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The Passover Lamb

Israel's national redemption from the bonds of Egypt, as well as the protection of their first-born (Ex. 4:23; 11:10; 12:27), was secured by what is called "the paschal lamb" (Ex. 12). In memorial of that day of redemption, Israel was to re-enact the Passover throughout all her generations. The paschal lamb and the Passover feast are called "types" of Jesus Christ. Christ being the "antitype;" the fulfillment of the type.

C.H. Mackintosh, in his Notes On Exodus, presents two important aspects regarding the paschal lamb:

1. The Ground of Peace

"The blood on the lintel secured Israel's peace, and the center of unity. "When I see the blood, I will pass over you" (Ver.13). There was nothing more required in order to enjoy settled peace, in reference to the destroying angel, than the application of the blood of sprinkling. Death had to do its work in every house through the land of Egypt. "It is appointed unto men once to die." But God, in His great mercy, found an unblemished substitute for Israel, on which the sentence of death was executed. Thus God's claims and Israel's need were met by one and the same thing, namely, the blood of the lamb."

Israel experienced peace within their households that dreadful day because their first-born were protected from the execution of death by the destroying angel when he saw the blood from the slain unblemished lamb on the door posts and lintels of their homes. The ONLY requirement to enjoy this settled peace was the application of the lamb's blood. Today, this side of the cross, every believer in Christ can enjoy peace with God (Rom. 5:1-2) and protection from the second death (Jo. 5:24) through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, God's provided unblemished Lamb who took away the sin of the world (Jo. 1:29). Christ, and Christ alone, is the ground for the believer's settled peace with God (Rom.5:1-2). Peace with God requires nothing more than the blood of atonement.

2. The Center Of Unity

"We shall now consider the second aspect of the passover, as the center round which the assembly was gathered, in peaceful, holy, happy fellowship. Israel saved by the blood was one thing, and Israel feeding on the lamb was quite another. They were saved only by the blood; but the object round which they were gathered was, manifestly, the roasted lamb."

C.H. Mackintosh goes on to draw the parallel and points out that, this side of the cross, the Holy Spirit is the only Gatherer and that Christ Himself is the only object to which we (the body of Christ) are gathered. He doesn't gather us to a system, a doctrine or an ordinance. He gathers to a Person; the glorified, risen Christ. Men may socialize on any ground, center or object they please, however, when the Holy Spirit associates, it is on the ground of accomplished redemption, around the Person of Christ, in order to form a holy dwelling place for God (1Cor. 3:16,17; 6:19; Eph. 2:21,22; 1Pet.2:4-5). "For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed" (1Cor.5:7). It is around Jesus Christ that we, the redeemed, are to gather in the Holy Spirit.

It was in the spirit of urgency (haste) that the Israelites gathered around the first paschal lamb. In this same manner, the Body of Christ is to realize the urgency of the faith and our ever expectant departure from this "cosmos diabolicus." That is, when the Church will be taken up to meet the Lord in the air (1Thess. 4:15-18) before God's wrath comes upon the world.

The six essential requirements to be found in the paschal lamb were:

  • A lamb without blemish
  • A lamb that was tested
  • The lamb slain
  • The blood to be applied
  • The blood a perfect propitiation against divine judgments
  • The lamb partaken of as food

    Can there be any doubt that Jesus Christ is its fulfillment?

    Written by Gary Nystrom

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