Friday, January 28, 2022

2022.01.28 Hopewell @Home ▫ Exodus 13:1–16

Read Exodus 13:1–16

Questions from the Scripture text: Who spoke to whom in Exodus 13:1? What did He tell Moses to do (Exodus 13:2)? What does Moses say to whom, in order to begin implementing this (Exodus 13:3)? What are they to remember? Which day (Exodus 13:4)? What are they to do and when (Exodus 13:5)? What “service” does he mean (Exodus 13:6-7)? What are they to say about this to whom (Exodus 13:8)? Like what two things shall this deliverance be (Exodus 13:9a)? So that what else may be in their mouth (verse 9b)? Why (verse 9c)? What is designed to help this happen (Exodus 13:10)? What is Yahweh going to do (Exodus 13:11)? Then what must they do (Exodus 13:12a)? From what (verse 12b)? What if it’s a donkey (Exodus 13:13a)? And if they don’t want to give a lamb (verse 13b)? And for whom is the lamb-substitute non-negotiable (verse 13c)? Who will ask what (Exodus 13:14a)? How are they to answer (verse 14b)? Upon what specific part of the redemption are they to focus (Exodus 13:15a–c)? As explanation for what (verse 15d–e)? Like what two things should this deliverance be (Exodus 13:16a)? Why (verse 16b)?

Moses’s response to the command to consecrate the firstborn is interesting. He spends more time recapping the need to observe the Passover than he does introducing the sacrifice of the firstborn. 

Exodus 13:9 and Exodus 13:16 both emphasize that the Lord’s salvation should affect how we see everything (as a memorial/frontlets between the eyes) and how we do everything (as a sign on the hand). The fact that we deserved death, and that instead of death the Lord gave us deliverance, should be the controlling factor in everything that we think and everything that we do. That’s why the Lord’s law would be continually in their mouth (Exodus 13:9b).

The Lord had emphasized this to Israel in a general way in the Passover. Now, He was especially emphasizing this to the firstborn by their sacrifice. Firstborn lamb? Kill it and burn it. Firstborn goat? Kill it and burn it. Firstborn ox? Kill it and burn it. Firstborn donkey? It’s unclean, so it can’t be offered as a sacrifice. Either offer a lamb in its place, or break its neck. Firstborn human? No-killing allowed; a lamb must be killed and burned in his place. 

The baby wouldn’t know that this was done for him for many years yet, but he would learn by watching other firstborn sacrifices and substitutes: “that would have been me, but someone died in my place.” And even if we weren’t the firstborn, we would know the implication: that’s the heir by right, the one who would become head over the household and its federal representative. In other words, “that represents me.”

Now, we have the Supper, which proclaims that our Lord and King really was substituted in our place. It should have been we. What we would have borne forever, He absorbed in one afternoon. And He gives us a sign for it at the beginning of our week so that having been redeemed by the blood and sacrifice of Christ would shape how we think about everything and how we do everything. His gospel and His law, then, ought continually be not only on our hearts but also in our mouths.

Would a child from your house (even if you do not now have one) be able to recognize that redemption by Christ as our substitute controls your whole week, every thought, and every action? What might he say instead? What can you do about that?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we thank You and praise You for redeeming us by Your blood. Forgive us for when we think or live as if we belong to ourselves instead. Grant that by Your Spirit’s continual fellowship with us and blessing the Lord’s Supper to us, we would come to live lives saturated by reocgnition of Christ’s sacrifice and response to Christ’s sacrifice, which we ask in His Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP1 “How Blessed the Man” or TPH534 “Fill Thou My Life, O Lord My God”

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