Rediscovering The Passover: Delivered By Blood & Death—Delivered From Death Through Death

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the physician Luke. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the first thirty verses of the twenty-second chapter. “Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people” (Luke 22:1-2).

 

            “Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude” (Luke 22:3-6).

 

            “Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the Passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the Passover, that we may eat. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow. Him into the house where he entereth in. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the Passover with my disciples? And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the Passover” (Luke 22:7-13).

 

            “And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come” (Luke 22:14-18).

 

            “And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:19-20).

 

            “But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with. Me on the table. And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that may by whom he is betrayed! And they began to inquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing” (Luke 22:21-23).

 

 

            “And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? Is not he that sitteth at meat? But I am among you as he that serveth. Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Luke 22:24-30).

 

            When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the time of Jesus’ betrayal, suffering and ultimate death drawing ever closer and ever nearer. All the events that have taken place in the previous two chapters were leading up to the eventual moment when Judas—who was one of the twelve—would meet together and conspire together with the chief priests, the elders of the people and scribes to betray Jesus into their hands. What makes this particular passage of Scripture so incredibly unique and challenging when you take the time to truly consider it is when you read how much of the events which took place during the days leading up to Jesus’ subsequent betrayal at the hands of Judas were encounters which He had with the chief priests, the scribes, the elders of the people, and the religious system during that day. In all reality, I would dare say that it was during this final week when the conflict which was present between the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of Israel, as well as the Pharisees, Sadducees and the whole religious system would eventually and ultimately come to a head. It would be during this final week before Jesus’ subsequent betrayal that a tremendous amount of conflict, affliction and opposition would ensue as Jesus would be forced to contend with the religious system during those days. It is actually quite interesting to read the words found within these chapters and see that during this final week of Jesus’ passion He would seem to experience the greatest opposition from the religious system and community of that day. This final week would be marked with time after time when the chief priests, the scribes, the elders of the people, the Pharisees and other religious groups would seek to ensnare and entrap Jesus in His words. What’s more, is that it would be during this week—perhaps more than ever when the religious system and community would seek for means and a way to completely and utterly destroy Jesus.

 

            If you take the time to read the words which are found in this portion of Scripture you will find in the opening verses how the feast of unleavened bread drew near, which was called the Passover according to the Law given by the LORD unto His servant Moses while the children of Israel were still in Egypt. It’s actually quite interesting when you think about and consider that here during the days of Jesus the Jews were still celebrating the Passover, which was implemented and put in place while the children of Israel were still living as slaves in the land of Egypt. As you turn and direct your attention to the Old Testament book of Exodus you will find that the Passover was initiated by the LORD God of hosts as He commanded and instructed Moses to have the children of Israel prepare themselves—not only for this particular meal and feast, but also for their subsequent deliverance from the land of Egypt. What makes this all the more intriguing is when you take the time to consider the fact that the LORD didn’t directly tell Moses, nor did He tell the children of Israel when He would deliver them from the slavery, the bondage and the oppression of Egypt. When the LORD gave the command unto Moses to instruct the children of Israel to prepare unto themselves unleavened bread, to roast a lamb, and to take the blood of the lamb and with hyssop place it upon the doorposts of their houses He did not give an exact time when their deliverance and freedom would indeed and would in fact take place.

 

            Upon journeying back unto the Old Testament book of Exodus you will find that the LORD God had already devastated the entire land of Egypt with nine different plagues and judgments which He would execute against the land, against the people, and against Pharaoh. You cannot read the Old Testament book of Exodus and not encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible truth that in order to deliver His people—the children of Israel—out of their slavery, bondage and oppression within the land of Egypt, as well as from the hands of their taskmasters, He needed to do so with a mighty and outstretched arm. The narrative that is found in the Old Testament book of Exodus describes how the LORD would initially send Moses unto Pharaoh with distinct signs which he would perform before him in his sight, as well as in the sight of his magicians. When Moses first stood before and in the presence of Pharaoh he would demonstrate and show the signs of the rod of God being cast to the ground and transformed into a serpent, his hand becoming leprous in their sight and then being restored, as well as water being turned into blood. Moses would indeed and would in fact perform these three unique and different signs in the sight of Pharaoh together with his magicians and all of his officials. What we find concerning this, however, is that the LORD God would indeed and would in fact harden the heart of Pharaoh to where he would be unwilling to allow the children of Israel to be set free and delivered from their slavery, bondage and oppression within the land of Egypt. In all reality, I am absolutely convinced that if we are going to understand the feast of unleavened bread which is called the Passover and its being celebrated during the days of Jesus, we must needs turn and direct our attention back to the Old Testament book of Exodus. It would be in the Old Testament book of Exodus where we not only finding the LORD appearing to Moses on the backside of the desert there at the mountain of God in a burning bush, but we also find Moses being sent unto Pharaoh with nothing more than the rod of God in his hand and accompanied by his elder brother Aaron.

