“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: 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.” 1 Corinthians 7:8
When seasons come round, in which I was in the habit of commemorating the feasts that are ordered by the Lord in the books of Moses - such as this season, for instance, when all my “brethren according to the flesh” assemble together, and eat unleavened bread, and commemorate thereby the exodus (that is, the going out) of Egypt, which commemoration is kept by them generally - it certainly awakens in my mind a feeling, which leads me to inquire more deeply into what really is meant by Christ’s having come and His being “the end of the law.” It leads me into the inquiry as to what is meant by the Messiah, Christ (which is only another word for the Messiah), having already come, and by the work that He hath performed. I then ask myself - Is it that He came to take away one form, and give another in place thereof? is this all that He came to do for me a sinner? or is it not something higher and more glorious than this - that that which was only external, as a signal which was to lead men into a further inquiry of that which was to come, is now to be a living principle in the soul, a life and power that is to be realized by everyone that truly believes in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I purpose, then, this evening, by the help of God, to speak to you, not by way of arguing the point or proving the analogy between Christ and the passover, but to speak to you as a believer in Christ, and point out what was the nature of the law of the passover under the old dispensation, and the application that the Spirit of God by the mouth of the apostle Paul makes of the passover during this spiritual dispensation, or “dispensation of the Spirit.”
In the first place we will notice the origin of the passover, to which (though all of you who are Bible readers are acquainted with it) I will refer briefly, and thus proceed with the passover from its origin to the keeping of it in the wilderness, and then to the keeping of it in the land of Judea, and last our Saviour’s keeping it, and the lessons we are to learn from it. I must be brief, as the time will not permit me to enter fully into the subject this evening; but still I am anxious to give a general outline of the matter, and leave it for further meditation to your own souls.
The origin was in the Lord’s sending a message by Moses to Israel, that the elders of Israel were to go and take a lamb out of the flock four days before the time that the passover was to be slain - as if thereby he was going to train Israel into a union with himself, in the commandment of their taking the lamb. I mean thereby, that they were to look upon the lamb taken out from the flock as the lamb of God given to them. For they durst not, in the land of Egypt, kill a lamb; the Egyptians would have stoned them. You remember that Moses said to Pharaoh, We dare not offer the abomination of the Egyptians “in the land ;” they would stone us. The Israelites dare not sacrifice a lamb before the Egyptians, for the Egyptians worshipped a sheep or a lamb. Therefore they were to look upon the lamb as the gift of God to them. They were to take the lamb into their houses, it was to be within their habitations for four days before it was to be slain, and they were to look upon it and wonder and meditate in what way the Lord would give them deliverance. The command was that all the congregation of Israel, every family apart, was to be engaged in the same work of preparing the lamb; so that into whatsoever Israelitish house any one went, he would see them busy in preparing this lamb, which God had given to them to be prepared for the passover. And if they were asked, ‘Wherefore do ye this? are you not afraid of the Egyptians No, we are not afraid; this lamb is given to us by God, and according to His command we are acting now; we are not afraid, for we are acting according as the Lord gave us direction.’
They were ordered to have the blood upon the lintel and the side posts of the door; as if the Lord would teach them thereby, ‘ Ye are sealed into your houses by life.’ For I wish you always to bear in mind, that “the blood is the life” of the creature; the blood of the lamb was the life of the lamb, and God has given this life as an atonement for our sins. It was typical of a higher thing, of which we shall further speak; but this life of the lamb was to be put upon their doors, that their houses might be sealed with life. What life? The life of God – a holy life; for the lamb was only an outward symbol of the mind of God concerning them. God knew where Israel dwelt; He who “searches the heart” needed not the outward symbol; but it was for the instruction and for the comfort of every family in Israel, that they were to know that the life of God is stamped upon their habitations. This was the signal given to them.
