Progressive Revelation in the Bible – Part 2

 In Preaching & Teaching

In the last post we began to look at the concept of progressive revelation in the Bible as presented by J. Sidlow Baxter in his book, The Master Theme of the Bible (Tyndale House Publishers, © 1973). We saw in two passages from Genesis the revelations that a lamb is necessary, and that God provides the lamb. Now we look at the next two passages chosen by Baxter to show progression of revelation in the Bible to prove that Jesus is the Lamb of God.

Our next text comes from Exodus 12.
[The LORD said] “Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household. … and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight. Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it” … [Moses said] “Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you.” (Exodus 12:3, 6-7, 22-23 ESV)

The LORD has sent nine plagues on Egypt to convince Pharaoh to release the Hebrews from captivity. Now He is about to send the tenth and final plague, the death of the first-born of all Egypt. The LORD demanded an action by the Hebrews to show they are God’s people: place lamb’s blood on the lintel and doorposts of your house to show the LORD that you trust in Him. The LORD must see the blood, and the necessary quantity to coat lintel and doorposts can only be acquired by slaying the lamb. Just having the lamb in the house is not enough; just scratching the skin to get a couple drops of blood is not enough; the lamb must die to give up all its blood. The third revelation of Scripture in regard to Jesus as the Lamb of God dictates that the lamb must be slain.

The fourth passage Baxter uses comes from the book of Leviticus, chapter 22.

Leviticus is a manual for Israel’s priests, instructing them in the manner in which sacrifices are to be made. All throughout Leviticus God highlights this same description of the lamb.
And when anyone offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering from the herd or from the flock, to be accepted it must be perfect; there shall be no blemish in it. (Leviticus 22:21 ESV)

The priests are only to accept a lamb for sacrifice if it is perfect, without blemish. The LORD is too holy to be given a sacrifice that is less than perfect; only the best is acceptable. In this passage the Bible reveals the character of the lamb, that it must be perfect.

Let’s recap what we have learned so far. First, we learned of the necessity of the lamb; Cain’s first fruits from the soil were not accepted. Next, we learned of the provision of the lamb, that it came from God. Then, we learned of the slaying of the lamb; a live lamb wouldn’t do. Finally, we have learned about the character of the lamb, that it must be perfect and without blemish. These revelations from Scripture teach us more and more about the nature of the lamb.

In the third post in this series, we will study a passage from Isaiah and then move to the New Testament to the Gospel of John to have revealed to us more about the nature of the Lamb of God.

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