Exodus 11:1-13:16: Gospel-Centered Generations
[Exodus 11:1-10 ESV] 1 The LORD said to Moses, “Yet one plague more I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will drive you away completely. 2 Speak now in the hearing of the people, that they ask, every man of his neighbor and every woman of her neighbor, for silver and gold jewelry.” 3 And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover, the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people. 4 So Moses said, “Thus says the LORD: ‘About midnight I will go out in the midst of Egypt, 5 and every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the cattle. 6 There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever will be again. 7 But not a dog shall growl against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast, that you may know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.’ 8 And all these your servants shall come down to me and bow down to me, saying, ‘Get out, you and all the people who follow you.’ And after that I will go out.” And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger. 9 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” 10 Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, and the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go out of his land.
[Exodus 12:1-51 ESV] 1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 2 “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. 3 Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household. 4 And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, 6 and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight. 7 “Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. 10 And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11 In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. 13 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 no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt. 14 “This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast. 15 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven out of your houses, for if anyone eats what is leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. 16 On the first day you shall hold a holy assembly, and on the seventh day a holy assembly. No work shall be done on those days. But what everyone needs to eat, that alone may be prepared by you. 17 And you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day, throughout your generations, as a statute forever. 18 In the first month, from the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 19 For seven days no leaven is to be found in your houses. If anyone eats what is leavened, that person will be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a sojourner or a native of the land. 20 You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwelling places you shall eat unleavened bread.” 21 Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the 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 will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you. 24 You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever. 25 And when you come to the land that the LORD will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this service. 26 And when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ 27 you shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the LORD’s Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.'” And the people bowed their heads and worshiped. 28 Then the people of Israel went and did so; as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. 29 At midnight the LORD struck down 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 the livestock. 30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead. 31 Then he summoned Moses and Aaron by night and said, “Up, go out from among my people, both you and the people of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as you have said. 32 Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone, and bless me also!” 33 The Egyptians were urgent with the people to send them out of the land in haste. For they said, “We shall all be dead.” 34 So the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading bowls being bound up in their cloaks on their shoulders. 35 The people of Israel had also done as Moses told them, for they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold jewelry and for clothing. 36 And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they plundered the Egyptians. 37 And the people of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. 38 A mixed multitude also went up with them, and very much livestock, both flocks and herds. 39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had brought out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves. 40 The time that the people of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years. 41 At the end of 430 years, on that very day, all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. 42 It was a night of watching by the LORD, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; so this same night is a night of watching kept to the LORD by all the people of Israel throughout their generations. 43 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the statute of the Passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, 44 but every slave that is bought for money may eat of it after you have circumcised him. 45 No foreigner or hired worker may eat of it. 46 It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones. 47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48 If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. 49 There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.” 50 All the people of Israel did just as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron. 51 And on that very day the LORD brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts.
[Exodus 13:1-16 ESV] 1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine.” 3 Then Moses said to the people, “Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the LORD brought you out from this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten. 4 Today, in the month of Abib, you are going out. 5 And when the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, you shall keep this service in this month. 6 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD. 7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days; no leavened bread shall be seen with you, and no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory. 8 You shall tell your son on that day, ‘It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ 9 And it shall be to you as a sign on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the law of the LORD may be in your mouth. For with a strong hand the LORD has brought you out of Egypt. 10 You shall therefore keep this statute at its appointed time from year to year. 11 “When the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as he swore to you and your fathers, and shall give it to you, 12 you shall set apart to the LORD all that first opens the womb. All the firstborn of your animals that are males shall be the LORD’s. 13 Every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. Every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem. 14 And when in time to come your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall say to him, ‘By a strong hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. 15 For when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of animals. Therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all the males that first open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.’ 16 It shall be as a mark on your hand or frontlets between your eyes, for by a strong hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt.”
Help us see clearly the significance of Jesus Christ. Even in these passages of scripture, open our eyes and our heart to see these things. In your precious name, Amen.
I had the opportunity to go to a Norwalk basketball game recently this last Tuesday. Some of you may know that they were playing Oskaloosa Norwalk has a division one basketball player go into UNI and Oskaloosa has a division one basketball player going to Iowa state this year. My son actually got a coupon recently for some good behavior where I would take him to a basketball game. So he requested that I did that. We kind of were trying to figure out a good time. It seemed like a good one, but several times recently my son has come to me and he said something to the effect of dad. I’ve got something to tell you. I don’t really like basketball that much. And he’s done this multiple times and, and each time, like I think he expects it to be this like big dramatic like thing where he’s letting his dad down.
