Speaker: Mike Connell
Jn 1:29 "Behold - the lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world" has little meaning for people today, but for the Israelites who applied the blood of the Passover lamb on the doorposts (Ex.12) it was tremendously significant. When the destroyer saw the blood, they were protected, and 430 years of slavery finished. Jesus is God's provision for our sinfulness, and His blood still speaks. Get a fresh revelation of the power of the blood of Jesus for your freedom.
I’m going to start first of all on John 1:29. We’re going to look in about two or three places in the Bible. The Bible is God’s word. It explains to us God’s plan. It’s made up into two parts – what’s called the Old Testament and then the New Testament. So, I’m going to read to you just one verse. Then we’re going to look in the Old Testament.
“The next day, John the Baptist saw Jesus Christ coming towards him and said: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”” John was especially prepared and commissioned by God to prepare the nation for the arrival of Jesus Christ. His message was – repent from sin and people came from all over the nation. He was preparing them to receive the blessings that God had for them.
One day as he’s baptising, he saw Jesus Christ walking towards him. God spoke into his heart and spoke and revealed who Jesus is; that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. John, who was a prophet, says this: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” Now, to most of us, that has very little meaning whatsoever. But to the people he was speaking to, this had immense significance.
The problem mankind has wrestled with has been the issue of sin. Sin is transgressing or breaking the laws of God. Sin is running our life independent of God. Sin is finding ways to get ourselves ahead without God. Sin is being turned away from God to our own way. Sin brings destruction and death. The Bible says – the wages or consequences of sin is always separation, isolation, death.
God never intended our world to be like it is – with wars and violence and poverty and crime. He created the world a beautiful place. When he created it, he said it was good. But when sin entered the world, when the man God had created turned away from Him, the whole dynamic of this creation changed. Demonic spirits were empowered into the earth. Demonic spirits began to oppress people. When Adam sinned, sickness and death and sorrows entered the world.
But God promised one day, He would send someone who would redeem them. Someone who would deal with the issue of sin. Now in all the religions of the world, the challenge is: how do you deal with sin? In all the religions of the world, are aware of the issue of sin. They all have a similar way of dealing with it – you have to do something. We’ll show you very shortly that Christianity is completely different; that the core foundation for becoming right with God is not what I do, it’s not what you do, it’s what Jesus Christ did for us.
So we’re going to look at the Old Testament – we’ll go into the book of Exodus. So if you’ll just follow me, we won’t look at too many verses. We just want to lay a story for you. So we’ll look in Exodus and we’ll first of all look in Exodus chapter 1, so we get the picture. Exodus 1 –So it’s talking about the people of God and they’re in Egypt.
It says in verse 11: “The Egyptians set taskmasters over them to afflict them with burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel. So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage—in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve was very hard.” They even sent them to kill their firstborn children.
So what is happening is, the people of God are trapped in a foreign nation. They’re living in slavery. None of us is made to be slave to anything. God has made us for freedom. We long for freedom. But these people were in bondage. They were in bondage to the Egyptians and the Egyptians put hard taskmasters over them. They beat them, they abused them, they made them serve. Their life was very bitter, very difficult. They suffered, they were beaten, they were abused, they worked hard, very little return. They had no freedom to run their own life. They were held in slavery. They were trafficked. Their lives were very miserable.
This is a picture for us. It’s a picture of the invisible reality of sin. When people are born into this world, we’re born in slavery to sin. Whatever conquers you, you are subject to it. Sins are bitterness, hatred, anger, fear. Sin afflicts every person. Behind sin and empowering it, are demonic spirits. So people born into this world are born in slavery to sin, and life is hard. There are disappointments, betrayals, difficulties, setbacks.
In the midst of it, people try to find relief of the pain. They become addicted to various things. Then their addiction is a bondage. Addictions to drugs, then the drugs steal their health and their finance. Addicted to pornography. Addicted to alcohol and nicotine. So this is slavery – people were made very bitter. The Bible tells us that behind Egypt, there was an invisible spiritual world. The Egyptians worshipped many different gods. They had gods for all kinds of manners of things.
So the reality is this – the people were in slavery and the power behind that slavery were demonic spirits working through the Egyptians. The people began to cry and ask God to help them. So God sent Moses to help them; and when Moses came in, said to the Pharaoh – “Let my people go. The Lord says – let my people go.” Pharaoh says: “Who is this Lord? He’s not my God. I will not let them go.” So God began to bring plagues on the nation of Israel.
