Saved from Death
by the Passover Lamb
by Sophia Prinsloo with Barbara Wilmerton Haas
Text Version | Afrikaans
Eutychus came running down the street and into the house, out of breath. “Mom, Dad! He'll be here in Troas tonight and we HAVE to go, listen to him!” he gasped.
“Who on earth are you talking about, son?” his dad asked while his little brother stopped chewing on a piece of unleavened bread in his mouth.
“It is Saul from Tarsus, the man we have heard so much about,” Eutychus replied. “He is one of the great leaders of this new move of God. Jesus has miraculously appeared to him, changing him into a brand new man, giving him a new name, Paul!”
“Nobody can deny that Paul is a genuine, real life hero. His faith held strong through so many difficult times. During his travels across our world, he had been beaten and stoned, suffered shipwrecks, endured great dangers of all sorts and is being persecuted even now. Please, please! We have to go, listen to him!” Eutychus begged.
That evening, Eutychus, his dad, mom and little brother went to hear what Paul of Tarsus had to say. The upper room was packed and there was no more room for anyone, not even for a mouse. Fortunately, Eutychus could find a place to sit right on a windowsill.
For seven nights in a row, Eutychus and his family went to listen to Paul and heard his teachings. On the last night, Paul was teaching them about the Passover Lamb … .
“My dear brothers and sisters,” Paul said. “When God delivered the Israelites from Egypt, the land of slavery, He had a magnificent plan in mind. They did not know it yet, but all of the things God would command them to do, would be a picture of Somebody Who was to come thousands of years later. Can you guess Who that picture was all about? It was of … JESUS! Let me prove it to you … !
“As you all know, after Moses and Aaron told an enraged, stubborn Pharaoh that all the firstborn of Egypt would die in the TENTH plague, he chased them away from his sight. God was going to bring judgment on all the families in Egypt who were guilty of sin, did not treat the Israelites well and believed in false gods. All the firstborn would die because the firstborn was the most important heir in each family in Egypt. From the lowly firstborn of a slave girl to Pharaoh's royal firstborn son would die.
“Then God sent Moses and Aaron to the Israelites with a very important message. In faith, they had to do some very important things to prepare themselves for leaving Egypt and for protecting themselves against God's judgment.
“First, they had to change their calendar. That was because God considered the month that they would leave Egypt so important that they had to make that month the first month of the year. The Israelites and their descendants would remember God's mighty deliverance in the beginning of each new year, giving them hope and strength for the rest of the year to come.
“Secondly, they had to protect themselves from judgment the way God told them to, because not a family would be spared from the death of a firstborn unless an acceptable substitute was provided.
“Who knows what a substitute is?” Paul asked.
Eutychus wanted to answer, but one of his friends from school, Justus, was much quicker with an answer: "Sir, a substitute is something that takes the place of something else."
“You are quite right, son,” Paul answered, quite pleased.
“And who knows what the substitute for the firstborn was?” Paul asked again.
Another one of Eutychus' friends, John the Jew, was quick to answer: “Sir, the perfect, spotless, innocent Passover lamb was the substitute for the firstborn.”
“You are perfectly right, young man,” Paul replied. “Each family had to prepare a Passover lamb from the sheep or the goats. If the family was too small, they could share it with their neighbors. The Passover lamb had to be one year old, a male and perfect in every way. They had to select it from the flock on the tenth day of the month and keep it separate for four days to make sure it had no blemish.
“That, my dear brothers and sisters, is a perfect picture, or type, of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was not too young and not too old. He had no blemish, meaning He had no sin. Everybody made sure of that during his three and a half years of teaching, healing and doing miracles. Not even the highest authority in our world, the Roman court under Pilate, could find any fault with Him.
“But just as the spotless Passover lamb was appointed beforehand to die, so our spotless, innocent Lord Jesus was appointed by God before the foundation of the world, to die in our place for our sins.”
Paul continued, “Now, the Israelites had to slay the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of this first month. Then each family had to take a branch with leaves from the hyssop bush, dip it into the basin with the Passover lamb's blood, and apply the blood to the lintel and two side posts of the door of each house. Once they did that, nobody was to go out of the house until the morning.
“When the Destroyer, the Angel of Death, saw the blood on the lintel and doorposts, he would PASS OVER that home. He would know that nobody needed to die in that house because the Passover lamb had already died for them. They would be forgiven from their sins and the Destroyer would know that the family in that house believed in the real God. The firstborn of that house would be spared and would live.
