Adrian Rogers - Redeeming Faith
Would you open the Word of God to Hebrews chapter 11 and we are going to spend some time together enjoying the Word of God. We're in a series of Bible studies entitled "Champions of Faith". And last week we spoke of Moses. This week, again, we're going to speak of Moses, who is, indeed, a champion in faith. How's your faith doing? We meet one another today. We say, "How are you feeling"? Why don't you say, "How are you faithing"? Feelings are fickle. Faith keeps us steady. You're no stronger than your faith. The Bible says, "According to your faith be it unto you". And I want you to be a champion of faith. Today, we're talking about the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ, the redeeming blood. And we're going to help you to understand something of the power of faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now look, if you will, here in Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 28. It speaks of Moses and it says, "Through faith he kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them". Now that's just a verse of Scripture unless you get it in context. Now let me give you the context. The children of Israel are in bondage. They're down in Egypt. They'd gone done into Egypt in a time of famine. They stayed down there, and now old Pharaoh has them as his slaves, and they're making bricks without straw day after day under the cruel taskmaster and under the lash of the lictor. They are working night and day in bondage. But God is going to deliver them. God is going to bring them out. And God brings them out in a night called the night of the Passover.
Now what is the Passover? Well, God had told the children of Israel, the Jews, that He's going to send an angel through the land of Egypt, and that angel would be a death angel, and the firstborn in every family would be slain that night, a terrible, horrible thing. But there was an exception. God said to His people, "If you will take a lamb, a spotless lamb, take the blood of that lamb and put it upon the doorposts of your house and upon the lintel of that house, when the death angel comes through the land and he's going to be looking for the blood". And God says, "When he sees the blood he will pass over you". Hence, Passover; that's what Passover is all about. Now this is the season of the year when our Jewish friends celebrate Passover. Did you know that Christians are to celebrate Passover? Did you know that? Did you know that the Bible commands us to celebrate Passover? Did you know that Easter and Passover are linked together, that they are inextricably interwoven?
Now many Christians don't know that, but you're in for a great blessing because in Passover we see a picture, a prophecy, of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now let me tell you, friend. You take the Bible and cut it anywhere and it will bleed. It is a book of blood. It tells us about the blood redemption all the way from Genesis right on through to the book of the Revelation. And so, in Passover we see Calvary's sacrifice in anticipation. And then at Calvary we see the sacrifice in consummation. Then in the Lord's Supper we see the sacrifice in celebration. Now that's what we're going to look at today, so just take your Bibles and be ready to study with us. Look again, if you will please, in Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 28, speaking of Moses, "Through faith he kept the Passover".
Now Passover is all about a lamb. A little lamb was slain. We all love lambs. We call our babies little lambs. I have a granddaughter whose name is Rachel, which means little lamb, a cuddly, little, white lamb. Is there anything more tender, anything more gentle, anything more helpless than a little lamb? A little lamb seems to say, "Are you hungry? Kill me and eat me. Are you cold? Then shear me and make some wool. Keep yourself warm". If you kill a lamb, the lamb will hardly make a sound. The lamb seems to be defenseless. It can't butt. It can hardly run on its wobbly, little legs. It has no claws to fight with. It has no incisor teeth to bite with. He's just a little lamb. Almost presents itself to death.
Now listen, God is going to use a lamb to deliver His people. Now where are they? They are in the land of Egypt. In the Bible, Egypt stands for bondage. It stands for the world, the flesh, and the devil. Pharaoh himself is a type, a picture, an illustration, of the devil; Pharaoh, of course, the King of Egypt. Now old Pharaoh had a crown, and on his crown was a serpent. Right there on his crown is a serpent. You look at some of those ancient Egyptian pictures and look and you'll see a serpent coiled up there. That's the symbol of Egypt. Here you have the serpent. Over here you have the lamb. Now it's the lamb who's going to defeat the serpent. That's what Passover is all about. God is going to bring His people from the land of bondage, from the land of wickedness, from the land of sin, from the land of cruelty. God is going to deliver them and God is going to do it with a lamb, a Passover lamb.
