The Storyline of Christmas (Advent 2021, Week 2)
By J. Aaron White
Advent is a special time as we, the body of Christ, contemplate the Incarnation and eagerly await the second coming of our Lord. During our Sunday services, we will read excerpts from Scripture and light the corresponding Advent candles. In addition to this, we will send a weekly blog that unpacks the concept from Sunday's reading a little further. We pray that these blogs serve you in your personal devotions, family worship, etc. as you see God's sovereign power at work in the storyline of Christmas!
Reading – Exodus 12:43-51
And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the statute of the Passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, but every slave that is bought for money may eat of it after you have circumcised him. No foreigner or hired worker may eat of it. It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.” All the people of Israel did just as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron. And on that very day the Lord brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts.
After striking Egypt with plagues and exercising sovereign authority over the redemption of his enslaved people, God instituted the Passover. Although every firstborn of Egypt would die, God made a way for his people to be saved. Although the Hebrews were no more deserving of God’s mercy than the Egyptians, the Lord graciously provided a way for them to be spared. The blood of a spotless lamb was to be shed and placed around the doorways of the Hebrew slaves. In 1855, Charles Haddon Spurgeon preached on the Passover, declaring the following:
Israel was in Egypt, in extreme bondage; the severity of their slavery had continually increased till it was so oppressive that their incessant groans went up to heaven. God who avenges his own elect, though they cry day and night unto him, at last, determined that he would direct a fearful blow against Egypt's king and Egypt's nation, and deliver his own people…Let us behold our Savior…as the Paschal Lamb on which we feed; yea, let us not only look at him as such, but let us sit down tonight at his table, let us eat of his flesh and drink of his blood; for his flesh is meat indeed, and his blood is drink indeed. In holy solemnity let our hearts approach that ancient supper; let us go back to Egypt's darkness, and by holy contemplation behold, instead of the destroying angel, the angel of the covenant, at the head of the feast,-"the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world."
As the storyline of Christmas continues to unfold, we light this candle as we anticipate God’s Lamb who will save his people from their slavery to sin.