 

            I am absolutely and completely convinced that if we wish to understand how significant the feast of unleavened bread truly is—and not only how significant the feast of unleavened bread is, but also the Passover meal which Jesus the Son of God would celebrate and partake of with His disciples—we must needs turn and direct our attention back to the Old Testament book of Exodus. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading these words which are found in the New Testament we must needs recognize that their celebration of the feast of the Passover was in all reality looking back to that time in Egypt when the LORD would send His angel throughout the land of Egypt and would kill the firstborn of every individual within the land of Egypt who did not have the mark upon the doorposts of their houses. Moses was given clear and present instruction by the LORD to have the children of Israel kill a lamb and to take of the blood of the lamb and use it to mark the doorposts of their houses. It would be the sign of the blood upon the doorposts of the house that would cause the death angel to move past those houses and not enter it to kill and destroy the firstborn present inside. Oh we must needs understand and recognize this, for it calls and draws us into the place where we understand that when the children of Israel during that generation celebrated the feast of the Passover they were indeed looking forward to and preparing themselves for something. That first generation which was given the Passover meal and which celebrated it would indeed partake of it expecting and anticipating something to take place that night within the land of Egypt.

 

            Before I delve into the words which are found in the Old Testament book of Exodus I can’t help but be captivated with this thought of that first generation of the children of Israel partaking of and participating in that feast of the Passover with a sense of expectation and anticipation that something was going to take place that night. When that first generation participated in and partook of the Passover meal they were indeed looking forward to something, for Moses had given them specific instruction to not only mark their houses with the blood, but also to partake of unleavened bread, as well as the lamb which had been slaughtered by them. What’s more, is that they were to partake of this Passover meal girded about with their garments and sandals, as well as with their staff in hand, thus signifying a certain preparedness that would need to be manifested within their hearts and minds. The Passover meal was not to be partaken of and participated in haphazardly and casually, but was something that was to be taken seriously . The Passover meal was something which the living and eternal God had given unto Moses to instruct the children of Israel while they were still living in the land of Egypt. This meal and the instructions which were directly connected and associated to it was given while the children of Israel were still living as slaves in the land of Egypt and were still under the control of Pharaoh the king of Egypt. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely incredible truth that when the Passover meal was given unto the children of Israel and unto that first generation it was given unto them to prepare them for what was about to take place among them in their midst. The Passover meal given unto the children of Israel was given unto them to foster within their hearts and their minds a palpable and powerful expectation that something was about to take place—something which they had not experienced in previous times. This Passover meal was in and of itself a sign and symbol given unto the children of Israel that the LORD their God who had appeared unto Moses in the wilderness had not only heard their cry, but was also preparing to deliver them out of the land of Egypt.

