April 1, 2015

A Short Message for Easter

This is an outline I prepared for a short message at a local nursing home for Easter Sunday, April 5.

Christ crucified at Passover; Last Supper=Passover meal

Date of Easter varies & coincides with Passover.

Easter=the fulfillment of Passover—Passover was a picture of what was to come—a celebration of the work of Jesus, the perfect Passover lamb.

1Corinthians 5:7: “…Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.”

Let’s look at Passover & see how it foreshadows the work of Christ:

-          Time: 3,000 years ago; Israel slaves in Egypt 400 years

-          God spoke through Moses to Pharoah: “Let My people go!”

-          Pharoah refused; 9 plagues; 10th plague, death of 1st-born in Egypt
Moses gave instructions to the Israelites for how their 1st-born could be saved:
Exodus 12:1-13: The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb[a] for his family, one for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. 5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. 8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs. 10 Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover. 12 “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.
1.       Notice the lamb was a substitute for the 1st-born—to escape, kill the innocent lamb for your meal that night and smear some of the blood on the doorframe.

-          God substituted the life of the lamb for the life of the 1st-born

-          In the same way, Christ give His life as a substitute for ours: 1Peter 1:18-19-- 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

2.       The fact that Christ was condemned, suffered, & died in our place is the very foundation of the Christian faith.

3.       We are forgiven—not because of good deeds, but by grace through faith in Christ’s sacrifice in our place

-          We deserve rejection because we have sinned, but we receive acceptance through Christ, the sinless, perfect lamb of God who through His death in exchange for ours, paid the penalty for our sin

4.       Note in that original Passover the Israelites had to place their faith in God to be saved by the innocent sacrifice made in their place.

-          They placed their faith & confidence in God & what they did in faith led to their salvation

-          It is only through personal faith in God that they were saved

5.       God has given us the same promise—that if we trust in Christ alone for our salvation, we will be saved

-          That means confessing sin & giving up our faith in our own goodness

-          It means we must stop trying to earn God’s favor by trying to be good

-          It means we accept the free gift of redemption through Christ

Romans 3:23-24-- 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.
6.       The Israelites in Egypt were also told to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice

-          You & I also must be ready…to meet Christ when we pass on or when He returns

-          Are you ready? I invited you to put your faith in Christ

-          Prayer

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