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)
Around 700 years later, 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.
1500 years later, on the same month and day, Luke 18:35-43 records that on His way to Jerusalem, Jesus stopped in Jericho where He healed Blind Bartimaeus. "When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.”
That scripture is just about as self-explanatory as it gets. Right now is the perfect time for many of us pro-fessing Christians to start con-fessing the same thing to Jesus. “Son of David, have mercy on me!...Lord, I want to see.”
Indeed, all those folks gathered along the road would have understood God’s perfect appointment of King Jesus crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land. Jericho was the first city conquered by the children of Israel in Joshua’s day, when the walls fell after the Israelites marched around them and blew their trumpets. Indeed, the next chapter 11:1-11, records when Jesus entered Jerusalem on a colt that same afternoon, the people spread palm branches to welcome their King and shouted “Hosanna”, a biblical Hebrew phrase meaning "Pray, save us."
3500 years later, on the 10th day of God’s first month, the evening of April 11-12 on our Gregorian calendar, 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. Last week we learned how to pinpoint New Year’s Day on God's calendar. https://www.facebook.com/fontanacommunitychurch/posts/4993609674052515
Everything on God’s calendar is inter-connected, moving forward like clockwork, all calculated to bring about the release of His chosen people from certain death because of their bondage to sin. The Almighty’s Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, chose to lay down His life as the Passover Lamb, whose blood applied to the doorposts of our very existence would guarantee that “those who believed in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
“I WILL BRING ONE MORE PLAGUE…”