Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Passover, The Feast of Unleavened Bread, and The Law of the Firstborn

Right now I have been studying the messages that the Lord has given to his children through the words in the Old Testament. I have found that there is profound wisdom to be learned from each and every word that is written upon those sacred pages.

In the book of Exodus, we come to know of the power that God has, and of his ability to save his children “by His strong hand.” This concept is taught to us through the “wonders” or plagues that Moses, His prophet, pronounces upon the Egyptians. A study of the plagues can bring us closer to understanding the wonder of the Lord himself, and learn of His power over all other gods that could become distractions in our lives today.

Presently I would like to focus a little on the tenth plague, or death of the firstborn, that was given by the Lord himself. In previous plagues the children of Israel were exempt from their harmful effects, but to realize the protection from this last one, they must now actively DO something to show their commitment. The instructions came directly from the Lord through Moses, His living prophet.

1) They must participate in the Passover Feast. There were specific instructions given as to the specifications of the actual lamb that was to be sacrificed. They were told that they were to celebrate this feast as a “memorial throughout their generation.” A memorial is simply a reminder or something to jog your memory. This feast was to remind them of the power that was needed to save them. It was to point to the ultimate sacrifice, or the last great sacrifice, Jesus Christ. This Passover Feast was in remembrance of the Law of Sacrifice. It was to end with the death of Jesus Christ, when the times of the Jews would be ended and the beginning of the times of the gentiles would be started. Their generation would come to a close, no more need of the feast.

2) Simultaneously to be celebrated with the Feast of Passover, was the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Lord required His children to remove all yeast, representing sin, from their midst, and partake of unleavened bread for seven days. This particular feast would be as an “ordinance for ever.” An ordinance is “a sacred rite or ceremony performed by the power of the priesthood and intended to bless God’s children.” Today we partake of this in a different way, the way shown to the disciples by Jesus during the Last Supper. We call this the ordinance of the sacrament. It is a reminder that we have covenanted to live The Law of the Gospel.

3) Because of the mercy the Lord showed in saving all of the firstborn of Israel, He instituted the requirement or Law of the Firstborn for all of His covenant children. This law required that each firstborn child would be consecrated to the Lord, as payment for His saving grace. He stated to Pharaoh emphatically that “Israel was His firstborn.” This means that ultimately this directive or Law of Consecration was the requirement for any who desired entrance into the “church of the firstborn.”

I am amazed at the beauty and simplicity with which the Lord teaches us these three important laws, The Law of Sacrifice, The Law of the Gospel, and The Law of Consecration. All these are required for entrance into His kingdom, reminding us continually that salvation and exaltation will only be given “by the strong hand of the Lord.”


mike said...

Hello again my friend,
It is so refreshing to see someone leading the way for others to return to the Old Testiment. Truly there is an unlimited fountain of information to be gained, and you have hit upon several of the more important lessons. Perhaps another insight on the "firstborn" could be linked to the firstborn love given to each other in the temple ordinance of the everlasting covenant. Should we treat our spouse as the Lord treated the FirstBorn (the house of Israel) forever forgiving? I wonder.

In The Doghouse said...

Hi Mike,
I love your insights as well. I think that there are many layers to the onion when it comes to gospel symbolism.

Stewart Allyn said...

I lead a Passover Seder every year for my wife's small Church. I read the Hagadah in both Hebrew and English during the Seder. Every year new people attend and it is both an enjoyable and learning experience.

In The Doghouse said...

Hi Stewart,
What an awesome opportunity for you to be able to participate in this sacred ceremony. I love the message that all three of these memorial feasts give. I have only participated myself in a real Passover Feast once and it was so enlightening. Truly the power to be saved by the "strong hand of God" is such a beautiful message.