 

            What makes the feast of the Passover so incredibly unique and powerful is that it was given during the days of Moses while the children of Israel were still living as slaves in the land of Egypt, and it was celebrated by Jesus together with His disciples while men were living in a different type of bondage, slavery and oppression. The Passover meal that was celebrated during the days of Moses was celebrated during times of physical slavery present within the land of Egypt as the children of Israel had been enslaved under the oppressive rule of Pharaoh and his task masters for more than four-hundred years. The LORD, however, had appeared unto Moses on the backside of the desert at Horeb the mountain of God in a burning bush, and the LORD was preparing to deliver them out of that slavery, bondage and oppression. The Passover meal that was celebrated by Jesus and His disciples was essentially two-fold in its scope and its focus. If you take the time to read the four gospel narratives you will find that the Passover meal which Jesus celebrated with His disciples would indeed look back unto that first Passover meal which the children of Israel would celebrate while they were still living as slaves in the land of Egypt as the LORD was preparing to deliver them from that slavery, bondage and oppression. This Passover meal—while it would indeed look back to that first Passover meal which would be celebrated by the children of Israel as they were preparing to be delivered from their slavery, bondage and oppression—would also look forward to a new deliverance and freedom that would take place. It would be John the Baptist who would emphatically declare unto his followers and those who would hear and listen to his words concerning Jesus and His being the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. What’s more, is the Passover meal which Jesus celebrated with His disciples would also look forward to that time when it would be celebrated and partaken of anew within His Father’s house and kingdom.

 

            We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this absolutely incredible truth and reality, for it draws our attention to the incredible fact that the Passover meal which was celebrated by Jesus would indeed look back to that first Passover meal which the children of Israel celebrated while in the land of Egypt and not only remember how the death angel passed over the houses of all those whose houses were marked with the blood, but also how the children of Israel were delivered out of their slavery, bondage and oppression within the land of Egypt by a strong and outstretched arm of the living God. Moreover, this Passover meal would be celebrated as a people who were undoubtedly living during days of Roman occupation, Roman oppression and Roman tyranny were enslaved and held captive by something far more sinister. This is actually quite interesting when you take the time to think about it, for I can’t help but wonder if the Passover meal was celebrated during those seventy years while the children of Israel were living as captives and exiles in the land of the Chaldeans. It would be truly something remarkable to think about and consider the children of Israel being given the Passover ordinance and meal while living as slaves in the land of Egypt, and continuing to celebrate it—even when they were living as captives and exiles within the land of the Chaldeans. Imagine the children of Israel marked by different generations and separated by countless centuries celebrating the Passover meal as the LORD was preparing to deliver them out of both. Scripture is absolutely wonderful in that it not only points to and reveals the LORD delivering the children of Israel out of their slavery, bondage and oppression within the land of Egypt, but the LORD would also deliver them out of their captivity and exile in the land of the Chaldeans. Although the children of Israel would not be captives and exiles nearly as long as their ancestors were slaves in the land of Egypt, there would still need to be a great and powerful deliverance that would take place as the LORD their God would deliver them out of the land of their captivity and exile and would bring them back into the land He had sworn on oath and given unto their ancestors.

 

            Oh there is something truly wonderful and powerful about this Passover meal when Jesus celebrated it with His disciples, for there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if it not only looked back to the land of Egypt, but also looked back on the land of the Chaldeans. I can’t help but wonder if when Jesus celebrated this Passover meal together with His disciples He did not think and look back to when the children of Israel and their ancestors were still slaves in the land of Egypt, and how this ordinance and meal was first given unto them as a sign and symbol unto them—not only for that generation and for that night, but for future generations. It would be that same night in which the children of Israel would partake of the Passover meal that the death angel would pass through the land of Egypt and strike down all the firstborn within the land. As a direct result of this Pharaoh would rise up during the middle of the night and command and instruct Moses to take the children of Israel—the men, the women, the children, and all their cattle and possession and get themselves up out of the land of Egypt. This is something which must needs be considered when speaking about the Passover meal which Jesus celebrated together with His disciples, for undoubtedly Jesus looked back to when the Passover meal was first given, and how it was given unto a people who were still living as slaves under the bondage and oppression of Pharaoh and his taskmasters. What’s more, is that I can’t help but wonder if when Jesus celebrated this Passover meal He didn’t think back to those seventy ears when the children of Israel were living as captives and exiles in the land of the Chaldeans, and how the prophet Jeremiah prophesied how the LORD had ordained and appointed seventy years for their captivity and exile before He would rise from His place and deliver them. Once those seventy years had been completed the living and eternal God would indeed visit His people and bring them out of their captivity and exile.

