NR3-31, TAB-07, XAS-11
We are in a journey toward what I call A Strategic Grasp of the Bible. The first lesson was Seven reasons why I believe God’s Word!
Next we found that Jesus gives a seven-mile Bible study to those on the road to Emmaus. Note what He said THEY (the entire Old Testament) SPEAK (every book, every chapter, even every detail) OF ME (the Bible is Christ centered)!
Luke 24:25-27 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
In the thirty-nine Old Testament books, Christ is in the shadows, seen in analogies and in pictures. He is in types and rituals. He is prophesied and anticipated. The twenty-seven New Testament books complete the Old, revealing Christ in person, in truth and reality, in the present and acknowledged.
This led us to: CHRIST IN GENESIS
Following are but a few of the references to Christ in Genesis.
- THE CREATIVE WORD—Gen. 1:3; John 1:1–5; 2 Cor. 4:3–7;
- THE LAST ADAM—Rom. 5; 1 Cor. 15:45;
- THE SEED OF THE WOMAN—Gen. 3:15; Gal. 3:19; 4:4;
- THE COVERINGS OF ADAM & EVE – Genesis 3;
- THE ARK OF NOAH AND THE FLOOD—Gen. 6–10; 1 Peter 3:18–22;
- THE PRIEST LIKE MELCHIZEDEK—Gen. 14; Heb. 7–10;
- ISAAC, THE CHILD OF PROMISE—Gen. 17; Gal. 4:21–31 (Isaac pictures Christ in his miraculous birth, his willingness to die, his “resurrection” [Heb. 11:19], and his taking of a bride. Of course, Jesus actually died and arose from the dead. In Isaac, these events were only symbolic.)
- THE OFFERING LIKE ISAAC AND THE LAMB—Gen. 22:7–8; John 1:29;
- LIKE JACOB’S LADDER—Gen. 28:12ff; John 1:51;
- LIKE JOSEPH—Gen. 37–50 (Rejected by His brothers; beloved of the Father; made to suffer unjustly; exalted to reign. Joseph’s brothers did not recognize him the first time they saw him, but they did recognize him the second time. So with Israel is their recognition of their Messiah.)
CHRIST IN EXODUS:
According to Luke 24:27, 44–45 Christ is found in “all the Scriptures.” Exodus 33:17 He is the One greater than the deliverer, Moses – He is Christ in ALL the Scriptures! In Exodus we find Christ:
- The Voice in the Burning Bush (3.1-6)
- The Passover Lamb of God (12.1-28)
- The Unleavened Bread (13.3-10)
- The Rock/Pillar of Cloud and Fire leading them (13.21-22)
- The Manna from Heaven (16.1-36)
- The Source of Living Water (17.1-7)
- The Tabernacle (25-40)
We can see Pictures of Christ in every section of Exodus.
Pictures of Christ: The Burning Bush (3:1-6)
The Burning Bush has some very interesting symbolism. Fire is always symbolic of judgment (in the Scripture); brass was always used in the Tabernacle for vessels which needed to hold fire, so brass speaks of fire and thus judgment. (Num 21:5-20 and the brazen serpent). Heb 12:29 “our God is a consuming fire”; Heb 1:13 notes that He cannot even look upon evil.
So with fire speaking of judgment, what is being judged here? The bush. The Hebrew for bush is hn,s] (seneh), which actually comes from the word “to prick” and it thus means a bramble or thorn bush (sometimes called an acacia bush); the thorn bush of the desert.
The symbol for sin is a thorn; see Gen 3:18. When we see Christ crucified, we find the Roman soldiers made a crown of thorns and placed it upon Christ’s head. Christ was made sin for us (Gal 3:13), He bore our sins on His brow.
Here with the burning bush, we have sin being judged by God’s consuming fire! The thorn bush is not consumed; sin in the Hands of the Living God, not being destroyed, is a model of mercy. Do not get Grace and Mercy confused. Grace is getting something that you don’t deserve. Mercy is not getting that which we do deserve.
The seven “I AM’S” in John’s record of Christ’s life and ministry.
- I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE (6:35)
- I AM THE LIGHT OF WORLD (8:12)
- I AM THE DOOR OF SHEEP (10: 7,9)
- I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD (10:11)
- I AM THE RESURRECTION AND LIFE (11:25)
- I AM THE WAY, TRUTH & LIFE (14:6)
- I AM THE TRUE VINE (15:1)
Pictures of Christ: The Passover (12:1-28)
We speak often of the seven feasts of Moses, the Levitical feasts, this is not a Levitical feast. Rabbinical feasts were slaughtered by the High Priest, this is slaughtered for every household, by the head of the household. It is very different than the other feasts. It is also partaken, eaten personally.
Passover pictures SALVATION in Christ!
The 10th plague is a picture of dying in one’s sin:
- It was UNSPEAKABLE – to even imagine a supernatural messenger of doom was to hunt and kill the first born, was beyond words. That anyone could pick out the first born of man and livestock in the unlit blackness of an Egyptian night, is imperceivable. And to know it was tonight, was beyond words to express.
- It was UNAVOIDABLE – there was no place he would not visit. Each family would be noticed and examined from poorest to the richest. From the huts of farming peasants to the ivory halls of palaces, all would see the dark shadow of the Death Angel.
- It was UNSTOPPABLE – there was no power on earth then or now that could have stopped that stalking death. Nothing to deflect his sword of death.
- It was UNEXPECTED – life was moving along as expected. Business as usual. Yes, that old fanatic was still crying judgment. But, we live in a real world, not some God we can’t see who can judge us. Remember, the god’s of Egypt were put to bed each night in their temples by the priest. Awakened each day, fed, clothed and put on display…Sounds just like Hell and the wrath of God facing unrepentant sinners today. Remember that Jesus says!
