3. Behold the Passover Lamb (Exodus 11-12)

A Memorial of Liberty and Redemption for all the Circumcised

September 26, 2021 • David Schrock • Exodus 12, Exodus 11, John 1:29–35

I once heard it said that the Passover instructions found in Exodus 12 are like planning a family reunion as your house burns down. Imagine the oddity—the absolute insanity!—of setting your children down at the kitchen table as flames engulf your house and telling them, “Get out your notebooks. I have a few things to say. At this time next year, we are going to gather our family to remember this event. We are going to eat a meal together that symbolizes this special occasion. And here are all the things you will need . . .”

Pretty strange stuff. But in the book of Exodus, this is exactly what you find. As the God of Israel prepares to deliver his people out of Egypt, and as the impending death of every firstborn son is bearing down on every family in the land, God not only gives Moses instructions for saving his people from death, but he also institutes a meal for families to remember this pivotal moment of God’s saving power. Such are the ways of God.

In Exodus 12, God not only saves his people, but he calls them to remember how they are saved. And this fall, we are looking intently at the cross of Christ for this very reason. God wants us to remember his great works. As Psalm 111:2 says, “Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.”

Truly, in the Old Testament, there is no greater work than the Exodus. There is no greater display of God’s mercy and judgment than the Passover. Thus, it is worth our time to study it. And we study it, not simply to see how God worked in history, but to see how this Passover foretold the greater Passover of Jesus Christ.

Indeed, 1 Corinthians 5:7 calls Jesus the Passover Lamb and throughout the New Testament Jesus is portrayed as God’s God-given sacrifice (see John 1:29 and Revelation 5:6, 8, 12, 13). Thus, we return to Exodus 12 this week to better understand how the Lamb of God died as a substitute to secure our salvation.

As you have time, read Exodus 12 in preparation. You might want to read John 19 again, too. Together these two chapters, plus a host of others, show us how this climactic moment in Israel’s history lead us to see Christ and his greater sacrifice.

I look forward to worshiping Christ with you this Sunday and pondering again the finished work of our glorious Lord. May God open our eyes to see the wisdom of the cross and the way it unites all of Scripture.

For His Glory and your joy,
Pastor David

Discussion & Response Questions for Exodus 12
1. What are the three sections of Exodus? How does knowing the outline of Exodus inform our salvation?
2. More specifically, what are some of types and shadows, patterns and promises found in Exodus that point us to Christ?
3. With respect to the Passover itself, what do we learn about God? Salvation? Christ? God’s people?
4. Why is “remembering” so important for God’s people? How does the Passover teach us about the importance of remembering?
5. Where does the New Testament teach us to remember? And how does Jesus connect the Passover feast to Christians remembering his cross?
6. In what ways do we find confirmation in the New Testament that Jesus is the Passover Lamb?
7. Why does it matter that we understand Christ’s death in terms of Old Testament promise? (Hint: The gospel is based upon fulfilled promises. See Acts 10:32–33; Romans 1:1–7; 1 Corinthians 15:1–8)
8. How does the focus on sacrifice and substitution strike you? Is this how you have understood Christ’s cross and your salvation?
9. How does rightly understanding the work of Christ on the cross purify and strengthen your faith? How does it impact your daily living and ethical choices? (Hint: 1 Corinthians 5:7 is set in the context of ethics).
10. What else did you learn about Christ and God’s gospel from studying Exodus 12?

13. The Supremacy of Christ and His New Covenant (Hebrews 9)

December 5, 2021 • David Schrock • Hebrews 9

As we come to the last message of our series on the cross, before considering the cradle and the cross of Christ (our Advent mini-series) we will return to the theme that we started with—the finished work of Christ. If Christ declared that it was finished on the cross (John 19:30). And his crucifixion completed the work described in Psalm 22 (see v. 31). Then Hebrews 9 gives us another passage where the once and for all work of Christ is extolled and explained. In fact, in describing the ways that Christ is better than all the persons, events, and institutions that preceded him in Israel, Hebrews 9 explains how the cross works—both on earth and in heaven. As you have time, read Hebrews 9 and pray that God would open our eyes to see all the ways that Christ fulfills all the types and shadows of the Old Testament. Indeed, all of the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings point to Christ, and this Sunday, Lord willing, we will see how that works once and for all. For His Glory and your joy, Pastor David ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Discussion & Response Questions for Hebrews 9 1. What are the key components of the Levitical system of sacrifice? (Hint: there are four) 2. What do you know about each—the tabernacle, the priesthood, the sacrifices, and the covenant? 3. Why is it necessary to know these components of the sacrificial system, if you want to know the finished work of Christ? 4. How does Christ’s cross (and resurrection and ascension) fulfill the sacrificial system? 5. In what ways does Hebrews 9 depend upon and quote the Old Testament to explain Christ’s death and resurrection? 6. How is Christ better? Why is this good news for the Jewish followers of Christ? How is this good news for us? 7. What does it mean that Christ is the mediator of a new covenant? 8. What did the blood of Christ accomplish? Remember, the blood applies in two directions in Hebrews 9. 9. How does Christ purify heaven? How do we see that in the text?  10. How does the inauguration of the new covenant and the exaltation of Christ into heaven change the world? And impact your life?

