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12:2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be
the first month of the year to you.
12:3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth
day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to
the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:
12:6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month:
and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in
12:7 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
you imagine what would happen in your home if you took a perfect one
year old male lamb out of the flock and brought it into the house to
watch it and care for it for 4 days? In my home, the lamb would have
been named and I really don’t think the family would have been very
happy when it came time to kill it.
old testament story is historically accurate as well as being
instructive and prophetic. The Lamb is Christ. Egypt represents the
bondage of this world. The Pharaoh that didn’t know Joseph, Israel’s
deliverer (Exodus 1:8), is a picture of Satan who is the god of this
world (2 Corinthians 4:4). When the lamb was slain, the blood had to be
applied for it to be effective in protecting the firstborn from the
judgment of God. The firstborn represent what we are by virtue of our
first birth (sinners who sin). When the blood was applied, the children
of Israel had a new beginning. Their civil year starts in the Fall
(about September) but their religious or spiritual journey started in
the Spring (about April). 1500 years after the original Passover lamb
was slain, the Lord commemorated that anniversary with His disciples
(Luke 22:15) and before that day was over, He became the fulfillment of
the prophetic picture. There are some things that I have been thinking
about in connection with this Festival:
There are two kinds of love mentioned in the new testament (three if you
count the love of things). One is charity or the devotional love of
duty. The other is the personal love of friends. When the lamb dies, he
is a picture of the love of duty or charity. But by becoming a pet, that
love becomes the personal love of a friend. In John 15:13 the Lord says,
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for
his friends.” I like the fact that the Lord loved me in the way that
He loved the world, but when I realize that He died for me so I could be
His friend and He could be mine, I like that even better.
After the Lamb was slain, the blood had to be applied for it to be
effective. Even though Christ died to save all and the offer of
salvation is universal, His blood has to be applied by faith for it to
Only God could have arranged events so that the Lord would eat the
Passover and then fulfill the teaching by dying for our sins on the
anniversary of the original events that had occurred 1500 years
Many people deny the need to have a clear cut new beginning when they
are saved even though the new testament clearly teaches that truth in
John 1:12-13, John 3:7 and John 5:24. This passage illustrates that
truth clearly. The Israelites had a new beginning and a new calendar. We
have a new beginning and a new birthday when we trust Christ.
am thankful that “Christ our Passover” has been sacrificed for us (1
Corinthians 5:7). This sacrifice is according to the plan of God from
eternity past. It provides a universal offer of salvation from the
bondage of sin that becomes effective upon believing on or trusting in
the Lord. When this sacrifice becomes effective in our lives by personal
faith, we get a new life and a new beginning with the Lord Jesus who
wants to be our friend. That prepares us to live because then we are
prepared to die.
of March 6, 2005
5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life:
and they are they which testify of me.
5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of
the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye
may believe on the name of the Son of God.
is a long time. Actually, eternity is a concept that does not include
time. However, even God helps us understand eternity by using concepts
of time that we understand. In Revelation 20:10 we read, “And the
devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone,
where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day
and night for ever and ever.” I don’t know if there is a literal day
and night in eternity or if this is a way to help us understand unending
time. Either way, I still have trouble grasping the fact that eternity
goes backward without end and also goes forward without end. Because
eternity is so long, I am glad that I can know that I have eternal life
rather than just think I have it like the religious Pharisees that the
Lord addressed in John 5.
God is eternal (Romans 16:26). The true believer enjoys eternal life (1
John 5:13). Punishment for those who reject Christ is eternal.(2
Thessalonians 1:8-9). Eternity in the English Bible is often translated
everlasting, but everlasting starts now and continues forever. Eternal
has to do with something that always was, is and always will be. It is
the concept of God that we have in the title Jehovah. God presents
Himself as the one who is, was, and is to come, that is, as the eternal
one in Revelation 1:8. Eternal life has both a quality to it (life from
eternity and for eternity that comes from an eternal God) and it has
quantity associated with it since it is forever.
people have used many imaginative illustrations to help us understand
eternity. I could repeat some of these but I have to admit that as a
person constrained by time, I just don’t understand something that
will never end. Before I was saved, I used to worry about the length of
eternity because I wasn’t prepared to die. Now that I have eternal
life by trusting in the eternal Son of God who became the only sacrifice
that fully satisfied God for my sins, I still don’t understand
eternity; but I am thankful that I don’t have to understand it,
because I have prepared for it. I have peace about where I will be for
lives are but a dress rehearsal for eternity. To make a mistake with one’s
life during our short time here on earth would be bad, but to make a
mistake with our souls for eternity would be extremely foolish. Most of
us are much more occupied with the here and now which is temporary than
we are with eternity which is permanent. Obviously, we would be wiser if
we prepared for eternity. In addition, most people seem happy to “think“
that they have eternal life (John 5:30). Because of the length of
eternity, we need to “know” that we have eternal life (1 John 5:13).
of March 13, 2005
3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth
not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of
the only begotten Son of God.
have been thinking about the simplicity of the Gospel in contrast to
complexity of the human mind that has been corrupted by sin. As a result
of our sin nature and our desire to tell God how to do His saving, we
have trouble accepting God‘s simple plan of salvation.
this verse there is a clear distinction between those who trust (believe
on) Christ and those who do not. In preaching the Gospel, I often use a
chart that has two doors and two roads on it. One road is narrow and is
the road of the saved who have gone through the narrow door that
represents faith in Christ. The other road is broad and has a wide gate.
