Gleanings In Exodus
by A. W. Pink
16. The Passover (Continued)
The institution and ritual of the Passover supply us with one of the most striking and blessed foreshadowments of the cross-work of Christ to be found anywhere in the Old Testament. Its importance may be gathered from the frequency with which the title of "Lamb" is afterwards applied to the Savior, a title which looks back to what is before us in Exodus 12. Messianic prediction contemplated the suffering Messiah "brought as a Lamb to the slaughter" (Isa. 53:6). John the Baptist hailed Him as "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). The apostle speaks of Him as "a Lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Pet. 1:19). While the one who leaned on the Master’s bosom employs this title no less than twenty-eight times in the closing book of Scripture. Thus, an Old Testament prophet, the Lord’s forerunner, an apostle, and the Apocalyptic seer unite in employing this term of the Redeemer.
There are many typical pictures of the sacrificial work of Christ scattered throughout the Old Testament, yet it is to be doubted if any single one of them supplies so complete, so many-sided a portrayal of the person and work of the Savior as does the one before us. The Passover sets forth both the Godward and the manward aspects of the Atonement. It prefigures Christ satisfying the demands of Deity, and it views Him as a substitute for elect sinners. Hardly a single vital phase of the Cross, either in its nature or its blessed results, but what is typified here. That which is central and basic we contemplated in our last paper; here we shall confine our attention to details.
1. Following the order of the contents of Exodus 12, the first thing to be noted is that the institution of the Passover changed Israel’s calendar: "This month shall be unto you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you" (12:2). Deeply significant is this. Passover-month was to begin Israel’s year; only from this point was their national existence to be counted. The type is accurate down to the minutest detail. The new year did not begin exactly with the Passover-night itself, for that fell between the fourteenth and fifteenth of Nisan. Now the pascal lamb was a type of the Lord Jesus, and the chronology of the civilized world is dated back to the birth of Christ. Anno Mundi (the year of the world) has given place to Anno Domini (the year of our Lord). The coming of Christ to this earth changed the calendar, and the striking thing is that the calendar is now dated not from His death, but from His birth. By common consent men on three Continents reckon time from the Babe of Bethlehem; thus, the Lord of Time has written His signature upon time itself!
But there is another application of what has just been before us. The Passover speaks not only of Christ offering Himself as a sacrifice, a sin-offering to God, but it also views the believing sinner’s appropriation of this unto himself. The slaying of the "lamb" looks at the Godward side of the Cross; the sprinkling of the blood tells of faith’s application. And it is this which changes our relationship to God. But our appropriation of Christ’s atoning sacrifice is not the first thing. Preceding this is a Divine work of grace within us. While we remain dead in trespasses and sins, there is no turning to Christ; nay, there is no discernment, and no capacity to discern, our need of Him. Except a man be born again he "cannot see the kingdom (things) of God" (John 3:3). Regeneration is the cause, faith’s application of the sacrifice of Christ, the effect. The new birth is the beginning of the new life. Hence, Israel’s new calendar dated not from the Passover itself, but from the beginning of the month in which it occurred. The true here typified is both blessed and solemn. All the years we lived before we became new creatures in Christ are not reckoned to our account. The past is blotted out. Our unregenerate days were so much lost time. Our past lives in the service of sin and Satan, were wasted. But when we became new creatures in Christ "old things passed away" and all things became new.
2. "Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house" (v. 3). This is the first thing in connection with the "lamb": it was singled out from the flock, separated, appointed unto death four days before it was actually slain. We believe that two things were here foreshadowed. In the antitype, Christ was marked out for death before He was actually slain: "Redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world" (1 Pet. 1:19, 20). It is to this that the singling out of the lamb four days before its slaying points, for four is the number of the world.
