Posted by: Heather | March 30, 2010

Shadows of the Messiah – Passover #2

Exodus 12:1-5  And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,

This month shall be unto you the beginning of months:  it shall be the first month of the year to you.

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:

And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor 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.

Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year:  ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:

You may see Part 1 (introduction) of this series here.

The cry had gone up from the children of Israel to God in heaven, pleading for deliverance from the slavery of Egypt.  By this time in the sequence of events, Moses had come and told Pharoah to let God’s people go.  Even when the Lord did many mighty wonders by the hand of Moses, Pharoah’s heart was still hardened every time, and he refused to allow his work force to leave.  The plagues had come and gone, but it still wasn’t enough.

This would be the last and final plague.  The Israelites were to choose a lamb.  This lamb would be their sacrifice.  They would apply the blood to the doorpost of their homes, so the death angel would not kill the firstborn of their household that night.  They were preparing to ‘pass over’, or leave the place of their slavery, and head to freedom.

Passover, which began last night at sundown (March 29, 2010), occurs on the 14th day of the first month on the Jewish calendar.  The lamb was chosen for each household on the tenth day of the month, so they had several days to inspect the lamb and prepare to leave Egypt.

Historically, this is how it’s done.  The family will choose a lamb for the Passover sacrifice on the 10th of the month.  It will be tied near the door of the home, and will spend days 11-13 being inspected to ensure it’s free of blemishes (deformities), and is as perfect as possible.  God gets the best they have to offer.  During those 3 days, imagine how it must be, especially for the children.  They play with it, and would probably begin to get attached to it, even though they know this lamb will die, as a remembrance of that time of passing from slavery to freedom.

Fast forward to the 10th day of the 1st month many years later in Jerusalem in Matthew 21:8-9:

Matthew 21:8-9  And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.

And the multitudes that went before and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David:  Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.

This is where Jesus comes into Jerusalem, riding on a colt.  He is preparing for His death, burial, and resurrection.  This is the day He came to the place that would culminate in his crucifixion as the ultimate sacrifice for our sin.  As He came into Jerusalem, people threw their cloaks and tree branches before Him, rejoicing.   This is the event the Christian church commemorates as Palm Sunday.

Tree branches are waved in Jerusalem during times of rejoicing (Leviticus 23:40).  The Feast of Tabernacles in the fall is the time for the former rain (the first rain for new crops), and Passover is the time of the latter rain (the rains before harvest).  The branches are waved at these times in rejoicing to God.  They hold in their hands a Lulav (loo’-lahv) and an Etrog (e’-trog) at the same time, and wave them.  They are waved at the same time one is shouting ‘Hosanna!’.

The tree branches (Lulav) are twined together and held in the right hand.  They consist of a Palm frond, a Myrtle branch, and a Willow branch.  The Etrog is held in the left hand.  This is what they represent:

Willow – The wicked – Those who smell and taste badly – They never read God’s Word and never obey it.

Myrtle – The sinner – Those who smell good and taste badly – They read God’s Word, but don’t obey it.

Palm – The mocker – Those who smell badly and taste good – They don’t read God’s Word, but live a moral life.

All 3 of these represent souls that are lost.  These 3 branches are waved together in the right hand, which is the hand of salvation.  In the end of time, when God separates the righteous from the wicked, he placed the righteous on the right, and the wicked on the left.  These branches are held in the right hand, in hopes that those that are unsaved will become saved, and will not suffer the final judgment.

The Etrog is a piece of citrus fruit, held in the left hand.  It represents the redeemed that smell good and taste good…those that read God’s Word and obey it.   It is held in the left hand, because the righteous are already redeemed and have salvation.  They are the ones like a tree planted by the rivers of water.  This is what the Jews are doing during Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on the 10th day.

On the 10th day of the first month, the ultimate Passover lamb enters the town in preparation for His death.  The process continues in the next message.  God bless you all!

Portions of this message were taken from a teaching by Dr. Karl Coke, a dear friend and mentor of ours.  He is an expert in Hebrew, Greek, and Biblical culture.  You may visit his website at http://www.karlcoke.com.
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