They were to feed upon the sacrifice after it was roasted. It was not to be boiled, or eaten raw; it was to be roasted by fire. The fire extracts the blood more than water; if it was boiled in water, the blood that comes out of it would be boiling in with it continually. And I conceive that the being roasted before the fire, the fire extracting every drop of blood from the surface of the lamb, was typical of what we will at once notice - typical of the sufferings of “the Lamb of God, that taketh away our sins.” The blood was extracted from His body, by the pain and agony in which He was when seeing a world lying under the wicked one. In the garden of Gethsemane, you remember, the blood was extracted from His body; He was in such agony, that every pore opened itself, and out of it came a drop of blood. It was roasted, then, as typical of what was afterwards to be done by the Lamb of God.
They were to feed upon this Lamb. It was not to be looked at and admired and meditated upon merely; it was to be partaken of. They were to feed upon it preparatory to the exodus, preparatory to their marching forth out of Egypt. Notice that; the blood was sprinkled previous to their departure, and the lamb was to be fed upon previous. And they were to eat it in an attitude, standing with their loins girt about and staff in their hand and shoes on their feet, as men ready to be summoned at every moment, not knowing what hour exactly. But the Lord said He would pass by at midnight. So they watched till midnight; and at midnight the Lord passed through and the cry of the Egyptians must have been beard throughout the whole of Egypt. It is very probable that the death of every first-born was not sudden, but that it was a death accompanied with much pain and agony, which made them cry out and wake all the household; and when the household all assembled together, from the king unto the prisoner in the dungeon, they found their firstborn dying, dying in agony. And at that very time was every Israelite to stand ready to go forth, when the Lord said, Go forward.
But we must proceed from this, to consider the way they kept it the first time in the wilderness - the first year they kept the Passover after this.
You find the account of it in the ninth chapter of Numbers, “In the fourteenth day of this month at even, ye shall keep the passover in His appointed season; according to all the rites of it and according to all the ceremonies thereof ye shall keep it;” and then Moses gave directions to the children of Israel to slay the passover. Now this was close to Sinai, close to the mount where a little time before they had received the law with thunders and lightnings from heaven. This was the first time they kept the passover after they came out of Egypt; and it must have yet been very fresh in their minds when they were sealed up in their houses with the life-blood of Heaven, the life of the Lamb, and when they were standing expecting, waiting with confidence for the cry, ‘Behold! go! liberty is given you, march out of the midst of your enemies.’ They were now keeping it before Sinai, where they had received the law; the burnings of Sinai must have been still fresh in their minds. At the same time the bush was near Sinai, in which Moses saw the Angel, who said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people and have heard their cry;” and Moses doubtless pointed them often to the spot - ‘I beheld in this humble thorny bush the great God who delivered you with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, the great God who has thundered and lightened before you here in Sinai; He appeared here in a humble form, wrapped up in the thorny bush, and proclaimed His purpose to deliver you, not from the outward bondage merely, but from something deeper, even the bondage of sin.’
Now in this ninth chapter of Numbers, you find a law that must have been given previous to this, “ There were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body of a man, that they could not keep the passover on that day; and they came before Moses and Aaron, ‘‘and put the question whether they were to be deprived of keeping the passover. The law was, that persons touching a dead body - persons, for instance, that were obliged to be engaged in burying a relative - were defiled, and they dare not be engaged in the service of eating the passover. What a privation to those that really desired it! what a privation it must have been, to be so separated signally! And not having committed any thing apparently wrong, why should they be deprived? But it was a lesson to all Israel, that the passover was given to teach them life - that the passover was given to teach them the deliverance from the curse and from death, to teach them a going out of death into life. This I conceive to have been the reason, why a person having touched a dead body was to be separated from Israel, not permitted to keep the passover on that day - as if God thereby were to tell them, ‘You are made for life; the blood of the sacrifice is blood of life; ye are to feed upon it prospectively, (that is, looking to Me, looking to a life that is to come,) but if the same time you are now to realise life.’ All Israel had to learn this lesson, in seeing some of their brethren separated for a whole month; they were to keep it one month later, but they were to be separated for the whole month, as a time preparatory to the keeping the passover. And doubtless there may have been oftentimes signal judgments of God - I believe there were - in God’s sending death into a family, that perhaps had begun to be exceedingly formal and lifeless in their performance of this service; He sent a defilement into their houses in sending a death among them; they were to see that they were dead in trespasses and sins, though they thought themselves alive, and the were to go before the Lord and be humble and be prepared to offer up the sacrifice in a more heavenly frame. The heart-searching God often among Israel brought to light the hidden things of darkness, which now are reserved until that day when the Lord shall reveal all the secrets.
