by Jeremy Fuller
The word “Passover” is a unique term. It found its way into the English language through William Tyndale’s 1526 English New Testament. Eighty-five years later, the translators of the King James Version chose the same word as Tyndale: “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” It is a literal translation of the Hebrew. And while learned scholars are still disputing its etymology and offering theories on its meaning, it seems clear to me that it just means what it says. The judgment of God passed over.
"Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." (1 Corinthians 5:7-8)
Twenty-six times in the book of Revelation, John calls the Lord, “the Lamb.” In contrast, He only uses His given name, “Jesus,” twelve times in the Apocalypse. It is very interesting to me that when the Holy Ghost comes to the end of the Inspired Book His preferred way of talking about Christ is the Passover “Lamb of God” who takes away the sins of the world.
When we hearken back to Exodus twelve where the Passover was instituted, we find that there are at least five distinctive characteristics of the Lamb as it relates to Christ.
Christ Was A Selected Lamb
Christ was also a carefully selected Lamb. “They shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house ... a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats" (Exodus 12:3,5).
In the sacred council chamber of Eternity past, the Holy Trinity met and signed a Covenant Promise with the Second Person of the Trinity. He was “foreordained” the Scripture declares “before the foundation of the world.” He “verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you," says 1 Peter 1:20.
Christ Was A Spotless Lamb
“Your lamb shall be without blemish..." (Exodus 12:5). "And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein. Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the LORD, nor make an offering by fire of them upon the altar unto the LORD. Either a bullock or a lamb that hath any-thing superfluous or lacking in his parts, that mayest thou offer for a freewill offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted" (Leviticus 22:21-23).
Thus, Christ Jesus was a Perfect Sacrifice – a Lamb without blemish! Both Saint Peter and the Author of Hebrews testify to this truth: “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 9:14) And 1 Peter 1:19 speaks of "the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."
Christ Was A Shared Lamb
"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” (Exodus 12:4).
Adam Clarke (n.d.) writes on this verse, “That is, if there be not persons enough in one family to eat a whole lamb, then two families must join together. The rabbis allow that there should be at least ten persons to one paschal lamb, and not more than twenty” (p. 350).
Everything God did in the Old Testament was designed to be an object lesson to lead us to Christ and to teach us about New Testament Christianity. God wanted the Israelites to eat all of the lamb. Nothing was to remain in the morning.
"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 remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire" (Exodus 12:8-10).
God wants us to have all of Christ. All or none. The lukewarm Church treats the faith like a buffet at a fancy restaurant. You just take the parts you like and leave the rest. God will not allow for any of that. We will have to eat all of the Lamb, or we shall not escape Egypt!
Christ Was A Strengthening Lamb
“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” (Exodus 12:11).
Israel was getting ready for the trip of a lifetime. They were leaving the land of sin and bondage. They were headed for the Promised Land. God knew they were going to need strength for their journey.
The God of Heaven has made ample provision for His Church in every age. He knows our strength is small. We must have divine aid.
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10).
“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16).
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
Christ Was A Sufficient Lamb
“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” (Exodus 12:13).
Has the Blood Token been applied to your heart?
The testimony of the Saints is – The Blood was Sufficient!
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Revelation 12:11).
Clarke, Adam. (n.d). Clark's Commentary. New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press.
This post is a transcript of Vice President Jeremy Fuller's Communion Sermon at the 2017 Annual Conference in Penn Creek, PA.
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