Let’s come and have a look at it now. We’re going come right to the very last one and we’ll look at this in Exodus chapter 12. Here in verse 3 – “Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.”
Verse 5 – “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.” He said: “Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.”
Notice here in verse 7: “And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.”
Verse 12: “‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment, for I am the Lord.”
Verse 14: “‘So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.”
Verse 22 and 23: “And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.”
Verse 29 - 31: “And it came to pass at midnight that the Lord struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock. So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead. Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, “Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the Lord as you have said.”
So the first thing we need to see is that God spoke, He was going to bring judgement on the gods of Egypt. Now, the Egyptians worship many gods. They worship the Nile river, so God brought a plague on the Nile. So, everything that they worshipped, everything that they said was God, God brought a judgement against it.
God demonstrated that His power was greater than these god, that these gods were false gods, and that He was the one true God. Each time He brought a plague, He was showing the powerlessness of their gods. He was demonstrating what they worshipped had no power and that the Lord God of Israel is the real God.
Each time that Moses came to the Pharaoh, the Pharaoh hardened his heart – “I will not let go.” So they brought another plague. “Ok, now you let go?” “No I will not.” Each time they bring another plague. “Will you let the people go?” “I will not! Who is this Lord?” Then, another plague!” “Will you let them go?” “Ok. Maybe just a little bit. But no money, no cattle, no children.” “Ok, you haven’t got the message.” On more plague. “Ok. You can go. But leave the cattle and the children.” Ok, one more plague.
So each time, one more plague came. Pharaoh’s heart became very bitter and hard. Finally it came to the last plague of all. Now you have to understand this – that the Pharaoh was worshipped as the living god. His son was also worshipped as the living god. So from the Egyptian point of view, the Pharaoh was one of the great gods of their nation and so was his son.
So notice what God says - he gives a very careful instruction to the people of Israel. So, Moses gathers all the leaders up, and he said: “Listen carefully. One more plague. God is going to break the power of Egypt. God is going to break the demonic powers. God is going to deliver us as He said. But there’s one more thing that will happen. I want you to listen really carefully. This is very important, what I’m going to tell you. This is what we do – it’s going to happen on the 14th day. What day? 14th day. You better get this one right. It’s not good if you have it on the 13th or 15th. 14thday. On the 14th day, I want you to do this. I want you to choose from your flocks, a lamb.”
The Egyptians despised the shepherds. They despised the sheep. So, God says ‘I want you to take a lamb, and I want you to check it carefully. No spot, no blemish, perfect lamb. Can’t be a blind lamb, limping lamb. Perfect lamb.’
He said: “On the evening of the 14th day – that’s about 3 o’clock – I want you to do this. You gather all your family to your household, and then you slay the lamb, and you get the blood from the lamb in a basin. Then you get some hyssop and you must do this. You must take the blood, put some blood on the lintel, then over on the doorpost, then over on the other doorpost. Then, you go in, and you eat the lamb together. At midnight, you will leave because the destroyer is going to come through the nation. He’s going to kill the firstborn of every family, every animal, unless he sees the blood. If he sees the blood of the lamb, you will be spared. When God sees the blood, He will say – ‘They’re my people. They’re protected by the blood. Nothing shall happen to them. Nothing shall come into their homes.’”
So the days went by, and the 14th day came. Now, if you were the eldest son, you would be very keen to make sure this is done. You’d be hanging out with your father. “Hey dad, let me check the lamb is well. Let’s give it a good look. Oh, maybe that’s a little spot. Get another one. I want to get this right. You know, my life is hanging in the balance here. Ok. Alright. Let’s get the blood in the bowel. Don’t spill any. Ok. That looks like it. Alright then. Now, take the hyssop. Ok, put it on the lintel. More! Just in case the angel doesn’t have good eyesight. Put it all over! Ok. Don’t forget this one. The doorposts. More! Over this one here. More! Let me have a look. Put some more. Just in case. Can I take any chances? There’s only one chance to get this right. You get it wrong, I’m finished.”
So, they put the blood. The Egyptians looked - “What are you doing?” Some of them listened. Some of them said – “What are these Hebrews up to?” So they asked the Hebrews: “Hey what are you doing?” “Oh, secret. But I’ll tell you – there’s one more plague. It’s coming through every house. Only way you can be protected – this is what it is: perfect lamb, check it out – no spots. Then on the 14th day, kill a lamb, take the blood in the basin – lintel, doorposts. Ok. Then, stay inside. Don’t go out for a little walk at night.”