Further, the passover was not merely to be kept as it was kept in Egypt. In Egypt it was to be eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs; this was the direction given for the eating it there; but although the eating of the passover was the same afterwards, yet there were additional sacrifices given. After the tabernacle had been reared-up, every day of the passover there were to be offered up for burnt-offerings seven lambs, two bullocks arid one ram; that is ten; these ten were to be offered every day for a burnt-offering, and ten every day in the seven days make seventy - just setting forth, I conceive, the three score and ten of the life of a man, setting forth the whole life of a man, as being not merely a life with a seven days’ passover, but a life throughout which the passover was to be continually kept in remembrance; it was to remind them that the whole of life was to be a life of remembrance of the passover, that is, of the Lord passing by them and not smiting them. It is very striking that God should have ordered that three score and ten. It was the same on the feast of tabernacles, that there were three score and ten offered; but we must keep now to the passover.
Besides this, there was the burnt-offering, which means an ascending up. The literal meaning of the name for a burnt-offering is an ascending up; for the offering ascended up in a flame. The way that God accepted a burnt-offering was by a flame from heaven descending upon the sacrifice; for instance, when He made a covenant with Abraham, or when He accepted the offering of Abel, the fire of heaven descended, receiving up the offering in a flame into the invisible regions, the ashes remaining on the ground. It was thus called a burnt-offering, an ascending up, typical of the life of Christ; the whole life of Christ was a continual ascending up on high. It is quite a mistaken idea, to think that Christ’s sufferings were only during His public life. Oh! who knows the exquisite agony of Jesus’ soul, when he was a private individual, when He was working as a carpenter, and when He saw around Him in all probability the false manifestations in social life, the treachery, the evils? Christ was a continual burnt-offering, a continually ascending offering, until He ascended up altogether on high, and led captivity captive, and received gifts for men, even the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell amongst them.”
Then besides, there were also offered seven goats, one goat every day, for a sin-offering. And it was to set forth this; every day, while they were engaged in the performance of the commandment of God and feeding upon the unleavened bread, God appointed that continually every day there was to be the sin-offering slain, to teach them that while they ate the unleavened bread sin was secretly dwelling within them; while they were in the very act of performing His service, they needed the cleansing blood of the goat, the cleansing blood of the sacrifice, to take away their sin. Thus they were taught this important lesson, that it was not the outward performance of the service, but it was the atonement with the service. It was the taking away of sin; and then they were to eat (as it were) every morsel of unleavened bread as redeemed sinners, with thankful hearts, with purged consciences.
So, brethren, while in Egypt, at the first step, there was only the passover and the unleavened bread, yet afterwards the passover was never to he eaten by itself without the sacrifices that were to be offered besides. The passover was eaten only on the first evening, in commemoration of the exodus; but the unleavened bread was eaten for seven days, yet not eaten without the daily burnt-offering, and the ten sacrifices, and the sin-offering, and the daily drink-offering, into which I cannot enter just now.
Now although the commemoration of my brethren as a nation is in itself nothing, I should be grieved, if when they do not believe in the Lord Jesus they gave up the outward commemoration. I am grieved to say that many do. But any of my brethren that do give it up, while they are yet not believing in the Lord Jesus, I entreat them to consider this - From what principal give you it up? is it from a principle of loving the Lord and having found something better, or is it not from a principle of casting away the Lord altogether?
But I must notice now, that when they came into the land of Canaan, there was something mudded still to this keeping of the passover.