THERE WAS A FULL SALVATION TO SEEK:
- God’s offer was Salvation – He gave the ones who would listen the only solution to avert the disaster of the Death Angel’s sword.
- God’s plan was Substitution – He detailed a simple act of taking an innocent, spotless lamb to die in the place of the family members.
- God’s method was the Sprinkling of Blood – in the dark, a sprinkle of blood on the door posts was all it took to find protection.
- God’s promise was Sufficient – it included deliverance from death, provision of all needs for life, and the hope of a land of promise flowing with milk and honey. All this with a personal guide to assure safe arrival!
So what does the Lord want us to remember tonight? THE PASSOVER. And what does that teach us? About our REDEMPTION? THERE IS A FINAL, DARK PLAGUE TO FEAR. It is UNSPEAKABLE, UNAVOIDABLE, UNSTOPPABLE, and UNEXPECTED. Sounds just like Hell and the wrath of God facing unrepentant sinners today. Remember that Jesus says!
THERE IS A FULL SALVATION TO SEEK: God’s offer was Salvation; God’s plan was Substitution; God’s method was the Sprinkling of Blood; and God’s promise was Sufficient. Sounds like simply receiving the gift of God in Christ! So Exodus 12 gives us the thrilling story of the Passover, the clearest Old Testament picture of our individual salvation through faith in the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. In this chapter is the basis for calling Christ the Lamb of God, Christ our Passover, and the many tender references to His crucifixion as the death of our own Passover Lamb. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us (I Corinthians 5:7. God said that the first-born in all Egypt should die. It would have fallen on the Hebrews, too, had they not killed the paschal lamb and been protected by its blood of redemption (Exodus 12:12,13). The message of the Passover is found in Exodus 12:7 & 13.
- SPECIFIC: Only those who obeyed the Lord’s specific instructions would be spared.
- SACRIFICIAL: Put the BLOOD of an innocent, spotless lamb that was poured out, caught in a bowl and applied.
- SUBSTITUTIONARY: Paint it on the door posts as the reminder that a lamb was identifies with that family and it was slain. This was true of all the homes that wish to be spared the horrors of God’s wrath.
- SUFFICIENT: All who hid behind the shadow of that bloody sacrifice were protected from God’s wrath. The bloody cross of Calvary casts a narrow shadow in today’s sinful world. All who step by faith into that place of refuge are eternally saved from God’s wrath upon sin. And, they can begin to enjoy His abundant life forever.
Pictures of Christ: The Unleavened Bread (13:3-10)
The heavenly Father decreed that any Jew eating leavened bread (made with yeast) during this period should be cut off from the people. Why was His judgment so strong? Because in the Bible, Old Testament and New Testament, leaven is a metaphor for sin. Leaven represents the pride and arrogance that lead men to feel they have no need of God.
- The Bible says, “God resists the proud. ..” James 4:6 NKJV) and “These six things the LORD hates. ..a proud look” (Prov. 6:16-17 NKJV).
- Pride was Nebuchadnezzar surveying his kingdom and saying, “look what I’ve done.” The result of pride was Nebuchadnezzar on his hands and knees eating grass in a cow pasture.
- Pride is an acid that turns the finest fruit bitter. Pride is a shallow and superficial weed that grows in all soils, without need of water or care. It consumes and destroys every living thing it overshadows. Pride is a swelling of the heart filled with ego and self-importance. Pride raises you above others until you look down on them. Pride is the basis of racism that divides the church and America. There is no white church, black church, brown church, or yellow church in Scripture. There is only the blood-bought church of Jesus Christ. Pride is a cancer that rots the soul.
- A man infected with pride needs nothing…not even God!
Picture a scene with me, if you will: Imagine a Hebrew participating in the Exodus.
- He has watched:
- the hand of God peel back the edges of the Red Sea so His people could walk across on dry ground;
- Pharaoh and his army drowned as the waters crashed back to their rightful place.
- God bring water from a rock;
- God lead 3 million as they followed the pillar of cloud by day and been comforted by the sight of the pillar of fire by night.
- Moreover, he has heard Moses explicitly state-on several occasions-that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has commanded that leaven shall be put away during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
- What if our imaginary Hebrew decides to have a nice little yeast roll for lunch? What does his rebellious action suggest? By today’s standards of gross immorality, eating leavened bread during this festival week would be considered laughably unimportant. Yet God commanded that any person who ate leavened bread during this feast should be stoned to death.
- Think of it! What’s God saying here? He’s saying He has zero tolerance for sin! This is a message America has forgotten. We have become a nation of drugs, divorce, drunkenness, abortion, pornography, incest, and homosexuality. We are lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. We snap our fingers at God as if He were a cosmic bellhop. But God never changes! God has always poured out His wrath on people and nations who refuse to confess their sin.
- If our country does not have a time of national repentance, America will experience the wrath of God on her economy, on her land’s ability to grow food through floods and scorching heat, and on her children, who will continue to march into captivity to drugs, gangs, sexual diseases, and Satanism. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD” (Ps. 33:12 NKJV)-that verse does not describe America.
- Why does God hate sin? Because sin is man’s declaration of independence of God. Hear me! You don’t break God’s law. ..God’s law will break you. Such arrogance is hard to imagine, yet it exists all around us, just as it flourished even among the religious leaders in Christ’s time. Jesus said, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees” (Matt. 16:6 NKJV). This sort of arrogance exists in the church; it’s contagious and it’s cancerous. Just like yeast, sin puffs us up.
- Paul felt led to warn the early church, “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” (1 Cor. 5:6 NKJV). His point? A “little” pride will destroy your marriage, your church, our nation, and your soul. The message of this feast? Redemption is to be followed by a holy life and right living. We may not be immediately punished for disobedience as the Israelites were, but we will pay the price for sin. There is a payday!