12. The Cross of Christ Demonstrates, Defines, and Diffuses the Love of God (1 John 4:7-12)

November 28, 2021 • David Schrock • 1 John 4:7–12

Where do you look when you don’t feel the love of God? This Sunday we will look to 1 John 4 to answer that question. And what we will find is that the unchanging and objective work of God also has a personal and subjective application to all those who are in Christ. Indeed, the cross not only does something for us, it does something to us. And this Sunday we will see what that is. To prepare for Sunday, take time to read 1 John. While our focus will be on 1 John 4:7–12, the whole book is aimed to give assurance to God’s people, all the while exposing unbelief. So take time to read and pray for our gathering. I look forward to seeing you Sunday, as the Lord allows, and to worshipping Christ with you. For His Glory and your joy, Pastor David --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions for 1 John 4 1. What have you learned so far this fall about the cross? 2. Why is it important to first see the cross as something Christ achieved (“It is finished”) before seeing it as something where God displays his love? 3. What does John say about love in 1 John 4? 4. In what ways is it difficult to know or embrace God’s love? 5. What does the cross teach us about God’s love? And how does it produce love in us? 6. How does the church, who is dedicated to the cross, show the love of God? 7. What else did you learn about the love of God? 8. Who needs to hear from you about the love of God?

11. Reconciliation (Colossians 1:15-2:15)

November 21, 2021 • David Schrock • Colossians 1:15—2:15

Since the start of our series on the cross, one recurring theme we have seen is the way that judgment and salvation are paired. In the Passover, God saved his firstborn and judged Egypt’s firstborns. At the Red Sea, God saved his people and destroyed Pharaoh and his army. Just the same, as I read 2 Kings 3 this week, I found this theme again. The water that God provided to save Israel is the same water that brought the Moabites to their death. In short, God’s judgment is never without salvation. And his salvation is never without judgment. From the flood of Noah to the end of time, we find salvation and judgment. And this week, we will see how Paul joins these two works of God in the cross of Christ. In Colossians 1:20, Paul says that the blood of Christ’s cross is reconciling all of creation. And in what follows (1:21–2:23) he explains how that happens – through salvation and judgment. In these two chapters Paul identifies whom the cross saves and whom the cross judges. And for us, as we keep our eyes fixed on Christ, we will see how the cross has cosmic, as well as personal implications. To prepare for Sunday, take time to read Colossians—it’s not long. On Sunday, we will start with Colossians 1:20 and then follow Paul’s twofold explanation of Christ’s cosmic reconciliation that relates to salvation and judgment. I can’t wait to see you Sunday, as the Lord allows, and to worship the risen Christ with you. For His Glory and your joy, Pastor David --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions for Colossians 1-2 1. How has the pattern of salvation and judgment been seen in the Bible? And how has that pattern helped you better understand the cross? 2. In what ways does Paul speak of the cross in Colossians? And how do the creation themes relate to the cross? 3. Look at Colossians 1:20. What does this verse not mean? (Hint: No universal salvation) And how do make sense of what it does mean? (Hint: keep reading the letter) 4. Paul uses the word “reconciliation” in Colossians 1:20 and 1:22. This is the same word, but is it used in the same way? If not, why not? How do we know? 5. According to Colossians 1–2, how does Christ reconcile the cosmos? Why does this matter? 6. What does the cross do for God’s elect (Col. 3:9)? Where do we see that in the text? (Hint: 1:21–23; 2:11–14) 7. What does the cross do for God’s enemies? Where do we see that in the text? (Hint: 2:15) 8. What does penal substitution mean? What does Christus Victor mean? How do they relate? And how do they resonate with the storyline of salvation and judgment? 9. How do we apply these two aspects of the cross? Look at 1:24–2:8 and 2:16–23. 10. What else do you see in Colossians 1–2?