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Introduction

I would like for you to think this morning of what comes to mind when you think of

substitutes? When you think of substitutes does something pleasant come to your mind,

something not so great, or something just OK? Are you a person here this morning that holds

substitutes in high regards thinking of substitutes as equivalents and that certain elements are just

as good as the originals or do you view them as being a cheap mock of the real deal?

For Those of Your Who Are Cooks and Those Who Eat On a Regular Basis
The Substitute for Butter is Margarine
The Substitute for Sugar is Splenda, Equal, and Sweet N Low
The Substitute for Garlic is Garlic Power (No Brainer There)
The Substitute for Honey is Molasses

But Why In The World Do We Need Them?

If you think of the processing of food as altering of chemicals, food substitutes alone

allow many things to happen without some certain and definite consequences. Many people

(including some of you) experience conflicts with diabetes, allergies, and cholesterol and you

view substitutes as a means to bend the rules.

The only problem is that food substitutes are easy to come by, but what about substitutes

for other things? What about Substitutes for Teachers? (I have had my share of substitute

teachers) What about Medicines? (A substitute may be cheaper but could have harsh side effects)

What about Pastors? (Whether Interim, Associate, or Revivalist) all of them must qualify to be a

viable substitute.

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2

Believe it or not, these only scratch the surface of things that substitutes are needed for.

What about the substitution for sin? What could the substitution for such a condition be? What

happens if our sins are not substituted for? Are we stuck in our current condition and stuck with

our sin? How was the substitute for sin introduced and expressed? The solution to our condition

of sin can be seen in the Scriptures and was expressed through the Passover Meal.

This morning we are going see and discuss one of the most memorable ordinances and one

of the most memorable providences recorded in the Old Testament. “Not one of all the

ordinances of the Jewish church was more eminent than that of the Passover, nor is any more

frequently mentioned in the New Testament.”1 Today we are going to see how the physical of

the Old Testament speaks volumes to the spiritual of the New Testament and to you this

morning.

Let’s Stand as We Read God’s Word


Exodus 12:1-13
Pray
Three concepts to be gleaned from this ritual or meal explained and introduced in our text

this morning.

We Must Acknowledge the Lamb’s Innocence and Provision

We Must Accept the Power of the Lamb’s Blood

We Must Admit the Nature of God’s Strike

We Must Acknowledge the Lamb’s Innocence and Provision


Explanation
1
Matthew Henry, The Matthew Henry Commentary. (Grand Rapid, Michigan:
Zondervan Publishing House, 1960), 83
3

Look With Me in Verse 3


This verse is the first revelation of instructions for the Passover ritual. All of the

Israelites were to take up a lamb on the tenth day of the month. We as Christians here today

believe that the word of God was fully inspired by God and we can trust that the answers to our

questions can be answered. When the text says “tenth day of this month” it doesn’t answer

specifically in this verse what month it is referring to it is but it does in verse 2. It is recorded

that the word month in verse 2 comes from the “Hebrew word Abib, which in modern

equivalents, reveals that the Passover is between March and April.”2 The practice and ritual of

the Passover meal “was so significant that henceforth the religious or ecclesiastical year was to

begin in this month of Abib.”3

Look With Me in Verse 4

The Passover meal was a sacrifice not for the individual but for the family. The

Passover meal was a family effort to draw together and take part in the provision for their sins.

This lamb that was to be slain had to meet specific criteria. So much so that this lamb is a

preview of coming attractions, pointing to Jesus Christ. Both the lamb of the Old Testament and

Jesus of the New Testament were to be sacrifices for the sins of man.

The Lamb Sacrifice

2
John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible. (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson
Publishers, 1982), 110
3
Walter Kaiser Jr. Exodus The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids,
Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1990) 371
4

Had to be male…Had to be without blemish or imperfection…Had to be in its 1st year. If

the lamb had a blemish or was not perfect “the flaw would render the lamb unfit to represent a

pure, wholesome sacrifice given to Yahweh.”4

(Does anyone remember when the lamb was to be acquired?)

Look With Me in Verse 3

It was the tenth day, but think about this. If the families were supposed to acquire the

lamb on the tenth day and the lamb was suppose to be slain on the fourteenth day. There are four

days unaccounted for. The purpose of those days was for the family to establish a relationship

with the animal that would be the means of substitution for their sins. The time that the

substituition spent with the family is comparable to Jesus’ time here on Earth. Jesus came to be

a Savior, He loved those that He died for and living among sinful men to show His great love.

Illustration

Anyone here today have young children? Have you seen the emotion that fills a child

when a stray animal stumbles onto your doorstep? When I was young, I lived with my

Grandparents and often strays would visit our farm house and I always wanted to keep them

while my Grandparents wanted them to leave. This battle of coming and going would go on for

a while until I eventually would win….All you have to do is feed it. Once I fed him he stayed

and eventually he became mine.

Application

It would have been the same for this lamb. This lamb was no older than one “year old

because it was taking the place of Israel’s firstborn males”5 and was guaranteed to be with the

4
John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible. (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson
Publishers, 1982), 110
5
Walter Kaiser Jr. Exodus The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids,
Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1990) 372
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family for four days but once it was there, especially with children, it was only a matter of time

for the lamb to become apart of the family. Think about it, the lamb was perfect, spotless, and

was there for only one reason, TO SAVE but this could not be done if it was not sacrificed. Just

like the lamb, Jesus is perfect, spotless and died for only one reason, TO SAVE YOU. You can

not be saved through the life of Jesus Christ; only through His death. Ergo Jesus Christ died for

you. Have you accepted Him today as the one who died for your sins?

