16 Verses: Exodus 12:23…The Passover

16 Verses

The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses

Exodus 12:23…The Passover Lamb

Exodus 12:23 (ESV) For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you.

God created a kingdom, and he is the king, but he made human beings to represent him in that kingdom. Adam and Eve rejected this call, which led to sin and death. But God promised to defeat the Serpent through the offspring of the woman, who is also the offspring of Abraham. Through Abraham’s family, and specifically Judah’s royal offspring, the covenant blessings would come to the world. Because all people were guilty and deserved death, the sacrifices of the Mosaic law (and the beginning of those sacrifices revealed in the Passover)[1] revealed more clearly their need for a substitute.[2] 

The Passover is a GIGANTIC gospel signpost.

There are some smaller signposts along the way that you have to get close up on and think deeply about and draw some connections. We see may types buried deep in a person’s role (A type is one like THE ONE to come in some manner). We see patterns of how God operates.

This is not the case with the Passover. The Passover is one of those lighted digital boards spanning I75.

One has to be completely blind to miss the Passover as a gospel indicator. And the Passover is a teacher on seeing how God was building in the pattern of what he would do to complete the rescue of the offspring of the woman and crush the Serpent’s head once and for all.

What do we see? What does it mean?

The Passover and subsequent sacrifices remind us that the wages[3] of sin is death.

Every time someone had to slaughter an animal to provide sacrifice they had to have some of God’s words passing through their thoughts… “…for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Death is ugly.

Death smells bad.

Death is messy.

Death was not normal, so this abnormal activity was to be a reminder that death is what we earned as our wage from sin in the garden and all the subsequent sin we are involved in.

Genesis 2:17 (ESV) but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.

Exodus 12:30 (ESV) And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead.

Romans 6:23 (ESV) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

How can we apply this truth?

  1. Sin’s natural consequence is death.


  1. Sin kills everything in its wake.

Illustration: One of my boys broke a rule, and thus sinned against his parents. In the wake of breaking that rule, the activity they were in did not go well and affected his brothers.


I had to remind my son that one sin affects the atmosphere and is never isolated to the sinner. Sin always affects everyone.


  1. As followers of Jesus, sin still kills. Sin will kill momentum in our growth in the faith, it will kill our mood, it will kill relational intimacy, and unchecked and killed itself will result in evidence we have never been saved in the first place. Sin has to be checked.


  1. No sin with anyone in the bible ever worked out well.


  1. Sin is to be killed not played with.

The Passover continues to show us the need for a substitute.

The pattern of substitute was built into history early on when God killed a creature and covered Adam and Eve’s shame though it had done nothing wrong.

God provided Abraham with a substitute when the ram was caught in the bush as he was about to sacrifice Isaac.

Now, God requires a lamb to be substituted for the people, and this pattern would be repeated for centuries.

However, this continual bringing of sacrifices was to remind people that goats and bulls and lambs are not enough.

The Greatest Substitution, the one to which the Passover points is articulated by Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:21.

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Therefore, the writer of Hebrews says this:

Hebrews 9:24-28 (ESV) “For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”

God’s heart in the Passover is to display the glory of the good news with justice and mercy.

Righteousness through justice – sin is not winked at, in fact God’s proper and right anger at sin is displayed in the death of the firstborn. People don’t just go free. People go free through the payment of the debt incurred from the offense. All people inherit Adam’s sin.

Mercy – those who obey God’s word and come under the substituted innocent lamb get to go free, having suffered no justice but getting only mercy.

Romans 3:21-26 (ESV) But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Jesus fulfills the Passover.

Luke 22:14-20

Bread = His body broken and given for them.

Cup = His blood poured out is for the new covenant.

What new covenant?

Jeremiah 31:31-34

How do we obey?

Believe the gospel and follow Jesus.  

Worship as a response to God’s grace.

(this is why we always worship in song after the sermon, so that it’s a response to the Lord’s Supper and Sermon that are to put in front of us the gospel and it’s manifold features.)

Exodus 15:1 (ESV) “Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying,”

God’s people sang a song in response to God’s mighty grace, so should all those who follow Jesus.

“Worship must therefore center on retelling what God has done.”[4]



[1] Parenthesis mine.

[2] Chris Bruno, The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015), 61.

[3] It’s interesting to note that the correct grammar should be “wage of sin is death”. However, the text says “wages of sin is death”. The indication is that death is a multifaceted monster that has consequences far beyond physical death. It’s death of the good atmosphere and vibe among God’s people. It’s death of relationships. It’s the cooling of love for one another. It’s the destruction of a family.

[4] Graeme Goldsworthy, According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible (Nottingham: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 137.


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