Study 2 A PICTURE OF GOD’S GREAT SALVATION
GREAT STATEMENTS OF THE GOSPEL
by Francis Dixon
(Key verse: Exodus 12:13)
Exodus chapter 12 has been called The Picture Book of Redemption, because it contains one of the clearest pictures of God’s way of salvation through His Blood. This passage speaks of Jesus and of His death (1 Corinthians 5:7 tells us so), but to understand its significance we must be aware of the background. For hundreds of years the Children of Israel had been in bondage, but God’s deliverer, Moses, was sent. He and his brother Aaron went to Pharaoh to declare God’s message (Exodus 5:1), but Pharaoh was stubborn and refused to listen, so the Lord sent many plagues upon him and the Egyptians. The object was to soften Pharaoh’s heart and to bring about the deliverance of His people. The first nine plagues were: blood, Exodus 7:19-20; frogs, 8:5-6; gnats, 8:16-17; flies, 8:20-24; death of livestock, 9:1-7; boils, 9:8-10; hail, 9:22-25; locusts, 10:12-15; and darkness (10:21-23). Even then Pharaoh would not humble himself, so God sent one more dreadful judgment – death of the firstborn, 11:4-6; but at the same time He made a gracious provision for the salvation of His own people (numbering over 2 million). Notice the following:-
1. THE DANGER THEY FACED
In Exodus 11:4-6 we read that this danger was judgment which would come in the form of death. What is the judgment which faces every sinner? It is the same judgment (Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23). We are all by nature under sentence of death – compare the solemn words of the Lord Jesus in John 8:24. Moses was instructed to warn Pharaoh of this final and terrible judgment that was about to fall, but Pharaoh foolishly continued to harden his heart, in spite of being aware that God always meant what He said. Many people today laugh when we speak of God’s warning of judgment, but He will keep His word (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). This is the danger that faces all who have not found refuge in God’s provision for their soul’s salvation. God did not want His own people to share in the judgment, so gave them a wonderful promise.
2. THE PROMISE THEY RECEIVED
Look at Exodus 12:13-20. God told His people that if they obeyed Him they would be absolutely safe when the death angel passed through the land. What were they to do? (1) Take a lamb (vs. 3-5) – “year-old males”, the emblem of meekness, purity and strength – no other animal would do. (2) The animals must be “without defect” (v.5). (3) The lamb was to be slaughtered (v.6). A live lamb could not save them – look up Hebrews 9:22. (4) The blood of the slaughtered lamb was to be put on the doorframes (v.7). (5) They were to eat the flesh of the lamb (v.8).
This was the wonderful provision God made for the salvation of the people. The little lamb typified “The Lamb” (John 1:29); the lamb had to be perfect – look up 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5. The lamb had to be slaughtered (Revelation 5:12; 13:8); its blood had to be appropriated and applied; and they had to feed on the lamb after its blood had been applied to the doorframes. Now read Exodus 12:13-14 carefully before noticing:-
3. THE OBEDIENCE THEY SHOWED
Notice Exodus 12:21-28, verse 28 being the important one, because we read that they did exactly what God had said – selected the right lamb, killed it, applied the blood, and then fed upon the lamb. Quite naturally a child in one of the homes might ask, ‘Daddy, why are you killing that little lamb, and why put the blood on the doorframe?’ – and his father would explain the significance. Notice the following: (1) It was their obedience to God’s method for their salvation that saved them (Hebrews 5:9). (2) It did not matter who they were so long as the blood was on the doorframe (Romans 3:25). (3) It was the blood alone that saved them, not the living lamb, but the dead lamb and the applied blood (Revelation 1:5). (4) It was not their feelings that saved them – it was the fact of God’s faithfulness and their obedience (1 John 1:7,9). Then notice:-
4. THE BENEFITS THEY ENJOYED
What was the full result of their obedience? (1) They began a new life. The Passover had marked a new beginning in the lives of God’s people – compare verse 2 with John 3:3. (2) They had the assurance that they would be saved. How? Simply by resting upon God’s promise – compare verses 12-13 with John 5:24. (3) They had complete deliverance from God’s judgment. In every Egyptian household there was at least one death, but no death entered where the blood had been placed – compare verses 29-30 with Ephesians 1:7. (4) They experienced emancipation from cruel bondage. The blood not only saved from the guilt of sin, but from its power – compare verses 31 and 37 with Romans 6:14. (5) They enjoyed daily sustenance for their journey. The lamb which was sacrificed to supply safety for God’s people also provided sustenance for them – compare vs. 8-10 with John 6:55. (6) They were more than conquerors. They not only escaped from fear of bondage, but God enabled them to take all the things they required – compare verses 31-36 with Romans 8:37. (7) They now looked to a better life and a better country. Compare verse 37 with 1 Peter 1:3-25.
One writer has described the account of the Passover Feast as ‘An early edition of the gospel of Christ’. Are you trusting the Saviour, and are you sheltering under His precious blood?