And it honestly, 100% is it. I’m so used to people in my life not liking basketball. It doesn’t bother me at all. And I disappoint. No, I, I’ll respond on buddy. I don’t, I don’t mind if you don’t like basketball. I just want you, whatever you do, I want you to your life to be about Jesus. And I want whatever you do, you to do it with everything you have. So if my son ends up being, you know, an artist and not an athlete, I’m okay with that. I want him to love Jesus and do whatever he does to the best of his ability. The other day, my family and I we’re also watching Chronicles already, Prince Caspian. Have you seen that? It’s like the D version of Chronicles of Narnia. Anyway, my youngest child pipes up when Prince Caspian came on the scene.
Is that Jesus like honey? No, it’s not Jesus. His story isn’t exactly about Jesus. I’ve been stunned more and more as a parent with the puzzle of passing my faith down to my kids. Now this message, we’ll primarily look at how God intended to use the Passover tradition, the Passover festival to pass down loyalty, covenant loyalty to God from one generation to the next. However, if you don’t have kids, don’t check out. Okay, I, that’s okay. These truths that we’re going to learn here are universal. These truths are going to impact how your heart assimilates truth, the importance of traditions and rhythms of grace in your life, the impact that your sin can have on other people, including kids, but also just those around you. And then how to F pass your faith on to someone else, even if they’re not your kid. I will primarily be addressing gospel centered generations of families, but please apply these principles in each of these areas.
This would be a really good one for you to take notes on and just chew on. Just go throughout this week, read through the notes again, read through the Bible passage that Caleb just read for us and just chew on it. God, why did you Institute a festival like this as a primary way of teaching the next generation, another generation about faith. Before we go into all of that, I feel like it’s important for me to give you a few interpretive notes. There are multiple parts in this study that you just read that are confusing, multiple interpreted interpretive issues. I could spend a whole sermon just teaching that and why S some important interpretive facts, but that’s not the primary I preach not just to help you understand. I preach to help you worship. So I want to focus in on a different area, but I do want to address what’s maybe a huge stumbling block in your life.
Which is the, the implication of, of God killing all the first born children in Egypt. Do you ever stumble over that? You read that you cringe a little bit. You struggle with that emotionally. I want to, I want to give some perspective on that before we jump into the worship in the sermon. First of all, theology is really important, really important and we will get to the theological implications of this passage. But you have to start by reading it as a story. You have to start by reading it as a narrative. You can’t be too quick to move to theological. If you do, you’re going to get off. I want you to think artistically and narratively here. What this is, is, is a good resolution to a good story. It’s poetic justice and I’m going to get into that a minute. The death of the Egyptian firstborns becomes the payment that sends, that sets God’s first born child free.
As this extends to the new Testament, we get new theology. We get the theology of God’s firstborn dying to set us, Egyptians and Israelites and every other nation free Pharaoh as a representative of all of Egypt sought to kill the Israelites. Firstborn in chapter one. Yeah, all of Egypt under Pharaoh’s authority participates in the subjugation abuse and attempted genocide of the Israelites. Do you understand that all of Egypt is complicit? All of Egypt is participating. All of Egypt is hurting the Israelites. All of Egypt is enslaving the Israelites and all of is trying to kill off the mail. Children.
If you look at chapter one and verse 22 language is really important, then Pharaoh commanded all his people. Every son that is born to the Hebrews, you shall cast into the Nile. You have to start narratively. The Egyptians received just retribution. God offers before he even judges them. God offers Pharaoh a way to make things right. God offers what appears to be the first step in the process of letting them go. Pharaoh should recognize the rights of the Israelites and recognize their God and allow them to go serve in the wilderness in the aftermath of these events. Perhaps if they let them go to serve in the wilderness, it would become natural to let the Israelites go. Perhaps God would bring amazing blessings on Egypt just as he had brought blessing us on other nations through the presence of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in Genesis, which is book one to this story.
You remember, there’s blessings that are possible here for Egypt and curses if they reject it, and God offers Pharaoh a way to make things right after he had enslaved the Israelite people after he had tried to commit genocide to the Israelite people. After all of that, God offers a way to make things right. Go and let them serve their God in the wilderness. And what does Pharaoh do? We get the tenfold refrain. He hardens is hard. He hardens his heart. He hardens his heart and then as hard as hard in his hardest heart, and then God hardens his heart, God cements him in the hardness of his heart.
