Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
God’s revelation in the Bible is presented in a practical way, not in the way of doctrinal understanding. Because the divine revelation comes in a practical way, it is always living. However, if it were given in a way of doctrine, the result would be death. In particular, the Passover is presented not as a doctrine, but in relation to a practical need. The Passover portrayed in Exodus 12 is a clear, adequate, and even all-inclusive type of the redemption of Christ. Nowhere else in the Scriptures is the redemption of Christ presented in such a full way.
All Christians know that Christ is the Lamb of God who accomplished redemption for us (John 1:29). However, not many have seen a clear picture of Christ as the redeeming Lamb of God. This picture is presented in Exodus 12.
You may not understand the significance of certain details in this picture. For example, why was the blood put on the lintel and the doorposts (12:22) rather than on the roof? Why did God tell the children of Israel to use a bunch of hyssop to sprinkle the blood on the lintel and doorposts? What was the reason for eating bitter herbs along with the flesh of the lamb? We could ask question upon question. Few Christians are able to answer questions such as these.
We all need to see a clear picture of Christ’s redemption. Although the New Testament reveals the various aspects of redemption, these aspects are not systematized in a doctrinal way. John 1:29 says that Christ is the Lamb of God, and in 1 Corinthians 5:7 Paul speaks of Christ as the Passover. Here and there in the New Testament we see aspects of Christ’s redemption. In Exodus 12, however, we have a complete picture. We need to consider this picture carefully; then to interpret it properly, we need to turn to other portions of the Word, especially to the New Testament.
The Passover is a type of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 5:7 Paul says that “Our Passover, Christ, has been sacrificed.” Here Paul does not say that Christ is our lamb; he says that Christ is our Passover. But how could the Passover be sacrificed? The answer is that Christ is not only the Passover lamb, but also every aspect of the Passover. The lamb, the bread, and the bitter herbs are all related to Christ. In principle, therefore, Christ is not only the lamb of the Passover, but the very Passover itself.
The word Passover means that the judgment of God passes over us. In Exodus 12:13 the Lord says, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” Eventually, the Passover became a proper noun in English. The proper noun Passover has its source in the words “pass over” in 12:13.
But why is Christ called our Passover? According to Exodus 12, God passed over the children of Israel because the blood of the Passover lamb had been sprinkled on the lintel and the doorposts of their houses. The children of Israel had been commanded to eat the flesh of the lamb in their houses. This indicates that the house was to be their covering under which and in which they could eat the flesh of the Passover lamb. The house that covered them was to have blood sprinkled on the lintel and the doorposts. When God saw the blood, He passed over the children of Israel. Hence, this passing over was due to the sprinkled blood.
With Paul, however, we see that the Passover is related not only to the blood, but to Christ Himself. Are we today under the blood, or are we in Christ? Strictly speaking, to say that we are under the blood is not scriptural. This phrase is not found in the New Testament. But the New Testament says repeatedly that we are in Christ. According to 1 Corinthians 1:30, it is of God that we are in Christ. Because we are in Christ, He Himself becomes our Passover. This means that before Christ can be our Passover, He must first be our covering. Our covering today is not the blood; it is Christ. In Exodus 12 the Passover was based on the blood. But today our Passover is based on Christ. This is the reason Paul could say that Christ is our Passover.
If you were asked to list the items of the Passover in Exodus 12, you would probably mention the lamb, the flesh, the blood, the unleavened bread, and the herbs. But probably you would not include the house. The house in Exodus 12 is a type of Christ. At the end of Genesis 3, we see that God used skins to cover Adam and Eve (v. 21). In Genesis 4 Abel “brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof” and presented them to the Lord (v. 4). Through this offering, Abel was accepted by God. Later we read that Noah was charged to build an ark, which may be regarded as a floating house. This ark was a type of Christ into whom we have been placed by God. Noah and his family entered into the ark and in it they were saved from the flood. These instances indicate that the revelation in the Bible is progressive. In Genesis 3:21 we have the coats of skins; in Genesis 4:4, the offering of the firstlings of the flock; and in Genesis 6 and 7, the ark made by Noah.
In the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob we do not have a clear record of redemption. For this, we must go to the experience of the children of Israel recorded in Exodus 12. Here is the full development of God’s redemption that is first indicated in Genesis 3. In Genesis 3 we have the skins, in Genesis 4 we have the offering, and in Genesis 6 and 7 we have the ark. Now in Exodus 12 we have set before us the full development of God’s redemption. Here the ark becomes the house, a type of Christ, in which and by which the children of Israel were covered. This is the reason that no verse in the New Testament says that we are under the covering of the blood of Christ. However, a number of verses, especially in the Epistles, indicate that we are in Christ. According to Galatians 3, God has put us into Christ, and we are now in Christ. Because Christ is the house that covers us, He is our Passover. He is not only the lamb, the unleavened bread, and the herbs; He is also the house whose lintel and doorposts have been sprinkled with the redeeming blood.
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