I. EXODUS 12:21-28
II. I WAS IN MY 20’s WHEN I FIGURED IT OUT
A. I HAD GROWN UP IN SUNDAY SCHOOL BUT NOBODY HAD POINTED IT OUT TO ME
B. I HAD COME TO UNDERSTAND BOTH STORIES IN THE BIBLE BUT I HAD NEVER PUT THEM TOGETHER
C. DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE DEPTH & THE BREDTH OF THE CONCEPT OF FREEDOM THAT IS EXPLAINED IN THE BIBLE?
D. THIS MORNING, I WANT TO TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT FREEDOM FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT PERSPECTIVE & THEN FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT PERSPECTIVE
E. WE UNDERSTAND FREEDOM FROM OUR 21st CENTURY PERSPECTIVE BUT FOR A FEW MINUTES I WANT YOU TO IMAGINE THAT YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE 12 FOLLOWERS OF JESUS IN THE UPPER ROOM THAT DAY.
1. They Were Remembering an Age Old Story of Freedom
2. But Jesus Was Going to Tell Them A New Story of Freedom With New Meaning and Even Greater Value!
3. Every 4th of July We Set Off Fireworks But It’s Important that We Reflect On Why We Celebrate.
4. This Morning I Invite You to Reflect On the Meaning of Freedom
TEXT: Exodus 12:21-28
III. THE FIRST STORY: IT WAS THE ANNUAL TEACHING EVENT THAT HAPPENED EVERY YEAR IN THE HOME OF EVERY PRACTICING JEWISH FAMILY.
A. THE STORY OF THE PASSOVER EVENT WAS RETOLD EVERY YEAR AT THE SAME TIME
1. Specific Way They Were Supposed to Eat the Meal
a. Coat on
b. Staff in their hand
c. They were re-enacting the Passover event.
2. Slaves In Egypt for about 400 years
a. Gone to Egypt to live in the best of the land
b. Luxury turned to trial & suffering
3. Attempting to Break Free from Their Captors Caused Increased Hardship (“Find your own straw!”)
4. Plagues – Hardship for Egyptians as well as the Jews
5. Final Plague:
a. Death of Pharaoh’s own son
b. Protection for Jewish households
i. Sacrifice of a lamb & had a dinner party in anticipation of what God was going to do
ii. Blood of the lamb on the door posts & the lintel
iii. Angel of Death passed over the homes of those homes that had the blood on the door posts & the lintel
c. Left in a hurry before Pharaoh could change his mind
6. Chased to the Red Sea
a. Passed through the water to freedom
b. Egyptian army is destroyed in the water
B. GOD INSTRUCTS MOSES TO HAVE THE PEOPLE RETELL THE STORY REGULARLY
1. Still Today Jewish People Celebrate Passover
2. Still Today Phylacteries On the Door Post of Jewish Homes or On the Elevators or Any Doorway As a Reminder
IV. THE SECOND STORY
A. WHEN JESUS GATHERED W/ HIS DISCIPLES IN THAT UPPER ROOM THEY FIRST REMEMBERED THIS AGE OLD STORY…
1. How God Had Saved the People with a Sacrificial Lamb
2. How He Had Set Them Free with the blood of a sacrificial lamb
3. How the Angel of Death Passed Over their homes
4. How They Were Led to the Promised Land
5. That Night They Observed the Passover Ritual
a. They ate the meal
i. sacrificed lamb
ii. unleavened bread (prepared in a hurry)
b. With their coats on
B. THEN JESUS DID SOMETHING NEW
1. He Took the Common Drink of the Day & the Unleavened Bread & Spoke of It As His Body and His Blood
2. He Spoke of a New Covenant
3. Earlier Jesus Had Told His Disciples That They Had to Eat His Body & Drink His Blood
4. Now Jesus Told Them That the Bread Was Like His Body & The Fruit of the Vine Was Like His Blood
5. In Essence Jesus Is Telling His Disciples That from That Day Forward There Would Be a New Story:
a. Though they were no longer slaves to Egypt … the disciples were slaves to the law
b. The price for our sins was the death of God’s son
c. The required sacrifice would not be a lamb but the lamb of God
d. If we, like the disciples, will put the blood of the lamb of God on the door posts & the lintels of our hearts …
i. we will be saved from our sins.
ii. spiritual death will pass over us
e. Mark 14:26 “Having sung a hymn they went out.”
f. Just like those Israelites who passed through the waters of the Red Sea (on dry ground) … going through the waters of Baptism finishes our new story
C. I INVITE YOU TO REMEMBER THE FREEDOM THAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED AND WHO SET YOU FREE!
1. Just As the Jews Remember How God Set Them Free from Bondage to a Foreign Land Every Year…
2. Every Month We Gather Together and Remember That We Too Have Been Set Free from Bondage
3. Paul Wrote to the Galatian Church and Reminded Them of Their Inheritance
“Freedom is what we have - Christ has set us free! Stand, then, as free people, and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again.”
4. Are You Living Like Someone Who Has Been Set Free?
5. As You Prepare Your Hearts for Communion, I Invite You to Bow Your Head & Listen to This Song & Consider What You Have Received from Christ.