So it’s justice in one way, just as Israel cries out to God and chapter three verse seven of Exodus. You read that for you. Chapter three verse seven and the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and I’ve heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings. Egypt cries out to God in the same way, the same unique word is used in chapter 11 verse six there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever will be again. This action that God takes on the Egyptians will be so devastating that the Egyptians will be favorably disposed. In fact, one commentator I read said that it will give them a survival fear. They’ll become a servant to Israel. Oh, you want our stuff? Here you go. Do you want our gold? You want our silver? Here you go. The master and the slave role has been reversed.
Was it ethical for them to plunder the Egyptians? I don’t know. It’s a question people ask, but I don’t want you to lose sight of the focus. The focus here is that Israel marches out the front door because Egypt begged them to leave. They don’t crawl out the back door like a dog. They’re not sneaking away. No. Egypt and Pharaoh will give the blessing to let the people go and it’ll be after they’re absolutely broken 14 this is, this is, this is the stunning reality. Now there are many true, so here we’re, we’re going to get into one of them in just a moment, but I want you to think about the narrative poetry moving forward. Okay?
The Egyptians first born die so that God’s firstborn, the Israelites can be set free. He’s called their son [inaudible] in chapter one of Exodus 14 centuries later, God’s firstborn, his one and only son, Jesus Christ would die so that Egyptians and Israelites and Americans today, it could be set free. You see the narrative structure, how all of this is going to point to head to Jesus. So let’s get into a few things. How do we have a gospel centered intergenerational faith? How do we pass our faith on to other people? First of all, you have to understand, you have to have a vibrant personal faith in God because if you are content with your sin, your sin can affect other people, your sin. It can have consequences that you can’t even imagine.
Your kids can experience the consequences of your sin. I don’t know. I mean, we don’t see this any clear today. I, my wife and I just finished. I’m a licensed, have become foster parents and we’re excited to start that. We’re waiting to see how we can serve and take care of some kids. We’re, we’re really excited about that. But you don’t see that it’s not the kid’s fault that they’re in foster care, right? It’s not their fault. It’s not fair to them. They don’t deserve that. [inaudible] It’s the parent’s fault. You see that oftentimes your sin can have unintended consequences, and Pharaoh by hardening his heart has vast consequences that he cannot even imagine. Your kids can experience the consequences of your sin. Exodus 34 says, the Lord passed before Moses and proclaim the Lord the Lord a God merciful and gracious, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but will by no means clear the guilty visiting iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation stunning and terrifying.
How do we reconcile this with the law in Deuteronomy chapter 24 verse 16 fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. Each one shall be put to death for his own sin. How do you reconcile that with a different part of the law and how does this all reconcile with Zeke? Yael chapter 18 verse 20 the promise of the coming new covenant, the soul who sins shall die, the son shall not suffer for the inequity of the father nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself and the wickedness of the wickedness shall be upon himself. This is something that Baptist calls individual soul Liberty. It’s one of the Baptist distinctives. Everyone is responsible to God for their own sin. Well, I think we get a hint about why the child, it can be punished for the sins of the father. In Exodus chapter 20 verse five the sins of the father becomes the sins of the child.
You shall not bow down to them or serve them. Talking about idols. For I the Lord your God, am a jealous God visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me. In other words, what happens is that your, your sin becomes hereditary. Not literally, but do you get what I’m saying? You ever hear that phrase? It’s terrifying to see all your sins walking around on two little legs. As a parent, you ever hear that phrase, the sins of the father become the sins of the child. Your sins are passed down to the next generation and because of that they’re judged as well.
This is why I say, and this is why point number one is you have to have a vibrant faith. I didn’t say a perfect faith. I didn’t say perfect faith. I said a vibrant faith because if you are going to live in a way acting like you don’t have sin, if you are going to harden your heart to God, which we learned about last week, if you’re going to in this area of my life, God, I don’t want your help in this area of my life. I’m just going to do what I want to do. If you’re going to stiff arm him and try to hold him off, that sin is going to be passed down to your kids.
I got an amazing work of God’s grace. You must have a vibrant repenting life where you are actively confessing synagogue, confessing your sin to others. You’re actively turning from that sin and trying to fight it with good decisions and, and, and help from God and prayer. If instead you choose to harden your heart, same things you struggle with are going to be the next generation strokes. And as I’ve said before, this isn’t just about parenting. This isn’t just about parenting. One of the terrifying things that I’ve read in many pastoral like theology books is your congregation starts to take on some of your characteristics. You want to know how scary that is for me? Like where am I weak? And I hope that our congregation is not taking on those same characteristics. This happens with anyone you’re trying to pass your faith onto.