We Must Accept the Power of the Lamb’s Blood

Explanation
Look With Me in Verse 13a
The blood that has been strategically placed on the door is from the lamb that was slain on

the fourteenth day. The blood of the perfect lamb functioned as a vaccine to the disease of death.

The blood was a sign that empowered the residents of the house and was the substitute for their

death.

VISUAL AID

(Doorway with Smeared Blood…Tell the Significance)

Look With Me in Verse 7


The blood was placed on the door posts and on the lintel and “was a sign to God for the

people indicating that God would ‘pass over’ the house covered by the ‘blood’”6 so that their

houses would be set apart. The Egyptians would have never taken part in this act and it was

because they did not believe even though God stayed true to kill al the first born. Externally, “it

6
W.A. Criswell, Holy Bible: Baptist Study Edition. Nashville, Tennessee: (Thomas
Nelson Publishers, 1991) 97
6

was the actual blood that saved them from death but internally this substitution was appropriated

through obedient, humble and submissive faith.”7

Illustration

Blood is the key to our faith in Jesus Christ, but in America, our churches are loosing their

focus. The churches in America have become to closely align with the American culture. Both

of them alike have seen enough movies and read enough books that blood is seen as a substance

of filth and disease rather than the fluid of life. Such a trend is not only different from the truth

but is shameful to think. Lyrics from classic hymns such as There is Fountain Filled with Blood

Drawn from Emmanuel’s Veins and Are You Washed in the Blood are still sung in some small

country churches in America but it is becoming less and less. These classic songs that hold such

truth are replaced with newer contemporary songs that do well of singing about the cross and

redemption but miss the mark when called to talk about the saving blood of Jesus Christ. The

blood of Jesus Christ spilt on Calvary is the foundation of our faith, we must never lose that.

Application

These Israelites killed a perfect lamb that was a beloved part of the family and smeared

its blood on the doors of their heart. They knew that the church (people not building) would

survive if they had the blood of Jesus Christ to set them apart. Are you here today and have not

experienced the power of the blood that was split for you? Make sure this day you do not leave

before knowing that a perfect innocent lamb was slain for you and His name was Jesus Christ.

We Must Admit to the Nature of God’s Strike

Explanation

7
W.A. Criswell, Holy Bible: Baptist Study Edition. Nashville, Tennessee: (Thomas
Nelson Publishers, 1991) 97
7

Look With Me in Verse 9


This simply states that, those who do as God commands will be spared from the plague

that will strike Egypt. God is always universal in His actions but is personal in the

implementation. In the text, God warns all the people that all of the firstborns will be killed if a

proper substitute is not given and killed on their behalf. In the realm of God’s love, John tells us

that He sent His own son to die for you and He longs for you to come to Him and accept Him as

your Lord and Savior but even though God longs for all His children to be with Him in Paradise,

their sins must be atoned for. Christ longs and yearns for you to open your heart to Him but

without a substitute, you are forced to die for your sins. Paul tells us that “all have sinned and

have fallen short of the glory of God” therefore we do not deserve a substitute but one has been

given to us, given to you this morning.

Conclusion

Without the grace of God, the Israelites would have died with the Egyptians. Without the

grace of God all would be destined for eternity without God. The Passover is derived from the

Hebrew word meaning “to pass over”8 or “to spare” which are things that we do not deserve. We

do not deserve the act that “Christ Himself laid down His sinless life and shed His innocent

blood in order to cover and thus make atonement for our sins.”9 We as sinners of the world do

not deserve to be passed over, we deserve everything we work for in our lives of sin which

should be the pits of Hell but a substitution has been made. We as born sinners do not deserve

Heaven, rather since we earned it, we deserve Hell but Christ took that away from us.

Illustration

8
Walter Kaiser Jr. Exodus The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids,
Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1990)372
9

W.A. Criswell, Holy Bible: Baptist Study Edition. Nashville, Tennessee: (Thomas
Nelson Publishers, 1991) 97
8

I heard a story one time. It was about a father and his young son, ridding down the road on

a summer day and since it was nice outside, they both had their windows down. While driving, a

bee flies in the man’s window and with ease and patience he just swats the bee back out of his

window but in doing that, the bee falls in through the back window next to the little boy. The

son is screaming and is in a panic but in an instant, the father reaches back, grabs the bee and

throws it outside. The father was not worried then about the bee coming back in the car because

the stinger was stuck in his hand.

Just like the father in the story took the sting out of the bee for his son, so did God, take the

sting out of death by sending His son to die on the cross.

Will you let that death be in vain this morning? If you are here and you do not know God

as your personal Lord and Savior that is declaring that His death for you was pointless and not

enough to save you. Jesus was the ultimate substitute; Jesus took death so you would not have

to. Come and be reconciled with the God of the universe, He is waiting for you.
Bibliography

Criswell, W.A. Holy Bible: Baptist Study Edition. Nashville, Tennessee: (Thomas Nelson
Publishers, 1991

Kaiser, Walter Jr. Exodus The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids, Michigan:
Zondervan Publishing House 1990

Henry, Matthew The Matthew Henry Commentary. (Grand Rapid, Michigan: Zondervan
Publishing House, 1960

MacArthur, John The MacArthur Study Bible. (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson
Publishers, 1982
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SUBSTITUTION IS THE ONLY SOLUTION

Exodus 12: 1-13

A Sermon Manuscript

Presented to

Dr. Moseley’s Office

in fulfillment of the requirements for

Chapel Probation

John Sanders

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

December 1, 2009