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Passover, The Day of Atonement - Mark Dever

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From: Capitol Hill Baptist Church []
Sent: Friday, January 04, 2008 10:53 AM
Subject: CHBC - Sermon Summaries - Exodus 12 & Leviticus 16
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 Editor's note: This email contains 2 sermons summaries. The audio of these sermons can be downloaded for free at  

December 23, 2007
Exodus 12
Pass Over
Dr. Mark Dever

Calvary is the explanation of Bethlehem. Jesus did not come to earth just to show us a good example of unselfish living He came to atone for sins. He came for the purpose of penal substitution. Jesus took the penalty of those who deserved it. This idea of penal substitution is in disfavor in our modern world; it is considered primitive. The modern mind believes humankind has evolved we believe we don’t need a sacrifice. We now have an incorrect belief in the power of human goodness.

Exodus 12 describes the tenth and final plague on Egypt and Pharaoh’s surrender, allowing Israel to leave Egypt.

*1. What is the Passover?

*The benefit of God’s passing over of judgment, because a substitute has been provided. This is the main story line of the Bible.

Specifics about the lamb to be sacrificed (v. 4-5). The Israelites are instructed to take enough for all yet not too much, so that none would be wasted. The lamb must be without blemish brings to mind I Peter 1:19, speaking of the blood of Jesus Christ, the lamb without blemish or spot. Also reminds us of the Revelation to John Christ the slain lamb.

The act of sacrifice (v. 6-10). The lamb is to be killed at twilight. The sacrificial lamb Jesus died at the same time of day. Blood symbolizes life. The blood to be placed on the doorposts covering those within, whose blood deserves to be shed. Bitter herbs remind them of slavery in Egypt but are overcome by the sweetness of the lamb.

No yeast to be used I Corinthians 5 speaks of cleaning out the old yeast (sin). The church should be cleansed of known, unrepentant sin. The lamb is to be roasted not raw. Perhaps to clearly differentiate from pagan thought, where it was thought one could acquire life through eating of the raw meat of an animal. The whole lamb was to be prepared not a stew not parts those looking upon the slain lamb would see the need for a slain substitute.

The Lord’s Passover (v. 11). This is the central event of history before the coming of the Christ. The Israelites would look upon Passover as an Independence Day celebration. They would remember the lamb was sacrificed that they may live. They were required to keep this always in mind. This was all a preview of Jesus Christ, and the Last Supper. See I Corinthians 5:7-8.

God executes judgment on all the gods of Egypt in a miraculous way a way that could not be mistaken as a natural event. Even the firstborn of their animals were killed the Egyptian’s animal-gods were impotent.

As we remember what the Lord has done in the past, we come to believe what God has promised to do in the future. Israel is warned of eating leavened bread during the feast that if they did so, they would be cut off from the people. Why so serious a crime? The violator has disobeyed, thus denied what God has done.

The Passover is a picture of the gospel. The Lord made us in His image. We have sinned, we deserve punishment. God caused punishment to fall on Jesus Christ, who died for us and became the substitute for all who would repent and believe. Jesus Christ is the Passover Lamb.

Sin = Man substituting himself for God.

Salvation = God substituting himself for man.

Admire what God has done! Rejoice over His kindness and mercy. Yes, we should speak well of the exemplary life of Jesus on earth, but if that is all there was to it we die. If He is our substitute, we can praise Him eternally.

The Christian message is not to give what we think we want or need. Christianity is not a means of just seeking to spread peace, order, hope and good cheer. No, God came to meet our real needs.

J.I. Packer We have bartered the old gospel for a substitute product. This new gospel does not produce humility and worship. It is primarily concerned with bringing us peace, joy, etc. where the concern of the true gospel is to give glory to the Lord.

*2. What happens if you have no substitute?

*You are judged (v. 29). Judgment fell on the Egyptians, not the Israelites, not because the Israelites were better people, but God passed over the sin of Israel because they trusted in the sufficiency of the sacrifice prescribed by God. Pharaoh understood He was under God’s judgment and in verse 31, he commands them to go.

We need someone to judge us If God is good, He will judge you. Being judged, convicted of our sin, is the beginning point of being reconciled with God.

God’s grace means not getting what we deserve. We are a community of the justly damned and graciously forgiven.

*3. What happens if you have a substitute?

*You are passed over. In verse 33 and beyond we read that not only did the angel of death pass over them, they were blessed with gifts from the Egyptians and a speedy exodus from Egypt. God demonstrated His character, power, and merciful plan.

The Exodus, until Calvary, was THE great demonstration of God’s power. He delivers all who trust in Him. Marvel at God’s grace that He would save even us our sins are passed over.

*4. Who observes the Passover?

*God is not concerned with ethnicity He allowed employees and slaves to partake. The meal is for all who trusted God. All who repent and believe the gospel can be included in the Substitute, then and now.

In verse 46, we read that the bones of the lamb are not to be broken. We are to come together as a whole to eat of the meal and we are to see the whole lamb (see v. 9), sacrificed for us. We read in John’s gospel that the bones of our Lord were not broken on the cross, in fulfillment of the command in Exodus pertaining to the sacrificial lamb.

What do you do in remembering God’s deliverance?

* Read the Bible and note his kindnesses.
* Search out God’s goodness in the lives of others.
* Note God’s goodness in own life, and share with others.

Spurgeon encouraged older saints to not pass away from earth with all those great memories locked in your coffins tell others!

We are a community defined not by ethnicity, but by repentance and gratefulness. We join with Christians from all over the earth, rejoicing over the passing over of our sins.