Let’s go back in our Bibles to Luke 24. We have commenced on what I believe will be one of the most fruitful, and profitable, and wonderful ministries that we could ever have. That is getting a strategic grasp on the Bible. A strategic grasp of the Bible. We’re on a journey toward that. The first evening I shared with you our first lesson, the seven reasons why I believe God’s word. That is very foundational. To have a strategic grasp on the Bible, you have to believe it’s true. Once you come to that point where you believe that the word of God is true, you move on to what is the unifying thread throughout all the scriptures. The unifying thread we find in Luke 24, when Jesus Christ said that He is in all the scriptures. We went, actually starting in verse 25, and looked at the unifying thread of Christ in all the scriptures.
I want to remind you of that tonight because Jesus gave a seven part and seven mile Bible study to those on the road to Emmaus. He said that they (that’s the entire Old Testament) speak (that’s every book, every chapter, even every detail) of me. He said to them in verse 25, if you follow along in your Bibles of Luke 24, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things…” The cross and everything they were mourning over, “…and to enter into His glory?” Now verse 27, and this is the thread that ties the whole Bible together. In fact, if you want to understand this book, you must see the fact that Jesus Christ said this. Look at verse 27. “And beginning at Moses…” which is so unfamiliar to most of us. “…and all the Prophets…” which is very hard to understand for most 21st century Christians. “He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” In the 39 Old Testament books Christ is in the shadows. Jesus Christ is in the analogies, He’s in the pictures, He’s in the types, He’s in all those rituals.
In fact, this past Monday night I sat with Tulsa University students, had a tremendous time with them. The student leadership of our team ministry, that we support, student mobilization, and all their student leaders. They sat there. They don’t even start meeting until 9:30pm at night. We sat here from 9:30pm to 11:00pm Monday night. They said to me, how can we get a hold of the Bible? And I told them, lesson two, I said you need to learn to see Jesus Christ in every part of the scriptures. One of them said to me, I’m reading the book of Leviticus and I have to tell you something, I don’t like it. Call of the liver and all that. If you’ve ever read it, their skinning animals, and throwing out the hide, and scraping the liver, and all that. He says, what possible thing can you find about Christ there? They shouldn’t have asked me, I said have you come to chapter 14? He said, that’s a chapter I just read. I said, have you come to the leper thing? He says, that’s what I just read, and he said it was gross. I said, really? I said, did you come to the part about the clay pot and the two birds? He says, yeah, didn’t get it at all. I launched right into the resurrection. We’ll do that when we get to Leviticus, I’m not going to do it again tonight.
In the 39 Old Testament books, Jesus Christ is seen. We saw last week; Jesus Christ is in Genesis. He is the creative word of Genesis 1:3. He is the last Adam as Romans 5:1 calls. He is the seed of the woman in Genesis 3, and it’s requoted in Galatians 3. He was the covering of Adam and Eve. That’s the whole idea, the shedding of blood, the animal’s skin, to cover them as a picture of substitutionary atonement through the blood and that sacrifice of Christ clothing us in His righteousness. He is the Ark of Noah and the flood, with only one door and only one Ark. All who got in there were saved. God shut the door and they couldn’t get out. God called them to come into Him, He was already in the Ark. All the beautiful pictures of Noah and the Ark. Then He’s a priest like Melchizedek in Genesis 14.
Like Isaac, He was a child of promise. He was miraculously born, He willingly died, He was resurrected, He is taking a bride even right now of which we’re a part of. Then we saw He was an offering like Jacob’s ladder there at Bethel. He was the living link from Earth to Heaven. Like Joseph, we saw last week, He was rejected by His own beloved, by His Father. Made to suffer unjustly, exalted to reign. Though, Joseph’s brothers did not recognize him the first time, so Christ’s own whom He came to did not recognize Him, but they will the second time.
This evening we get to part three and that is Christ in Exodus. We’re going to take a journey tonight, a very exciting journey to see Jesus Christ in Exodus. In fact, there are three main divisions of the book. I’d like to just show you Jesus Christ in these three. The first 18 chapters we’re talking about we traditionally call the Exodus. Now, let me just point out to you how rich this section is.
First of all, we’ll see that Jesus Christ is the voice in the burning bush. We’re going to examine that. In the burning bush Jesus Christ made that great statement, that identifying statement, which He quotes later on in John 8:58, I Am that I Am. He says I Am the eternal, self-existent, God. Secondly, we’ll see in this section the Passover, Jesus Christ is our Passover, the apostle Paul says.
Thirdly, we’ll see that Jesus Christ is our unleavened bread. Again, in 1 Corinthians chapter 5, Paul goes to great lengths to tell us, our Christian lives should be a progressive purging out of leaven. Leaven is always a picture, in the Bible, of sin. Sin, like yeast, grows when you leave it alone. It feeds, and grows, and multiplies, and expands, and that’s what’s going on in our lives. Our lives should be a constant putting to death, and purging out, and getting rid of the old leaven of sin. Remember, I shared with you the fact that leaven, in the sense of the Exodus, is the piece of the old bread from the last batch. My wife makes bread. If we didn’t have yeast to buy in the store, it would be traditional to reach down in the bowl and pinch out some of that dough, throw it in some water on the back of your stove, where it’s warm, and let it ferment and begin a culture of yeast for the next batch of dough. That’s why God said, when you leave Egypt, don’t take any leaven. Don’t take a piece of the old. That’s a picture of our salvation. Don’t cling, don’t hold on to, don’t bring into your new life in Christ all that junk from the old life. There should be a clear severing, repenting, turning from, and mortifying of all that. That’s what we’ll see in our study of unleavened bread.
