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Exodus 12:1-28 - Homilies By H.t. Robjohns

The Passover.

"It is the Lord's Passover" ( Exodus 12:11 ). After Pharaoh's refusal to see Moses again, Jehovah comes more manifestly into the history, in the last judgment and deliverance of his people. Three great events crowd now into a single night, the Passover, the slaying of the first-born, the march out. Consider now the Passover.


1 . Israel must be separated from Egypt. This idea of separation runs through all Hebrew history from the time of Abraham to this hour. But to a large extent Israel had now become merged into the Egyptian race, catching the plagues of its idolatry and sins. Great separating acts necessary— e.g; as in some of the earlier visitations, in the tenth, in the passover, in the exodus, in the Red Sea.

2 . To this end Israel must be atoned afresh with God. The tenth plague was a miracle of pure judgment: for Israel to escape the penalty of its sin, an atonement necessary. That atonement was the passover.

II. ITS DESIGNATIONS . They were these: " A passover unto Jehovah : a sacrificial-slaying of pass-over unto Jehovah:" "The sacrifice of the feast of the passover," Exodus 12:11 , Exodus 12:27 ; Exodus 34:25 . Here we have four distinctive ideas.

1 . The Objective of the passover was God. "Unto Jehovah." Like prayer intended to benefit man, but its objective God. Herein lies the distinction between Scriptural and unscriptural ideas of atonement.

2 . The pass-over was a Sacrifice. [For the argument, see Kurtz, vol. 2:297, 298, Eng. ed.]

3 . The result was a Passing-over. The stained lintel a bridge over which Jehovah was to pass in dread judicial progress through the land.

4 . And a more remote result, the ushering in of a Festal Life for Israel. The festival of the passover foreshadowed the coming life of liberty.

III. THE LAMB . After expository development of the leading incidents, the following truths will emerge in relation to the antitype.

1 . The objective of the death of Christ is God. The Socinian formula runs: "The death of Christ was not to reconcile God to man, but man to God." The scriptural doctrine is that the atonement does both: but reconciles man to God, by first atoning God with man.

2 . Christ is "without blemish and without spot. "

3 . The atoning Christ was deliberately selected , and fore-appointed.

4 . Kept in view of the world , that His worth, beauty and destiny might suitably affect men; as the lamb went in and out, for four days, the homes of Israel.

5 . Slain .

6 . The death was Sacrificial.

7 . The result a Passing-over of judicial wrath.

8 . But the sacrifice must be appropriated. The blood on the posts of the door a sign of the appropriating faith of the people. Here may be brought out the idea, that the door was the only possible altar at that moment of history. The idea of sacrifice had come down from patriarchal times; but there was no law of sacrifice, for as yet there was no nation to which to give it, and therefore there was no temple, and so no altar. Every family must be atoned for apart; every house was then a temple, and every door an altar.

9 . Then, faith in Christ's atonement begins for us high Festival.

IV. THE MEAL . Show that the meal was much more than a mere supper to prepare for a journey. It had in it spiritual significance, in relation to the Christ.

1 . The Atoning Christ is the Food of the Soul ( John 6:51 ). This for the very simple reason, that the truth of the atonement is central, supreme, and comprehensive.

2 . An uncorrupted Christ. The lamb was roasted, i.e; was pure flesh acted on by fire; not sodden, diluted with water, or any way corrupted.

3 . A perfect Christ, no bone broken. So on the cross a Christ divided is not sufficient for the nourishment of the soul, e.g; Christ as an "elect spirit of the race;' or as one in whom the "God-consciousness ' received high development; or as example; Teacher, etc. Christ in his whole nature, character and office.

4 . The enjoyment of Christ and of his salvation will depend on the memory of the slavery of sin. "Bitter herbs."

5 . The christian life is to be characterised by simplicity and sincerity. Note that unleavened bread is simply pure meal, all water Parched out by the action of fire. For the significance see the Christian Rabbi, Paul, 1 Corinthians 1:6-8 .

6 . The end of soul nutriment is the Pilgrim-Life. Each with staff in hand that night.

7 . To the banquet, to the Exodus, to the Pilgrim-Life, all are welcome , on conditions, 12:43-45. In that case, first circumcision; then coming under the sprinkled blood, were needful. The analogy is clear. Note! at the moment, when the distinction between Israel and Egypt was most marked, then did the catholicity of true Judaism most appear. In Abraham all mankind was to be blessed.— R .

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