Exodus chapter 12 presented us with the first instance of the Passover.
As Christians, we take communion to look back and remember the death of Jesus
on our behalf. Through the yearly Passover,
Please read Exodus 12:1-14. 14 small little verses… can I be any easier
on you than that? (Um, what I obviously won’t mention, under any circumstances,
is that those 14 little verses are absolutely packed with truth and you could
spend ages thinking about them and what they all mean!) Now, in these verses
you have what God wanted
12:1-2 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in
The first thing we
see is something very interesting. God changed their calendar! And it has
remained changed to this very day. When the year 2000 came around, you no doubt
saw the celebrations that occurred right across the world (give or take a few
God’s Getting Personal!
12:3-4 ‘Tell the whole community of
The next point see is that God made the whole thing very personal. He
could have just had one lamb killed for the entire nation if He had so wished.
But He didn’t! He wanted every household in
12:5-6 ‘The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the fourteenth
day of the month, when all the people of the community of
Jesus is amazing! 33 years He lived on this earth. Faced the same temptations that we do… well, to be correct, He faced more temptations than we do. He also faced far more trials than we could ever cope with. Yet He was without sin! People tried to trap Him with their questions and yet, one answer from the Lord would have their mouths shut for the rest of day! They couldn’t trap Him, trick Him or tempt Him to sin. He was and is, the spotless Lamb of God without defect!
Now it was said
earlier that they were to take the lamb on the 10th of the month and
keep it until the fourteenth of that same month, where it was to be slain at
twilight. The Bible Knowledge commentary says that ‘twilight’ is between the
suns decline and sunset (). While I can’t go into it fully, others
have shown that Palm Sunday, the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey
(Matt 21:1-11) was in fact the 10th of Nisan – the very day when the
spotless lamb was to be chosen! In fulfilment of the Old Testament type, for
the next 4 days Jesus presented Himself to the people in
Exodus 12:7-10 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and unleavened bread. Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire—head, legs and inner parts. Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it.
cooking instruction wouldn’t you say? God didn’t want it boiled, but He is obviously
keen on roast lamb! There is a reason for this - Fire, in this sense, speaks of
God’s judgement (Mal 3:1-5, 4:1-3, Matt ). Just as the spotless lamb had to be cooked by fire
and anything that they didn’t eat was burnt up, so Jesus was fully judged for
our sin while on the cross. Other cooking instructions included always adding
bitter herbs and unleavened bread. The bitter herbs were to be a reminder of
the bitterness that accompanied their life down in
The Journey Begins…
Exodus ‘This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover.’
Having completed the recipe and cooking instructions, God now turns His attention to their attire. When they eat, it is to be with their sandals on and their staff in their hand. As I seem to have misplaced my staff recently, it might be useful to say that in today’s language it means eating the Passover with your tramping boots on and your beany on your head! The reason for this of course is that the Passover was going to be the means of Israel’s deliverance from the Egyptian empire; so they had to be ready, for the journey was about to begin! Like everything else in this passage, this has instruction for us. Believing in the death of Jesus Christ on your behalf is the beginning of an entire new journey, and an entire new walk. It’s the starting line, not the finishing line! It is the start of a new life that can be wonderful, yet difficult at the same time. God has a journey for each of us and He wants us to be ready to walk where He calls.
Where Is Your Hope? Where is Your Peace?
12:12-13 On that same night I will pass through
So judgement was
to come upon
Celebrate Good Times, Come On!
Exodus This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD—a lasting ordinance.
Finally we see that
God instructed the Israelites to make the Passover a lasting ordinance – for it
is a day worthy to be celebrated! Of course it is a celebration for God had
redeemed them from the
So, just to recap, these are some (not all) of the things God wanted emphasised when He gave the Passover and they are some of the things we should think about in our lives, and when we take communion. Firstly, we saw that it is a whole new beginning! Behold new things have come! It is worth pondering on your new position in Christ. Secondly, we saw that it is personal. We are all responsible for Him going to the cross and yet we are all loved individually so much that He would have gone to the cross for any one of us. Worth thinking about! We saw that He was totally without sin, yet was judged by the fire of God for our sin. We also noted that believing in the Lord Jesus is the beginning of a journey! So we should always be asking the Lord for His direction and obedient to respond to what we hear. We also looked at the grounds for peace and rest and saw that this came through the blood alone. This should be a cause of thanksgiving and worship and should make the cross of Jesus be for us what God intended it to be – a lasting celebration that we never get tired of!