 

            This is truly something astonishing and remarkable when you take the time to consider it, for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful truth that when Jesus celebrated the Passover meal together with His disciples He was indeed looking back unto their slavery, their bondage and their oppression within the land of Egypt. When and as Jesus celebrated the Passover meal together with His disciples He was both looking back, as well as looking forward and looking ahead. Oh this takes on an entirely different meaning when you think about and consider how we ourselves participate in the Passover meal in a similar—albeit somewhat different manner. The people of Israel during that first generation when the Passover meal and ordinance was given were looking ahead and looking forward to a a deliverance that would take place as the LORD would deliver them out of their slavery, out of their bondage and out of their oppression. Jesus—when He celebrated the Passover meal together with His disciples was not only looking back unto the deliverance of the children of Israel from their slavery, bondage and oppression in the land of Egypt, but He was also looking ahead to a new deliverance. The Passover meal which Jesus celebrated together with His disciples would indeed look ahead and look forward to a new deliverance and freedom that would take place—one that was not physical in nature, and one that did not touch a physical slavery underneath the oppressive rule of a specific people. The Passover meal which Jesus celebrated with His disciples would indeed look forward to the deliverance of mankind from the slavery, the bondage and the oppression of sin—and not only deliverance from the slavery and bondage of sin, but also the slavery, the bondage and the oppression of the devil. In fact, the author of Hebrews and the apostle John both wrote concerning Jesus and how He was manifested to destroy him who had the power of death—that is, the devil—and to deliver and set the people free.

 

           

With all of this being said we must needs recognize and understand that when Jesus celebrated the Passover meal together with His disciples He was indeed looking back at a deliverance which would take place in the physical and natural sense as the LORD would deliver the children of Israel out of their slavery, bondage and oppression within the land of Egypt, but He would also look forward and look ahead to a new deliverance that would take place. The Passover meal which Jesus celebrated together with His disciples would look forward to a deliverance in which men would and could be delivered from the slavery, bondage and oppression of sin and death within their hearts, within their minds, and within their soul. This Passover meal which was celebrated between Jesus and His disciples would both look back to the deliverance of the children of Israel from a physical and natural slavery, as well as look ahead to the deliverance of men from a spiritual slavery unto death and sin. Oh we must needs recognize and understand this, for it gives an entirely new meaning unto the Passover meal which we read of in the four gospel narratives written by the gospel authors. What’s more, is that we must needs realize that in addition to this the Passover meal which was celebrated by Jesus and His disciples would also look ahead even further to that time when Jesus would celebrate the Passover meal anew with them in His Father’s house and His Father’s kingdom. How absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that the Passover meal which Jesus would partake of together with His disciples would indeed look back to a former and previous slavery, but it would also look ahead to present slavery, as well as a future habitation and dwelling place. This Passover meal not only anticipated deliverance from sin and death, but it also looked ahead and anticipated the Father’s house and the Father’s kingdom—a reality which is absolutely remarkable and astonishing when you take the time to think about it.

 

Although there would be absolutely no mention in any of the four gospels concerning the slavery, the bondage and oppression within the land of Egypt and the LORD delivering the children of Israel out of that slavery, we must nonetheless recognize and understand that it would have been understood by Jesus and His disciples. There is not a doubt in my mind that both Jesus and the disciples would have remembered that first Passover meal which was celebrated by Moses, by Aaron, by Miriam, and by the children of Israel on the night when the death angel struck within the land of Egypt, and when Pharaoh ordered and commanded the children of Israel to depart from the land of Egypt. It must be recognized and understood that Jesus and His disciples would have undoubtedly thought back to that first Passover and remembered how the LORD God not only delivered the firstborn from the death, the devastation and destruction of the death angel, but also delivered the children of Israel themselves out of the slavery, bondage and oppression of the land of Egypt. In all reality, the LORD God did more on this particular night than simply deliver the children of Israel from their slavery, bondage and oppression within the land of Egypt, for He also delivered their firstborn children from the clutches of the death angel who would pass through the land of Egypt. Oh how absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider how on this particular night the LORD not only delivered from death, but He also delivered from slavery, from bondage and oppression. We must needs recognize and understand, for this first Passover would not only be celebrated as the LORD would deliver the firstborn children from among the people of Israel out of the hand of the death angel which passed through the land, but also as the LORD would deliver the children of Israel out of their slavery. DELIVERANCE FROM DEATH, DELIVERANCE FROM SLAVERY! What a truly wonderful and powerful thought it is when considering how on this particular night—not only would there be deliverance from death as the death angel passed through the land of Egypt, but there would also be deliverance from slavery.

