The Paschal Lamb was one of the most remarkable types of Jesus provided in the Old Testament dispensation. The institution of the Passover is described in Exod. 12. The guiltless life had to be given up, and the slain lamb constituted Israel's food. The rite was a commemoration of Judgment and Mercy: of Judgment in the slaying of the firstborn of Egypt, and of Mercy in the provision of a substitute as a way of escape for Israel. The Paschal Lamb was:
1. Appointed by God (3-5). It was a type of the Lord Jesus in its Innocence, in its Perfection--"without blemish," in its Vigor--"It was a lamb of the first year," and it was a "male," which denotes the manhood of Christ:
2. Its Preparation for sacrifice was carefully attended to (5,6). It had to be separated from the rest of the flock on the tenth day and kept up to the fourteenth day, that it might be observed and considered; and also to keep Israel in remembrance of the object for which it was to die (see Heb. 2:14-17). Meanwhile all leaven had to be searched for and removed (18,19), denoting the seeking for and removing of everything that defileth, the searching out of evil. When the four days of preparation were ended:
3. The Slaying of the Lamb took place, in which "the whole congregation" took part (ver. 6). It was killed by all (see Isa. 53:7; Matt. 26:2). Care was taken that not a bone should be broken. It was to remain whole and undivided--a whole burnt offering. When slain:
4. The Lamb was roasted with fire; it was not to be eaten raw. This fire represents the wrath of God, by enduring which the Lord Jesus became food for His people, who by faith feed upon him.
5. The Eating of the Paschal Lamb was a solemn ceremony, and in every particular sets forth the believer's partaking of Christ (8-10). It was to be eaten with "unleavened bread" and "bitter herbs;" which ordinance the children find is still in force. It was also to be "wholly eaten," nothing left till the morning; teaching the same precious lesson as was taught by the manna not being kept. Food is given for the present time, satisfaction for the day to be thankfully received; and the future must be left with God. The Lamb was to be eaten in haste, with loins girded and shoes on foot, as pilgrims ready for the journey. The enjoyment was brief. As soon as strength was imparted it must be used in pursuing the pilgrimage. Chief of all the divinely appointed observances was:
6. The Sprinkling of the Blood (21-24). With a bunch of hyssop the blood of the Lamb was sprinkled on the side-posts and on the lintel (22; Heb. 10:21; 12:24) On seeing which the destroying angel passed over, and thus the "sprinkled blood" became a shelter and means of salvation to the firstborn.