 I have heard people say that they don’t think 2 Cor 5:17 is true for them. They look at their own lives (even as Christians) and say that they don’t feel like a New Creation and they certainly wouldn’t say that all the ‘old things have passed away.’ But look where it says these things have taken place… it says ‘in Christ’ you are a new creation. And ‘in Christ’ all things are new! This passage is not talking about your walk, and whether all your old bad habits have gone yet. It is talking about your position in Him. From God’s perspective all things are new and the old you is definitely gone! Believe it as God will never see you independent of Jesus Christ again. That is why the verse before this one says ‘therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh.’ That is to say, we don’t just look at someone according to outward things but we should look at other believers according to who they are ‘in Christ’. Chuck Missler recently said to me (well, there is a small chance he was on the radio at the time!) ‘The Christian life is not becoming what you’re not, but realizing what you already are in Christ.’ Yep!
 I remember well coming to this point. I was saved through reading the Bible while in my first year at University. I was fairly successful in what I was studying; successful in the sports teams I was playing in etc. But as I read the Bible (I hadn’t read it before) I realized that it all amounted to nothing! It didn’t mean a thing. I realized that you can gain the whole world but lose your soul. So I placed my faith in Jesus and had a whole new beginning!
 I was reminded recently of the awesome wisdom Jesus showed in being able to answer everybody’s questions. The Dalai Lama was recently in town. The press was greasing up to him calling him ‘Your holiness’ etc. They arranged a question and answer session with a group of university students. One student asked him – ‘If you had all the power in the world, how would you solve the current Israeli-Palestinian crisis.’ After a long pause, this so-called great spiritual leader said ‘arrrrgggghhh… I don’t know!’ And then smiled greatly as if to say ‘hopefully if I smile and look humble long enough they we will fail to see that I don’t know what to say!’ Jesus was God, manifest as a man. The rest are men, pretending to be God!
 A good book that has a few chapters concerning these points is Dave Hunt’s ‘How close are we?’ He shows exactly how Jesus was the total fulfilment of the Old Testament practise of the Passover, especially in regard to the last week of Jesus’ life leading up to the crucifixion.
 Leaven speaks of sin in general but can speak of particular sins. Jesus told us to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees (hypocrisy), the leaven of the Sadducees (unbelief), and the leaven of Herod (worldliness).
 Look at what Paul wrote to the Corinthians (who were particularly sinful) ‘Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump. Just as in fact you are unleavened.’ 1 Cor 5:7. They had all sorts of sinful acts going down so he tells them to get rid of the leaven (sin) that is amongst them. Fair enough too! But notice that he still tells them of their position by saying ‘just as in fact you are unleavened.’ – This is their position in Christ; unleavened (without sin) because of what Jesus has done!
 I remember travelling up north with a friend a while back. Well, it
was quite a few years actually. Both of us saw a narrow rocky road as we drove
past it. The name of the road was ‘
 I guess we have made it a very solemn time because of the warnings in 1 Cor 11:27-29 about not taking communion in an unworthy manner, and how we should examine ourselves etc. That is fair enough but we should read it in its context of what was happening when the Corinthian’s took the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper in the early church was not just a tiny piece of bread and the smallest sip from a cup you can imagine! They had what was called a ‘love feast’. It was a meal together where they ate, drank and remembered the Lord. With the Corinthians, the rich didn’t want to eat with the poor so they ate their food before the poor could get any, leaving the poor hungry! Others got drunk on the wine! In short, a mess! Hence, Paul wrote what he wrote. For me personally, when I take communion I do examine myself to see whether I have been real with God. But if you know yourself and the condition of your own heart, and have been honest with God about that, then the Lord’s Supper should be a time of thankfulness. It should be a celebration of what Jesus has now done for us!