The second application of this detail, which has also been pointed out by others before us, has reference to the fact that four years before His crucifixion the Lord Jesus was singled out for death. At the beginning of His public ministry (which lasted between three and four years—cf. Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6, a year for a day) John the Baptist cried, "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." It was then that the Lamb was singled out from the flock—"the lost sheep of the House of Israel"! In the Numerical Bible Mr. Grant has called attention to the fact that Christ was about thirty years old at that time, and 30 is 10 x 3 being the number of manifestation and 10 of human responsibility. This shows us why God commanded the Israelites to single out the lamb on the tenth day. Not until He had reached the age which, according to its numerical significance, spoke of human responsibility fully manifested, did the Lord Jesus enter upon His appointed work which terminated at Calvary.
3. "Your lamb shall be without blemish" (v. 5). With this should be compared Leviticus 22:21, 22. "And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the Lord to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein. Blind, or broken or maimed, or having a wren or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the Lord". The moral significance of this is obvious. Nothing but a perfect sacrifice could satisfy the requirements of God, who Himself is perfect. One who had sin in himself could not make an atonement for sinners. One who did not himself keep the Law in thought and word and deed, could not magnify and make it honorable. God could only be satisfied with that which glorified Him. And where was such a sacrifice to be found? Certainly not among the sons of men. None but the Son of God incarnate, "made under the law" (Gal. 4:4) could offer an acceptable sacrifice. And before He presented Himself as an offering to God, the Father testified, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased". He was the antitype of the "perfect" lamb. As Peter tells us, Christ was "a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1:19).
4. "Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year" (v. 5). "The age of the sacrifice is prescribed. It is to be a male of the first year. The Hebrew phrase is ‘a male, the son of a year’; that is, it is to be one year old. The lamb was not to be too young or too old. It was to die in the fullness of its strength. If we ask how that might apply to Christ, we note that this particular may be fully sustained as a description of Him. For He died for us, not in old age, nor in childhood, or boyhood, or in youth, but in the fullness of His opening manhood" (Urquhart). In the language of Messianic prediction, Christ was cut off "in the midst" of His days (Ps. 102:24).
Before passing on to the next verse we would call attention to a striking gradation here. In verse 3 it is "a lamb"; in verse 4, "the lamb"; in verse 5, "your lamb". This order is most instructive, corresponding to the enlarged apprehension of faith. While in our unregenerate state, Christ appeared to us as nothing more than a Lamb; we saw in Him no beauty that we should desire Him. But when the Holy Spirit awakened. us from the sleep of death, when He made us see our sinful and lost condition, and turned our gaze toward Christ, then we behold Him as the Lamb. We perceived His uniqueness, His unrivaled perfections. We learned that "neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other Name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved, (Acts 4:12). Finally, when God in His sovereign grace gave us faith whereby to receive Christ as our own personal Savior, then could He be said to be your Lamb, our Lamb. Each elect and believing sinner can say with the apostle Paul, "Who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Gal. 2:20).
5. "And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening (v. 6). This is very solemn. The whole congregation of Israel was to slay the "lamb". Not that every particular individual, man, woman and child, shared in the act itself, but they did so representatively. The head of the household stood for and acted on the behalf of each member of his family. It was not simply Moses and Aaron or the Levites who slew the Lamb, but the entire people, as represented by the heads of each household. The fulfillment of this aspect of our type is plainly brought out in the Gospels. It was not simply the chief priests and elders, nor the scribes and Pharisees only, who put the Lord Jesus to death. When Pilate decided the issue as to whether Barabbas or Christ should be released, he did so by the popular vote of the common people, who all cried "crucify Him" (see Mark 15:6-15). In like manner it is equally true that it was the sins of each individual believer which caused our Savior to be put to death: He bare our sins in His own body on the tree.
