Passover services including the Footwashing will be observed in less than a week on the evening of Thursday, April 18th. The Night to be Much Remembered is Friday, April 19th. And the first Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is Sabbath, April 20th.
I heard a prominent politician say this week, “I’ve never done anything that I need to be sorry for.” If that were the case, which it is not, there would have been no need for our Father to send His Son. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Brethren, never mind the folks in Washington DC, we are sinners – though we may prefer to think of ourselves as those who are righteous.
John 3:16-17 God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.
We get to thinking sometimes that God passed-over our sins because we are doing everything right. The truth is just the opposite. God loved us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). In the Hebrew language, Passover is ‘pesach’ meaning that God gives an exemption. It is God who initiates the fellowship with us, overlooking sin at the outset.
We tend to think of Passover in terms of having our sins forgiven, but there is a more profound meaning in that ‘Passover’ means we are at peace with God, and able to be in close fellowship with Him. We see that concept much clearer when we compare the Old Testament Sin Offering to the Peace Offering. In the Old Testament there were many types of sacrifices and offerings, and they all point to the various aspects of the Messiah – Jesus Christ. Passover is primarily about God’s exemption and overlooking of our sin more than providing a payment for sin. He is not condoning sin by any means, but in His mercy, He is not holding us immediately accountable for them. Jesus has certainly paid for our sin – but there is something else of great importance that is going on with respect to Passover.
The Bible speaks of many different kinds of offerings: The Drink Offering, Wave Offering, Heave Offering, Freewill Offering, Burnt Offering, Meal Offering, Sin Offering, the Peace Offering, and others. They were stipulated for different occasions and circumstances.
The purpose of today’s sermon is to demonstrate from Scripture that the Passover sacrifice of Jesus Christ was much more than a Sin Offering. Christ’s Passover is a Peace Offering. We do not perform the Old Testament offerings any more, and as a result, they have become rather obscure to us. However, God has made them an integral part of His word, the Bible, because, as Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these Scriptures that bear witness of Me.” (John 5:39). This tells us that the Old Testament offerings are important to our knowledge and understanding.
Leviticus 6:25-26 Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the Sin Offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD: it is most holy. The priest that offers it for sin shall eat it: in the holy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation.
The Sin Offering was most pleasing to God. It was a sacrifice which provided atonement for sin, but Passover is not a Sin Offering. The Sin Offering was boiled in a stew-pot, while the Passover lamb was roasted. The Sin Offering was for the purpose of cleansing and forgiveness – which comports more with the Day of Atonement.
On the other hand, the Peace Offering—of which the Passover is a type—shows the perfect fellowship produced between us and God, and us and our fellow Church brethren. Passover commemorates the peace we have with the Father and the Son, and the incredible covenant to which They have pledged Themselves. When the significance of that awesome privilege truly sinks in, it motivates the Christian to likewise honor the fellowship of the entire spiritual Body.
The Passover is a memorial of our unique and undeserved standing with God, and a reminder of the redemption process He is faithful to complete as we continue to abide in Him. Because of Christ’s overwhelming dedication and devotion to the point of death, we can now gratefully enjoy fellowship with God because of the peace Jesus Christ has provided. Speaking of Jesus the Messiah:
Ephesians 2:14-17 He is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in His flesh the enmity… to make in Himself of twain, one new man, so making peace; that He might reconcile both unto God in one Body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
Romans 5:1-2 Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Yes! It is by God’s good grace that we have been exempted when He overlooked our miserable sinful condition for His Name’s sake (Ezekiel 5:5-9). God allowed the Israelites’ continued existence because of His covenant promise to Abraham concerning his descendants. Because of God’s faithfulness to Abraham—God devastated Egypt while exempting Israel which was involved in the same abominable sins. The Peace Offering shows that God has done the exact same for us—Passing-over our sins.
Thank God for His peace and mercy on us, His people.
Wishing you a wonderful Passover, Night to Be Much Remembered, and First Day of Unleavened Bread.
Your brother in Christ,