Also, Jesus is the rock that led them. He was the one, as it says in 1 Corinthians 10:3, He was that rock. He was the rock that they were to follow. He is the one through the pillar of fire and through the pillar of cloud during the day, and the fire at night that led them. Paul says that rock was Christ, that makes us go back to Exodus and see Him there. We’re going to study that next.
He is the manna, and we’ll look at that in depth. That’s such a picture of Christ. Also, He is the water from the rock. Do you remember, at Rephidim they were moaning, and complaining, and dying of thirst? God told Moses to go and to take his rod, and to what? Strike the rock. When the rock was struck, in Exodus 17, water life giving water came out. Now, in Numbers chapter 20 God again, tells him to bring water from the rock, but this time he was supposed to what? Speak, and the water was to come out and flow down from the rock. But Moses grabbed Aaron’s rod and hit the rock. That’s why he didn’t go into the promised land. I’m not going to tell you that story until we get to Numbers, because it’s such a picture. The second meeting with the rock was to be a picture of the Holy Spirit. We don’t need to smack Christ on the cross with the penalty and payment for sin to get His blessing, all we do is speak and ask for it. It’s such a picture we’ll see in Numbers. The water from the rock.
Finally, the tabernacle in chapter 25 through 40 of Exodus. By the way, the tabernacle is the most completely described theme or topic in all the Bible. There is no other topic in the Bible so profusely described as the tabernacle. Nothing. Those chapters in extreme detail tell us about that because it’s about Christ.
Then in the middle of the book, we find Christ in the law. That’s from chapters 19 to 24. What is that? Paul tells us, that the law was the school master to lead us to Christ. We’re going to see that the law is meant to show us our inability to keep it, to show us our futility of trying to be righteous through the law in our own power. The law is a schoolmaster. Now, we are no longer abound by the ceremonial law yet all scripture, even that is profitable and shows us doctrine, what’s right. Reproof, what is wrong. For correction, how for our lives to get right. For instruction in righteousness, which is how to stay right and how to keep following the Lord.
The last section, which we’ll spend a long time on is Christ in the tabernacle. Basically, it says in John 1:14, that Jesus Christ, skēnē, tabernacled among us. There is no more beautiful, no more graphic, no more powerful picture. Just for an example, the four colors of the tabernacle. White. Purple. Scarlet. Blue. There’s no white until you get to the inner Holy of Holies when you come through that gate. Why? Because Jesus Christ alone is the only way in and white speaks of His righteousness. We could go on and on and on, but Christ is in all three of those divisions.
Let’s begin tonight with the burning bush. If you want to turn with me to Exodus chapter 3, I want you to actually jot this and see this in your Bible. So Exodus, second book of the Bible, chapter 3. We’re going to do a little Christology of Exodus and see how far we get tonight. The burning bush, it contains some very interesting symbolism.
First of all, in the Levitical symbolism, we find three parts. Acacia that’s the thorn bush of the desert, that’s what’s burning. Secondly, fire, which is always a picture of judgment. Finally, the fact that the bush was burning, it was oxidizing without turning to ash. Now, just for a second, stop there and think about this. This is very interesting symbolism. Fire’s always a symbol of judgment in the scripture. Brass was always used in the tabernacle for vessels that needed to hold fire. Brass speaks of fire and thus of judgment. As in, do you remember the brazen serpent? Again, that’s getting ahead of our Christ study in the book of Numbers, but when God told Moses that He was going to judge the people for their murmuring, He sent fiery serpents. Serpents still live in that region of Midian travelers. Even today, there are these viperous creatures with red stripes on them that only live in that part of the world. God seemingly, miraculously multiplied them. They invaded the camp, but they’re still there. This was not an anomaly. It wasn’t a creation of the moment. It’s actually an enlargement of a group of species that live there. Those fiery serpents went in at God’s command and began biting the children of Israel. When God accomplished His wrath against sin, He provided a deliverer. He said for Moses to take a brazen serpent, which speaks of judgment, that’s the whole idea of brass. So brass, Numbers 21 and in many other places reminds us, as Hebrews 12:29 says. “Our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 1:13 notes, God can’t even look at evil.
So, with fire speaking of judgment, what is being judged here? The bush is being judged and that actually is the Hebrew word for bush is sᵊnê, that which means to prick. So, it’s a prickly bush. An Acacia bush is a thorn bush. It’s a bramble. It’s a thorn bush called an Acacia Bush and the thorn bush of the desert lives everywhere. The symbol for sin is a thorn. You say, where do you get that? If you want to see that’s back in Genesis 3. Let me just read you Genesis 3:18, because I don’t want you to think that we’re allegorizing the Bible. It says in Genesis 3:18, “thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face…” What is that a result of? Why did the thorn come? Because of the fall of man into sin. The thorn is an accompanying picture of sin. God picked an Acacia thorn bush, He put fire in it, which speaks of judgment. Yet, He let the fire not burn the bush, which speaks of mercy and grace.
Now, what is all that? Why don’t you think for just a second here with the burning bush. We have sin being judged by God’s consuming fire, but the thorn bush isn’t consumed. Sin in the hands of a living God not being destroyed is a model of mercy. That’s us, we are under the judgment of God, but not consumed because of His mercy and grace. Don’t get mercy and grace confused. Grace is getting something we don’t deserve. Mercy is not getting that, which we do deserve. What God does is, He takes our sin, puts it on Christ, Christ bears it, and we are not consumed but Christ was, on the cross.