Directions are given in the twenty-third chapter of Leviticus, that after they. entered into the land of Cannan they were to bring with them a sheaf of the first ripe corn; this was to be done in addition to all that I have now been mentioning. It was to be the first sheaf cut in the field; the sickle was not to be put in for any purpose, except to cut these first fruits, and the fields were to remain untouched until these first-fruits had been brought by them.
They were to take these sheaves with them to Jerusalem. And here I must notice the manner in which they had to appear on this feast at Jerusalem. While they were in the wilderness, they were altogether like one family; but afterwards, when each one was settled upon his estate that the Lord had allotted to them, although they were already settled they were all to look for a better home than the one in which the Lord had placed them; and as the keeping of the passover in Egypt was only as a stepping-stone out of the bondage of Egypt, so also the keeping of the passover after they got into the land of Canaan was again also only a stepping-stone, as it were, into the heavenly Canaan. It was to lead them to look forward to a higher glory; it was to lead them to look forward to “inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away.” And therefore the directions that were given by God were exceedingly interesting and striking. Previous to the feast, they were all to prepare, rich and poor were all to prepare, for their journey to Jerusalem; and then all the various families marched forth from their estates. That is, the males; God in His tender mercy left the females at liberty to remain at home, but it is evident that many did go up to Jerusalem and did rejoice there, as it is said by Moses, “‘There ye shall rejoice, you and your sons and your daughters.” But all the males went forth to Jerusalem, each one with his lamb, each one with his sheaf; each one had the sheaf of the first ripe corn upon his shoulders, and each one led the lamb beside him, and thus they were journeying to meet with their God at Jerusalem, every family going the same way, their faces directed Zionward. And if any one meeting them by the way asked - ‘Whither are ye marching, whither are ye going, such a large army? are ye going to fight with your enemies?’ ‘We are going to meet with our God at Jerusalem; this is our object.’ Wherefore this lamb?’ ‘It is the lamb that taketh away sins, the sacrifice without which we dare not appear before our God against whom we have sinned.’ ‘Wherefore this first fruit?’ ‘Because our land is given to us by God, and we are sojourning here even as our fathers sojourned : and we are to follow the steps of our father Abraham, of our father Isaac, and of our father Jacob; we are to live here as pilgrims, carrying the first fruit before the Lord, acknowledging that we have the privilege of the enjoyment of this land, because He has given it to us and He blesses us, and now we are going up give this sheaf unto the Lord as a first fruit and token that we are willing to dedicate ourselves and our property unto the service of the living God.’ There was a union manifested, a delightful union; oh! What a delightful brotherhood was manifested! And when they all came to the gates of Jerusalem, everyone expressed his private feeling to his brother, “I was glad” said one when they said unto me, Let us go unto the house of the Lord;” another, again, expressing the same, every one expressing his gladness; and then all shouting forth with joy (as in the 123rd Psalm) “Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem,” just as they were at the entrance into the gates of Jerusalem; and all the brethren that were already dwelling within Jerusalem, and the priests and the Levites and the royal family, all came forth to meet their brethren, and welcome these weary travellers that came to meet with God. whose presence they had the privilege continually to enjoy - illustrative, again, I repeat, of the state to which they were looking, when meeting together in a condition so full of hope and so full of glory, where no more sorrow shall enter and nothing shall disturb the harmony and brotherhood of the family of the Lord.
When they came thus to Jerusalem, there were chambers prepared for receiving the guests. All the inhabitants of Jerusalem had upper chambers and very roomy places, which they prepared purposely, where their brethren that came to meet with the Lord were to go and were to keep the passover and to feast together. In one of these rooms our Saviour kept the passover. He told His disciples to go forward and to prepare the passover; and then He, who had an all searching eye, saw the heart and disposition of a man that was going forth with a pitcher of water, a simple-hearted hospitable man, and he told His disciples only to ask Him and it would be quite enough, and he would be willing to devote the room where Christ and His disciples might eat the passover.