6. "And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening" (v. 6). Here we have defined the exact time at which the pascal lamb was to die. It was to be "kept up" or tethered until the fourteenth day of Nisan, and then killed in the evening, or more literally, "between the evenings", that is between the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month. To point out precisely the antitypical fulfillment of this would necessitate an examination of quite a number of N. T. passages. Only by a most minute comparison of the statements in each of the four Gospels can we discover the fact that the Lord Jesus died "between the evenings" of the fourteenth and fifteenth of Nisan. Others before us have performed this task, the best of which, perhaps, is to be found in volume 5 of the Companion Bible. But if the reader will prayerfully study the closing chapters of each of the Gospels it will be seen that the Lamb of God died at the very time that the pascal lambs were being slain in the temple.
7. "And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening" (v. 6). Here the type passes to the Antitype. This point is very striking indeed. Many thousands of lambs were to be slain on that memorable night in Egypt, yet the Lord here designedly used the singular number when giving these instructions to Moses—Israel shall kill it, not "them" It is indeed remarkable that never once is the plural "lambs" used throughout the 12th chapter of Exodus. "There was only one before God’s mind—The Lamb of Calvary" (Urquhart).
8. "And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it" (v. 8). Not only was the lamb to be killed, but its flesh was to be eaten. This was God’s provision for those inside the house, as the blood secured protection from the judgment outside. A journey lay before Israel, and food was needed to strengthen them first. "Eating" signifies two things in Scripture: appropriation and fellowship. The "lamb" spoke of the person of Christ, and He is God’s food for His people—The Bread of Life". Christ is to be the object before our hearts. As we feed upon Him our souls are sustained and He is honored.
"It is death here which God ordains as the food of life. We are so familiar with this we are apt by the very fact to miss its significance. How we see nature thus everywhere instructing us, if we have but learned to read her lessons in the deepest lesson of God’s wisdom! The laying down of life becomes the sustenance of life. For men this did not begin until after the Deluge; at least it is only after this we read of Divine permission for it. And when we see in that Deluge with its central figure, the ark of salvation, bearing within it the nucleus of the new world, the pregnant figure of how God has saved us and brought us in Christ into a new creation. how its similitude in what we have here bursts upon us! It is only as sheltered and saved from death—from what is alone truly such—that we can feed upon death; that Samson’s riddle is fulfilled, and ‘out of the eater comes forth meat, and out of the strong sweetness! Death is not merely vanquished and set aside; it is in the Cross the sweet and wonderful display of Divine love and power in our behalf accomplished in the mystery of human weakness. Death is become the food of life—yea, of a life which is eternal" (F. W. Grant).
But mark carefully the lamb is to be eaten with "unleavened bread and bitter herbs". In Scripture "leaven" uniformly symbolizes evil. The lesson taught here is of vital importance. It is only as we are separated from what is repugnant to Divine holiness that we can really feed upon Christ. While we are indulging known sin there can be no communion with Him. It is only as we "walk in the light as He is in the light" that the blood of God’s Son cleanseth us from all sin and "we have fellowship one with another" (1 John 1:7). The "bitter herbs" speak of the remorse of conscience in the Christian. We cannot have "fellowship with His sufferings" (Phil. 3:10) without remembering what it was that made those sufferings needful, namely, our sins, and the remembrance of these cannot but produce a chastened spirit.
9. "Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire" (v. 9). How very explicit—rather, how carefully God preserved the accuracy of the type! In the previous verse we read, "eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire", here, "eat not of it raw". The Israelites were to feed not only upon that where death had done its work, but upon that which had been subjected to the fire. Solemn indeed is this. "It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27). These are two separate things. For the lost, death is not all, nor even the worst that awaits them. After death is "judgment," the judgment of a sin-hating God. Therefore if Christ was to take the place of His sinful people and suffer what was righteously due them, He must not only die, but pass under and through the judgment of God. "Fire" here, as ever, speaks of the wrath of a holy God. It tells of Christ being "made sin for us" (2 Cor. 5:21), and consequently being "made a curse for us" (Gal. 3:13) and as such, enduring the judgment of God. Speaking anticipatively by the Spirit, through the prophet Jeremiah, the Savior said, "Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto My sorrow, which is done Unto Me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted Me in the day of His fierce anger. From above hath He sent fire into My bones". It was this which caused Him to also say through the Psalmist, "My moisture is turned into the drought of summer" (Ps. 32:4). And this it is which, in its deepest meaning, explains His cry from the Cross—"I thirst". His "thirst" was the effect of the agony of His soul in the fierce heat of God’s wrath. It told of the drought of the land where the living God is not. "Not sodden (boiled) at all with water", because water would have hindered the direct action of the fire.
