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when the soldiers would accelerate his death, as well as that of the malefactors who were crucified with him, they proposed to break their legs; and, with regard to the two thieves, carried this proposal into execution; but not so with our Lord, he being dead already. This occurrence, it is declared, took place, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, which said, “a bone of him shall not be broken;"* and, it should be observed, that it is not said then was fulfilled, as if the words would merely bear an application to that event, but that it was the very thing intended by the declaration quoted. Taking the peculiarity of the institution, then, in connection with the Apostle's words, there can remain no doubt that the passover was a type of Christ, and there are three respects in which it may be so regarded.
I. In its very nature.
1. It was sacrificial as well as commemorative, and it was the only one of the ancient Jewish institutions that had this double character. It is not said indeed that the Israelites sacrificed it upon the altar, because they had none on which it could be laid.
For this peculiar feature of the rite, perhaps the best reason that can be given is that it was the design of the Almighty to show his people by it that their deliverance was effected for religious, and not merely for national purposes, according to the demand made upon the Egyptian monarch, “Let my people go, that they may serve me;"f. and as what God did for them, in breaking their yoke, was typical of * John xix. 36.
+ Exod. vii. 6.
the deliverance to be effected by his own Son, it was to teach them that the latter more glorious emancipation was not to be expected as the result of mere goodness and compassion, but also of justice.
So difficult is it for us to contemplate the character of God with an equal reverence for all his perfections, and to see how one of his attributes is exercised in unison with the rest, (especially when that one is most agreeable to our circumstances and state,) that it is necessary to have the whole harmonious influence of the Divine perfections constantly brought before us. Here was, therefore, a sacrifice presented first on occasion of the deliverance of the Israelites, and as often afterwards as that Divine interposition was celebrated in their generations. Like Israel we are emancipated, and our deliverance from the wrath to come is the result of infinite compassion and benevolence; for “ God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him might not perish, but have eternal life;" but still it was accomplished by our Lord's meeting the demands of Divine Justice by his own precious blood. Hence God is represented as a just God as well as a Saviour, * and “just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”+
The creature sacrificed at the passover was a lamb; and without following those writers who suppose that animal to be chosen because of the great number of points of resemblance between it and the character and disposition of him whom it represented, we may believe that * Isa. xlv. 21.
† Rom. iii. 26.
it was selected on account of its general likeness; and in allusion to the lamb in this service, as well as in its use in the morning and evening sacrifices, Christ is so often spoken of under that character, and his blood called “the blood of the Lamb,” and “the blood of sprinkling," because of the sprinkling of the blood of the paschal-lamb on the door-posts of the Hebrew houses, when all the first-born of Egypt were slain. This sacrifice typified Christ,
2. In being prepared and partaken of whole.
A lamb was to be provided in every instance; and if the family for which it was intended were not sufficiently large to require it, others were to be invited to unite with them. It was even to be dressed with all its appurtenances, and no division of its parts was to take place, That there were ends and purposes to be immediately accomplished by this appointment can readily be believed ; but its being so expressly referred to by the Evangelist John shows that it had a typical meaning. There is no part of the Saviour's sacrifice, however, which it so strikingly set forth as its oneness and entire character.*
It is true that all the benefits flowing from Christ to his people are not of the same intrinsic value, any more than the different parts of the paschal-lamb were equally to be desired or chosen; but they are alike necessary to our complete happiness and salvation ; nor are we at liberty to choose one to the neglect of others, any more than the Jews were allowed to prepare one part of the lamb while they left the
* See Exod. xii.
rest. Differently constituted as men's minds are, and all being influenced by various circumstances, it is naturally to be expected that deviations among the followers of the Lamb with regard to their expectation from him, and to the means by which we facilitate our knowledge of him, would always be manifested ; and this we find is the case, notwithstanding all that has been said and done to prevent it. Indeed these differences began to discover themselves among our Lord's own immediate disciples; and if the spirit of discord was scarcely kept down by his teaching and example, no wonder if, in after ages, there should be found one setting up his priestly character, to the neglect of, or in opposition to, that of his regal, or preferring his promises to his precepts, and his doctrine to his commands. But the parts of the paschal lamb were not to be separated.
3. The paschal lamb, especially in regard to its blood, was a mark by which the Israelites were distinguished from their enemies. It was that institution by which the Lord put a difference between his own people and the Egyptians.*
That the agent by whom the destruction of the Egyptians was effected, called the “ Angel of the Lord," was a Divine Person, or the Lord himself, appears from the manner in which he is spoken of in certain parts of the account of this type, and other places in the Scripture. As such, he could want no sign to guide him in distinguishing between the houses of the Israelites and others; it was therefore designed for them rather than himself.
* Exod. vii. 11.
In this respect there was a great difference between this Iast plague that was brought upon the devoted nation and those which preceded it. In reference to the latter, it is noticed that the children of Israel were exempt. They were not meant to affect them; their safety therefore did not depend upon any precaution taken on their part. But that was not the case here; one common calamity would have been experienced by all but for the paschal lamb. It was the blood of that alone which made the distinction.
Now how easy and just is the application of this to Christ. All the world is guilty before God. There is no man living who can claim his favour upon the ground of innocence, or merit it by his own works. With awful certainty it is predicted that the judgment shall take place, nor can anything save us from the general ruin that is to cover the wicked but the blood of Christ-"the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world.” When the angel of wrath recognises this, he will pass by all who are under its influence. The Israelites had nothing to sustain them in that dark and dismal night, in which all the first-born of Egypt were slain, but their faith in the promise of God, and by that they were preserved. So by our faith we are saved.
Nor is this the case with respect to the last judgment merely; but there are many trials and calamities from which believers are now exempt through the same means. That there is a particular providence as well as a general one we are taught both by reason and Scrip