 

Pause for a moment and think about this absolutely incredible truth, for on this one single night the living and eternal God would deliver His children and His people in two different ways and from two different things that would have destroyed them. On the one hand the LORD delivered the firstborn children among the people of Israel from being consumed by the death angel which passed through the land of Egypt, but also the people themselves would be delivered from the slavery, bondage and oppression of the land of Egypt. DELIVERED FROM DEATH, DELIVERED FROM SLAVERY! DELIVERED FROM DEATH, DELIVERED FROM BONDAGE! DELIVERED FROM DEATH, DELIVERED FROM OPPRESSION! This Passover meal which was celebrated in this first generation would indeed and would in fact be celebrated as the LORD would deliver the firstborn children among the people of Israel, as the angel would Passover those houses which had the blood upon the doorposts. What’s more, is that it would be this first deliverance that would essentially pave the way for the second deliverance—the actual deliverance from the slavery, the bondage and oppression within the land of Egypt. If you take the time to think about this you will quickly uncover and discover that the children of Israel experienced an initial deliverance on this night in which they celebrated the Passover, and it would be this initial deliverance that would essentially be the precursor to an even greater deliverance that would take place. Oh we must needs recognize and understand that the children of Israel would experience deliverance on two different and two distinct fronts on this particular night, as they would experience deliverance from death and sorrow, as well as from slavery and oppression. DELIVERANCE FROM DEATH AND SORROW, DELIVERANCE FROM SLAVERY AND OPPRESSION.

 

We have a great need to recognize and pay close and careful attention to what took place in the land of Egypt, for it is directly linked and connected to the Passover meal which Jesus would celebrate with His disciples. What’s more, is that not only would it be linked and connected to the Passover meal which Jesus would celebrate together with His disciples, but it would also be celebrated as the LORD was going to do the very same thing again. Just as the LORD delivered the children from death and sorrow as the death angel passed through the land of Egypt, and just as the LORD would deliver the people of Israel from the slavery, bondage and oppression of the land of Egypt, so also would the LORD deliver people once more from death, and would once more deliver the people from the slavery, bondage and oppression of something far more sinister and far more dangerous. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words found in the gospel narratives in the New Testament it is that when Jesus and His disciples celebrated the Passover meal they were indeed and were in fact anticipating and looking for a new and living deliverance—deliverance that would take place on two distinct fronts. If we are truly going to understand the Passover meal which Jesus and His disciples celebrated we must needs recognize and understand that even at that time the same two principles which were present in the land of Egypt were also present among them. It would be during those days and at that time when the LORD was going to once more deliver from slavery and bondage, however, the deliverance that would take place during this time would be entirely and altogether different. The LORD would indeed and would in fact deliver the children of Israel from death in the land of Egypt, and the LORD would indeed deliver the children of Israel from the slavery, bondage and oppression within the land of Egypt, and during the days of Jesus the LORD was once more going to deliver from slavery and from death.

 

