January 25, 2021

TODAYS BIBLE READING

Exodus 12 and 13

Matthew 16

Reading Time: 15-20 Minutes

ATTRIBUTE OF GOD TO LEARN THIS WEEK:

 

God is IMMUTABLE

 

All that God is, He has always been. All that He has been and is, He will ever be. He is ever perfect and unchanging.

Psalm 102:25-28

THIS WEEKS MEMORY VERSE:

"Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."

 

-Matthew 16:24

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NOTE FOR TODAY:

We make a huge mistake when we misrepresent in our minds the characters in the Bible. When we read the book of Exodus, it's easy to create a picture that the Egyptians were inherently evil, and the Israelites were inherently good. The Egyptians then, like most Americans now, were simply people living in and for the world. Egyptians were like most everyday Americans. They probably didn't pay much attention to Pharoah or to politics. They probably followed the traditions of the Egyptian gods, but didn't seriously consider them all that much. Most were probably hard-working to support a family that they loved. In reality, a cross-section of Egypt was likely just like a cross-section of America. That's why everyone should pay close attention to this story. We read in Exodus 11:3, "And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover, the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharoah's servants and in the sight of the people." Most probably didn't think about and even might have disagreed with Pharoah's stubborn heart. Just like most don't hate those of us labeled as Jesus Freaks. But notice that all in the world (Egypt), would be punished if not covered by the blood, in 11:5, "and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharoah who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals." We must understand this to fully appreciate our Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ, and just what He has done for us.

 

It says in Exodus 12:3,5-6, "On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household...Your lamb shall be without blemish...Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month." It was on the tenth of Nissan that Jesus entered Jerusalem as Messiah on the Palm Sunday Road. For the next four days the Pharisees, Sadducees, and His enemies tried to challenge Him both theologically and ethically, but He was found without blemish. He was indeed flawless. When brought on trial they could find no fault in Him other than His claim to be God, and for this, He was crucified. They, not recognizing who He was, accused Him of blasphemy. Even Pontius Pilate in Luke 23:4 could find no fault in Him. Peter referring to what our redemption is based on in 1 Peter 1:19, said, "but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." Realize a blemish was an acquired defect, while a spot is an inherited defect. Jesus was free of both, our perfect Lamb. In Exodus 12:7, after the lamb was sacrificed, we read, "And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat." We read the reason for this in 12:13, "Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt." Likewise, it’s only by our applying the blood of Jesus to our own lives personally that we pass from death to life. Since God is 100% just, every sin must be accounted for and no amount of good works could redeem us. When we come before God in judgment it's only by being covered by the blood of Christ that we are declared not guilty. Many don't realize that the Last Supper was actually the Passover Seder. There are four cups of blessing shared at each Passover meal. Jesus said in Luke 22:20, "Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you." When Jesus introduced us to Communion, He specifically used the 3rd cup of the celebration. This cup is known as the cup of redemption. Part of the Passover celebration involves the Afikoman. This is a Greek word. the only one introduced into the Hebrew celebration of Passover. and Jewish experts can't fully explain why this custom was inserted. In it there are three pieces of Matzoh placed in a linen pouch, the middle one is broken. This middle piece is then hidden and the children are asked to find it, the one that does receives a prize. Jesus, the middle One in the Trinity, was broken, wrapped in linen in the grave, and discovered and risen in celebration. The word Afikoman in Greek means: "I came", or "the coming one", or "He who has come". We also read in Exodus 12:46 concerning the Passover Lamb, that, "nor shall you break one of its bones." We read in John 19:32-33, "Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs." These are just a few of the parallels between Passover and the fulfillment in Jesus.

 

We read in 2 Corinthians 5:21, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." Our hope, our future rests securely on Him, our Passover Lamb. A beautiful picture of this is presented for us in Revelation 5:2-6, "Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?" And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or look at it. So I wept much because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. But one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals." And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb...". Our friends, families, co-workers going through life working hard, loving their families, enjoying life, etc, unfortunately, if not covered by the blood of Jesus will find themselves in the same predicament as the firstborn of the Egyptians. It’s because of Jesus, and Jesus alone, by His sacrifice, that we can confidently go through life secure of our salvation. May all praise and glory be directed towards our Lamb.

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