There are many mistakes people commonly make in life that are just plain inexcusable. There is no reason for these mistakes. These mistakes are made because we just do not think. In our thoughtlessness, we do not take the time to reflect on what we know. Then when consequences come crashing down upon us, we commonly are thoroughly disgusted with ourselves.

I would classify as one such mistake our failure to learn from other people's experiences. When for hundreds of years the same decisions and directions of life result in the similar sufferings and consequences, we need to learn from other people's mistakes. When for hundreds of years the same decisions and directions of life result in the same benefits and blessings, we need to learn from other people's wisdom.

When generations before us made the common bad choices of every generation and suffered consequences, we need to learn from their bad choices. When generations before us made the uncommon good choices facing each generation and received blessings, we need to learn from their wisdom.

This evening I want you to focus on a second parallel between Exodus and Jesus.

  1. I want us to begin with the tenth plague God brought upon Egypt which resulted in Israel's release from slavery.
    1. I call your attention to Exodus 12. Please read with me verses 1-14.
      Now the Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, 'On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers' households, a lamb for each household. Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb. Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails. And you shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire. Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste--it is the Lord's Passover. For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments--I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; 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. Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.
    2. God told Moses and Aaron how He wanted Israel to observe the Passover when it occurred.
      1. This is a brand new observance, and brand new feast, and it was unlike anything that had ever occurred before in the history of these people.
      2. To say it was different I think is an understatement!
      3. To observe this occasion would take a lot of faith because some of the requirements were quite different.
        1. Every family was to acquire a lamb or kid (it could be either a sheep or goat) for this occasion--every family would participate in this event. (If a family was too small to eat a lamb or kid, they were to combine with another family.)
        2. The lamb or kid was to be a year old and without any defect.
        3. On the afternoon of the 14th day of the month they all were to slaughter their lamb or kid at twilight.
        4. Part of the blood was to be taken and smeared on the door posts and lintel of the houses in which people would eat.
        5. The lamb or kid was to be roasted in its entirety, not boiled, and eaten with bitter vegetables and unleavened bread, and the leftovers were to be burned before morning.
        6. As they ate, they were to be fully clothed (including sandals on their feet and staff in their hand), and they were to eat quickly.
        7. That evening I (God, not a "death angel") will pass over Egypt killing every firstborn male in both families and animals.
          1. I, the Lord, will execute judgment against the gods of Egypt.
          2. I will see the blood you placed on your doors and pass over you--none of you will die.
        8. This memorial was to be a perpetual ordinance in Israel that in future generations would be celebrated as a feast to God.
    3. Now read with me Exodus 12:29-36.
      Now it came about at midnight that the Lord struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of cattle. Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no home where there was not someone dead. Then he called for Moses and Aaron at night and said, "Rise up, get out from among my people, both you and the sons of Israel; and go, worship the Lord, as you have said. Take both your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and go, and bless me also." The Egyptians urged the people, to send them out of the land in haste, for they said, "We will all be dead." So the people took their dough before it was leavened, with their kneading bowls bound up in the clothes on their shoulders. Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, for they had requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.
      1. About midnight God caused all the firstborn Egyptians (from the king's family to the criminal's family) and all the first born livestock to die.
        1. There was massive death in Egypt.
        2. There was massive mourning and grief in Egypt.
        3. The sound of mourning could be heard everywhere.
        4. Someone was dead in every home.
      2. The king called Moses and Aaron and ordered all Israel out of the country.
        1. Every Egyptian was so afraid that they hurried them on their way.
        2. Earlier they had given the Israelites gifts of whatever was requested--gold, silver, clothing.
      3. Can you imagine the enormous inconvenience of leaving in the middle of the night without vehicles and electrical power? I know they were guided by God's fiery cloud which provided them light, but I doubt that it was an easy, simple matter.

  2. There are many obvious parallels we could consider.
    1. We could think about parallels between Passover and the Lord's supper.
      1. Both involved a sacrifice of flesh and of blood.
      2. Both were to be a feast.
      3. Both were to be a continual memorial.
      4. Both involved death.
      5. Both provided the seemingly impossible opportunity for a new existence.
    2. We could think about the parallels between participation.
      1. Passover was to involve directly all the people of Israel
      2. The Lord's Supper is to involve directly the entire Christian family.
    3. We could think about the parallels between each being a beginning.
      1. The first Passover marked the beginning promise of the nation of Israel.
      2. The first Lord's Supper marked the beginning promise of Christianity.
      3. Each beginning was a fulfillment of God's purpose and intent--neither was an accident!

  3. As interesting as all those parallels are, I choose for our focus another reality illustrated by both.
    1. The first fundamental parallel is this: deliverance is always from God.
      1. The people of Israel were slaves in Egypt, and they of themselves were powerless to change things.
      2. We were slaves to sin, and we of ourselves were powerless to change things.
      3. Were it not for God's actions, we both would have remained slaves.
      4. Only God could end the slavery.
    2. The second fundamental parallel is this: the price of deliverance always includes blood.
      1. For God to pass over an Israelite family, there had to be blood on the door posts and lintel--that blood was essential if God was to pass over.
      2. For God to justify us, to forgive us of our sins, Jesus' blood must be on our hearts.

Paul wrote to the Ephesian Christians in Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Evening Sermon, 5 October 2003
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