When we read the words found within these passages of Scripture and how Jesus celebrated the Passover meal together with His disciples—and not only how He celebrated the Passover meal with His disciples, but also how He eagerly and earnestly desired to partake of it together with them—we must needs understand and recognize that there was this anticipation and expectation within the heart and soul of Jesus. On this particular night we find Jesus celebrating and partaking of the Passover meal together with His disciples, and how He undoubtedly knew that He was about to suffer many things at the hands of the religious elite, as well as at the hands of sinners. Jesus knew that He would be betrayed by one of His own, and that He would walk through tremendous suffering as He would suffer first at the hands of religion, and then at the hands of sinners. Jesus knew that He would indeed be betrayed, and would indeed suffer, and would indeed be killed and crucified, however, Jesus also knew and understood that there would be a great deliverance that would take place in the midst of all that transpired. Jesus knew that He would indeed suffer and be crucified, however, He knew and understood that there would be a great deliverance that would indeed and would in fact take place during those days through His death. Although Jesus would indeed suffer in the flesh and be crucified, He knew and understood that through His death there would a great deliverance—not only a deliverance from death, but also a deliverance from sin. In the land of Egypt there would be the first and initial deliverance from death and the death angel that would pass through the land as the LORD would smite and strike down the firstborn of all those which lived and dwelt in the land of Egypt who did not have the blood upon their doorposts. With this being said, however, there would also be a second deliverance that would take place—a deliverance from slavery, bondage and oppression. The deliverance which was manifested on that fateful and decisive night in the land of Egypt would indeed and would in fact be two-fold as the LORD would not only deliver from death, but from slavery.

 

On the night in which Jesus celebrated the Passover meal together with His disciples we again and once more find the LORD preparing to deliver men once more—and not only delivering men once more, but delivering them from the same two oppressors. The LORD delivered the children of Israel from death and from slavery in the land of Egypt, and by and through the death of Jesus the LORD would deliver men from death and from sin. This is something we cannot and must not miss out on and misunderstand, for to do so would be to miss out on that which took place between Jesus and His disciples on the night in which He would be betrayed, on the night in which He would suffer, and as He was preparing to be offered up as a sacrificial Lamb for the sins of the world. When Jesus celebrated the Passover meal together with His disciples He was indeed looking forward and looking ahead to a deliverance that would take place—a deliverance that would take place from death, as well as a deliverance that would take place from sin. In all reality, these two realities are heavily discussed and written about by the apostle Paul in his epistles—particularly and especially in the epistles which were written unto the Galatians and the Romans. You cannot read the epistles written unto these saints and not encounter and come face to face with the tremendous truth that the apostle Paul recognized and understood that the living and eternal God not only delivered men from death, but He also delivered them from sin. This is something that is indeed spoken of and mentioned in the fifth and sixth chapters of the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Rome. With that in mind, I invite you to consider the words written and recorded within these two chapters before I present you with the words the same apostle wrote in the eleventh chapter of the first epistle written unto the Corinthian saints:

 

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not  only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:1-11).

 

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.  Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by on; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:12-21).

 

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:1-14).

 

The words which we find here within these two passages present us with a strong and powerful picture of how through the Lord Jesus Christ and through His death we are not only delivered from death, but we are also delivered from sin. In fact, it would be in this same New Testament epistle the apostle Paul would write how all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and how the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. There is absolutely no denying the fact that through the suffering and death of Jesus—not only were we delivered from death, but we were also delivered from sin. In the Old Testament book of Exodus we find and discover the children of Israel being delivered from death while the death angel moved within and throughout the land of Egypt, and we also find how it would be because the death angel moved throughout the land and caused the death of countless firstborn throughout the land of Egypt—so much so that there was not a house in which there wasn’t at least one dead—Pharaoh would rise from his place and order and demand the children of Israel depart from the land of Egypt. The land of Egypt had already been devastated by nine distinct plagues and judgments which were brought against them by the living and eternal God, and now the tenth and final plague and judgment was death. What’s more, is that there would essentially be two distinct deaths which would take place in the land of Egypt which would lead to the deliverance and freedom of the children of Israel. On the one hand there would be the death of the firstborn throughout the land of Egypt, while on the other hand there would be the death of the lambs which the children of Israel would slaughter and kill that they might not only access the blood, but might also partake of that lamb roasted with herbs and eaten with unleavened bread. How truly astonishing and remarkable it is to think about and consider this, for on this particular night the children of Israel would be delivered because of the blood, as well as because of death.