So, my friends, the passover that was kept at Jerusalem was a passover also prospective, was a passover also still kept with a looking away to that time when the Egyptian passover shall be remembered no more, because of a deliverance far greater and far more glorious, by the bursting asunder the bars of death, by raising out of the dust glorious bodies, by delivering from the body of sin and death together, and by being brought into the very image and likeness of the living God. But this they too much overlooked.
Now the passover continued to be kept unto the very last, so that even in the days of our Saviour there were men engaged in killing the passover. Doubtless there were some, that looked for the consolation of Israel; such as Simeon; you remember, he was looking for a passover, he was looking for the consolation of Israel; although he was in the land of Canaan and was at Jerusalem, he was not satisfied. What was he looking for? He must have been looking for that “salvation,” of which he spoke when he took the helpless babe in his arms and said, “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace according to Thy word, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation.” He saw in that babe his happiness wrapt up; and why? because he saw in Him the condescending love of God; he saw in him the bud, to be unfolded speedily, of the going forth of the love of God which passed knowledge; the Lord opened the eyes of Simeon, and he beheld the child of promise. And there was Anna, the prophetess also. They looked for a passover to come, another passover.
Now when our Saviour sat down in the evening with His disciples, He said to them,” With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer.” As if He were saying - ‘I have longed for this moment; I have earnestly desired to meet with you together, and to eat with you together this last passover, before I shall be manifested myself to be the Lamb that taketh away your sins.’
He sat together with His disciples; and He took the passover cake, the bread. One of the passover cakes is generally unto this day taken by the Jews, or part of it, and hid till quite after the supper. And after the supper is finished, the cup of blessing is drank in commemoration of the blessings, for which they were to look - the blessing of a deliverance that was to come, as is even now expressed at the end of every prayer that is to be offered after eating a meal; at the end of the prayer there are such petitions as, “Thou that art merciful, cause us to be inheritors of all that is good” (or “of that which is good,” “of the day when all shall be good”), “cause us to be inheritors of that Sabbath of rest;” these prayers are offered, with many others which time does not permit me to enter into now. This cup of blessing our Saviour took, as the Head of the family; for it is generally taken by the head of the family, and then it is given to all the rest of the family to be divided, and each one takes it in his hand and partakes a little of it. This cup our Saviour calls “the cup of blessing.”
There are two cups mentioned in the Gospel according to Luke. The first cup our Saviour took, and told them to “divide it among themselves ;” and the reason He gave was this, “For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God shall come” - teaching them at once to look forward to a kingdom that was to come, to a glory that was yet to be revealed. After this He took the bread. The bread which was hid is then brought forth by the head of the family; it is taken in commemoration, some suppose, of the shew-bread - others suppose of the hidden manna, that was hid in the ark of the covenant - and a variety of opinions are given concerning what it was exactly to represent; but it is given to each one, and each one is to partake of it when his appetite is satisfied; it is after supper - teaching him that he was not to partake of it merely to satisfy his natural want, but teaching him the lesson that He was to take it only as a religious ceremony, partaking of it spiritually. Our Saviour took this; as if He were saying to them - ‘As I break this and give it into your hands, and ye can all freely hand it from one to another and eat of it, so freely do I give My body which is soon to be offered up for you; as freely as you can take this bread and put it into your mouth and hand it to one another, so freely do I give My body to you; feed upon it by faith.’ Then further He took “the cup after supper.” That cup is by the Jews unto this day filled. It is called Elijah’s cup; and the doors are opened after the cup is filled, and then the expectation is that Elijah is to make his appearance. At least this is the impression upon the minds of children, this was the impression upon my mind - looking at the door, expecting - especially in time of trial and persecution, such as often my brethren have to suffer in foreign countries, of which you are very little aware; when the trial is exceeding great, I assure you there is a very earnest looking towards the door - ‘Perhaps Elijah will make his appearance and give us deliverance.’ This cup our Saviour took, and said, “This cup is the New Testament in My blood”—the cup of salvation.
