God’s command not to break the Passover lamb’s bones foretold that the ultimate Passover Lamb’s bones would not be broken.
I’ve heard some wonderful sermons on the Tenth Plague of Egypt (the first Passover), one in particular in a world-famous Evangelical church was so jaw-droppingly powerful that I will never forget it. Nevertheless, in my opinion they all fell short because the pastors were required to adhere to these three principles:
- The principle of Sola Fide (salvation by “faith alone”).
- The principle of “once saved, always saved.” This principle states that once salvation is obtained by God’s grace through man’s faith in Jesus Christ, then one cannot lose one’s own salvation. That is, salvation is permanent and irreversible.
- Symbolic communion, rather than Holy Communion that has salvational value.
Hidden In Plain Sight
Since the first time I had heard a sermon on the Tenth Plague, I have loved hearing them. During these sermons, pastors rightly point out that just as the Passover lamb’s blood on the houses saves those inside, so too the blood of the ultimate Passover Lamb, the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, saves those under its protection. The Exodus account of that first Passover is a foreshadowing of the ultimate Passover. But, in my opinion, the doctrines of Sola Fide (faith alone), and “once saved, always saved,” force blinders onto the eye, preventing it from seeing that God told the Hebrews not to leave the protected house.
Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. ~ Exodus 12:22
People were free to leave any time they wanted. God did not “once saved, always saved” them into the house. Their behavior (staying or leaving) was just as important as their faith. James agrees.
You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. ~ James 2:24
The words “faith alone” appear only once in the Bible, and they are preceded by the words “not by.”
Eating The Lamb Is Mandatory
But I missed another stunning component of that first Passover meal because my anti-Catholic eye believed Communion to be merely symbolic, not the Real Presence of Christ’s body and blood. That stunning component is that not only was each household required to put lamb’s blood on its door frame (which saved even the infants inside the house, even though they were too young to have saving faith, hello New Testament Baptism), and not only was everyone inside the house required to not make the behavioral choice to leave the house, but everyone inside the house was required to eat the spotless lamb.
In fact, eating the lamb was so integral to the whole process of salvation, that it is mentioned in the very sentence instructing the Hebrews to put blood on their door frames.
Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. ~ Exodus 12:7
Even more stunning about the first Passover lamb’s prophetic snapshot of the ultimate Passover Lamb is this verse:
It must be eaten inside one house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones. ~ Exodus 12:46
Do not break any of the bones?! Wow!
The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. ~ John 19:32-33
As an anti-Catholic, I was well aware that Jesus’ bones not being broken was a fulfillment of Psalm 34:20.
he [God the Father] protects all his [God the Son’s] bones, not one of them will be broken. ~ Psalm 34:20
But I had no clue that its ultimate prophetic mustard seed was Exodus 12:46, nor do I recall ever hearing a sermon about it.
Community Of Israel, Community Of The Church
The final crucial line to which I was blind as an anti-Catholic is Exodus 12:47– “the whole community of Israel must celebrate it.” Everyone in the community of Israel was required to eat the body of the lamb. Likewise, everyone in the community of the Church is required to eat the body of our Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ. In Luke 22:19, Jesus tells us “this is my body given for you, do this in remembrance of me.” Do what in remembrance of him? Eat his body and drink his blood.
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” ~ John 6:53
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. ~ John 6:54
For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. ~ John 6:55
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. ~ John 6:56
The Bible is always proven true.
Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox Christians are my brethren in the Lord Jesus Christ. I have learned much from all three groups. I have had family members in all three groups. And I have been greatly blessed by all three groups. I view each group as a sibling in the same family. We all call on the name of the same Lord Jesus Christ.
…whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. ~ Acts 2:21