The next aspect of the burning bush is that from that bush, we have the I Am statement. Back in Exodus 3 and it’s the next point up there, Jesus speaks from the bush. Look at verse 3 of Exodus 3. “Moses said, ‘I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.’ ” “So when the LORD,” verse 4 of Exodus 3, “saw that he turned aside to look, God called Him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ and he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then He said, ‘Do not draw near to this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.’ Moreover He said, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.” Now, go on down through, to verse 14. “And God said to Moses…” this is the first thing you learned in Hebrew class, when you take biblical Hebrew, he said to Moses… “hāyâ ‘ăšer hāyâ.” That’s Hebrew for, I Am who I Am. I Am the eternally self-existent one. God says, I exist eternally as the self-existent one. What an introduction. “Thus shall you say to the children of Israel.” He said, this is my calling card. When you go to Israel, when you go to them in Egypt, when you go to them and say you are the deliverer, and you are the one who is going to be taking them out of their bondage, He said this is how you introduce yourself. You go up and say, I Am, has sent me to you. That is the terminal, covenant keeping, God’s name. The one who is eternally self-existent, who is eternally self-sufficient, who is eternally able to provide. Above all that we can ask or think. Above all that we would ever need. He said I wanted to introduce me.
That was Jesus’ claim. Look really quickly at John 8 and verse 58 in the New Testament with me. Everything that we read in the New Testament is often either alluding to or tied to the Old Testament. It’s an amazing correspondence we have. In verse 58 it says this, “Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was…” your great father Abraham, and then He makes the sacred introduction on behalf of God the Father, as God the Son He says, “I Am.” I Am what I Am, one with the Father. I Am the Son of God. I Am that. I Am. I Am He. Remember what He said in John 18? When He said it, “I Am,” He flattened the whole 600 soldiers. Why is that? That’s to remind us that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow. He gave us a little glimmer of what the judgment of the great white throne will be like, when all are resurrected from death, and Hades, and the sea. That’s the people from the flood that were buried in the sea there. Under the sea actually it says. Those that are under the sea, that’s the flood victims, probably a billion of them. When all those people are resurrected and in corporeal form, they’re in a body and they’re standing in front of the throne. At the name of Jesus, they’re all going to bow. Too late, they aren’t saved then, but they’re going to acknowledge who He is. Just at the speaking of His name, which is an amazing thing.
Notice this, I mentioned it this morning. “Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but…” Whenever the scribes, and Pharisees, and Sadducees get angry at Jesus Christ. That’s who the Jews are all the way through the Gospel by John. Jews are these groupies, the religious establishment. Whenever they get angry it should make us take note. Remember, they point out to us what we often miss. Jesus is here, taking the great Exodus 3 identifier for the eternal, infinite, Yahweh, God, the covenant keeping Lord of the universe, and applies it to Himself. They wanted to kill Him for it.
Jesus goes on. Let’s go back to Exodus 3, because at this point He describes something, which is very much in keeping with what is going on. Jesus said, “Moreover […] you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The LORD God of your fathers, […] has sent me to you.’ “ He goes on and talks about everything that is happening, as He is going to deliver them from Egypt. In that description, the Lord says to them that He is going to deliver them and that He is going to put plagues on them. If you read the whole book of Exodus, that’s an unfolding of this event. The key is what’s written here, the prediction He gives to Moses, of the death of the first born. It’s very significant because this whole introduction as Yahweh, is an introduction to the central theme of the whole book and that is the Passover deliverance, which we’re going to see. The burning bush of Moses.
What are the I Am’s of the New Testament? You remember them? Jesus takes this Old Testament, Exodus 3:14 identifier and tags onto it what we studied for many weeks. I am the bread of life, just like the manna. I am the light of the world, just like the pillar of fire that led you. I am the door of the sheep, just like the one door into the tabernacle. I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. Just like the mercy seat, I am the resurrection and the life. Just like the covenant that was inside the Ark of the Covenant, the promise of promises kept, I am the way, the truth, the life. Jesus Christ says that he is the way, it’s like the law. Is the truth, just like Aaron’s rod that signified the priesthood and the direction. I am the life just like the manna brought to them, all this trilogy is there. I am the true vine, I’m the one that supplies all you need. He identifies himself as the great, I Am.
Let’s go now to Exodus chapter 12 and the Passover. Exodus 12, the whole cross is portrayed, so we superimpose that. Over there are all the people who sprinkled the blood on the doorposts and on the top. We’re acknowledging what Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 5:7. That is, that Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed. We speak often of the seven feasts of Moses, the Levitical feasts, but the Passover is not a Levitical feast. Rabbinical feasts were slaughtered by the high priest. This is slaughtered for every household, the head of the household. Passover is different. Passover is the only feast where the dad for each family had to kill the lamb. Why? Because it’s a picture of salvation. Salvation can’t be dispensed by priests. That’s the era of Romanism, that’s the era of religion. The Passover is a picture of true salvation. Let’s talk about that.
Passover pictures salvation in Christ. First of all, it talks about life. Salvation is starting life over again. That’s what we’ve seen in this whole master’s message, that Jesus lets us start life over again, the right way. A brand new start at life. Passover speaks of that. This month, it says in Exodus, shall be the beginning of months.
Secondly, Passover speaks of Liberty. What happened to Israel was they were delivered from bondage. What happens to us is we’re set free, eternally, from three things. The penalty of sin, “there is therefore now no condemnation…” Romans 8:1 says, “… to those who are in Christ.” Secondly, we’re set free from the power of sin. What does it say in John 8? It says whom the son will set free is free indeed. The shackles of sin have been broken. Some of us walk around with our chains still on, even though we could take them off if we wanted. Some people just like their sin, and they like wearing those chains, and they like going in the cell and acting like they’re still captive of the Devil in whatever sin it is that they have habituated. Jesus Christ has broken the shackles of sin. All we have to do is believe Him and by faith, appropriate His deliverance. We are not bound by sin. There is no sin that any longer has dominion over us, except we willfully choose to yield ourselves back to it. That’s a picture of the Passover, which is Liberty.