Some Egyptians believed. They said – “Man, we better do what they’re doing because it looks like God’s on their side. You guys are scary guys, your God’s a scary God.” So some of the Egyptians did this as well. Then the night came. 7 o’clock, 8 o’clock. Nothing much, I don’t see anything. Have a look outside. “No. Don’t look, don’t go outside! We don’t know when!” 10 o’clock. No sign of the angel. 11 o’clock. Finally, it’s midnight. They start to hear the crying. They realise something’s happening.
Screams went up in house after house after house. Hundreds and hundreds of households. Demonic spirit went in and killed the children – eldest sons in households. Right down even in the prison. If you’re the eldest son in the prison, you’re in big trouble. You can’t get out! So, everywhere through the land, God brought judgement on the Pharaoh’s gods; and He broke the spiritual power. Notice this – He broke the power behind the nation.
Do you realise, Egypt never recovered after this? It has never recovered to become the nation it once was. It lost everything through this. So, the angel of death went right through the nation, but those who had applied the blood, they were spared. God said to them: “You must eat the lamb, and then be ready to take your journey because you’re coming out of bondage. You’re coming out of bondage! 430 years of slavery finishes tonight! Have your bag packed. Get ready to take the journey because tonight the slavery finishes.”
This is what the Bible says – it says: “Not one of them that came out of Egypt was weak.” That night, when they shed the blood, and they waited in faith, not only did the angel of death come through and kill the Egyptians, God’s spirit moved through the people of God, and their sicknesses were healed, the broken bones were healed. It says – “Not one of them were weak.”
They lived in slavery. They lived in poverty. But not one was weak and feeble. They were all strengthened by the power of God. The Bible says – God’s armies rose and left Egypt that night. Before they left, the Egyptians gave them silver and gold; they plundered Egypt, and they left on their journey to enter the promised land.
God said this – “I want you, every year, on the 14th day of this first month, to remember this. You will offer a Passover lamb, shed the blood, and you will remember what I did for you.” They did that year after year. So when John the Baptist rose up, and said: “Behold, the lamb of God”, they knew exactly what he’s talking about. It’s the Passover lamb. That lamb’s blood saved us, delivered us, healed us. This is the lamb of God. This is God’s choice. God’s choice – Jesus Christ. He takes away the sins of the world, He prophesied. Everything you’ve seen for 1500 years was a picture of this. This is the reality.
Now, I want you to see the crucifixion of Jesus. I want you to notice something. We’re going to look in Matthew chapter 27. We saw before that blood is important because the life is in the blood. So everywhere, in every culture in the world, people understand a little bit about that. In Matthew 27, we’re going to read about the death of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 27:45-46 –“Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice.”
Verse 50-53: “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.”
Notice from the 6th hour to the 9th hour, Jesus has come to the end of His ministry. His life is not taken from Him, He gives up His life. The 6th hour to the 9th hour is between 12 midday and 3pm in the afternoon. It says – “God brought a great darkness over the land”, just as the Egyptians had darkness over their land.
It says – “The 9th hour, Jesus cried out.” Why does the Bible tells us – “the 9th hour”? The 9th hour is 3pm. At this time, in Israel, it was the feast of Passover. So, people had come from all over the nation for this feast. At the 9th hour, or 3 o’clock, the high priest was taking the Passover lamb and shedding its blood. What no one realised was that God’s Passover lamb was now giving up its life on the cross. “At the 9th hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up His spirit.”
Now, if you’ve ever been around people who are dying, people don’t die with a loud voice. They don’t. They kind of fade away. Gone. They don’t have a loud voice. When Jesus died, the Bible says He gave a triumphant shout. The word ‘loud’ is ‘mega’. A ‘mega’ shout. He gave a triumphant shout. It’s finished. The work of atoning for sin for the world. Finished. He shed His blood.
Now, notice what happens. When God accepts the sacrifice, power is released. I want you to notice some things that happened. The first thing that happened – it say the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom. Now the veil in the temple was a very thick veil. It stopped people going into the holiest part where God was dwelling. But suddenly, angelic hands tore it from top to bottom, and people were shocked. For the first time, they could see and have access right into the presence of God. God was wanting them to know – I have made a way for every person to come into the presence of God.
The second thing that happened was a mighty earthquake. Huge earthquake. A massive earthquake. I don’t know what scale it was, but it must have been very big because notice what it says – it shattered the rocks. Look what else it did – it broke open all the graves. Now that’s a big earthquake to break open the grave. Why did such a thing happen? See? The consequences of sin is death. And God opened up the graves. That is scary stuff! Dead people. Graves opened. Granddad, you just buried him and there he is. Woah. So all the graves open up, bodies in different stages of decay. Woah. Bones and skull. Dreadful. That’s scary!