Now keep all of that in mind and let's look at the first point. All right, now's here the first thing. We're going to see the prophetic anticipation of Calvary's sacrifice. Calvary is not an afterthought. It is not an emergency matter. Jesus was in the heart and mind of God before He swung this planet into space. I'm talking about Calvary, rather. Jesus, of course, was the One who swung it into space. But Calvary, in anticipation, was in the heart and mind of Almighty God. Now we're in Hebrews chapter 11, but it's writing about the Old Testament, and so we're going to find that in Exodus chapter 12. So just go back to Exodus chapter 12, if you will, and we'll spent most of the rest of our time in Exodus 12, so you can feel free to turn to it. Keep your Bibles there in your lap.
Now let's see what He says here in Exodus 12 beginning in verse 1 through verse 11, "And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 'This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, "In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbors next to his house take it according to the number of the souls every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening".'"
And then He says in, in verse 11, "And ye shall eat it; with your loins girded," that is, have your robe on, "your shoes on your feet, your staff in your hand: and ye shall eat it in haste," and here it is, "it is the Lord's Passover". The lamb, the lamb, the lamb, the lamb, the lamb; it is the Lord's Passover. Now I want you to notice some things about this lamb that anticipates the Lord Jesus Christ in prophecy. Number one: it was a spotless lamb. Look again, if you will, in Exodus 12 verse 5, "And your lamb shall be without blemish". That spotless lamb is a picture, a prophecy, of the sinless Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Now they took this lamb on the tenth day of April and they kept it for three days, and the lamb was not to be killed until the fourteenth day. They keep this little lamb together. They examine this lamb very, very carefully from its little tail, its ears, its eyes, its nose, every hoof, every inch of the skin. Any blur, any blot, any blemish, any scar, any scab, any malformation; that lamb was no good. These little lambs, they had to be without blemish, a spotless lamb.
All right. Now the lamb is a spotless lamb. Now they take a spotless lamb and they make the spotless lamb a sacrificial lamb. Look, if you will, now in Exodus 12 verse 6, "And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening". Now wait a minute! A spotless lamb? That little lamb's done no one any harm, but they're going to kill the lamb. This lamb is sacrificed. The father would take the neck of that little lamb and take a lethal knife and pull it across the lamb's throat, and the rich, red blood would spurt out into a basin, and the blood caught in a basin. What is God teaching? Already here by anticipation, without shedding of blood is no remission. Now here it is, a spotless lamb, a sacrificial lamb. And then the lamb becomes a saving lamb.
Look, if you will in Exodus 12 verse 7, "And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper post of the houses, wherein ye shall eat it". And then look if you will in verses 12 and 13. God says what's going to happen that night is this, "For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and I will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord". Now watch, "And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you". Now you know why it's called Passover? "When I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt".
Now this lamb, this spotless lamb, this sacrificial lamb, is therefore, the saving lamb. They were to take the blood of the lamb, put it upon the doorposts of their house, and when the death angel that night that comes through the land of Egypt sees the blood, he passes over them and does not bring the judgment. Now they were take a little shrub called hyssop. And the father takes that basin of blood and he comes to the doorposts of the house and he strikes the blood on this side, and he strikes the blood on that side, and he strikes the blood up here, and if you were to look at it, what he's done is to make a cross. There's the blood, there's the blood of the lamb applied openly and publicly and unashamedly.
Here is a house that believes in the blood. No ifs, ands, and buts about it; openly, clearly, plainly, publicly the blood there upon the doorposts. They could not put it in the back room. It would have done no good. It had to be upon the doorposts. Had they taken silver and gold and encrusted the lintels it would have done no good. Had they put rubies and diamonds there around that door it would have done no good. Had they put a spotless, live lamb there it would have done no good. Salvation, I've told you, is not learning lessons from the life of Christ; it's receiving life from the death of Christ. Without the shedding of blood is not remission. When I see the blood I will pass over you. A spotless lamb is a sacrificial lamb, is a saving lamb. It is when the blood is put there upon the doorposts of the house that the death angel passes over.
Now watch, this lamb is also a shared lamb. Look, if you will, in Exodus 12 verses 8 and 9, "And they shall eat the flesh that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water," that is, don't boil it in water, but roast it with fire, "roast with fire; his head with his legs, and the purtenance thereof". The whole lamb is to be roasted with fire. Now we're talking here about a shared lamb. Can you imagine what it must have smelled like in the land of Egypt, a quarter of a million lambs being roasted that night? What must it have smelled like? And they're to take this lamb and they're to feast on this lamb. Why? Listen, a group of slaves are now becoming a nation, and a group of people are having fellowship around a lamb. They now feed on the lamb.