December 30, 2007
Leviticus 16
The Day of Atonement
Dr. Mark Dever

What if you were a ruler who was considered a "good guy," but didn’t take action against bad guys? What does it mean to bear the responsibility to punish? Christians believe that the responsibility to enforce what is good is ultimately the responsibility of God, but it is also trusted to those with authority parents, judges, public officials, and pastors. Atheists argue that there is no one to right wrongs, and that right and wrong are merely social constructs. For the Christian, the cross of Jesus Christ stands in the middle of the conversation. The Christian’s idea of right and wrong comes from the Cross. Here enters the idea of penal substitution an idea that has been questioned by "liberal" Christians, and even recently by some who consider themselves to be Evangelical Christians. But what does the Bible say? These days, there is much argument regarding retributive punishment vs. restorative punishment, and some argue that all punishment should be restorative. Paul says in Romans 12:19 that we should not expect God NOT to take revenge. While retribution is given, in small part, to the government, the individual Christian is called to forgive. God, however, is not hypocritical to ensure that justice is done.

Central to this discussion of God’s justice are two issues: the relationship is the challenge, and substitution is the solution.

*1. The relationship is the challenge

*The Lord is holy, blameless, pure, true, good, beautiful, and transcendent over all creation. The Lord reaches out and speaks to Moses, but because God is holy, we should not assume that our relations with Him will be intuitive. The Scriptures are so important for this very reason. The problem in Leviticus 16: 1-2 is that people are NOT holy and pure; guidance was needed on how people should approach the Holy of Holies. Knowing that we are not holy and sinful should limit our expectations of ourselves and others. Because of our sinfulness, this relationship between us and a holy God is difficult.

Because of the confusion surrounding the deaths of Aaron’s sons in Leviticus 10, God speaks and gives guidance on holiness. We can see in Romans 5 that the universality of death is related to the universality of sin. The punishment of sin is death, because we live in a sinful world under curse and because God is holy and blameless. God is holy, and man is not, and the story could have ended there. In verse 10, however, we are told about the "atonement cover" some versions refer to it as the "mercy seat." This atonement cover is in God’s meeting place with His people. God’s meeting place with His people is a room based on His holiness and righteousness and also on His mercy. The question is, are you aware than an atonement needs to be made for you? Our hope does not come from moral improvement in keeping the law, but because God made a way.

*2. Substitution is the solution

*There are seven things to note regarding the necessity of substitution. First, Aaron wears humble garments. In verses 4 and 23, Aaron cleanses himself prior to putting on these simple garments. When Aaron speaks to the people for God, he wears the ornate garb of a high priest, but when he speaks to God on behalf of the people, he claims nothing. Humility should be our tradecraft.

Second, we see that God provides the veiling smoke in verses 12-13. Incense is brought into the most holy place, which hides the atonement cover. There is a NECESSARY separation between God and sinful man. We should not have unrealistic expectations of fellowship with God in this world. Only when He returns will our fellowship with Him be complete.

Third, there are various sin offerings. Aaron begins by making atonement for his own sins first. We see that even the most "holy" man the high priest still needs atonement for his own sins. This must be clear. God will not make peace with sin. We have to ask ourselves, how can sin be so important to God, and not important to us? Aaron then makes offerings for the Israelites. These sacrifices are the precursor to a later sacrifice. Here we see the penalty of one for the benefit of others. This is shown in the "scapegoat." Of the two goats brought for sacrifice, one is confessed over, showing the transfer of the guilt of the Israelites. The goat is then led into the wilderness with the sins of the people on it. The goat will surely die in the wilderness, so the goat is not escaping death, but this is showing the idea of a substitutionary penalty prior to Christ. Christ has served as our "scapegoat."

Fourth, we see the atoning blood in verse 14. The atoning blood was to be sprinkled on the atonement cover. The oddity here is that nobody, aside from the one sprinkling the blood can see this blood. Nobody can see the atonement cover, that is, except God. This makes it clear that God will recognize this sacrifice for the people as it is in an area that only God can see. The blood is then to be sprinkled on the altar, as well, as "proof" of the atoning sacrifice.

Fifth, there is a representative mediator. Verse 16 shows that Aaron is acting as the representative for all others. There are to be no others in attendance when Aaron performs the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement. Aaron would have practiced, day after day. This shows one person acting for the good of the whole. When Aaron sacrifices the ram for the people, he is in great danger himself, as the sacrifice must be done correctly. If the high priest succeeds, he would then throw a celebration feast. All of this activity is pointing ahead to Christ as the ultimate atoning sacrifice. In the New Testament, we are told that we are ALL priests, and we ALL bear witness to Christ, whereas in the Old Testament, there was one high priest acting for the good of all.

Sixth, the sacrifices were performed annually. In verse 29, we see that these sacrifices were to be repeated each year. The Day of Atonement was an annual sacrifice, not just a one time thing. While other nations would sacrifice to their gods just when things were not going well, the Israelites had to do it repeatedly because people were in a state of sin. The necessity of repeating the sacrifices was to signify that the sacrifices were not ultimately sufficient. This points to Christ’s sacrifice which does not need to be repeated, because it was complete.

Finally, the Israelites heard and obeyed. Some have questioned, "does this mean that ALL Israelites sins were forgiven?" It means that those who believed the promise were forgiven. We see in Hebrews 10 that this is the way to be confident that your sins are forgiven. We want to help one another to hear and obey. Christ’s sacrifice was once FOREVER, so we must repent and believe.

The final line of the book of Ezekiel states that "the Lord is there." How amazing is it to see that the Lord was WITH His people? We are restored with God by the substitutionary punishment taken by Christ.

Many New Year’s resolutions will be made in the coming days mostly about the little things, and most of those will likely be broken. Isn’t it time to do something worthwhile with your life?

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