘You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire.

11 ‘And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’S Passover.

12 ‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.

13 ‘Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

14 ‘So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.

21 ¶ Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb.

22 "And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.

23 "For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.

24 "And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever.

29 ¶ And it came to pass at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock.

30 So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead.

31 Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, "Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the LORD as you have said.

32 "Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also."

Application for our lives today:

1. Passover is a Testimony of What God Did. A testimony to the saving grace of our God as He delivered the Children of Israel 3500 years ago with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, not allowing their enemies to win the final victory.

2. Passover is a Testament of What God is Doing Today. For all who sit in bondage today, enslaved to the Pharaohs and gods of this world there is deliverance. As God told Moses, “I have heard the cry of My people and am come down to deliver them.” God is still delivering His Children today. In fact, the Apostle Paul declared it as recorded in Romans 10:13, “All who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” It might be in your midnight hour when you are awakened to realize that God has truly heard your cry and has come down to deliver you.

3. Passover is a Testament to What God Will Do In Your Future. One day when all the world will be judged by God those who have applied the Blood of the Lamb upon the doorposts of their lives will not fall prey to the angel of death but will be taken to the Promised Land of Glory and there will they live forever in peace and prosperity. Jesus is that Passover Lamb. Ask Him to apply His sacrificial blood to your life today … don’t waste another night in danger … heaven or hell awaits and it might be later than you think.

What do we need to do today?

1. Be thankful for what God has done and tell Him so.

2. Call upon Him … pray to God and He will hear you and He will answer your cry.

3. Live ready with your belt tightened, your shoes on your feet and your staff in your hand. We are saved to serve and not to sit. Be ready for you know not the day nor the hour when the Son of Man comes again … work until He comes.