If you are working with somebody and telling them about Jesus Christ, but you’re holding onto a sin over here, guess what? They’re going to think that sounds okay. Or they’re going to get this idea of Christianity that’s like there’s respectable sins, their sins that eh, you shouldn’t really talk about. You probably shouldn’t do, but you know, we’ll sweep those under the rug. But the big sins we don’t do. You’re going to teach a dual level of Christianity. You’re going to grow hard in your heart and you’re going to pass that same mindset onto the next person.
Your sins have consequences. The ripples of which you can’t even imagine. It’s a warning. The second thing that I want you to see is that God calls you to show your children a deep theological, passionate faith. God is concerned with generational commitment to him. That’s why gives the Passover the purpose of the Passover is for the benefit of the generations who did not participate in X in the Exodus, in every generation thereafter, year after year when they do the Passover celebration, every generation gets to participate in the Passover and the Exodus and the deliverance from [inaudible] Egypt through this tradition that was given to them.
This commitment would take a week, a week of festive celebration. It would take much preparation. It would take much devotion, it would be inconvenient, but if you want an intergenerational faith, if you want to pass your faith on, if you want to impact others with the gospel, you need to understand that you have to have a personal passionate faith that is willing to be inconvenienced. And that leads us to the third point, which is that righteous rhythm is helpful. Righteous rhythm is helpful to teach about your faith. This narrative, if you read it, did you notice how often it kind of gets repetitive about the Passover regulations? Kind of repeat some multiple times like, you know, should use less words, right? That’s like good writing, isn’t it?
But it keeps going back to how carefully the Israelites followed the rituals. And this is a lesson to future generations. This is not legalism. The rituals themselves, the traditions themselves were not bad. It was the heart of the people later on of what they did with them. This is an attitude here that puts these traditions down. It’s an attitude of thoughtfulness and intentionality about pursuing God in our life, in regular rhythms of grace that should be passed down to future generations and their relationship with God. There was a value to rhythm in your life. You should not be just carried about by whatever your whim is that week. It’s valuable to have a good rhythm of grace in your life. It’s valuable to have regular church participation every single Sunday you’re here. It’s valuable to participate in that tradition, that rhythm of grace, to be here with God’s people, singing praise to his name, learning from his word, receiving his word, consecrating your life in new and going on your way to follow what God commands you to do. It’s good for you to do that. It’s good for you to participate in the regular rhythm, the tradition of communion that was passed down to us 20 centuries ago and you are partaking in a tradition that has been going on in all over the world [inaudible] 2000 years.
It’s good for you to get into a rhythm of regular family worship where you read a Bible verse, you talk about it, you sing a song, it’s good for you to be an irregular rhythm of personal worship where you read the Bible, you study it, you listen to worship songs you send to your mind and your heart on God. You pray to him. It’s good for you to participate in regular rhythms of hospitality where you invite not only your friends and family into, to care for them and love them and pray for them, but also those outside of your family. It’s good for you to participate in regular rhythms and traditions of Easter and Christmas and Thanksgiving that are actually pointing to God, not just the Easter bunny and Santa Claus. It’s good for you to have good rhythms in your life. That’s what the Passover teaches us. Now. Those rhythms were always in danger of making them legalistic. We have to do them in order to be religious. That’s not it, but we do them because it’s through those venues that we know we can receive God’s word. Remember his grace draw near to him and turn from our sins. It’s good for us to have these traditions. So what about the Passover tradition? There is a ton of meaning in each one of the parts of the Passover. It’s rich, it’s thoughtful. It starts in chapter 11, verse two.
No, not 11, two 12, two this month shall be for you. The beginning of months. They’re going to do it on the first month of the year. This is their new year. In other words, it’s a fresh start. People are being recreated. You start with a fresh slate after the Passover. It’s a perfect sacrifice. A one year old lamb without defect. God deserves the best from your life. It’s communal. If neighbors don’t have enough, you’re supposed to invite your neighbors into share together. It’s covered by a death so that could be delivered, is covered by someone else’s death. This case, the lamb, the blood is [inaudible]. [inaudible] is taken out and drained and then brushed on the doorposts.
It’s with haste and you want it to be as easy as you can. The, the, the meat is to be ropes roasted quickly, not boiled or raw. Supposed to roast it, get it done quickly so that you can eat it quickly altogether. You don’t have time. You don’t have time to, to remove its energy. You don’t have time to do anything else. Just roast it and eat it. You’re supposed to eat it with bitter herbs. Bitter is the same word that is used about there in slave mint. The slavery they endured in chapter one verse 14 supposed to be a reminder of the bitterness of life without God’s deliverance. Supposed to be eaten in haste. You don’t have time to let the yeast rise.