Thirdly, deliverance, salvation is personal. It was a personal deliverance, only the doors covered by the blood had people safe. It wasn’t just because nationally you were a Jew. That’s a real message to us. It doesn’t count if your wife was a Christian, you won’t go to Heaven. It won’t count if your husband’s a Christian, you won’t make it. Won’t count if your parents are Christians, you won’t make it. It won’t count if your kids are Christian. You won’t make it unless you have a personal application of the blood of Christ. Passover speaks so clearly of salvation as a personal deliverance.
Fourthly, Passover speaks of fellowship. They were to memorialize that day. In fact, this Thursday night, every observant Jewish family on the planet will be involved in a Passover observance. It’s the one universal Jewish celebration, probably that and Rosh Hashanah which is the New Year, are the two biggies that they all participate in. This Thursday is the actual day on the lunar calendar that the Jews celebrate. It’s actually the day that Christ would have celebrated with His disciples. But why have they been doing it for 3,500 years? There hasn’t been a year in 3,500 that the Passover has not been by some Jews somewhere observed. Why? Because God says, I want to fellowship with you. Salvation begins a relationship with God that reminds us of what He did. That’s why we have the Lord’s supper. That is a memorialization of Christ death, just as Passover is a memorialization of the deliverance of God out of Egypt. God says, I want you to memorialize that. I want you to remember it. I want you to have this feast as a part of your life so that you will remember to fellowship with me.
Finally, Passover is prophetic. The Passover spoke of the lamb for the nation. Jesus is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. Salvation is in Jesus Christ alone. It’s a prophetic picture in every way.
Let’s look at the 10th plague really quickly in Exodus 12. Plague number 10, first of all, was unspeakable. Let me describe it to you. Think about being in Egypt on Friday the 13th. By the way, that’s where that comes from. You ever heard of Friday the 13th? Don’t walk under the ladder, and afraid of black cats, and bad luck that day. Friday the 13th is the night before Passover, which is always on the 14th. You get it? That’s where it comes from. Did you know almost everything, if you really track back all this stuff, like the handwriting on the wall, and he has clay feet, and the law of the Medes and Persians, and his time is up, and all that comes from the Bible, all these little cute expressions. Friday the 13th is what Egypt experienced.
Listen to the unspeakable thing, to imagine a supernatural messenger of doom who was to hurt and kill every firstborn in the nation. It’s just beyond words that anyone could pick out the firstborn of man and livestock in the unlit blackness in the Egyptian night. Is imperceivable. To know it was that night is unspeakable to think. If you were living in Egypt 3,500 years ago and if you heard that the firstborn of man and livestock we’re going to die, you thought how on Earth can anybody pick through my barn, and much less pick through my house, and pick out the firstborn? How could you escape? What an unspeakable horror.
Secondly, it was unavoidable. There was no place that this messenger of doom would not visit. Each family would be noticed and examined. From the poorest family to the richest. From the huts of the farming peasants to the ivory halls of the palaces of the royalty, all would see the dark shadow of the death angel. I love watching the 10 commandments with Charlton Heston and see the green fog start coming and going up and down throughout the land of Egypt. What a great attempt to talk about this plague of death that was unavoidable.
Thirdly, the 10th plague was unstoppable. There was no power on Earth, then or now, that could have stopped that stalking death. Nothing Earthly could defect, deflect, and stop, and dull, and end that sort of death.
Most tragically, fourthly. It was unexpected by them, the Egyptians. For them life was moving along just as planned. Business was as usual. Yeah, that old fanatic Moses was still crying judgment, but we have learned to survive blood, and fire, and hail, and gnats, and darkness, and the cows getting sick. We’re going to be good on whatever this one is, we’ll make it through that. Doesn’t it sound like our world today? They learned to cope, but Moses cried judgment. They said, we live in a real world and there’s not some God that can see us, who can judge us. That’s because the gods of Egypt… I still remember, I think the last group we took to Egypt was in 1989, but I still remember, with Bonnie, we went down to all the temples of Egypt. I saw one too many, one temple in Egypt is enough. We saw all of them. We went on this boat all the way down the Nile with this whole group, then we went in and out all these temples. The one thing the Egyptian guide told us was that every night the priest would close the door of the temple, lift up the god and put him in his box for bed that night. That was their expectation, of their gods. They had to awaken their gods every day, feed them every day, clothe them every day, put them on display. They didn’t expect this unseen God, that this shepherd, 80 year old shepherd from the backside of the desert talked about, to really be able to do what He’d already done. Let alone, what they heard was coming.
People’s unexpected view of the 10th plague reminds me of what people think about Hell and the wrath of God that’s going to face unrepentant sinners today. They don’t believe what Jesus says. Remember, Jesus talked twice about Hell for every one time He talked about Heaven. Jesus described Hell twice as much as He did Heaven. Two for one, all the way through the Gospels. But we’ve reversed that. We talked more about Heaven than we do about Hell, and that’s a tragedy of our day.
Let’s look next at the message of the Passover and I call this, the full salvation to seek. First of all, God’s offer was salvation. God offered to the ones who would listen, the only solution to avert the disaster of the death angel sword. That was God’s offer. Secondly, God’s plan was substitution. He detailed a simple act. He said, take an innocent spotless lamb, let it die in place of the family members. Thirdly, God’s method was a sprinkling of blood. He said, in the dark sprinkle blood on the doorposts. That’s all it takes to be protected; it didn’t take anything else. It didn’t take them going anywhere. It didn’t take them doing anything else except trusting in a substitute. Finally, God said My promise is sufficient. He said, I will include deliverance from death, provision of all the needs for life, I will give you a hopeful land of promise, I’ll give you a place flowing with milk and honey, all this with a personal guide to make sure you get there safely. If you’ll just jump into my offer of salvation. That’s what He offers us today.
