Notes on the Exodus (111)

“Exposing the Exodus”

The way, the truth and the life!

A Lamb Without Blemish   (Chapter 12 Verses 1-12)

The context of this is God’s calling of Israel to be his son (Exodus 4:22; Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:15). Israel was his firstborn who bore God’s elect. That Egypt enslaved and oppressed God’s firstborn made them a house of sin and therefore the object of God’s wrath. This typifies our salvation, we are born into the land of death, wrath, and destruction. But God calls us out. The firstborn’s the strength and the future of the nation, therefore, the pronounced death of all the firstborn in Egypt signifies the death of the nation. This is why both the king and his people are keen to be rid of Israel, “the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, we be all dead men” (v33). They see this catastrophe as just the start, the end will be the death of the nation if they don’t get rid of Israel. But, this judgment included Israel (11:5). What makes the difference? Grace does. How are justice and mercy reconciled? By God dealing with sin (v5). This is the heart of the exodus, the deliverance of Israel, the lamb. Why is there mercy for Israel are they more righteous than Egypt, not at all. God cannot ignore sin in anyone, it matters not who they be. There are no exceptions (2Corinthians 5:21). It’s the sacrifice itself that makes the distinction between Israel and Egypt, it is not in themselves. In nature and practice both are the same, contrary to the character and law of God. The depravity of nature belongs to both, which God cannot ignore. So the firstborn in Israel must die also to satisfy justice, but in Christ. The Passover teaches us the way of salvation. There must be propitiation (v13). Of course, the Passover is but a type, the reality is Christ, God’s lamb (John 1:29; 1John 2:2). Israel’s reconciliation to God demands separation from Egypt. The sacrifice is eaten they are prepared for departure. It is a partaking of Christ and fellowship with him, they are now yoked to Christ. They are now done with Egypt. The bitter herbs signify their bondage and the repentance of. The unleavened bread signifies the purging of the old leaven, sin. All this is typical. Sin is a universal problem, it is common to Israel also. They too rejected the word of God (v5:21). They were the most idolatrous of all the nations (Joshua 24:14). They loved the gods of Egypt, they never let them go. You say how can that be! Well, look into your own heart. As one preacher has said, “the human heart is an idol factory.” So, “what then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin” (Romans 3:9). Is sovereign, electing grace alone that makes the difference (Romans 9:14-29). The lamb? God’s provision for his elect.

The word but is a small word, but. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:4-5). God’s people deserved the same judgment as Egypt, but grace found a way, atonement. This, of course, brings into focus the issues we would all rather forget. The day of judgment. The Pharaoh was patiently warned, he would not listen. There is a time when all unbelief will be judged, it has no excuse, all men know that God is (Romans 1:18ff). But there is not a sinner who can make satisfaction for his sins, or provide himself with a righteousness acceptable to God. He will only be satisfied with absolute perfection. That which God’s Lamb can provide for us, “but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1Peter 1:19). He who was without original and without actual sin. His perfection is our guarantee of acceptance with God. “who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself” (Hebrews 7:27). “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2Corinthians 5:21). Our Divine substitute. Through a God given repentance and faith in God’s Lamb and his finished work of atonement and resurrection, we are fully right with God and credited with his, Christ’s, righteousness. Hallelujah, what a Saviour!!

(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)
Sermon Audio

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