Redemption, Peace and Communion.

J. R. Gordon.

"I will pass through the land of Egypt this night and will smite all the firstborn" (Ex. 12:12). Solemn sentence! God's longsuffering could not continue any longer. But with the message of judgment came the message of redemption. "When I see the blood, I will pass over you." It was a message of hope for the people of Israel. It can therefore be seen with what eagerness they conformed to the conditions set out by God. Dear Christian, can we remember the eagerness with which we conformed to God's conditions when the thought of God's judgment first penetrated our darkened hearts. The Israelites were to take a lamb of the first year, without blemish, which was to be kept from the tenth to the fourteenth day of the month. This calls our minds to the words of John the Baptist. As he beheld Jesus as He walked, he exclaimed, "Behold the Lamb of God." The lamb of our chapter speaks clearly of "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." "The tenth to the fourteenth day " speaks of His pathway here before the eye of God and before the eye of man. There was no blemish to be seen by either in that Blessed One. As we read in 1 Peter 1:18-19, "Ye know ye were not redeemed by corruptible things such as silver and gold .... but with the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." The lamb was to be killed and the blood sprinkled on the two side posts and upper door post of the house. They exalted the blood! It came between them and God. The blood indicated that another had died in the stead of the firstborn and God was satisfied; His righteousness was met. It is thus God views us today. The blood of Another has been shed on our behalf, the blood of the Lamb of God. As the Israelites could dwell safely and peacefully within their houses because God had said "when I see the blood I will pass over you," so we can be here in safety, trusting that same Word of God; "God is satisfied with Jesus, I am satisfied as well!"

The children of Israel were not to be indifferent after they had a sense of safety and peace, but were to be engaged with the lamb under whose blood they were sheltering. "They shall eat the flesh that night roast with fire and unleavened bread and with bitter herbs shall they eat it." So God would have those who have taken refuge under the blood, to be occupied with the "Lamb that was slain." The "lamb roast with fire" speaks of Christ when He was exposed to the unsparing judgment of a Holy God against sin; when He bore "our sins on His own body on the tree." "Unleavened bread" shows there must be purity. "Bitter herbs" suggest self judgment. Only certain parts of the lamb were to be eaten by the Israelites on that memorable night, "his head with his legs and with the purtenance thereof." It is our privilege to have communion with our Lord as to His mind, as no doubt this is what "the head" teaches us. It is only as we partake of "the head" we can be marked by "one mind"; it is also the only way to intelligence in Divine things. The "legs" suggest the walk of Christ. We have to feast on His pathway here; what wonderful lessons there are for us in that beautiful life! As we feast on it so shall we be able to "follow in His steps." The "purtenance" or inward parts; this is the affections of Christ opened up to us. As we are engaged with His love fully displayed at Calvary so shall we respond in praise and adoration. There will also shine forth love one to the other, and in this way men will know we are His disciples. As Israel partook of the lamb roast with fire they were to be ready to leave Egypt, having their loins girded, their shoes on their feet and staff in hand. So we who have been redeemed by blood, have peace through faith and enjoy communion with our Redeemer, are to be freed from all earthly ties ready to enter into our promised rest, there to join the whole redeemed company in singing the "new song" unto the "Lamb that was slain!"