“Do you know?” Paul added. “That is perfect picture of when we accept Jesus as our Savior and believe in Him. He is God's Firstborn Son and He becomes our Passover Lamb. His blood on the doorposts of our hearts, shows we are forgiven from our sins because we believe in the real God who saves us from judgment and eternal death.”
“HALLELUJAH!” Eutychus suddenly called out loud from the windowsill where he was sitting attentively listening to Paul. “I know what the blood on the lintel and doorpost is also a picture of. It is a picture of the blood flowing from Jesus' head and hands where the thorns and nails pierced Him," he said with excitement in his voice.
“You are one, very clever young man, Eutychus! I know Jesus is working in your heart, beloved of God,” Paul said with a radiant smile.
Eutychus felt a new joy springing up in his heart as Paul continued: “Moses also told the Israelites that the Passover lamb had to be roasted on fire as a whole, even the head and insides, so that it could be placed on the table as a whole. This is another picture of Jesus. Not a single one of his bones was broken when He died on the cross.”
Paul cleared his throat and took a sip of water before he went on: “With the Passover lamb, the Israelites had to eat unleavened bread. That is a sign of the purity of Jesus, because He came to do the will of God, not His own. He said it was his food to do his heavenly Father's will.
“Together with the Passover lamb and the unleavened bread, they had to eat bitter herbs.”
“Yuck!” Eutychus' little brother said out loud. Everybody laughed.
“Yes, little one,” Paul smiled. “You don't like bitter stuff, do you? But do you know, if you eat bitter herbs with the meat of a lamb, it doesn't taste bitter anymore. It is a picture of God taking away the bitterness the Israelites suffered in Egypt as slaves. It is also a picture of Jesus taking away the bitterness of our sin and the punishment for our sin, taking it on Himself. Praise Jesus for his sacrifice!” Paul said, his voice suddenly breaking as tears welled up in his eyes.
After a few moments of silence, Paul continued, “God told Moses that the whole Passover lamb had to be consumed on Passover night. If there was anything left the next morning, it had to be burned with fire. That is a picture of Jesus' sacrifice that was complete — finished in one night — once and for all, for all of us!”
As Paul was speaking, Eutychus looked at the many lamps lighting up the upper room where they were gathered together. It was already close to midnight and he was getting very tired. He had not slept a lot during the past week and the flickering lights of the lamps seemed to make him even more weary. He noticed that his little brother was already sleeping soundly across his mom and dad's laps.
Trying to stay awake, Eutychus blinked his eyes while Paul continued: “The Israelites had to eat this Passover feast in haste, ready to heed the call to leave Egypt. They had to have their long robes girded so that they would not trip over loose garments. They had shoes on their feet and a staff in one hand. Likewise, we also have to be ready to hear God's call and let Him equip us with everything we need in our journey with Him.”
Eutychus could not keep his eyes open anymore and he fell asleep. First his head was nodding and then … . OH, NO! He fell over and off the windowsill where he was sitting onto the street below, THREE STORIES DOWN!
His mom shrieked! His dad jumped up at once and quickly ran downstairs. Paul and some of the men followed him. They picked up Eutychus. OH, NO! He was dead! People looked down from the window and, hearing this, there was a moment of shocked silence before everybody broke out in tears, crying.
Paul, staying calm, having faith, bent down over Eutychus, embraced him and said, “Don't make such a fuss. He is alive!”
Eutychus opened his eyes, gasped, looked around him, grabbed his Dad's arm and said, “Praise God! I'm alive, Dad! Jesus saved me from death!” His Dad embraced him and, for a few moments, he was so overwhelmed that he could not say a word until Eutychus said, “Dad, can we go back up to the upper room? Paul is only here until daybreak and I don't want to miss anything.”
Relieved and immensely grateful, his Dad said, “You gave us such a big scare, son! You are our firstborn! Praise God for your life! Let us go up!” They stood to their feet and went upstairs again.
Back in the upper room, his mom embraced him with tears in her eyes. “No more sitting on the windowsill for you, young man!” Everybody rejoiced about the miracle that they had witnessed, Jesus saving Eutychus' life.