 

DELIVERED BECAUSE OF THE BLOOD, DELIVERED BECAUSE OF DEATH! We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is, for when you think about and consider this fateful and decisive night you will find how the children of Israel were indeed delivered because of and by blood being shed, as well as being delivered because of and by death taking place in the lamb. First would come the initial death of the lambs which each house would slaughter that they might apply the blood to the doorposts of their houses and partake of the lamb together with the unleavened bread, and second would come the death of the firstborn throughout the land of Egypt. Oh this is something which must needs be considered for not only would the children of Israel be delivered from death, but they would also be delivered through and because of death. The children of Israel would be delivered from death because of the blood which was upon the doorposts of their houses, and they would be delivered because of death as the firstborn throughout the land of Egypt would be struck down and killed on this night. DELIVERED FROM DEATH, DELIVERED THROUGH DEATH! How absolutely beautiful and wonderful this truly is, for it would be the initial death that would grant access to the blood and provide the food for which the children of Israel would eat and partake of. It would be the second death that would actually result in their being delivered from the slavery, bondage and oppression within the land of Egypt. It would be the first death—the death of the lamb—that would deliver them from death itself, while it would be the second death—the death of the firstborn—that would deliver them from the slavery and bondage itself.

 

            It is absolutely incredible to think about and consider the fact that when you read the narrative found in the Old Testament book of Exodus you will find the children of Israel being delivered from death, as well as delivered through death. We must needs recognize and pay close attention to this, for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that death would play an incredible role in the deliverance of the children of Israel. What’s more, is that not only would death play an important role, but so also would the shedding of blood. Were it not for the death of the lamb and were it not for the shedding of the blood the children of Israel would have had no protection from the death angel when he passed through the land of Egypt. It was only because of the death of the lamb, the shedding of the blood, and the application of the blood that the children of Israel were able to experience the actual passing over of the death angel as he moved throughout the land of Egypt. With that being said we must needs recognize and understand that the children of Israel would indeed and would in fact be delivered from death on this particular night as the firstborn inside all those houses marked with the blood would be spared and passed over. Not only this, but it would actually take the death of the firstborn, and it would take death in the land of Egypt to bring about the deliverance of the people from their slavery, bondage and oppression. It would take the death of a lamb to protect the firstborn among the children of Israel from death brought into the land by the death angel, and it would be the death which that same angel came to bring that would ultimately result in their deliverance and freedom from the oppression within the land. Oh how absolutely powerful this truly is when you take the time to read and understand what took place within the land of Egypt. On the same night the Passover meal was partaken of and participated in death would take place throughout the land—on the one hand to provide blood on doorposts, and on the other hand to bring about the deliverance of the children of Israel from the slavery, bondage and oppression within the land. It is with this in mind I now invite you to turn and direct your attention to the words which are actually found in the Old Testament book of Exodus concerning the Passover meal and the instruction the LORD gave unto His servant Moses:

 

            “And the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether. Spake now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbour, and every woman of her neighbour, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold. And the LORD gave the people favour 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. And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of the Egypt: And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dob move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee: and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger. And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land” (Exodus 11:1-10).

 

            “And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: and if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto. His house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: and ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the vening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remainetn of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite 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. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread” (Exodus 12:1-20).

 

            “Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take youa. Lamb according to your families, and kill the Passover, and ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip iti n the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD’s Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head  and worshipped. And the children of Israel went away and did as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron” (Exodus 12:21-28).

 

            “And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that say on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. 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 there was not one dead. And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also. And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men. And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians” (Exodus 12:29-26).

 

