The Passover: Killing, Purging, and EatingMarch 19, 2014 at 11:07 am | Posted in Exodus | 3 Comments
Tags: commentary on Exodus, congregation, Exodus 12, feasting, first Passover, Lamb of God, leaven, nation of Israel, Sunday School lessons on Exodus
Exodus Chapter 12 features the institution of the Passover.
And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:
The reference to “the congregation of Israel” is significant because it is the official proclamation by God of the uniting together of the Jewish people into a nation.
Let’s look at some the central features of the “Passover.” This was not going to be something they were going to do once; it was given to them as something to be done every year from that point forward.
1. The killing of the Lamb
Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.
The deliverance of the children of Israel was going to come by death – for both believers and unbelievers. For the Egyptians it would be a judgment-death. For the Israelites it would be a substitutionary sacrificial death.
2. The purging of leaven
Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.
Leaven is a picture of sin. It starts small, but it permeates a whole loaf. It works in secret (although the results are ultimately exposed). It “puffs up,” which is a picture of pride. Christians today are not commanded to observe the Passover as a religious ritual, but certainly the principle of purging spiritual “leaven” – both sin and false teaching – from our homes must be an ongoing activity.
3. Eating a feast (my favorite!)
Could you imagine if Christianity required taking a vow of hunger? How would we get people to come to Sunday School without donuts!
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.
They were to eat the lamb, along with the unleavened bread and bitter herbs, so, while we are to take joy in feasting, we must remember the call not to burden ourselves down with physical pleasures – because we have work to do.