I figured out my pizza dough recipe. It’s perfect. I make the dough at 12 sharp. I’ve got the perfect amounts that I put in each one. It’s actually not even measured, but it’s perfect in my eyes. I got it perfectly laid out and I let it rise two or three times, punch it back down, let it rise again. Separate it out into the different go boss. We’re going to do multiple little mini pizzas and I put it in set to start, you know, needing and getting ready to eat at four 15, four 30 to four and a half hour rising process. I got it. Perfect. There’s no time for that. You don’t have time to let it rise. You’ve got to go [inaudible] got he just matzah. Just, just throw some oil in it. Put, put it together. Maybe you know with the flour in and eat it.
The celebration. Did you notice this in chapter 12 verse 15? It’s a seven day event. It’s not a one day event. It’s not a two day event. It’s a seven day event where they party and they celebrate because of God’s deliverance of them. And finally that, that principle of redemption where every single first born from the flock and first born son is to be set apart. It’s supposed to be dedicated and given to God and worship, but you don’t have to kill your son. Instead, you can give a lamb to redeem your son and buy them back from that bought back from death. Just as God buys us back from death through the death of his one and only these regulations, they seem odd to us. They were likely at least impart different traditions that were there were part of the near Eastern customs at the time.
God takes these customs and uses them to teach the people about deliverance, about humbling, the proud about judgment, about his work for his people, the unchangeable God used, the ever change, changing cultural traditions of that time to communicate unchanging truth about his deliverance, understand them not merely as near Eastern customs. They have deep theological, rich significance attached to them because God attached theological significance to them. Later on, Jesus is going to take this tradition and rework it again. It was a tradition at that point that had been passed down through 14 centuries of people passed on again and again, and yet when Jesus comes to the Passover in the upper room, what does he do?
He takes that bread, the unleavened bread that they were to make so that they could eat with haste picture of God’s deliverance of his people. That was going to happen quickly. He takes it and says that deliverance that’s in my body that’s broken, that blood that that lamb shed that was painted on the doorposts, this is my blood. It’s the blood of the new covenant which is given for you. I’m going to die as God’s one and only son so that you could be delivered from your sleep to sit from hell, from death, just as the Passover was designed for each generation to participate symbolically in the deliverance of Exodus. Communion is designed for each generation, 20 centuries worth of generations. Now to participate symbolically in the deliverance that we receive on the cross. Doesn’t happen again, but we remember that it happened. It’s our way of participating in that.
So in a few moments here, you are going to be invited to join us at the table. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, it’s for you to take. If you trust in Christ, deliverance from your sins, if you’ve repented from those sins, this table is for you. It is a reminder of Jesus’ death through that grape juice that covers our sins, that bloodshed so that you and I could go free is a reminder of Jesus’ perfection and the haste of the deliverance because there’s no Lebanon. Those crummy little crackers that we chew on, we can admit it, they don’t taste good, but it’s good symbolism. It is a reminder that we are part of this. People taking this communion together.
We’re delivered together as God’s people. It’s not an isolated religion. Look around. That’s your brothers and your sisters that are taking of it too. They’d been to delivered from sin. It is a reminder that finally in that story, Jesus says that I will not drink this cup again until you drink it with me in the kingdom of heaven. So it’s a reminder again through 20 centuries now we’ve been reminded that we will one day celebrate a much greater Passover feast. We will one day celebrate a much greater feast with Jesus in heaven. All followers of Jesus Christ need to build in regular rhythms of grace into their life. What are the rhythms you need to add?
Do you need to improve your church participation? Need to get involved in a small group. Need to start reading your Bible and praying every day, meeting with somebody else for some counselors, some help. Do you need to start family worship time? Do you do you need to build into your life more rhythms and traditions of grace to remind you of the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Not as legalism, not because it earns anything for you, but so that your heart can be prompted day after day to remember Jesus Christ risen from the dead, the offspring of D.
I’m gonna invite our musicians to make their way back up. We’re going to pray here. Father, I thank you so much for your love. Be quiet our hearts now. We quiet our hearts down. These truths, they’re there. They’re wonderful. Your deliverance from sin, from death, hell bought for us on the cross of Jesus Christ. We partake of this now because we’re your followers. We love trust you alone for our salvation. Remind us of magnificent truths. Help us to take active steps of obedience to build more rhythms of grace into our life. Father, we pray to us these things in your precious name. Amen.