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Stop trying to forgive yourself. It's time to apply the blood. This is the day when the lost are found. This is the day for a new beginning.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. Again you hear when the angels are singing. This is the day, the day when life begins. New believers and non-believers can be baffled by so many references to blood in Scripture. Washed in the blood, saved by the blood, the blood of the covenant, the blood of the Lamb. Today on A New Beginning, some biblical history and context as Pastor Greg Laurie takes us to the book of Exodus and Moses' confrontation with the Pharaoh of Egypt, a confrontation that culminated one night in the death of all the firstborn sons of Egyptians. But the Lord passed over and spared all the Jews.
This is the day, the day when life begins. Kind of picking up on our story, remember that the Lord is going to give Moses detailed instructions on something they were going to do from that day forward called the Passover. And the Passover is very important to both Jews and to Christians. And here are God's instructions for observing the Passover. Let's read them in Exodus chapter 12. I will read verses 1 to 5. I am reading from the New Living Translation. While the Israelites are still in the land of Egypt, the Lord gave the following instructions to Moses and Aaron.
From now on this month will be the first month of the year for you. Announce to the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each family must choose a lamb or a young goat for a sacrifice, one animal for each household. If a family is too small to eat a whole animal, let them share with another family in the neighborhood. Divide the animal according to the size of each family and how much they can eat. The animal you select must be a one-year-old male, either a sheep or goat with no defects.
We will stop there. The Passover, as I said, is important to the Jews. This is to remember what God did for them. That He passed over them in His judgment upon Egypt because they observed this and did what He told them to do. But Passover is important to believers as well, to Christians, because Jesus celebrated Passover with His disciples because He knew it pointed to Him. Everything in the Old Testament points to what is fulfilled in the New Testament. Christ is concealed in the Old Testament.
He is revealed in the New Testament. So all of these feasts and other things that they did were pointing to Messiah. And that is why Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 5-7, indeed Christ our Passover Lamb was sacrificed for us.
That is why John the Baptist pointing to Jesus said, Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Jesus was the fulfillment of the Passover Lamb. So here are some takeaway points from the Passover that apply to you.
And if you are taking notes, here is point number one. The Passover was to be a new beginning. The Passover was to be a new beginning. From now on this month will be the first month of the year for you. So God starts by making this a new beginning for the nation Israel.
Right in the middle of the year God gives to the people a new beginning. Number two, the Lamb that they were to offer was to be the very best. It was to be carefully chosen and examined.
The very best. We should bring our very best to God, not our leftovers. But do we do it?
Listen, put God first and give him your best because he gave his very best for you. So that is a message from the Passover. Number three, the Lamb had to be slain. Now here is the thing, they would grow attached to the Lamb. As we will read later it was a lamb, then it was their lamb, almost like a pet. I mean imagine having to sacrifice your pet.
I was at our picnic yesterday and there was one yapping dog. I would have sacrificed that dog maybe. Not really. No I wouldn't.
No not really. But seriously, I mean who wants to do that? Because you grow fond of these little creatures and they become like a member of the family. And some people take it even further. And you know the pet is at the table. It is one thing to feed the pet from the table but they know they have a seat at the table. And they are like you push them in a stroller, which I think is a sin.
I am not sure. I am still looking at the word stroller. But I just don't think you should ever push a pet in a stroller. I am sorry. But anyway. So they would grow fond of this animal. So there was a sense of personal loss when they would have to sacrifice it. You say that is so cruel. No what is cruel is your sin against God. And it brought it home to you like wow this is causing me pain.
Imagine the pain I cause God when I sin against Him. So it had not just the lamb. It became their lamb. An unblemished lamb.
A healthy lamb. In the prime of life the lamb had to be slain. It wasn't the life of the lamb that saved the people from judgment.
It was the death of it. In Hebrews 9 22 says without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. Some people claim to admire the life and teachings of Jesus. But they don't want the death of the lamb. Or they don't want the cross. You know we love the idea of heaven and hope and forgiveness and all those great features of our faith. But none of it would have happened without the death of Jesus on the cross. Matthew 26 28 Jesus said this is my blood of the new covenant shed for many for the remission of sins.