There is a cup which is mentioned in the Bible - the cup of the wrath of God, the cup of trembling. Jeremiah the prophet was commanded by God, to give to all the nations to drink of the cup of the fierceness of the wrath of God. And in Isaiah the fifty-first it is said, that the cup of trembling shall he taken out of the hands of Israel, that hath drunk even the very dregs of it. Our Saviour referred doubtless to this. David, you remember, speaks of the cup of salvation; “What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits towards me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.” And Christ compares himself therefore to the cup.
It is a twofold figure. One is as if He were saying to them - ‘You deserve the cup of the fierceness of the wrath of God; you are in a condition under the curse of God, and what you deserve is to have the cup of the fierceness of His wrath put into your hands; this is your portion, this is what you deserve, this is the only cup you have a right to claim - the cup of the wrath of God.’ Then He, as it were, takes this away; ‘I will drink it;’ and He puts into the hands of His sinful disciples a cup of salvation instead, so that instead of drinking of the cup of the wrath of God they are to drink of the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord. He exchanges cups with them. And oh! the cup that Jesus drank of was a bitter cup; but He said, “The cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?” - and He drank it, and said, “Thy will be done.”
Another figure in the cup of salvation was, that as this cup was freely handed from one disciple unto the other - as this cup, which He put into the hand of one, was handed round to them all, and they could all freely drink of it - so also was His life, His blood which was his life. For you must look to what the words mean; since God has explained to us the meaning of the blood, we should take the full meaning of it; we should not take theological phrases, and merely have our heads stuffed with empty words, but we should get things, meaning, ideas, presented to us. The blood is My life; this is My life; when you drink of this cup, remember that as you can now freely drink: this wine, so you can now as my disciples drink freely the life, that is flowing out of Me.’ ‘I am the cup of salvation,’ said Christ here in this figure. He placed the cup as an outward symbol of Himself, as if he were saying, ‘ I am now giving Myself into your hands as the cup of salvation; and it is an overflowing cup; drink of it.’
The application that the apostle makes of this is needful to be considered before I conclude.
The apostle, in making the application of the subject, not merely speaks of the Lord’s supper, of the communion, but he speaks of a principle which was to be always in exercise. Now notice this, my dear friends in the eating of the passover seven days there was set forth the whole of the threescore and ten years of a man’s life, in the threescore and ten sacrifices that were offered, and also in the sin-offering that was offered, so that every day when they saw the blood flowing from the sin-offering and from the burnt-offerings (the blood which was sprinkled upon them) they were to remember that they were eating the unleavened bread with the forgiving blood upon them, and they were therefore to consider that while eating unleavened bread they were to be leavened in their affections. Leaven is that, a little of which causes the dough to rise and swell up, which is a very striking figure of the natural heart of man and its pride and vain glory. “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump,” it is said by our Saviour. Among the Jews unto this day the custom is, that the evening before the passover the head of the family goes into various places where a few crumbs of leavened bread have been put down, which he sweeps into a certain vessel and puts away, as an outward emblem of clearing away the leaven out of the house. I often think of this, and think at a season like this of the exhortation of the apostle to ask the Lord to sweep away from within me the leaven that is there, to cleanse away the leaven that is there, and to give unto me “the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. And when thinking, again, of the bitter herbs that were to be eaten, I think of always bearing in my body the marks of the sufferings of Jesus Christ. And as to keeping of the passover at this time, if any of my brethren were to ask me, How is it you lay aside this commandment of eating unleavened bread? - I say, in the first place, the unleavened bread was to be eaten in the wilderness with the blood of the sacrifices, with the blood of the seventy burnt-offerings and the sin-offering and the daily-offerings. And another reason I would give is, that now the commemoration of the passover is to be every hour of the day; every hour I am to rejoice that I am delivered from sin, yea from the gates of hell, and brought into the liberty of being able to draw nigh unto God. Every hour is to be a commemoration of the passover. Every hour we are to feed upon the Lamb of God, yea every moment we are to feed upon Him in our hearts by faith with thanksgiving, and moreover to remember the brotherhood that is to be manifested.