Now they were to eat all of the lamb. That means, when you receive Jesus Christ, you receive all there is of Him. He's Master, Mediator, and Messiah. You don't say, "Well, I'll have a little Saviorhood today, but no Lordship, thank you". No, no, they were to eat all of the lamb. And they were to eat the lamb with bitter herbs and unleavened bread. Now bitterness speaks of brokenness. Have you wept over your sins? You see, you cannot feed on the Lord Jesus Christ apart from bitter herbs. Godly sorrow works repentance. With bitter herbs and unleavened bread. Leaven in the Bible is an illustration, a type, an emblem of sin. It works quietly in lukewarm conditions. It's yeast, ladies. It's what you put in, I'm telling you, you need to tell me, I had to read about it, in cake and bread and cookies and these things that causes it to be inflated and puffed up.
Well, Passover was not with leaven. All through the Bible, leaven is illustrated, as we're going to see even later in the message, illustrates sin. So as they feed on the lamb, they are to eat the lamb with bitter herbs and unleavened bread. That tells us that we are to be broken over our sins and broken from our sins. Now they eat this lamb, all of this lamb, this lamb that has been roasted. Why was it roasted? Because the fires of God's wrath would burn themselves out on the Lord Jesus Christ, and He has become our sacrifice. When they had this celebration, no work was to be done. Exodus 12 verse 16, "And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day shall be a holy convocation for you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you". The only work that could be done was to be to prepare the lamb. That's all. No other work. What is God teaching? It is not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.
And so God says, "Now, when you feed upon this lamb, don't do it with any kind of work". And then He says, "You eat it". Look, if you will, in Exodus chapter 12 and verse 11, "And thus shall ye eat it: with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord's Passover". That is, this day is not the end; it is the beginning. I performed a wedding for a boy and he was frightened to death. After they said, "I do," he said, "Pastor, is it all over"? I said, "No, son, it's just beginning". Now when you give your heart to Jesus and you feed on the lamb, then you do it with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, your staff in your hand. You are getting ready to serve the Lord. And then you become a new creature. Look, if you will, in Exodus chapter 12 verse 2, "This month shall be unto you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you".
When you give your heart to Jesus it's a brand new day. You're all tomorrows, you're no yesterdays. It's the first day of the rest of your life when you get saved and feed upon the lamb. Now, what have we said? This Passover lamb, a spotless lamb, a sacrificial lamb, a saving lamb, a shared lamb; that's the Passover lamb. That, friend, is Calvary in anticipation. Isn't the Bible a wonderful book? Now, let's see Calvary in consummation. Let's see the promised consummation of Calvary's sacrifice. That lamb only prophesied that Jesus would come and die for us upon the cross. Jesus is the Lamb of God. John the Baptist, who was the forerunner of the Lord Jesus Christ, saw Jesus coming. When John was down there by Jordan baptizing the people, he saw Jesus coming, and John said in John 1:29, "That's Him". "Behold, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world".
You know, Moses knew. He understood that all of this was only prophecy. John the Baptist knew and understood that all of the Old Testament was only prophecy concerning Jesus who would come. Now let's see how Jesus compares to the Passover lamb. The Passover lamb was a spotless lamb. Jesus was a spotless Lamb. First Peter 1 verses 18 and 19, "Forasmuch as ye know ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ," now listen to this very carefully, "as a lamb without blemish and without spot". Do you see how it ties together? God said to Moses, "Moses, take a lamb". That's Moses' lamb. This is Mary's lamb. Mary had a little lamb, His fleece was white as snow. As a lamb without spot and without blemish. Jesus was a spotless lamb.
Now you remember that they took that little Passover lamb and they kept that Passover lamb up for three days. Why did they have that Passover lamb for three days? Well, he could be examined. If there was any flaw, anything wrong with him, they would find it within three days. Have you ever wondered why so much of the Gospels is given to the last week of Jesus' life? At least a third of the Gospels is given to the last week, most of it to the last three days. Why? Because this little Lamb is being examined, God's Lamb. When in the Old Testament they began to breed Passover lambs because to find a perfect lamb was difficult. So they had a special troop, a special group of shepherds who would breed lambs, and these lambs were Passover lambs and they would be bred, do you know where?