It is just blood that does it. As William Penn founder of Pennsylvania among other things wrote quote, No pain, no palm, no thorns, no throne, no gall, no glory, no cross, no crown. You can't have the benefits without the sacrifice. Point number four. This is a big one.
Don't miss this one. The blood had to be applied. The blood had to be applied. Having an unblemished lamb was not enough. Even slaying the lamb was not enough. You had to apply the blood of the slain lamb to your doorpost.
Look at Exodus 12 verse 13. The blood on the doorpost will serve as a sign marking the houses where you're staying. Underline this. When I see the blood I'll pass over.
Just underline that. When I see the blood I'll pass over. The plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt.
Imagine for a moment if you can a doorway right here. Now imagine that you have just slain the lamb. You have taken the blood of the lamb on a hyssop or a little bush. You are taking the blood now because you know the judgment of God is coming on the firstborn of Egypt. You don't want that judgment to come on your firstborn.
God has told you what to do. Slay the lamb and apply the blood. Now you have the blood on your little hyssop bush and you put it on the left. Now you put it on the right.
Now you put it up on the top. And the Lord sees the blood and He passes over in His judgment. What does this remind you of? Blood on the right. Blood on the left. Blood on the top. It is a cross. The left and the right hand of Jesus pierced with the Roman spike. His head having the crown of thorns on it causing laceration. So you have to apply the blood.
What does that mean? Because you hear Christians say things like, Oh man it is under the blood. Just plead the blood of Jesus. Okay why? What are you even talking about? Okay let's get specific about what we mean now to you about applying the blood. Let's say that you are struggling with guilt over a sin that maybe you committed years ago.
It may have been a very serious sin. And you can't seem to let it go. And so you say things like, Wow.
And you even have that voice. Wow. I need to forgive myself.
Really? Can you forgive yourself? I forgive me. I mean what does that even mean? Where did that come from?
That is weird. Stop trying to forgive yourself. You are not in a position to forgive yourself. So instead of trying to forgive yourself try this thought on for size. You need to understand the power and completeness of God's forgiveness purchased for you by the blood of Jesus Christ.
You see. Jesus paid the price for your sin and has forgiven and justified you the Bible says. Romans 5. Since we have been justified by faith we have peace with God.
You see this is not something I do. It is what Christ has done for me. And He promises to cleanse me from all sin. Not some sin. All sin. And we are told in 1 John if I walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship one with another.
Listen. And the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses me from all sin. But if I say I have no sin the truth is not in me. But if I will confess my sin He is faithful and just to forgive me my sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. So if you want to apply the blood you have to confess your sin.
What does it mean to confess your sin? You admit it. You acknowledge it. And you call it what it is. You don't call it a mistake or a shortcoming or a boo boo. Lord forgive me of my boo boos. No.
It's a sin. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey everybody. Greg Laurie here. And I want to personally invite you to the Harvest Ministries Israel tour.
April 9 to 19, 2024. Listen. This is your chance to walk in the steps of Jesus literally in what we call the Holy Land. Learn more at Israel.harvest.org. Shalom. Well we're talking about true repentance today. As Pastor Greg helps us consider Passover from Exodus 12.
And our thanks to our Harvest partners for their support that helped to make today's study possible. Have you ever had someone apologize to you and their apology was worse than the actual offense? Because it wasn't an apology at all. You know it's not a good apology if it starts with the word if. If I hurt you or if you feel bad about me slapping you across the face. If you think I made a mistake. Not I made a mistake. If you think I made a mistake or if what I said hurt you because you misunderstood me.
I'm sorry you feel that way. All good? No.
Not good. That was only an apology. In fact it wasn't an apology at all.
How about this. I was wrong. I'm sorry I hurt you. I apologize. Please forgive me.
Boom. That's an apology. See a lot of us don't know how to apologize.
We just make things worse by these ridiculous things we say. Imagine going to the Lord and saying, Lord if you misunderstood my mistake and I'm sorry it made you feel that way. Now don't say that to God. Here is what you say to God. God be merciful to me a sinner. Like that one sinful man said. Or as David said in Psalm 51 against you and you only have I sinned and committed this iniquity. Now after your confession it is time to apply the blood.
I don't even know what that means. Ok. I have confessed it. What did God tell me in 1 John 1.9? If I confess my sin He is faithful and just to forgive me my sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. So you say effectively Lord you suffered on the cross for my sin. Now I confess it. I repent of it.