Let me address those of you, that are believers in Christ. Upon you, brethren, I call in the name of the Lord; and with real heartfelt desire for the good of your souls and my soul, and (above all) the glory of God, let me call upon you to ask whether you have realised the antitype of the passover. In the first place, that blood which was upon the door-posts - is that upon your hearts? For when Moses addresses Israel and tells them what they were to do after they got into the land (which you can find in the thirteenth chapter of Exodus), how they were to remember what the Lord did for them, and how that their children were to be struck with all their various actings, and were to be instructed to ask ‘Wherefore, O father, dost thou thus?’ - the answer was to be, Because the Lord my God delivered me.” Let me ask you, my dear friends, whether you realise in life what the passover was to be in type. It is easy to use a sweeping expression, “The passover was a type of Christ; ‘but it was typical of something further it was typical of Christians feeding upon Christ. When Israel had to go forth out of Egypt, the blood that was within their veins was the blood that was formed by the flesh of this sacrifice; the blood that was circulating through the whole of their body was the blood that had been formed by the flesh which they had been feeding upon on the evening before, so that the whole of their strength and energy in escaping out of Egypt was the strength arid energy of the lamb within them. The strength and energy, then, of the Christian is a strength and energy from the life of the Lamb within him. “I in them, and they in me,” says Christ. The destroyer is not kept out by any thing but the life of Christ in our affections - which is meant by “the blood of Christ sprinkling us from an evil conscience.” Have you your hearts sprinkled, my dear friends? Is that seal of heaven upon your affections? is that life of the Lamb of God in your hearts? Is Christ incorporated within your being as “the hope of glory?” Do you feel that His life is stimulating your every nerve, and that you go on in the strength of the living God? Do you keep the feast of the Passover, in the way in which God exhorts you to do it - “Purge out the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened; for even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us?” There He makes use of the figure, when there was one being taken out from among them who bad committed evil; He tells them to purge him out; but he does not stop there, this is not the whole - “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity arid truth.”
One word more. Any of you here that have not yet learned to know that the whole of your hopes depend only on receiving this Lamb of God into your affections, any of you that go on forgetting the living God - the destroying angel that passed through Egypt, will pass through again. The destroyer will come forth with far greater fierceness than he then passed through. But I know it is not frightening persons, that will drive them to Jesus; I entreat you rather to consider what your own feelings would be, when you appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, and when all the tender yearnings that were manifested towards you and all the “bowels of compassion” of Jesus that were declared unto you will be remembered, and when it will ring in your ears that you have heard that out of every pore of Jesus’ body came forth a drop of pardoning blood, and when you think how you were called to behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.” What shall your feelings be, when you come before the judgment seat of Christ,. and when your own conscience will be a hell and you will be cast out for ever for having despised “so great salvation”? “Oh! see the judgment of God upon my brethren for having despised “so great salvation.” Where is the temple ? where is the Shekinah? where that holy brotherhood and meeting together; where that joyful assembling with the first-fruits? Alas! alas! “the glory is departed.” Behold the goodness and severity of God.’ “Towards thee goodness” is now manifested ; but remember the time is corning, when the Lord will manifest all secret and hidden things of darkness, when He shall come forth with ten thousand of His saints, when all His redeemed family shall rise up out of the sea and out of every part of the earth, when each grave shall unfold itself and a glorious body shall rise up, and when all the ransomed shall shout together for joy, and say, Hallelujah unto the Lamb that was slain and washed us from our sins in His blood! Oh! what will be the state of those, that will be cast out into outer darkness! Come, then, brethren, come. Why will you despise “so great salvation?” Oh! is all the agony of Jesus not worth notice? is all His suffering to be trampled under your feet? Are all His tender invitations to be thrust away? Brethren, in the name of the Lord, I pray you - COME.
Copyright in this edition © 2008 by Geoffrey Henderson