Paul decided it was time to eat the Lord's Supper. He prayed and began to break some bread in remembrance of our Passover Lamb, Jesus' body that was crucified for us, bringing healing to our bodies. They also took of the cup together in remembrance of Jesus' blood that was spilled for us so that we can be forgiven from our sins.
Then Paul continued his lesson: “Moses taught our ancestors, the Israelites, that they had to eat unleavened bread for seven days in a row, starting that Passover night. That is a picture of us living a life free from sin, holy unto God, after accepting Jesus. We cannot do this on our own or by trying to do good by ourselves. We have to trust Him to help us. If we keep on sinning or rely on our own works, we are like bread made from leaven. The dough, from which such bread is made, rises and becomes inflated by itself, full of evil pride. That is a picture of sin.
Now Eutychus was wide awake where he was sitting between his mom and dad, as Paul continued: “In faith, all the Israelites did exactly as Moses told them to do that night of the Passover lamb. The Destroyer came and PASSED OVER every house that had blood on its doorposts and lintel. Not a single firstborn of the Israelites was killed by the Death Angel that night. They were all spared! Praise the Lord!
“But in Egypt, all the firstborn died that night! In this way, God judged all the false gods of Egypt, because they were powerless to save the firstborn of Egypt from death.
“Were the Israelites better people than the Egyptians because their firstborn did not die like the Egyptian firstborn? No, they were not, but the Egyptians did not have any blood from a Passover lamb on their doorposts and lintels, and they did not believe in the real God.”
Paul continued preaching his long sermon until dawn when he concluded: “For the Israelites, Egypt was a place of slavery. They did things they did not really want to do, just like us when we sometimes sin. But God has provided for us a way of salvation through Jesus Christ. He is our Passover Lamb, saving us from sin and eternal death.
“Just like the Israelites had to celebrate the Passover by FAITH that God would save them, we have to accept Jesus by FAITH, and believe that He saves us. You can make this the first day of the rest of your life by giving your life to Jesus! Do you want to do that?”
During those early morning hours just before daybreak, Eutychus, his mom and dad and little brother, and many others in the upper room accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and gave their lives to Him by faith! They knew in their hearts they were now children of the living God because of the sacrifice of his Firstborn Son, Jesus Christ. A newfound joy filled their hearts and souls and everyone rejoiced, giving glory to God, singing his praises!
Then Paul blessed all his old and new brothers and sisters in Christ, girded his robe, made sure his shoes were fastened, took his staff, said his goodbyes and left for the town of Assos. Eutychus and his family went back home, rejoicing in the Lord, singing out loud the new song that they had learned in the upper room early that morning:
“I'm a new creation,
I'm a brand new man.
Old things have passed away,
I'm born again.
More than a conqueror,
That's who I am.
I'm a new creation,
I'm a brand new man … !”
Jesus came to save us from sin and death and to give us a brand new life if we believe in Him and accept Him as our Savior.
1. What did the Israelites have to apply to their doorposts and lintels?
2. Why did they have to do that?
3. What is a substitute?
4. What was the substitute for the firstborn sons of the Israelites?
5. Were the Israelite firstborn sons saved from death?
6. Of Whom is the Passover lamb a picture?
VERSE TO LEARN:
“Forasmuch as ye know that 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, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18,19).
ALTERNATE VERSE TO LEARN:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
How did the Destroyer know which homes to pass over? Just as the Israelites had to apply blood to the lintels and doorposts of their homes to escape death, we can picture ourselves applying Jesus' blood to the doorposts of our hearts to be saved. Do you know how we can do that?
[After discussion:] We apply the blood of Jesus to the doorposts of our hearts by accepting Him as our Lord Savior and believing in Him. When we do that, we become citizens of Jesus' Kingdom and one day we will go to heaven. Do you believe that?
Would you like to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and give Him your life today? Or, if you have already done that, would you like rededicate your life to God or help someone else to accept Jesus as his or her Lord and Savior?
Let's take a moment in prayer for ourselves and for others, telling Jesus we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Let’s ask Him to forgive our sins and help us trust Him so we can live a life that’s pleasing to Him.
Heavenly Father, I repent of all my sins and ask You
to wash me clean in Jesus' precious blood
that was shed for my forgiveness.
Give me a new heart and help me to please you.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.
CAN YOU FIND THIS STORY IN THE BIBLE?
Exodus 12:1-28; Acts 20:6-13
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