We gather here tonight as a company of the Lords’ people who commerate the death of our Lord Jesus “who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”
We understand that it was our Lords’ wish that this memorial be observed annually as a remembrance of Him: and that He began what is termed the Lords Supper with the emblems of bread and wine representing His body and His blood.
To His Apostles Jesus said “With desire have I desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” With reference to the emblems He said, “This do in remembrance of me,” and the Apostle adds, “As often as ye eat this bread and drank this cup, ye show the Lords’ death till He come.”
The word of God testifies Hebrews 10:1[For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.] that Israel, the tabernacle, the Priests, Levites and sacrifices were a shadow of good things to come. The affairs and happenings of natural Israel were a type, a picture, a pattern of the experiences of Christian believer during the Gospel age and now.
Perhaps the most notable of these experiences was the keeping of the Passover. It celebrated in a general way the deliverance of Israel from bondage in Egypt; but particularly the passing over, or sparing alive of the first-born of that nation during the plague of death that came upon the Egyptians, and that, as the last of the plagues, finally compelled them to release the Israelites from compulsory servitude.
The passing-over of the first-born of Israel became the fore-runner of the liberation of the whole nation, and their passing through the Red Sea in safety unto freedom from the bondage of Egypt. It is easy to understand that such a marvelous event would properly be commemorated by the Israelites as the birth of their nation: and so it is celebrated by Jews to this day.
The narration of this “Bible type begins with Abraham, 2000 years before the birth of Jesus. We are told that Abraham was a friend of God, that he believed God and that he walked with God.
A few years ago at the time Israel was returning to the promised land in great numbers I was invited to be the speaker at a public meeting; my subject was the Exodus. I started at the beginning and that of course included all of Gods promises to Abraham. Genesis 12:2-3[And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.]
Genesis 13:14-17[And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was seperated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. 16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. 17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will giv it unto thee.]
Genesis 15:18[In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:]
Genesis 22:16-18[And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.]
God promised Abraham the whole middle-east as an everlasting possession for him and his seed. Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and sworn by his own name it would happen, but more importantly, God promised that Abrams seed will in due time, bless all the nations of earth. God also promised that Abrams seed, would become a great nation, and this before Abraham had any children, and Abraham believed God! Genesis 15:5,6[And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.] God explained in Genesis 15:13,14[And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.] that Abrams seed would be forced to serve in a land that is not theirs but God would be with them and they would come out a great nation, and 200 years later the descendants of Abraham were strangers in a strange land, the land of Egypt.
The book of Exodus, the second book in the old Testament gives us the history of Israel while they served the Egyptians, their deliverance from bondage is also recorded in great detail.
200 years after Abrahams death a great famine came upon the land of Canaan and Jacob the grandson of Abraham and his whole extended family, his sons and wives and children (70 souls in all) came to Egypt looking to buy food in the days when Joseph was acting governor.
They stayed in Egypt another 200 years and they were fruitful and increased abundantly, and multiplied and waxed exceeding mighty and according to Exodus 1:7[And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.] the land was filled with about 2 million of them.
Politics can really change in 200 years and the new Pharaoh considered them a menace. He said unto his people, “Behold the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we. Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them and they made their burdens bitter with hard bondage, but the more they afflicted them the more they multiplied and grew. Exodus 1:22[And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive]
The baby Moses was not thrown into the river, he was carefully placed within an ark of bulrushes which was then put among the flags very near the bathing place of the Egyptian princess. Seeing a very lovely and very hungry Hebrew baby she made arrangements for a Hebrew mother to nurse the baby. The nurse was Moses mother and he lived and grew in their home until he was 7 or even until he was 12 years old. By that time his parents would have instructed the boy in respect to the Abrahamic promises.
At 12 years old he was formally adopted by the princess and as a prince of Egypt he was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians Acts 7:22[And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.]
Hebrews 11:24,25[By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;. 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;] The first 40 years of Moses life he was a prince, the second 40 years he was a shepard in the land of Median where he learned all about survival in a desert wilderness.
Almighty God had heard the prayer of the children of Israel, to be free, to send them a deliverer and He was preparing Moses to be that leader. When Moses was 80 years old God appeared to him as a burning bush and told him to return to Egypt to go before Pharaoh and tell him he must LET MY PEOPLE GO Exodus 5:1[And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told the Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.]
Pharaoh would not listen to Moses and Aaron his brother, instead, he increased the work load of the Israelites. Because of Pharaoh’s refusal to obey the Lords word 10 plagues came upon Egypt one by one, (1) their water was turned into blood (2) frogs (3) lice (4) Flies (5) Deadly infections among the animals (6) boils (7) hail (8) Locusts (9) darknesss and the last, the final plague would be the death of all the first-born, both man-kind and beasts in the land of Egypt.
In order to escape this plague the Israelites were given speciffic instructions by God through Moses. Exodus 12:1-14[And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. 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: 4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: 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 the evening. 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 it. 8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. 10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. 11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. 13 And the blood shall be to you for 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. 14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.]
The children of Israel did as the LORD commanded and it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne, unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon and all the firstborn of cattle: there was not one home in Egypt where there was not one dead.
Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron in the middle of the night and told them to take the children of Israel and all their flocks and herds and be gone: and bless me also: Apparently Pharaoh was finally convinced of the power of God and asked Moses to secure him a blessing.
Six hundred thousand men plus their families left Egypt, possibly a total of 2 million. They were as promised to Abraham, a great nation.
The journey to the promised land came to a complete stop when they reached the shore of the Red Sea, they couldn’t go forward and they couldn’t go back because Pharaoh had second thoughts about letting all his valuable slaves go and was coming after them with his entire army.
The Israelites were terrified and they cried unto the LORD and they cried unto Moses to save them. And Moses said unto the people “Fear ye not, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind, all that night, and make the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
The children of Israel went into the midst of the seas upon dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them and the Egyptians persued them into the midst of the sea, even all Pharos’ horses, his chariots and his horsemen. As the Israelites reached the safety of the far shore the waters returned and covered the whole Egyption army: there remained not so much as one of them.
Thus the Lord saved Israel and they saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptions and the people feared the Lord and believed the Lord and his servant Moses.
We are not Jews and we do not celebrate “Passover”, but we do believe our celebration of the memorial of the death of Jesus and the Jewish Passover supper are very closely related.
The Apostle Paul clearly and positively identifies the Passover lamb with our Lord Jesus, saying 1 Corinthians 5:7,8[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: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.] “Christ our Passover is slain for us: therefore let us keep the feast.” In this manner the Apostle links the memorial of our Lords’ death with the slaying of the Passover Lamb in Egypt so long ago.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Considering the 2011 date, I have wondered if this was the last talk Brother Detzler wrote before his passing.