In Bethlehem, in the fields of Bethlehem. That's where they bred these Passover lambs, perfect lamb. Those little lambs in Bethlehem were not ordinary lambs. They were born to die. They were Passover lambs. I believe it was to those kind of shepherds that the angel appeared and told about Mary's Lamb and they went on Christmas to go see Mary's little Lamb, that baby that was born there in the stable. These shepherds had these Passover lambs, these little lambs. Then came Passover week. They would bring the lambs from Bethlehem where Jesus was born, down about five miles to Jerusalem, and they would bring them in through the Sheep Gate up to the temple mount. And there the priest would examine those lambs to make certain that they were absolutely without blemish.
Now the same time that those shepherds were bringing those Passover lambs to the temple mount, Jesus was coming into the temple mount. We call it Palm Sunday. Do you remember that, where they were saying, "Hosanna, Hosanna," and they were throwing down their clothes and palm branches and Jesus is riding a donkey? And Jesus comes through the Eastern Gate up to the temple mount and those lambs are coming in. Now they're examining the lambs, and Jesus is being examined. Those last three days He's being examined by the Sadducees and the Pharisees and the Herodians and the priests and they're carping at Him and they're criticizing Him, and the civil authorities are looking at Jesus Christ, trying to find some fault in Him.
But old Pilate said in Luke 23 verse 4, "I find no fault in Him". Everything that they said about Him was a lie. Jesus Christ could say to them, "Which of you convinceth me of sin?" John 8:46. He was a perfect lamb. He is being examined there because He was going to die. This sacrificial lamb is going to die for their sins. Now, Jesus goes out to Gethsemane. But before He goes to Gethsemane, He says to His disciples, "We're going to celebrate the Passover". Now think about it. It's all about Jesus. And Jesus says, "Go prepare the Passover feast". We call it the Last Supper. It was a Passover. He said, "I'm going to prepare, I want us to have the Passover". So they go to that upper room, you remember the story. Jesus gathers His disciples, and the Bible says He takes bread and He blesses it and He breaks it and He gives it to His disciples, and He says, "Eat it. It's my body which is broken for you".
Now for three centuries the Jews had developed a tradition. They would take a piece of cloth, a bag called a Matzo tash, and it would have three sections in it; top, middle, and bottom. In the middle section would be a piece of bread. And the father in the family at Passover would reach into that middle section, pull out the piece of bread, break it and give it to all of those around. It's still done in Seder suppers today. Now Jesus reaches in and takes that middle piece of unleavened bread. It has been baked. It has been broken. It has been pierced. And Jesus says, "This is my body," the middle piece. For centuries the Jews had held the Trinity in their hands; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. He takes that middle piece and He breaks it and He distributes it. And then He takes the rest of it and He wraps it in a linen cloth and He hides it. Our Jewish friends still do that today. It's hidden. It is, as it were, buried, because the children go to try and find that later on. It is buried. Now the Bible says that night that Jesus blessed the bread.
Matthew 26 verse 26, "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave to the disciples, and said, 'Take, eat; this is My body.'" Did you know that when Jesus blessed that bread not only was He, in the breaking of the bread, showing His death, but He was also showing His resurrection? Do you know what the blessing is at the Passover, when our Jewish friends keep the Passover? Do you know what the blessing is? Do you know what is said when that bread is taken out? Here it is, "Blessed art thou, O Lord, our God, King of the universe, who bringeth forth bread from the Earth". Jesus here is prophesying His resurrection. He is the bread broken that's going to come from the Earth. "This is My body". From the ground it's going to be raised. Then Jesus goes, and where does He go? He goes from there to judgment and to crucifixion on Mount Moriah.
If you've been with us in this series, you remember when Abraham took Isaac where? Mount Moriah. God said to Abraham, "Abraham, you can't offer Isaac just any place. You take him to the place that I will show you, and there you offer him". But you remember that Isaac didn't have to die. And why did Isaac not have to die? Because God had prepared a substitute for Isaac there on Mount Moriah. But that, too, was just prophecy because Isaac said to Abraham in Genesis chapter 22 verses 7 and 8, "Father, here's the wood, here's the fire, but where is the sacrifice"? And Abraham said, "God will provide Himself a lamb. God will provide Himself a lamb". And He did, and His name is Jesus. God will provide Himself a lamb. Where did Jesus die? Upon that same spot that had been prophesied so long ago. Do you think it is by incident or accident? Do you think it just happened that all of this came together?