"His head with his legs, and with the purtenance (inwards) thereof" (v. 9). "The head, no doubt, expresses the thoughts and counsels with which the walk (the legs) keep perfect company. The inwards are those affections of His heart which were the motive-power impelling Him upon the path He trod. In all, the fire brought forth nothing but sweet savor; for men, it prepared the food of their true life; all is absolutely perfect; and all is ours to appropriate. Occupation with the person of Christ is thus impressed upon us; we need this. Not the knowledge of salvation alone will suffice us; it is the One who saves whom we need. Christ for our hearts alone keeps and sanctifies them, (Mr. Grant).
10. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning" (v. 10). The lamb must be eaten the same night as it was slain. Communion must not be separated from the sacrifice on which that communion was founded. Communion is based upon redemption accomplished. We find the same truth brought before us again at the close of Christ’s parable of the prodigal son. As soon as the lost son enters the Father’s house and is suitably attired, the word goes forth "Bring hither the fatted calf, and kill; and let us eat and be merry" (Luke 15:23). Another thought is also suggested here by the words "ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning". "The sacrifice in all its ceremonial was to be completed within a single night. The rising sun was thus to see no trace of the slain lamb. In like manner the atoning work of Christ is not a progressive but a completed thing. It is not in process of being accomplished; it has been accomplished definitely and eternally. As a fragrant and hallowed memory Calvary’s costly sacrifice abides with God and the redeemed forever; but the sacrifice itself is past and completed. For God’s suffering Lamb the dark night of judgment is no more, and He lives on high in the eternal sunshine of Divine favor and love" (Mr. W. W. Fereday).
11. "And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover" (v. 11). The little word "thus" is very emphatic. It defines for us the accessories, what should accompany feeding upon Christ; four things are mentioned. First, their dress; ‘loins girded". "Having your loins girt about with truth", says the apostle. "The garments are spiritually what we may designate by the old word for them—‘habits’. They are the moral guise in which we appear before men—what they identify with us at least, if they are not, after all, ourselves. And if not just ‘ourselves’ we may be in many ways read in them; pride or lowliness, boldness or unobtrusiveness, sloth or diligence, and many another thing.
"The long robes of the East, as we are all aware, required the girdle in order that there might be no hindrance in the way of a march such as Israel now had before them. If they were allowed to flow loose, they would get entangled with the feet and overthrow the wearers; and the dust of the road would get upon them and defile them. The truth it is which is to be our girdle, keeping us from the loose and negligent contact with ever-ready defilement in a world which the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life characterizes, and from the entanglement to our feet which lax habits prove.
"Garments un-girded are thus practically near akin to the ‘weights’ (Heb. 12:2) which the apostle bids us ‘lay aside’, and which are not things in themselves sinful, and yet nevertheless betray us into sin. Have you noticed the connection in that exhortation of his ‘lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us’? If you had a pack of wolves following you, you would understand very quickly, why if carrying a weight you would be indeed ‘easily beset’. And herein, many a soul may discern, if he will, why he has so great and so little successful conflict. The ‘weight’ shows, like the flowing garment that whatever else we may be, we are not racers . . .Fit companions then with unleavened bread and bitter herbs are these girt loins. We must arise and depart for this is not our rest" (Mr. Grant).