God says to us, I offer you salvation and substitutes Christ. The method is, He shed His blood. I will carry you all the way through till you get home. I’ll guide you in this life, and I’ll meet you at the doorway of death and guide you through the shadow of death and take you home. Let’s look at the salvation of God. God’s offer was salvation, and it was very specific. God’s plan was this wonderful opportunity that only those who would obey His specific instructions would be spared. Specific. They couldn’t take the blood of a cow. They couldn’t take the blood of a duck. They couldn’t take some red paint. They had to take the blood of a lamb, that the head of the household, the father killed, collected, and in front of his family, brushed on that door post.
If you think about it, the striking of both doorposts, that says paint the doorposts and the lentil. You think about that, even that process of going this way and this way on their door was the shape of the cross. For a kosher sacrifice of a lamb, you have to stick two pieces of wood in it to hold the body cavity open. Two pieces of Cedar wood actually and that was a picture, even back then, of the cross. Secondly, not only is God’s salvation specific, it’s also sacrificial. It had to be the blood of an innocent, spotless lamb. You couldn’t tie the lamb to your door post. You couldn’t just have the lamb in your house. You had to sacrifice it. It had to be poured out. It had to be caught in a bowl. It was sacrificial.
We see in our world a growing distancing from that barbaric blood sacrifice. Recently, a friend of mine went to a temple mount, in Jerusalem, practice run of sacrificing animals There are actually Jews today that are practicing sacrificing animals again. They’ve already built, and you can go to the temple Institute, they built all the instruments to kill, and collect a blood, and burn, and sprinkle, and everything else. These men went out on a hill, outside of Jerusalem, facing the old city temple mount and brought sheep, and actually slit their throats and collected the blood. You know what the reporter said? Barbaric, inhumane, cruel, bloody. That’s what they think when you preach about the saving blood of Jesus Christ. God says it has to be sacrificial.
Thirdly, it has to be substitutionary, had to be painted on the doorpost as a reminder that a lamb was identified with that family, that lamb was slain. It had to be substitutionary. This was true of all the homes that wish to be spared the horrors of God’s wrath. They had to hide beneath a substitute for the angel of death and of doom to go right over.
Finally, Fourthly, this salvation of God is sufficient. Everyone who’s behind the shadow of that bloody sacrifice was protected from God’s wrath. You know what Exodus tells us? Some Egyptians got in on it. Did you know that? Did you catch that when you read about them leaving in chapter 12? You know what it says? “A mixed multitude” followed them. Actually, some Egyptians got in those houses and seemingly God honored, just them being behind that bloody door and did not slay their firstborn. Of course, they caused trouble, that mixed multitude, they were always complaining. They didn’t know the Lord, but all those behind the shadow of that bloody sacrifice were protected from God’s wrath. The bloody cross of Calvary casts a narrow shadow today in our sinful world. All who will step by faith in that place of refuge are eternally saved from God’s wrath on sin. They can begin to enjoy His abundant life forever.
Let’s go to chapter 13, and this is the last place we’re going to go tonight before we finished this little view of Exodus. Our picture of Christ is of unleavened bread, let me start in chapter 13, verse 3 and show you what the Bible says. “And Moses said to the people:” Exodus 13:3, “Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out of this place.” Now, look at this. “No unleavened bread shall be eaten.” Now, think about this for a third.
Unleavened, leaven speaks of sin, Jesus Christ is unleavened. Jesus Christ showed us when He said our basic sinfulness is like our father the devil. What was Satan’s biggest problem? What got him tossed out of Heaven? One thing, his pride. In a real sense, the bottom line of leaven is our human willfulness, that we want things our own way, our pride. Think about what the Bible says. The Bible says in James 4:6, God resists the proud. It says in Proverbs 6:16, 6 things the Lord hates… a proud look. That’s what the Bible says.
Secondly, pride was Nebuchadnezzar. I want you to think about this. If you want the most glaring picture of pride on the human side in the Bible, it’s Nebuchadnezzar. Let me read to you about Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar one day stood, surveying his kingdom and all he said was, look what I’ve done. Did you know, it’s a very proud thing for us to look at anything in our life and say, wow, look what I’ve done. Look at the big company. Look at the achievements. Look at all the awards I’ve won. Look at how I’ve excelled in my field of, whatever your field is. Look how I have been so wise in my investing, while everybody else’s investments are gone. Look what I have done. All of those are examples, pride. Nebuchadnezzar could have just said, look what I’ve done and look at the kingdom I’ve made. The result of pride was, Nebuchadnezzar was on his hands and knees, eating grass in a cow pasture.
What is pride? Thirdly, pride is the acid that turns the finest fruit bitter. Pride is a shallow and superficial weed that grows in all soils. It doesn’t need water. It doesn’t need care. Pride will consume and destroy every living thing it overshadows. Pride is a swelling of the heart. It’s filling our life with ego and self-importance. Pride raises us above others until we looked down at them. Pride is so evident in racism that divides so many, even in America. Did you know that there isn’t a white church, and the black church, and a red church, and a yellow church. There is a blood bought church. We forget that so often. A man infected with pride finally needs nothing. Not even God.
Look back at chapter 13 in verse 3. I want you to picture a scene with me. Imagine someone hearing what the Lord says. Look at the end of verse 3. “No leavened bread shall be eaten.” He goes all the way through verse 10. He says in verse 10, “You shall therefore keep this ordinance in its season from year to year.” He says from now on, during this seven day feast called Passover. Actually, it was eight days, Passover plus seven, which starts this Thursday and goes seven days after. You shall eat no leavened bread.