And I accept your forgiveness made available to me through your shed blood. Now listen. Now you drop it. Drop it. Quit dragging it up again.
Oh I did this many years ago. Hey He says He will forgive your sin and forget your sin. I should not choose to remember what God has chosen to forget. Apply the blood. That is what it means.
Apply the blood. And I mentioned the word justify. Justified before God.
Every believer is. There is a lot of ways to define that phrase justified. But one definition is you change your status. I like that. You change your status. Let's say.
How many of you are on Facebook? Raise your hand up. Ok. Let's say you decide to change your status on Facebook. Ok. You can choose single. You can choose married.
You can choose engaged. And there is another one. It is complicated. Ok. I think you could be married and it is still complicated.
Am I right? But here is the thing. Imagine if you could change your spiritual status. It used to be sinner. Lost person. And now you change it to saved person.
And more specifically justified person. On my keyboard I have a key. It says delete.
And if I have some text in the document and I want to get rid of it I highlight it and I hit the delete key. And it all disappears. I don't know where it goes. God has taken his delete key if you will to your sin and he has removed it as far as the east is from the west.
So apply the blood. Guess who doesn't want you to know this. The devil.
Your adversary. He will always challenge God's forgiveness in your life. That is why he is called the accuser of the brothers.
He is very clever. Because first he tempts you to sin. Then he condemns you for doing it.
He will whisper in your ear. Go ahead. Look at this. Go ahead and go there. Go ahead and try this. I won't tell anybody if you won't. You can trust me.
I kind of sounded like a snake. Whatever. Ok.
So you do it. Now he says you miserable hypocrite. You are not a Christian. God doesn't love you. How dare you read the Bible. Don't even think of going to church.
He is so clever. So how do you overcome the devil? Well in Revelation chapter 12 we read about these courageous believers that are martyred for their faith and they are in heaven. And they are rejoicing.
Listen to what they say. I heard a loud voice in heaven saying now salvation and strength in the kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ have come. For the accuser of our brethren, that is the devil, who accused them before God day and night has been cast down.
Ok good. How was he cast down? Listen. They overcame him by the blood of the lamb, the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives until the death. How did they overcome them?
They applied the blood in their lives. At the cross of Calvary Jesus dealt a decisive blow against the devil and his demons. And I am told in Colossians 2 14 that Jesus obliterated the handwritten document of ordinances against us and nailed it to the cross and stripped off and away from himself the principalities and authorities, speaking of the devil and his demons, and he boldly made an example of them. Let me loosely paraphrase that.
At the cross Jesus kicked in the devil's teeth. That's what happened. Just boom. Like that. Obliterated him.
He no longer has the power he once had. Number five. They were ready to be moving at a moment's notice. So when they celebrated Passover they had to be ready to move at a moment's notice.
Look at Exodus 12 11. These are your instructions for eating this meal. Be fully dressed. Wear your sandals.
Carry your walking stick in your hand. Eat the meal with urgency for this is the Lord's Passover. I eat every meal with urgency.
So this is not a problem for me. Some people eat slowly. Other people eat quickly. That's me. My wife you know she cuts every bite perfectly. My bites are too big. Ok.
They're just too big. You know she's like nice little bite and then she'll talk and even like gesture with it on the fork. I'm like what are you even doing? It's like the food. Eat the food. I'm like a shark. Have you ever watched a shark when it bites into something and his little eyelids close?
He's just. That's me eating. Ok. I eat every meal with urgency. And that's why I can't get food home. When I pick up food. If I pick up a pizza half of it is gone before I get home. And pizzas are not easy to eat when you're driving are they? They're kind of messy and greasy and all that. And one of the things I love at Taco Bell are the Dorito tacos.
Have you tried those? The shells made out of a Dorito chip. Ok. You're clapping for that. Ok. Wow. That was for one point in the sermon but the Dorito taco shells got applause from whoever that was. And I know it was a guy because only a guy would do.
And now he's acknowledging it and that's even worse. Ok. So. Thank you on behalf of Taco Bell and Doritos though I don't represent them. But the problem with the Dorito shell is when you bite into it it disintegrates. And so when I am done driving it looks like there was an explosion in a Doritos factory.