"Your shoes on your feet". This, again, was in view of the journey which lay before them. It tells of preparation for their walk. There is a most interesting reference to these "shoes" in Deuteronomy 29:5, where at the close of his life, Moses said, "I have led your forty years in the wilderness; your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot", And again he reminded them, "Neither did thy foot swell these forty years" (Deut. 8:4). Remarkable was this. For forty years Israel had wandered up and down the wilderness, yet their shoes were neither torn to pieces nor did their feet suffer. How this tells of the sufficiency of that provision which God has graciously provided for the walk of His saints! When the prodigal son came to His Father, there was not only the best robe for his body, and the ring for his hand, but there were also "shoes for his feet" (Luke 15:22)! The significance of these "shoes" is explained for us in Ephesians 6:15—"Your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace".
"Your staff in your hand". The staff is the sign of pilgrimage. As they journeyed to the Promised Land, Israel were to pass through a wilderness in which they would be strangers and pilgrims. So it is with Christians as they pass through this world. Their home is not here: "Our citizenship is in heaven" (Phil. 3:20). Therefore does God say, "I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims" (1 Pet. 2:11). Staff in hand signifies that as Israel journeyed they were to lean on something outside of themselves. Clearly this is the written Word, given us for a stay and support. The dependent soul who leans bard upon it can say with the Psalmist, "Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me" (23:4).
"And ye shall eat it in haste". "They were to eat it in haste because they expected that any moment the Lord might come and pass over them; any moment they might be called to arise and go out of the land of bondage. They expected the imminent Coming of the Lord. That is to say, because the Coming of the Lord was imminent they expected it". (Dr. Haldeman).
12. "When I see the blood, I will pass over you" (v. 13). Upon this Mr. Urquhart has made some illuminating remarks. "The term rendered Passover ‘pesach’ does not seem to have that meaning. It is entirely different from the Hebrew verb, a-bhar, or ga-bhar, so frequently used in the sense of ‘to pass over’. Pasach (the verb) and pesach (the noun) have no connection with any other Hebrew word. They closely resemble, however, the Egyptian word pesh, which means ‘to spread the wings over,’ ‘to protect’. The word is used—we may say explained—in this sense in Isaiah 31:5: "As birds flying, so will the Lord of Hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also He will deliver it; and passing over (pasoach, participle of pasach) He will preserve it’. The word has, consequently, the very meaning of the Egyptian term for ‘spreading the wings over’, and ‘protecting’; and pesach, the Lord’s Passover, means such sheltering and protection as is found under the outstretched wings of the Almighty. Does not this give a new fullness to those words of our Savior, ‘O Jerusalem! Jerusalem! . . . how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen does gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not’ (Luke 13:34.)? Jesus of Nazareth was her PESACH, her shelter from the coming judgment; and she knew it not! Quite in keeping with this sense of protecting with outstretched wings is the fact that this term pesach is applied (1) to the ceremony, ‘It is the Lord’s Passover’ (Ex. 12:11), and (2) to the lamb (v. 21); ‘draw out and take you a lamb according to your families and kill the Passover’. The slain lamb, the sheltering behind its blood and the eating of its flesh, constituted the pesach, the protection of God’s chosen people beneath the sheltering wings of the Almighty". This interpretation is clearly established by what we read in verse 23: "For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He seeth the blood upon the lintel and upon the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the Destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you". It was not merely that the Lord passed by the houses of the Israelites, but that He stood on guard protecting each blood-sprinkled door!
13. "And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever" (v. 14). It is interesting to trace Israel’s subsequent response to this command. Scripture records just seven times when this Feast was kept. The first in Egypt, here in Exodus 12. The second in the Wilderness (Num. 9). The third when they entered Canaan (Josh. 5). The fourth in the days of Hezekiah (2 Chron. 30). The fifth under Josiah (2 Chron. 35). The sixth after the return from the Captivity (Ezra 6). Just six in the O. T. The seventh was celebrated by the Lord Jesus and His apostles immediately before the institution of "the Lord’s Supper, (Luke 22:15, etc.). In that last Passover the true Lamb of God is seen, who had been prefigured by the preceding pascal lambs. "It should also be observed, that Jesus Christ, who celebrated the last Passover, had been Himself in Egypt, where the first had been observed. As the passover came from Egypt, so Jesus Christ, who is the true Passover was called out of Egypt (Matthew 2:15)" (Robert Haldane: Evidence and Authority of Divine Revelation).
