Exodus Going With God #9 Remember As You Go
Text: Exodus 13
One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex was staring up at the large
Plaque that hung in the foyer of the church. The plaque was covered with names,
And small American flags were mounted on either side of it.
The seven-year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor
Walked up, stood beside the boy, and said quietly, “ Good morning Alex.”
“Good morning pastor,” replied the young man , still focused on the plaque.
“ Pastor McGhee, what is this?” Alex asked. “Well , son, it’s a memorial to all
The young men and women who died in the service.”
Soberly, they stood together, staring at the large plaque. The Pastor sensed that
Some strong questions were running through the boys mind and he prepared
Himself to answer them as best he could.
Little Alex’s voice was barely audible when he asked, “ Pastor?”
“Did they die in the morning or the evening service?
The Elements of a Memorial
A memorial, or as the scriptures often call it, a remembrance, serves three purposes. First it marks a day, a time to remember. Secondly, it honors the events that brought about the memorial and finally, it seeks to perpetuate the attitudes, character and determination that made the memorial event.
Remember the event, honor those who accomplished it and set your mind to be like them.
We see these three elements of a memorial in Exodus chapters 12 and 13. First with the Passover and Days of Unleavened bread and then also with the Lord’s ownership of every firstborn of the Israelites.
Memorial Marked – Exodus 13:3-4
3 And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten. 4 This day came ye out in the month Abib. Remember The Day
Mark The Day
To mark the day that the Lord freed Israel from the slavery of Egypt, God told Moses that the day would be marked by a change in the calendar and two feasts or Holy Days dedicated to the Lord.
First, the new year on the calendar would be shifted to the month of Abib. Abib in Hebrew means green shoots and Abib is the time of spring, It corresponds to our March or April.
Secondly, the day would be marked by the ordinance of the Passover and the days of Unleavened (Mazzoth) bread.
Go back to Exodus 12:13-17 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. 14 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 for ever. 15 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. 16 And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. 17 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 for ever
So the day of deliverance from Egypt was marked on the calendar, marked in their memory and marked by holy days and meals in remembrance of what God had done.
Memorial Day Remembered
We celebrate our nation’s memorial day in much the same way. We mark it on the calendar, originally called Decoration day, for placing wreaths and flowers on the Civil war dead, then later Armistice Day when WWI ended and then Memorial Day and it was moved to the last Monday in May.
On this day we mark our calendars, we gather friends and families, we cease from work and we usually share a meal. By doing these things we mark the men and women of the armed forces who in of the past gave their lives for our nation’s freedom.
Our Christian Memorial Day - For Christians there is another Memorial Day. On that day our deliverance, our salvation is marked on the calendar not once a year but once a week. We call it Sunday spelled sun but to a child of God it should be understood as Sonday spelled Son. We mark this day, the first day of the week as the day Jesus rose from the grave, showing He had conquered death and that He was truly the Son of God and our Savior.
Luke 24:1-8 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. 3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: 5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. 8 And they remembered his words,
Today and every Sunday is a memorial to our savior Jesus the Christ and it should be indelibly marked upon our calendars and upon our hearts. Those who ignore the Son’s day, those who still meet on the seventh day, even if they call themselves Christians, dishonor “The Lord’s Day,” ignore scripture and place tradition and legalism above the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus which brought salvation to us. It is wrong.
I have no problem with anyone worshiping the Lord on any day of the week, but you better mark your calendar and be in church on Sunday or you dishonor the Lord and his sacrifice. If taking His name in vain is sinful then how can it not be sinful when we vainly ignore His day?
The Lord told Moses to mark their calendars and then he told them in vss. 5-7 to keep the memorial.
Memorial Kept – Exodus 13:5-7
5 And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month. 6 Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD. 7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters.
Keep The Day
The nation of Israel was told to set aside a time and then they kept the holy day, by observing the Passover meal and then by seven day of unleavened or Matzoth bread.
They were to go through the houses search every corner, sweeping every floor, checking every place where food was stored and to clear their house of leaven, of yeast.
They did this for two reasons, first yeast which made bread rise was a reminder of Egypt, which had discovered or perfected how to make dough rise. By ridding their houses of leaven it was a reminder that God had delivered them from the slavery of Egypt and they were to leave Egypt’s influence behind them.
Secondly, leaven was left out because of the way they left that night. Back in Exodus 12:11, the Lord told them, “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.” They had to have everything packed and ready to go, when the moment came. Their kneading boards, used to mix yeast into the dough were packed, and there would be no time to prepare the bread. By eating Matzah bread it reminded them of the night they had to be prepared to move when the Lord said go.
Thus, they would keep, remember the day, by keeping their homes free of leaven for seven days.
Keeping In Christ
We meet in the Lord’s house on the Lord’s day, worshiping the One who saved us by His precious shed blood. Jesus is the fulfillment of the type of the Passover lamb. And I can see an application for us in this example.
Just as the Hebrews were to celebrate the Passover on the first day of unleavened bread and then keep their home free of leaven for the rest of the week, we as the New Covenant people of God should celebrate Jesus on Sunday but should also strive to keep ourselves free from the leaven of this sinful world during the week.
Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, reprimanding them because they were allowing open sin among their members. They thought this was a great act of tolerance and were proud of their non-judgmental nature. But Paul tells them in 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 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: 8 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.
We celebrate the Lord’s supper with unleavened bread, because of the sinless life of Jesus Christ which was broken for us and no other bread should ever be allowed on the Lord’s table. But even more important is for our lives to purged from the leaven of sin that is in the world around us.
We do this not by force of will or determination of our spirit but by the prayer of confession. 1 John 1:8 - 2:2 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 21 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Come together on Sunday, honor the Lord our God and then strive to live above the sin of the world through the following week by going before the Throne of Grace, confessing our sins and trusting in our advocate Jesus Christ the righteous, who covers our sin through his shed blood.
There is one more aspect of the Memorial of Passover and the Unleavened bread that must be understood. It is probably the most important reason for having a Memorial, whether it be yearly or weekly. Go to vs. 8
Memorial Passed On – Exodus 13:8
8 And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt. 9 And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD's law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt. 10 Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year. 11 And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee, 12 That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD's. 13 And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.
14 And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage: 15 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem. 16 And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt.
Show The Day Reason
The Hebrews were instructed by God though Moses to make sure that they not only celebrated the Passover and Days of Matzah bread but that they must show the reason for they feast and festival. And this was done in another type of memorial.
Whenever the first male was born whether it be human or animal, God said that firstborn belongs to me. He declared His right of ownership because of what He had done to the firstborn in Egypt in order to free His people.
As the slaying of the first born of Egypt freed Israel now the first born of Israel would sanctified the nation to their God. A terrible, terrible price was paid for the sin and disbelieve of Egypt and God through the redemption of the firstborn wanted Israel to remember the price that was paid for their salvation.
This lesson was to be taught to every member of the family, not just the firstborn son. It was not just family that must be redeemed but even the animals that were born. For God had slain them as well. So anytime an animal of the family had its first male born, the family would go and make sacrifice to the Lord to redeem it, to buy it back. Then the parents would explain, they would show the reason for the sacrifice, for the redemption and the memorial would serve its purpose to perpetuate that memory, that event into the hearts and minds of the next generation.
God told Israel that this memorial was to be, “Exodus 13:9 a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes,” The Orthodox Jews later took this literally, making it a physical box with scripture written inside it, that they would wear upon their forehead and upon their hand. These were the phylacteries of the Pharisees in the New Testament. But that is not what God meant.
God meant that by marking, remembering and showing this memorial the next generation would see the work of God as a sign upon every hand and right before their eyes.
Showing The Reason
Even Jesus was redeemed in this sense, through this Memorial. We read about it in Luke 2:22-24 22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; 23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) 24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons
The offering of two turtledoves was the redemption price that poor people would sacrifice in the temple to redeem their child and to remember what the Lord had done way back in Exodus when he delivered His son Israel.
Isn’t it a paradox that the Lord who redeemed Israel from Egypt in this memorial was redeemed as the firstborn? God must loves paradoxes. He reminds us always that “His way is not our way.” We see it in scripture over and over and especially in the life of God’s only begotten son Jesus Christ.
Paradoxes of the Lord.
Jesus the creator, becomes flesh and enters into his own creation.
Jesus the sinless God, comes to the earth and is tempted just as we are, yet remains without sin. Even standing up to the direct assault of Satan’s most powerful temptations.
Jesus who before His incarnation, his putting on flesh, was a spirit but afterward took on human flesh and with that flesh suffered all the pain, fatigue and sorrow of the human race.
It was Jesus who paid the terrible, terrible price to redeem us. He took on the sin of the world and then suffered and died upon the cross to buy us back from the wrath of God and to place us under the forgiveness and grace of God.
This great redemption price we must never forget.
We must remember it every Sunday, every Easter, every Christmas and every time we have a chance we must show it to our children.
We must show them the reason why we attend church on Sunday, why we sing praises, why we give thanks before every meal, why we forgive one another, why we live our lives in a manner that shows we know that God is watching over us at all times.
Ronald Reagon in a memorial Day Speech given on October 27, 1964 said this,
"You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness.:
In another speech on March 30, 1961: "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We did not pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same …"
What Ronald Reagan said about our nation’s freedom should be multiplied a hundredfold over when we think of our spiritual freedom from sin. We have a rendezvous with destiny. To preserver for our children, this last best hope of all mankind, the grace of God through Jesus who paid the price for us. If we neglect this memorial, if we should forget to show it the our children and our grandchildren then we will doom them not to a thousand years of darkness but to an eternity of darkness and torment.
Joshua’s Memorial Entering the Promised Land
This purpose of a memorial is seen very clearly in Joshua 4:5-7 When the Lord instructed Joshua to build a pyre of stones in the first place where Israel stepped into the Promised land.
“Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel: 6 That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? 7 Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.”
Conclusion: Our Memorials
The Christian memorials that we are to keep must never be taken as duty, but as devotion. We must remember the reason we celebrate them and we must show that reason to the next generation. Look back to that great battle Jesus fought and won that day on Calvary. Honor that victory every Sunday and then show our children, our grandchildren and if the Lord should see fit our great grandchildren, the reason why.
That reason was, is and must always be Jesus our Lord and Savior.