By Henry Mahan
The Lord had sent plague after plague upon the Egyptians; but each time Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he would not allow the Israelites to leave Egypt. The Lord spoke to Moses (Exo. 11-1) and declared that he would bring one more plague upon Egypt; after that plague, Pharaoh would send them forth out of the land.
The Passover Lamb is a special type of Christ, perhaps the clearest and most complete of all the types and pictures; for in it the Lord God preached to the Jews the whole doctrine of the gospel--(l) in the choice of the sacrifice--John 1:29, (2) in the characteristics of the lamb--I Peter 2:22; (3) in the death of the lamb and the sprinkling of the blood--Heb. 9:11-14; (4) in the eating of the lamb and the faith that rested--John 6:53-54, and (5) in the grand results of it all--the people were delivered and God was glorified--Exo. 12: 26-27; Eph. 3:21.
One of the best ways to study the Passover as a picture and type of Christ is to look at the parallels between this Passover and 'Christ, our Passover, who is sacrificed for us' (1 Cor. 5:7).
The lamb was to be without blemish.
This signifies the absolute perfection and sinlessness of our Lord Jesus (Heb. 4:15; 11 Cor. 5:21). The Lord Jesus, in order to be our righteousness, must live a perfect life; and in order to atone for our sin, he must have no sin of his own. 'The sacrifice shall be perfect to be accepted' (Lev. 22:21).
The lamb was to be taken out of the fold.
Jesus Christ, our Lamb, was taken from among men (Deut. 18:15-19). He was the seed of woman, the seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:16), and made of the seed of David according to the flesh (Rom. 1:3).
The lamb was to be a year old and was to be killed This shows that our Lord in his full strength of life should be put to death.
The lamb was to be roasted with fire This probably signifies the manner of Christ's death. He was crucified, enduring the fire of God's wrath for our sins, and the burning fever of his wounds.
The lamb was to be roasted whole Not a bone was to be broken, as the Scriptures declare of Christ (John 19:36).
The blood of the lamb must be sprinkled upon the lintel and the sides of the door of the Israelites Just as the blood of Christ is applied by faith, there is no salvation nor deliverance apart from faith (John 3:36). God did not put the blood on the door; the people put it there, believing God (Heb. 11:6). The blood on the door denotes an outward confession and evidence of heart faith. In all our going out and going in, the blood of the Lamb is before us.
The Israelites were to eat the flesh of the lamb This signifies that we must, by faith, feed upon Christ. Truly believing on Christ and receiving Christ within us is called eating his flesh and drinking his blood (John 6: 55:58).
They were to eat the lamb with unleavened bread.
Leaven is a type of evil. This is to signify that those who come to Christ, the true Passover, are to come in sincerity and truth, hating evil and hypocrisy. They were also to eat the lamb with bitter herbs, which probably shows the sorrow for sin and repentance in the hearts of those who come to Christ. The Lamb was not to be eaten raw nor sodden with water, that is, not boiled in wine, oil, or water. Christ endured the full wrath and judgment for our full justification; and nothing is to be mixed, added, nor joined to him.
Nothing of the lamb was to remain.
This says that the whole Christ is to be received and fed upon by faith--Christ in both natures, divine and human; Christ in all his offices, prophet, priest, and king; Christ in all his person and work.
They were to eat the Passover dressed and ready to move out of Egypt.
This is the Lord's Passover and effectually saves. The world, as Egypt to Israel, is no longer our home. We are pilgrims, temporarily here but awaiting his call to move out and go home to Canaan.
'When I see the blood, I will pass over you'
This is why the ordinance was called the Passover, because the Lord, at the sight of the blood of the lamb, passed over the Israelites and delivered them. His judgment and wrath pass over us because of the blood of Christ (Rom. 8:1; Eph. 1:7).