By James Gray
The historical event of “the Passover” is one of the most remarkable types of the Bible. It is the typical picture of how God delivers us out of the bondage of sin. The center of this event is the Passover Lamb. Robert Ketchum makes an interesting point about the Passover Lamb, when he writes:
“While there were multiplied thousands of lambs slain during Old Testament days, we never read of “passover Lambs” – it is always the “Passover Lamb.” Israel was never ordered to kill the “passover lambs.” God did not say, “kill them”; he said “kill it.” Each and every one of those lambs pointed to the one and only Lamb of God, Who was to be the embodiment of all God’s redemptive truth and action.”
As we study this great event, let us note the following facts.
THE NECESSITY FOR THE SHEDDING OF BLOOD
The necessity is found in the judgment of God upon sin. In Exodus 11:4 & 5, God declared the judgment: ALL the firstborn in the land would die. There was no exception. The judgment was universal. The only escape was the shed blood of the lamb (Ex. 12:13). That was the only thing that could spare Israel’s firstborn – no blood, no “passing over.” The principle of God is always the same: “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22). If the blood was not shed, there would be no escape from the judgment of God.
This pictures the work of Christ, “our Passover.” The judgment of God is upon us, for the wages of sin is always the same: death (Rom. 6:23). He is the Lamb of God that was sent forth into the world to taste death for each of us, so the judgment of God against our sin will “Pass over” us.
THE NECESSITY OF PERSONAL APPLICATION
It was not enough that the lamb be slain; it had to be applied to the door post. There was no safety in simply killing a lamb; it had to be appropriated. This truth is seen in the places the blood was found on that occasion.
- The blood was found in a spotless lamb. It ran through his veins. This pictures the incarnation of our Lord. He possessed the saving blood in His body. But, it was not enough; it had to be shed to be effective. While the blood was in the veins, salvation could not be accomplished. We have salvation through the death of Christ, not His earthly life.
- The blood in the basin (12:22). This indicates that the lamb had been slain. So also has Christ’s blood been shed. But note, although the blood had been shed, while in the basin it does NO good. If the blood had been kept in the basin, the firstborn of Israel would have died along with Pharoah’s firstborn. There is no salvation in the shed blood until it is applied. The incarnation and death of Christ provide only the means of salvation. Unless we appropriate by faith the means of salvation, God will not “pass over” us.
- Thus, the blood is seen as applied to the door post. The promise of God was not effective until the blood was applied to the door post. Only when the angel of death saw the blood applied would He “pass over” them. The same is true of us today; “…much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Rom. 5:9).
RESULTS OF THE BLOOD APPLIED
- It marked a new beginning (12:14). The day upon which the blood was shed and applied marked the beginning of Israel’s history as God’s people. The same is true of us. When, by faith, we personally appropriate the shed blood of Christ, we become a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), our past is gone, and all things become new. God gives us a new beginning, a new nature, that of His very own (2 Pet. 1:4). Now, bought by God and born of God, we go forth to live for God, no longer reckoned in the sin of the past, but in the holiness of the future.
- The lamb was to be eaten (12:8). After applying the blood, the Israelites were to eat the lamb. This was necessary to provide them strength for the journey. So the same lamb which provided their salvation by its blood, was now to provide strength for the journey.
Here again, the same is to be true of us. Christ, Who saved us by His blood, now enables us to walk, in His strength, the perilous journey of Christian living. He is our life: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). He is our strength: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:13).
CHRIST OUR PASSOVER IS SACRIFICED FOR US
(1 Corinthians 5:7)
Have we applied it? In Exodus 12 there were three steps to be taken in order to be saved.
(1) They had to believe the Word of God as to His provisions for their safety.
(2) They had to act in accordance with the provision.
(3) They had to believe that God would keep His Word and see to it that the blood applied would really do what He said it would.
Likewise, we need to:
(1) Believe God’s provision of the shed blood of God’s Lamb, Jesus Christ.
(2) Appropriate it by faith (Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 5:1).
(3) Rest in faith that God will keep His Word and will honor the blood of His Son and “Pass over” you.