I WILL BRING ONE MORE PLAGUE… 3500 years ago, under the midnight illumination of a full moon, God brought a final plague upon a proud, haughty nation that would convince them once and for all that He was God. He would bring death to every household. Only the life’s blood of an innocent lamb could save them. But they would have to choose that lamb themselves, care for it in their homes, and together, sacrifice it so that they might live. Appointed death would “pass over” them if the innocent’s blood marked their abode. Exodus 11-12
It all began when God changed Jacob's name to Israel. As the grandson of the patriarch Abraham, God had promised to bless His family. When Jacob (Israel) took his 66-member family to Egypt to escape a famine, God continued to provide for them through one of his sons, Joseph. Previously sold by his brothers into Egyptian slavery, God had brought Joseph to a position of authority in the nation. "God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance." Genesis 45:7
Exodus 12:40 states the family and their descendants lived there 430 years. Exodus 12:37 also records their numbers swelled to 600,000 males besides women and children. For awhile it must have seemed like heaven on earth. But their sheer numbers caused friction with the rest of Egypt. Persecution soon followed because they worshiped the God of Israel, and not the Egyptian gods and goddesses.
So the descendants of Jacob, renamed Israel, prayed to God, and asked for deliverance. Exodus 7-10 records that God sent 9 plagues to convince Egypt to let Israel go so that they could worship Him in the desert. Every plague was designed to reveal an idol that the people worshipped. Egypt ignored them all and refused to let the Israelites go.
But they couldn’t ignore the 10th plague of death for every firstborn male, including livestock. The Almighty instructed each Israelite household to choose a firstborn male lamb and inspect it carefully to be confident that it was blemish-free. It would become the lamb that would save them from certain death when they killed it and applied its blood to the entrance of their abode, effectively marking it so the Death Angel would pass over their dwelling. God designated that date to be remembered as the 10th day of the first month in the new calendar appointed for them and their descendants.
40 years later on this identical calendar date, the same ancient people who listened to God and chose the Passover Lamb for their salvation, miraculously crossed the Jordan River on dry ground and were delivered into the Promised Land where they began to set up God’s kingdom on earth. (Joshua 4)
1500 years later, on the same month and day, Mark 10:46-52 records that on His way to Jerusalem, Jesus stopped in Jericho where He healed Blind Bartimaeus. All those folks gathered along the road would have understood God’s perfect appointment of Jesus crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land and setting up His kingdom there, since Jericho was the first to be conquered by the children of Israel in Joshua’s day. Indeed, the next chapter, 11:1-11, records when Jesus entered Jerusalem on a colt that same afternoon, the people chose Him to deliver them when they shouted “Hosanna” and spread palm branches to welcome Him.
500 years before that, on the 10th day of God's month, the exiled prophet Ezekiel had visions of a new Jerusalem. He noted this Jerusalem had no temple and had streams of living water flowing from it. It is not hard to figure out what…or who…he was actually seeing spiritually when we recall the Words of Jesus. “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it up again in 3 days.” And “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said: ‘Streams of living water will flow from within him.’” John 7:38-39.
It’s impossible not to see that God is meticulous about His calendar dates, and very repetitious with the importance of those same dates year after year. Everything is inter-connected, moving like clockwork. That is WHO HE IS.
So we should sit up and take notice when we realize that March 24 on our 2021 Gregorian calendar is the designated 10th day of God's first month. We learned in last week’s lesson how to pinpoint the beginning of God's New Year on His calendar. https://www.facebook.com/fontanacommunitychurch/posts/3800822433331251
“For Christ, our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed.” 1 Corinthians 5:7. 1500 years after God Almighty’s plague, the Only Begotten Son of God chose to lay down His life as the Passover Lamb, once and for all time, so that God’s people, who deserved death for turning against their God and Creator, “would not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
I WILL BRING ONE MORE PLAGUE…