The Prophetic Meaning of the Passover Lamb – Part 2

Norbert Lieth

“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7).

Of the blood of the Passover lamb, it says in Exodus 12, “And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it…And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning…And the blood shall be to you a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt…For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you” (Exodus 12:7, 22, 13, 23).

It says, “And they shall take of the blood.” The blood had to be used, taken advantage of. It did not get on the doorposts by itself. Faith consists of the practical claiming of the blood.

The blood was put on the doorposts with a bunch of hyssop. This reminds us of the crucifixion of Jesus, of whom it says, “Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth” (John 19:29). Even David prayed “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7).

“The blood shall be to you a token upon the houses.” It was not the belonging of a Jew to his people that brought him redemption. The token was the blood alone that he had used. If an Israelite did not brush this blood on the door of his house, he would have come under judgment, just as the Egyptians.

“When I see the blood…,” said the Lord God. The Israelite had to take the blood and brush it on the doorposts in an act of faith, and afterwards withdraw into his house. It did not matter whether the Israelite saw to it that everything had been done correctly; whether it was clear enough and brushed thick enough on the door; whether in haste or thoughtfully; the blood must take precedence beyond all doubt, all uncertainty and fear.

Among the Israelites, there may have been many things they lacked; they were weak and incapable; so much was not perfect; perhaps things were not clean and organized in the house; maybe they had debts…But their security lay solely in this blood, and God had set His eyes on this and nothing else.

It does not say, “When I see you,” but, “When I see the blood.” God said, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” It was the blood of a young, innocent lamb without blemish that made the difference between salvation and judgment, between redemption and destruction. When God saw this blood, He did not see the sinful Israelite who lived behind the door, but He saw the blood, and in a way a pure man without blemish who could stand before Him—and God passed him by. There was no more accusation, no wrath of God, no judgment, no verdict, no destruction. Martin Buber translates this, “I see the blood and skip over you.”

What Jesus means to us has a significance and effect in eternity. “And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever” (Exodus 12:24). In New Testament terms this reads, “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14).

This is the living hope that we as believers have: through the blood of the Lamb of God we are sanctified for all time (Hebrews 10:10). How different are the attempts at holiness of the world without Christ. Ingolf Baur reported for the German television program Phoenix, for instance, about a Buddhist order in Japan where the monks live according to certain ascetic rules. A television team accompanied one of these monks for four weeks.

This monk walked 30 kilometers (over 18 miles) every night in straw sandals through the woods, uphill and downhill. At the time of the documentary he had been doing this for four years. He spoke of increasing the distance he walked in the next three years to 84 kilometers (about 52 miles) a night. During a large portion of the route he had to pray. This was a vow for seven years that he should endure to the end—regardless of whether he was sick or injured, or if a storm broke out over him. He was not allowed to leave out a single kilometer. And if he gave up, he would be forced to take his life. For this reason, he always carried a weapon to commit suicide with. Why did he do this? Only in the search for enlightenment, the wish to grow spiritually, to lay aside lusts and become a saint, and to be there for others.

What a privilege it is that we can look to the perfect Lamb of God as our substitute and advocate! Of Him it says in John’s Gospel, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world…Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:29, 35-36).

William MacDonald tells a noteworthy story in his book, The Wonders of God. He speaks about what the evangelist George Cutting experienced:

Sometimes we have to smile at the divine ingenuity. God works in a way that makes us dizzy. We would be tempted to dismiss the story by George Cutting, if we did not know him as a man whose integrity is beyond reproach and who does not tend to exaggerate or to embellish. He is known to many of us from his writings, especially his tract Safety, Certanity and Enjoyment.

One day he passed through a small English village. Suddenly, it became clear to him that he should call out, “Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world!” It seemed as though no one was in the vicinity and he felt a bit foolish, but Cutting lived close to God so that he could hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. So he quoted aloud John 1:29.

Then he had the impression he needed to repeat this verse, and he did this also.

Six months later, he was engaged in door-to-door evangelization in this village. When he asked a woman in one of the huts whether she was saved, she confirmed that she belonged to the Savior.

“How did that happen?” he asked.

She told him that six months ago she was in great distress on account of her sins. Here, in this little hut, she cried to the Lord for help. In this exact moment she heard the words, “Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.”

She continued, “Lord, if it is You saying that, then say it again.” Again, she heard the wonderful words, “Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.” On this morning the burden of her sins was taken from her, and peace and joy filled her through her faith in the Lamb of God.”

How wonderful to be a person like George Cutting, who was sensitive to the urging of the Spirit of God and obeyed Him even if it seemed senseless!

“Behold”: we have something we can look to, where we can look. There is something that God Himself says and which all the writers of the Bible show, which history points to and the infinite number of testimonies by people who have experienced the Lamb of God.

“This is”: many people in this world do not have it. Whether human philosophies or figures such as Buddha or Mohammed —they do not offer life, but Jesus is it! Everything in this world is on a shaky basis and nothing brings security, but Jesus Christ is as solid as a rock and could say of Himself, “I am the truth.”

“The Lamb of God”: Jesus Christ is the perfect Lamb of God: the gift of God to us. All the millions of Passover lambs pointed to Him. The Exodus out of Egypt was a foreshadowing of the redemption from the slavery of sin, through the perfect Lamb of God.

“That taketh away the sin of the world”: our sins are also included. I can come to Jesus with my guilt, because He has already taken it  away. The Father forgives me all my sins, and as a punishing Judge He passes me by, skips me, because Jesus has already taken all my sins on Himself.

But the Lamb who carried away the sins of the world will judge the world on account of her sins. We see this in the Book of Revelation. In chapter 5, no one is found who is worthy to open or to look into God’s book with seven seals. But there is One who is worthy: the Son of David and the Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ, who is portrayed as the Lamb of God in this vision. “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Revelation 5:9).

With the opening of the seals of this book, God’s judgment of the earth begins (Revelation 6:1). It is the “wrath of the Lamb,” the “great day of his wrath” (Revelation 6:16-17). Who is worthy to open the book of the apocalypse and to unleash the judgments upon the world? The Lamb of God.

It is very unusual, if not impossible, for a lamb to be angry. In Isaiah it says of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7). In spite of this, the end of the Bible speaks of the wrath of the Lamb. “Why?” we may ask. The Holy Spirit uses this picture to show that it is not some kind of tyrant judging the world here, not a merciless God who shows no feeling, but Someone who loves this world infinitely and has done everything for her to save her. “For God so loved the world…” (John 3:16).

The judgments of the Lamb will be worldwide, because the atonement of the Lamb was worldwide. The blood of the lamb on the houses of the Israelites determined either redemption or judgment. The blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, determines today either redemption or judgment. Whoever thinks he has no need of His blood and His redemption will be taught differently one day. Those who claim it for themselves, however, will experience what Revelation 7:17 promises:

“For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”

News From Israel - 04/2018

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