            The more I think about and consider this particular truth the more I am brought face to face with the awesome truth that while the children of Israel were still in bondage and slavery within the land of Egypt the blood needed to be placed upon the sideposts and tops of the doors of every house of the people of Israel. It would be the sight of the blood that would cause the death angel to pass over their houses and leave the firstborn untouched. What makes this even more intriguing when you think about and consider it is when you consider how the children of Israel in future generations would continue to celebrate the Passover, and yet they would not do so having to apply the blood upon the doorposts of their houses. Oh they would continue to celebrate the Passover exactly as they had done in the land of Egypt partaking of the lamb with unleavened bread, and yet they would no longer have to take of the blood and place it upon the doorposts of their houses. Eventually, however, what would happen is instead of the blood of the lamb being placed upon the doorposts of houses it would be spilled out on the sides of the altar as the sacrifices and offerings would be presented upon it. The children of Israel would transition from applying the blood of the lamb to the doorposts of their houses to the blood of lambs, and goats, and bulls being shed and spilled on the sides of the altar in the court of the Tabernacle and Temple of the LORD as the priests offered the sacrifices upon the altar. This would continue throughout the generations throughout the history of the children of Israel—at least until the time of the captivity and exile. The prophetic book of Malachi seems to suggest that sacrifices and offerings were still being presented upon the altar, however, those offerings and sacrifices which were offered were of such a nature that was not acceptable in the sight and presence of the living God. In fact, it would be Malachi who would prophesy the LORD’s displeasure with the sacrifices and offerings they burnt upon the altar and even asked if there was not one who would shut the doors of the Temple that the altar might no longer be defiled and polluted.

 

            As I prepare to bring this writing to a close it’s worth noting that the children of Israel would continue to celebrate the Passover throughout the generations minus the blood being placed upon the doorposts of their houses. No longer would there be the threat and danger of the death angel, and the blood was no longer required to be upon their houses as a sign and seal before the death angel to pass over them. With this being said, however, the blood of bulls, goats, rams and lambs would still be shed in the court of the Tabernacle and Temple, as the sacrifices and offerings would continue to be made. What’s more, is that once a year at the time of atonement the high priest would take blood into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle it before and upon the Ark of the Covenant in the sight and presence of the LORD. It’s truly something worth thinking about how the blood would no longer be placed upon the doorposts of the houses of the children of Israel, and yet how it would be shed and spilled before the altar and poured out on the sides of the altar. The children of Israel would continue to bring their offerings and their sacrifices throughout the generations, and they would still celebrate the Passover as they did in the land of Egypt, and yet the blood would be shed and used in an entirely different way. This takes on an entirely different meaning when you consider the fact that when Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with His disciples—not only did He understand and recognize that the blood would no longer be applied to the doorposts of the houses of men and women, but He also understood that the blood of bulls and goats would no longer have to be shed, nor offerings be presented upon the altar. With the suffering and death of Jesus He would not only satisfy the shedding of blood, but He would also satisfy the need for sacrifice. What we find through the death of Jesus is not only the end and conclusion of presenting sacrifices and offerings upon the altar, but also the shedding of blood. Although the children of Israel would have continued to celebrate the Passover in future generations, they would no longer need to apply the blood to their houses to protect their firstborn from the death angel. The Passover would continue to be celebrated—even during the days and times of sacrifice and offering, and the blood would be shed in an entirely different way.

 

            In order to illustrate this point even further I feel compelled to leave you with the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the eleventh chapter of the first New Testament epistle which was written unto the Corinthian saints, as well as the words which were written and are recorded in the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews. It is what we find written within each of these epistles we are brought face to face with the awesome truth surrounding the observance of the Passover meal in our present generation through the practice of taking communion with the believers with whom we gather ourselves together with. What’s so incredible about communion and our celebration of the Passover is that not only do we look back at what the LORD did in the land of Egypt, but we also look at what Jesus did upon the cross. When we partake of the Lord’s table and communion we are indeed looking back to what the LORD did in the land of Egypt, we are looking back to what Jesus did on the cross through His suffering and death, and we are looking ahead to that time when we will drink of the fruit of the vine anew with Jesus the Christ in His kingdom. This is something that is truly wonderful when we think about it, for ever since the days of the early church the disciples and followers of Jesus have partaken of the Lord’s table—not only to look back at the deliverance from the slavery, bondage and oppression of Egypt, as well as deliverance of the firstborn from death; and not only looking back at deliverance from the slavery of sin and the bondage of death as written by the apostle Paul; but they also looked forward and ahead to that future time when they would partake of the Lord’s table together with Jesus in His Father’s house and in the kingdom of heaven. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the first epistle written unto the Corinthian saints, as well as the words which are found in the epistle written unto the Hebrews:

 

            “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be builty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a men examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body” (1 Corinthians 11:23-29).

 

            “…Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people. The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and boats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:6-14).

 

            “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:15-28).

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