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Message

The Passover
Miles McPherson - October 31, 2004

Message Recap

Pastor Miles reminded the Rock church this morning that we are three weeks away from the move to the new facility on Ruffin Road on November 21st.

'Cause I Eats Me Spinach

Popeye the Sailor man ate spinach for a reason. One cartoon of Popeye the Sailor Man in particular recollects the account as to why he does. As Popeye was putting spinach on the table for his four kids, he was telling them the story of why he eats spinach.

There was a time when Popeye was fighting Hercules. Hercules was a big giant of a guy. Popeye and him were in the midst of a tug-o-war, and clearly Hercules had the advantage because Popeye wasn’t much without his spinach. Though Popeye was losing the battle, he pulled a garlic clove out of his shirt and was able to garner strength from it. Hercules caught on to Popeye’s strength and poured chlorophyll on Popeye’s garlic clove, and then blew Popeye away, and Popeye fell into a spinach tree. Eating the spinach gave Popeye such strength and muscles that he was able to come back and beat Hercules.

The reason Popeye always ate spinach had historical precedence. Jesus Christ dying on the cross also has historical precedence. We see that in looking at the story of Passover because it gives us a glimpse into the reason and power of Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sins. In the story of the Passover we see the blood of a lamb cover the children of Israel from the angel of death.

Why?

There are things we just don’t understand about God. In the story of the Passover we find that God will kill the firstborn of every family.

Exodus 11:4-6 states, Thus says the Lord: About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt; and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh 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. Then there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like it before, nor shall be like it again.

God’s ways are above our ways and understanding.

Why would God do this? Some of us just may not get why a God who is so good would do something so seemingly horrible. We may not understand this, but we can understand that God’s ways are above our ways and understanding.

Isaiah 55:8-9 states, For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

From Plagues to Passover

Pharaoh did not heed the Lord’s command to let the children of Israel go, despite the many plagues Pharaoh and his people faced because of it. So the Lord sent the final plague, the death of the firstborn, then Pharaoh would surely let the children of Israel go. We also see though in Exodus 11:7 that none of the children of Israel shall be touched, and God’s distinction between the Egyptians and the children of Israel would be obvious.

In Exodus 12:21-23 Moses explains to the children of Israel what God purposes in the Passover. Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.

When choosing a lamb for sacrifice it was important to pick a lamb that is perfect, which is usually when the lamb is about one year old. The lamb would live with the family for four days before it would be sacrificed. Pastor Miles gave an indication that the way the blood was placed on the doorpost in the first Passover could be compared to that of where Jesus’ hands and head were on the cross. A reason as to why blood is not at the bottom of the door, which was where Jesus’ feet were on the cross, could be that Jesus’ blood covers us, and we are to be under His grace.

Flee to Freedom!

When the Egyptians became aware of what had happened there was not one home in which one person was not dead. The Egyptians in fear sent the Israelites out of the land with haste.

After ten plagues fell upon the land of Egypt, the children of Israel were finally free to flee the land, and the bondage of slavery. It was a process, in which the Passover was necessary in order to cause Pharaoh to release the children of Israel, as well as for the Israelites to see God’s sovereignty and ability to lead the way out of slavery for them.

Exodus 12:37-39 states, Then the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. A mixed multitude went up with them also, and flocks and herds — a great deal of livestock. And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they had brought out of Egypt; for it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared provisions for themselves.

Jesus, The Passover Lamb

We will all die someday. As Christians when we die we move on to a new life. Because of the sacrifice the children of Israel made, putting the blood of a lamb over their door, their firstborn were saved from death. Therefore they were able to flee the bondage of slavery, and leave the land of Egypt. Because of the sacrifice Jesus made those who believe in Him, and find forgiveness in Him, they too will find freedom from a life in bondage to sin, and eternal life after their physical death.

John 1:29 states, the next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

1 Corinthians 5:7 states, For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Because Jesus, is the Passover Lamb, as followers of Him, we can no longer reside in the land where we were once slaves to sin. Jesus freed us through His blood. And just as the Israelites would no longer be slaves in Egypt after the Passover, if Jesus has freed us, we cannot allow ourselves to be slaves again. If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36

Nothing But the Blood

When Popeye finished telling the story of why spinach was so important to him, he finds his kids out at an ice cream cart where Hercules is serving the ice cream. There will always be temptation to walk away from the truth that we know. But we have to trust that God will always lead the way.

Pastor Miles closed this Sunday’s message giving a simple definition of wellness, which is the ability of the body to deliver blood. Life is in the blood. In the blood of Jesus is eternal life and forgiveness from sin. The blood for the Passover amplifies the importance of Christ’s blood that was shed on the cross. In His blood we are saved from death and set free from sin.

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