All the people that have more confidence in what they think is right
than they do in what God says is right are on this road. On the chart,
between the two roads there is a reminder that there is no middle path.
According to the Bible, we are either believers or unbelievers, saved or
lost, on the way to heaven or on the way to eternal conscious
punishment. Today most people tell me that they hope to go to heaven but
they are not sure if they have been “GOOD ENOUGH.” However, most of
them don’t think they are “BAD ENOUGH” to perish eternally. They
haven’t read God’s plan of salvation as found in the Bible since
none of us are good enough to go to heaven and all of us are bad enough
to deserve an eternal destiny in the lake of fire. That is why we need
to be saved. We can’t save ourselves but we can trust in the truth
that Christ died for sinners (Romans 5:8). And either we have or we
Christ made salvation so simple, why do we make it so difficult? On
reason might be that we don’t like admitting we are wrong. Another
reason might be because if we admit we are sinners we are admitting that
we are responsible to an authority greater than ourselves. All of us
like to tell others what to do and very few of us want someone else to
tell us what to do. In the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5, 6, and 7) we
find out what a righteous person should be like. If we are honest before
God we know that we haven’t measured up. So because we haven’t
measured up, we are told to repent and believe the Gospel (Mark 1:15).
Blessing is the result of obeying this command and condemnation is the
result of not obeying. Again, there is no middle ground. Yet often
people would rather lose their souls than submit to the One who created
them (John 1:3, 14) and then died to save them.
often have the question asked, “Why should we believe in the Bible and
in the Lord Jesus Christ?” I could give you the proofs of Scripture.
These have to do with the prophecies that were written over so many
years and many of them were fulfilled in the dealings of God with the
nation of Israel. Many of them have also been fulfilled in the first
coming of Christ. I could also tell you of experimental proofs. These
would have to do with answered prayers and the obvious intervention of
God in our lives at times when we needed to be guided or preserved. They
would also have to do with the fact that I cannot control my breath or
my beating heart and yet I am able to survive because of the power of
God in creating a body for me that miraculously works in this earthly
really the better question is, “Why shouldn’t we believe in the Lord
Jesus Christ which is the simple way to be saved?” The bottom line is
that we either want to or we don’t. I want to.
of March 20, 2005
16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime
receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he
is comforted, and thou art tormented.
is powerful. Some of our memories are sweet and some are crippling.
There are some things that we should remember and some things that we
should forget. The Lord wants us to remember Him, and He set up a
memorial so we would not forget. It is called the Lord’s supper.
Sometimes we say, “Out of sight is out of mind.” Because the Lord
knew that was often the case, He gave us a celebration that would keep
us reminded of His love and of His sacrifice for us until the day of His
coming again. In our relationship with the Lord, we should not forget
Him because of His absence, but we should be examples of a contradictory
proverb that says, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
rich man who died and went to Hades was told to remember. I don’t
fully comprehend how someone without a body can think, recognize, speak
and remember, but that was the case with the rich man. His body was
buried, but he continued to exist. I cannot say he continued to live
because he was separated from the God who created him and gave him
physical life. In the Bible, death is separation but not the end of
existence. When the rich man realized that he had not made proper
preparation for death, he began praying for his family. One of the great
punishments of the unbeliever has to be that they will remember the
times when they could have been saved. They will remember the times when
creation reminded them that they were accountable to God. They will
remember how the Spring reminded them of resurrection. They will be
reminded of how death reminded them of the shortness of time and of the
awful consequences of sin. They will be reminded of times that they did
wrong even when they wanted to do right and how they seemed powerless to
control sin in their lives. They will remember that there was a
celebration called Easter when many of their acquaintances professed
their faith in the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
Yes, they will remember how the Lord spoke to them about their need to
prepare for the day of their death.
will remember the meetings that they endured and of the parents who
forced them to go to Sunday School. Some will be able to remember John
3:16 because they memorized it but never believed it. I wonder what it
will be like to remember that one could have been saved and to even know
the Scriptures that could have given them the promise of eternal life
and yet to know that now it is too late, forever too late.
memory is powerful. Many people are playing with God. They say they are
saved. but their lives and conversation indicate that they have never
been convicted of the reality of these eternal things. I preach the
Gospel knowing that for many people, I am planting memories that will
torment them forever when they die without Christ. However, for others
they will be wise and will respond to the Gospel. While they may forget
many things, they will never forget that there is a living God in heaven
who loved them so much that He sent His only begotten (his unique) Son
to the cross to bear the punishment for sin that they rightly deserved.
They will remember what it was like when they realized they were lost,
and they will remember the peace that they got when they trusted in
Christ. Those memories will be eternally sweet.
of March 27, 2005