Now walk in Kathy says she wants a Taco Bell. How do you know? It's all over my shirt.
Evidence. Eat it in haste. Ok. And then put on your sandals and have your walking stick.
What does this mean? Let's update it. Have your running shoes on. Have your suitcase packed.
Have your cell phone charged. Have your passport ready. Be ready to go out that door.
Meaning what? Meaning live in a sense of expectancy of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. Be ready to go. Are you ready to go? Lord if you call me I am ready. And also be ready for opportunities that will come in your path. Like here is a way to share the gospel.
Those things pop up often unexpectedly. Be ready. Be alert.
Do these things. This is how we are to live. Pastor Greg Laurie urging us to be ready.
Great insight today from our study called The Passover A New Beginning. Well Pastor Greg the great movie Johnny Cash The Redemption of an American Icon is now available on DVD and we can make it available to our listeners. Johnny was a man of faith but at the same time he was a man who sure made a lot of mistakes. Spent time in jail.
Had drug issues. Where do you come down on the question of whether Johnny really was a Christian? Well I think he definitely was a Christian. But he was a struggling Christian. And it's funny because non-believers his fellow musicians regarded Johnny as a saint. He was a prophet like figure to them. But then some Christians because of his lapses and struggles primarily with amphetamines said well he's not a Christian at all.
Well he's a Christian. He believed in Jesus. In fact the funny thing that people may not know about Johnny Cash is when he started out he wanted to be a gospel singer. He would be out on the cotton fields with his mother and his family picking cotton and singing gospel songs and that's what he wanted to be. In fact when he went to Sam Phillips who originally recorded Johnny and also recorded someone you might have heard of called Elvis Presley along with Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins and many others.
Sam Phillips said you know no one wants to hear a gospel artist. And so Johnny instead came up with some other songs but throughout his career he released many gospel records and used his considerable platform to talk very boldly about his faith. But he developed a dependence on amphetamines when he was out on the road traveling that he struggled with through a great part of his life. And it took its toll on him physically. The fact of the matter is when Johnny was 70 he looked like he was 90. But his faith always was there. He never lost his faith.
In fact it was even stronger toward the end of his life. So this is all documented in this brand new DVD of the film Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon. You're going to learn things about Johnny you never knew. You're going to be inspired. You're going to be encouraged.
Let me say this. Do you know somebody that is struggling with drug addiction or alcohol? Do you know somebody who's fallen away from the Lord? This would be a great movie to show them. Because when they see how God turned Johnny's life around they too will find inspiration to turn their life around by recommitting their life to Christ. So this will be one of the most effective tools you have in your little evangelistic toolbox.
You have a tool for everything. You've got the Jesus Revolution film. You've got the Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon film.
Maybe you have the Steve McQueen, The Salvation of an American Icon film. By the way we have some new projects coming your way you're going to love that we'll tell you about in the future. But we're trying to equip you with resources to A, inspire you but B, to reach out and touch others.
So this is the cool thing. You can order this DVD and you could give it away as a gift. You can download the streaming code and have it right there to view at any time on your computer or your phone or your tablet.
It's all there for you. So we will send you your own copy of Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon on DVD with the streaming code for your gift of any size. Now we could just sell this to you obviously. But the reason we say for your gift of any size is we want to give you an opportunity to invest in the work of the ministry. Because you see when you do that you're laying up for yourself treasure in heaven. So if you believe in what we do here at A New Beginning our mission as you know is summed up in this statement to know God and make him known. So we teach the word of God to you here on this program. But we also make him known and we give opportunities for people to come to Christ.
You know if you're a listener. And so if you believe in that mission then be generous when you send your gift to get your copy of Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon. One other thing there's some great bonus content on this DVD you won't find anywhere else including a special message I did talking about the life of Johnny and then I present the gospel and I even have a prayer a person could pray to accept Christ. So get your copy of Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon with bonus content on DVD with a streaming code for your gift of any size. Yeah that's right and you can reach us quickly by calling 1-800-821-3300. We're here around the clock to take your call seven days a week.
Again dial 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org. Get in touch with your investment in this important work and let us thank you with Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon. Well next time more from Pastor Greg's series Water, Fire, Stone on the life of Moses. More insight on the forgiveness God offers through his son Jesus Christ. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie.
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