14. "And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin" (v. 22). This gives us a marvelous typical picture of the sufferings of our blessed Lord upon the Cross, though the picture is marred by translating here, the original word, "basin". Once more we avail ourselves of the scholarly help of Dr. Urquhart The word rendered ‘basin’ is sap, which is an old Egyptian word for the step before a door, or the threshold of a house. The word is translated ‘threshold’ in Judges 19:27 and ‘door’ in 2 Kings 12:9—apparently for the sole reason that the sense ‘basin’, favored by lexicographers and translators could not possibly be given to the word in these passages...No direction was given about putting the blood upon the threshold, for the reason that the blood was already there. The lamb was evidently slain at the door of the house which was protected by its blood". We may add that the Septuagint gives "para ten thuran", which means along the door-way! While the Vulgate reads, "in sanguine qui est limine"—in the blood which is on the threshold. This point is not simply one of academic interest, but concerns the accuracy of the type. The door of the house wherein the Israelite was protected had blood on the lintel (the cross piece), on the side posts and on the step (The objection that blood on the step would cause the Israelite to walk upon it, is obviated by Jehovah’s instructions. "And none of you shall go out at the door until the morning" (v. 22)!). How marvelously this pictured Christ on the Cross; blood above, where the thorns pierced His brow; blood at the sides, from His nail-pierced hands; blood below, from His nail-pierced feet!!
15. The blood was to be applied with "a bunch of hyssop" (v. 22). Nothing in the Word is meaningless: the smallest detail has its due significance. Nor are we ever left to guess at anything; Scripture is ever its own interpreter. The "hyssop" was not connected with the "lamb", but with the application of its blood. It speaks, then, not of Christ but of the sinner’s appropriation of His sacrifice. The "hyssop" is never found in connection with any of the offerings which foreshadowed the Lord Jesus Himself. It is beheld, uniformly, in the hands of the sinner. Thus in connection with the cleansing of the leper (Lev. 14); and the restoration of the unclean (Num. 19). From Psalm 51:7 we may learn that "hyssop" speaks of humiliation of soul, contrition, repentance. Note that in 1 Kings 4:33 "hyssop" is contrasted with "the cedars", showing that "hyssop" speaks of lowliness.
Perhaps a word should be added concerning the Feast of Unleavened Bread which followed the Passover: "And ye shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt; therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance forever. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses; for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger or born in the land. Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread" (vv. 17-20). The interpretation of this for us is supplied in 1 Corinthians 5:7, 8: "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the feast not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth".
Upon the above we cannot do better than quote from Mr. C. H. MacIntosh: the Feast spoken of in this passage is that which, in the life and conduct of the Church, corresponds with the Feast of unleavened bread. This lasted seven days (a complete circle of time A. W. P.) ; and the Church collectively, and the believer individually, are called to walk in practical holiness, during their days, or the entire period of their course here below; and this, moreover, as the direct result of being washed in the blood, and having communion with the sufferings of Christ.
"The Israelite did not put away leaven in order to be saved, but because he was saved; and if he failed to put away leaven it did not raise the question of security through the blood, but simply of fellowship with the assembly. The cutting off of an Israelite from the Congregation answers precisely to the suspension of Christian fellowship, and if he be indulging in that which is contrary to the holiness of the Divine presence. God cannot tolerate evil. A single unholy thought (entertained: A. W. P.) will interrupt the soul’s communion; and until the soil contracted by any such thought is got rid of by confession, founded on the advocacy of Christ, the communion cannot possibly be restored (see 1 John :5-10)". May the Lord stir us up to a more diligent and prayerful study of His wonderful Word.