And there on bloody Calvary, Mount Moriah, Jesus, the Son of God, was crucified, nailed up on a cross at 3:00 p.m. All of those Passover lambs are there. The Levites have sharpened their knives. They tilt the throat back and the blood spurts from the necks of those little lambs. At that same time, the Son of God, God's Lamb, is upon the cross, and He bows His head and He says, "It's finished. It is done"! "Levities, you can go home. We don't need you anymore. Priests, we don't need you anymore. Passover shepherds, we don't need you anymore". That is all anticipation. Calvary's consummation. There it's done. It is finished. It is paid in full because God's spotless Lamb has been God's sacrificial Lamb, who's now God's saving Lamb, and now He becomes God's shared Lamb, because just as they fed on that lamb so long ago, we feed on the Lord Jesus Christ day by day. That's why we have the Lord's Supper to remind us of that.
Now here's the third and final thing, and I have just a few moments for this. But notice the perpetual celebration of Calvary's sacrifice. We talked about anticipation, consummation. Now here's celebration. We keep the Passover. First Corinthians 5 verses 7 and 8. Paul is talking to the Corinthian church. "Purge our therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us". If some of you think that I'm far-fetched and reading too much in it, so did Paul. "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast". We're to keep Passover. How do we keep Passover? When we come to the Lord's Table. When we have the Lord's Supper we're keeping the feast. "Let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth".
That's why we use unleavened bread in the Lord's Supper. Leaven, I told you, yeast represents sin that works quietly and stealthily. But the pure blood of the grape and this unleavened bread. By the way, fermented wine has yeast in it. No, this is unleavened that we take up. And this unleavened bread represents the pure body, the sinless Son of God. And we're to keep the feast with unleavened bread. The Jews, when they have the Seder, the Passover, they have a little game. The father will take some crumbs of leaven bread, some cookies or some cake and maybe put it on the mantle or in the bookshelf or under the couch, and the little kids burst into the room to try to find a crumb of leaven in the house. And they say, "Papa, papa, there's some leaven bread". And father comes in with a feather and a wooden spoon and gets it, carries it to the fire, and throws it in. Why? Because there's to be no leaven in the house when you take the Passover.
What is God saying to us? When we come to the Lord's Table, how do we come? With clean hearts, no unconfessed, no unrepented of sin, because we are celebrating the Lord's Passover. We're celebrating what the spotless, sinless Son of God did for us. Listen to the Scripture, First Corinthians 2 verses 23 through 26. Paul said, "'For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you,' the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread: And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, 'Take, eat; this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me.' After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, 'This cup is the new testament, the new covenant in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death, hallelujah, till He come".
Till He come. We are celebrating. Friend, when we come to the Lord's Table, we're not coming to mourn a corpse; we're coming to hail a conqueror. Jesus Christ has defeated the old serpent. The lamb has slain the serpent and we celebrate. Of all people, we ought to celebrate. I'm telling you, precious friend, the little children would find that piece of matzo wrapped in linen, hidden somewhere, maybe under a cushion. And when a child finds it, he says, "I found it. Here it is". He doesn't know it, but he's celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
That buried bread, wrapped in linen, coming up out of the Earth. Isn't the Bible a wonderful book? I mean, when you think of how God put all of this together, how God tied it all together. I love Jesus. I love Him with all of my heart. I love Him. And I thank God for the precious blood of Jesus. Now, in the Old Testament they put the blood upon the doorposts. In Romans 10:9 through 10 in the New Testament we confess Christ openly as our Savior, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart and confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, you can be saved. With the heart man believes unto righteousness; with the mouth confession is made unto salvation".
Bow your heads in prayer. If you're not saved, you need to be. And by the way, if you're not saved, you have nothing to celebrate, all you can look forward to is the death angel. Because the death angel will not pass over you if the blood has not been applied. So, how do you apply the blood? By faith, by faith, by faith. "Therefore, being justified by faith we have peace with God". Would you pray like this:
Lord Jesus, I am a sinner, and I'm lost and I need to be saved and I want to be saved. Jesus, You shed Your blood for me, thank You for doing that. I believe that God raised You from the dead and now I receive You into my heart as my Lord and Savior. Forgive my sin and save me Jesus. And Lord Jesus, help me never, ever to be ashamed of You, Amen.