Now imagine the Hebrew who participated in the Exodus, he has watched the following things. Think about this. He has watched the hand of God peel back the edges of the Red Sea so that the people of God could walk through. He has seen Pharaoh and his army drowned as the water crashed back on them in its rightful place. He saw God, in chapter 17, bring water out of the rock. He saw God lead 3 million people as they followed a pillar of cloud by day. Comforted by the sight of the pillar of fire by night. Probably heated at night and shaded in the day, it was like air conditioning and heating. I just talked to someone yesterday and they showed me that they had a new heating/ air conditioning system put in their house. I immediately thought of tonight, and I thought, boy, that’s nice. It was a little unit, about this big. I thought, God covered 90 square miles of people with a cloud and with fire. Amazing. Moreover, he heard Moses’ explicit statement on several occasions, this Hebrew who was there on several occasions, that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has commanded that leaven shall be put away during the feast of unleavened bread.
I’m just trying to build a little picture here. What a picture we should have of Christ. So, he heard all that. What if our imaginary Hebrew decides to have a nice little yeast roll for lunch during the feast of unleavened bread, what would happen to him? If you read the text carefully, he would be stoned to death. Now in our society we’d say, how bizarre. How cruel. By today’s standards of gross immorality, what does this rebellious action suggest? Eating unleavened bread during a festival week, that would be laughable to us. It would be unimportant. God commanded that any person who ate leaven bread during this feast was to be stoned. Now, wait a minute; if all scripture is proper for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness, and Jesus Christ in 1 Corinthians 5 is called our Passover and we are to eat the unleavened bread it says in the New Testament, we’re not getting under the law here we’re getting in the New Testament, what is that supposed to teach us? Let me suggest this. Think of it, what is God’s saying here?
The feast of unleavened bread tells us that God has a zero tolerance for sin in our lives. We have a high tolerance for sin. God has zero. As we grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, we hate sin. I think about the world we live in. We live in a nation known as a nation of drugs, divorce, drunkenness, abortion, pornography, incest, and homosexuality. We, in America, love pleasure more than we love God. There’s a whole segment of Christianity that snaps their fingers at God like He’s some cosmic bellhop that’s supposed to bring them something. God hasn’t changed. He’s always poured out His wrath on any people, any nation that refuse to confess their sin.
What should we think about as believers tonight? I think we should pray that our ministry will have an effect on our neighbors, in our town, and in our state, and our country. Why is that? Because, if our country doesn’t have a time of turning from their sin, before long America is going to experience the wrath of God on our economy. Did you know, last year that we American’s spent over a trillion dollars eating out. A trillion dollars. That’s more than the gross national product of 130 of the 160 nations in the world. We spent that at Arby’s. We could feed 80% of the world if we just stopped going out to eat ourselves. It’s just unbelievable. Our economy, our land’s ability to grow food will be diminished. God will scorch us and flood us. If we don’t watch out, our children will continue to march into the captivity of drugs, and gangs, and sexual disease, and Satanism. Go down to the computer stores and look at what video games their selling. They are about death and destruction. Satan came to kill, and steal, and destroy. Our children are learning to kill, and steal, and destroy in a cyber world. We must realize that Satanism is not black headed witches riding at Hogwarts Academy with Harry Potter. That is Satanic, it’s also in this growing occultic theme of movies, of television, of video games, board games. Satanism. Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.” That verse doesn’t describe America. Why does God hate sin? Sin is our declaration of independence of God. God says my law will break you. You don’t break my law; my law will break you. Such arrogance is so hard to imagine.
To close, let’s turn to 1 Corinthians chapter 5. This is where I want to end tonight. 1 Corinthians chapter 5 should be something that this week, the week of the feast of unleavened bread, the week of Passover, the week that we remember the roots of the Lord’s supper. 1 Corinthians 5, starting in verse 7, I’ll start at verse 6. “Your glorying is not good.” Paul said. “Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” A little secret sin, a little closet in your life, a little hidden sin. That’s my thing, I’ll give everything to God except that. A little bit of leaven will multiply and leaven the whole lump. Our whole life will get affected.
Verse 7, “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” What a call to us, to purge ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh in the Spirit, and to draw near to God in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Christ our Passover.
Let’s bow before the Lord and bow our hearts before Him, as we think of our Lord Jesus Christ and all the scriptures.
We ask tonight oh Lord, that the book of Exodus just like the book of Genesis and every other book of the Bible, will never be the same for us. That we will begin a lifelong endeavor to have a strategic grasp on your word. That means that we can hold it, and understand it, and use it, and live it, and love it. Trust it. Bank our lives on your word. You’ve said that the greatest thing we can do is, give the most away in our lives because then we’ll have treasure in Heaven. You said the greatest thing we can do is to invest in the poorest, and the weakest, and those who will never be able to repay us. The outcast. The despised. Then, we are supposed to treat them like they’re you, Lord Jesus. You’ve said that we are to be like unleavened bread, and we’re supposed to be celebrating the purging out, more and more in our lives of any sin. Lord Jesus, we thank you that you are our Passover. We thank you that you are our great I Am, that you are unleavened bread. I pray that we would bow our wills before you tonight. For some young people here that they would examine in their hearts, whether or not they’re letting the one who came to kill, and steal, and destroy, get a place, a foothold in their life because they love violence, and they love murder, and they love the powers of the aliens, which are demons, in the movies. I pray for some adults that have leaven in their lives of undealt with sins, be they sins of the flesh or of the Spirit, and unforgiving spirit, or a gossiping tongue, or a haughty attitude, or arrogance, or pride, or self-sufficiency. It doesn’t matter what form it takes, but all sin is our declaration of our independence from God. I pray that we would declare tonight a declaration of dependence on you. That we would live in holiness and righteousness by your gracious power provided through your sacrifice, O Christ. Your Spirit living within, all the days of our life. Thank you for letting us see you Lord Jesus in the book of Exodus tonight. In your precious name, we pray. Amen.