Think on These Things: Passover and Obedience

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When the Israelites were about to leave the land of bondage, God gave specific instructions, which, if followed, would ensure their safety. By obedience, the people were to give evidence of their faith. However, if the instructions were not followed, then the firstborn of man and animals would die in the same way that the Egyptian’s firstborn would die.

God instructed Moses that a year-old lamb, without blemish, was to be slain and its blood daubed on the door posts and lintel of their homes so that when the Lord came to strike all the first born in the land of Egypt, He would “pass over” that home.

Moses told the Egyptians that “God would make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel” and He did. All who were in a trusting relationship with God and obeyed His commandments were safe but those who denied the authority of God, and did nothing, lost their firstborn.

There is a parallel today. All who hope to be saved by the merits of the blood of Christ should realize that, while it is only the blood of Christ that can redeem us from the penalty of transgression, we are to turn from sin to obedience. Man is saved by faith alone, not by works, yet his faith must be shown by his works!

God has graciously given to mankind the rules of His kingdom and if we believe, trust and obey, and are faithful, we will inherit heaven.

“For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” (1 Corinthians 5:7) We are only, and can only be, safe in Him. Just as the Israelites went out from their home through the blood of the lamb (on the lintel and door posts of their homes), so all who get to heaven must go under, and through, the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God.

In this day and age, when everything seems to be in turmoil, when the last warning message is to be given to this world, God has a final message for all of us in the book of Revelation.

This message is in three parts in Revelation 14:6-12, a message of an everlasting gospel which includes worshipping the Creator, the maker of heaven and earth, and a warning about “Babylon” falling and the instruction to stay away from its doctrines.

Those saved for the kingdom are described in Rev. 14:12, “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”

Just as in the days of the Passover when Israel was delivered from bondage, the redeemed will be obedient to all His commandments. They are secure in a saving relationship with God and will inherit heaven. They are saved because of the shed blood of Christ on their behalf not because of their own obedience but faith without works is dead. As with the blood on the doorposts during the Passover, there must be evidence of that relationship and this is shown in obedience.

Ian Cotton is the pastor at the Creston Seventh-day Adventist Church.