People couldn’t leave it like that. So they had to go and camp out, look after the graves. But they had to wait till the Passover was over before they could do any work and fill them in. So, this is a traumatic scene. Massive earthquake, graves opened, and Jesus Himself descended into the deepest part of the Earth, declared to the demonic spirits and principalities – I have conquered you.
After 3 days, there was another massive earthquake, and Jesus rose from the dead. Look what it says in Matthew 27. It said: “Many of the bodies of the saints rose, went into Jerusalem, and appeared to many.” People think that death is the end. It’s not the end. Did you realise that when Jesus rose from the dead, many of the people in those graves, God supernaturally reconstructed the bodies, and they rose from the dead, they began to walk through the city of God. Maybe Moses and Abraham, some of the great saints and kings. That is scary.
You know, we have Easter and we have Easter eggs. Celebration, nice meal. They had ghosts walking through the city. Moses, come on! Appearing to many people! This is a traumatic event. This is not some secret event. God is demonstrating to everyone – His power released through the blood of Jesus can forgive your sins, break demonic holds, set you free from the power of sin, and raise you up, and put resurrection life in you. Resurrection life. God was demonstrating that no matter what the devil has brought upon us, by believing and faith in the blood that Jesus shed, God’s power is released to change your life. What an amazing thing.
The Bible tells us in Colossians 2:14-15 that when Jesus died on the cross, when He shed His blood, He said He took away every sin against you, and disarmed principalities and power. He took away the power of the devil to hold you in bondage; and it all comes down to this – it’s not what I have done, it’s what Christ did for me and whether I will believe it. This is what the Bible says – that God has made Jesus to be a mercy seat by faith in His blood. Romans 3:25 – God has made Jesus a mercy seat for us by faith in His blood.
If you have sinned, the blood of Jesus paid the price. If you have failed, the blood of Jesus has paid the price. If you have wrestled with something, the blood of Jesus has redeemed you. The word ‘redeemed’, we say – I am redeemed by the blood of the lamb. Know that song? “I am redeemed by the blood of the lamb, I am redeemed.” That’s the one. It’s a great song. The word ‘redeem’ means to pay the full price to ransom.
When Jesus shed His blood, He did the full price to set you free, to save you, to forgive your sins. He just requires that you turn from things and believe. If you sin and fall, turn and believe. The blood has paid the price already. You may be wrestling with sin, wrestling with struggles in your life, turn and believe that Jesus has died for that sin. Turn away from it. It just brings sorrow and destruction and condemnation. Believe what Jesus has done. What an amazing truth.
In every religion in the world you have to do something. Christianity – Jesus did it all. If I will respond to Jesus, if I will identify with Him by faith in my heart, then, all that He did for me becomes mine. Do you know what the meaning of water baptism is? I don’t know how they do it here, but in the New Testament they would take them down to the river, they put them under the water and bring them back up.
When a person gets water baptised, it’s not some little ritual. It’s a statement of faith in your heart –My old life finished when I came to Christ. When He died on the cross, I died with Him. I identify with Him. My old way of living is dead. Jesus was buried in the ground, we go under in the water of baptism, I believe that my life is now buried. The old sinful life, selfish life, it is finished. Come up out of the water baptism – it represents a new life has begun.
It’s not a matter of the water and getting wet. It’s understanding and believing in your heart – My old life finished, it died with Christ. It’s buried. From God’s point of view now, and I choose to believe it, I’m a new person and I’m now living a new life. It’s the life of a believer, a life following Jesus. Will I fail? Yes I will. That’s because I keep forgetting who I am, go back to thinking I’m that old person and doing those old things. But I don’t have to do them anymore because their power’s broken. So I can just repent quickly, the blood of Jesus will cleanse me, and I can begin to walk with God afresh.
If we confess our sins, He’s faithful and just to forgive us, and cleanse us from all our unrighteousness. Amen. If we walk in the light, it means we’re open with God, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Christ cleanses us. The blood is always available to cleanse you of sin and failure. We just need to believe. We need to believe in our heart that what Jesus did is enough. Enough.
Now, just one last thing. When you come to enter the presence of God, if you believe that what Jesus did is enough, you can come boldly. If you don’t believe it’s enough, you’ll come like this – “Oh, God I’m such a bad person. I’m so sorry.” That’s not how God wants you to come. He wants you to believe that blood is enough to cleanse your sins; and to arise and walk in the power of a new life.
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