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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 12

Wells of Living Water CommentaryWells of Living Water

Verses 1-13

The Blood of the Cross in Exodus

Exodus 12:1-13


Today we will consider the Cross as it is set forth in the Book of Exodus. Of course, we cannot go into detail, but we will endeavor to make the study illuminating. When the rays of the sun have been focused through a prism they become very hot, so our effort will be to focus the rays of God's Word upon this one theme: the Blood.

By way of introduction we will consider Moses as the type of Christ.

1. Moses was a child of faith. We read in Hebrews 11:23 , "By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child." Jesus Christ was a Child of faith. The Old Testament saints lived through many centuries in the full anticipation of the coming Son of God.

2. Moses, as a child, was hid by his parents. This was done because they feared the wrath of the Pharaoh who had charged the people saying, "Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river." This occurred when Herod sought the young Child to kill Him, but God by an angel gave word unto Joseph, saying, "Arise, and take the young Child and His mother, and flee into Egypt."

3. Moses was spared while multitudes of others were slain. The massacre of the baby boys during the reign of Pharaoh brought great sorrow to many a Jewish home.

In the days of the birth of Christ there was weeping. "Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not."

4. Moses was Divinely succored. He was placed as a little baby into an ark of bulrushes, and laid in the flags by the river's bank. Thus it was that God shielded Moses from the wrath of the king. As he lay there in the ark his sister, Miriam, stood afar off to see what would happen to him. When Jesus was born, and Satan stood ready to devour Him, God watched over Him.

The Bible says, He was brought up before Him "as a root out of a dry ground." The eyes of God watched over Moses, and the eyes of God watched over the infant, Christ

5. Moses was Divinely sent. When Moses came to years the Lord appeared unto him and said, "I will send thee unto Pharaoh." Thus did the Lord, also, send Christ unto a wicked and rebellious generation and world. Moses was sent as a deliverer. Jesus Christ was, also, sent as a Deliverer.

6. Moses, in his first effort in behalf of Israel, was repulsed. It was thus he fled from Egypt, and went unto the land of Midian. When Jesus Christ first came to His people, Israel, He was repulsed by them, and crucified. "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not."

7. Moses was accepted upon his return. For forty years Moses was content to dwell in Midian. Then he was sent back to Egypt. This second time the Children of Israel received him. When Jesus Christ comes the second time His people, Israel, will receive Him, and He will become their Deliverer.

8. Moses was head of the house. As Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt the Bible says he was "faithful in all his house." Jesus Christ, also, will have a house, and He will rule and reign over His people. We have only made a few suggestions concerning the similarities between Moses and his Lord. We would not for a moment have anyone think that these similarities, or, if you wish, analogies, place Moses on an equal standing with Christ, the One. whom he prefigured. We remember on the Mount of Transfiguration when Peter suggested the making of three tabernacles: one for Moses, one for Elias, and another one for Christ, that God immediately spoke from the blue saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him." When we remember that Moses typified his Lord in such a remarkable way, we are prepared to believe that the story of Jesus Christ and His Cross will also be found in the same Book as that which records the many comparisons between Moses and his Lord.


Perhaps, as we think of the ark which housed the infant Moses, as he lay therein, it has no suggestions of the Cross. However, it does in truth plainly set forth the Cross.

1. The ark was a place of security and protection. This little ark made of bulrushes reminds us of another ark, even the one which was made by Noah under the command of God. Of Noah's ark we read definitely, "The ark * *, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water." "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us." Somehow we have always known that baptism carries us to the Cross, and also to the resurrection. The ark carries us to the same place because it is a like figure.

This miniature ark in which Moses lay likewise suggests the Cross. It was a place of security. The Bible tells us that a man shall be a covert from the storm. We are all familiar with the hymn, "Rock of Ages, cleft for me. Let me hide myself in Thee."

2. The ark was daubed with slime and pitch. The very words suggest the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is an established fact that the word "pitch" is the same as that used to make Noah's ark secure and which was also used for the ark of bulrushes, is a word that carries with it in its derivation the word "atonement." It is the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and His shed Blood that makes us safe as we hide within Him.

3. The ark of bulrushes was placed in the water. Exodus 2:10 tells us that the baby was called "Moses" because Pharaoh's daughter "drew him out of the water." All of this is the story of Christ's resurrection. Psalms 69:1-36 speaks of the waters engulfing Christ, but out of those waters He came forth in victory.

II. THE SLAIN LAMB (Exodus 12:13 )

We now come to a most familiar chapter of the Bible. It is the story of the slain lamb, the sprinkled blood, and the passing over of the angel. Several things are prominent.

1. The lamb is a striking type of the Lord Jesus. The lamb was to be a male of the first year, and it was to be without blemish. The Prophet writing of Jesus Christ said that He went as a lamb to the slaughter. When John saw Christ come to the Jordan for baptism he cried, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." The Apostle Paul said, "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us."

2. The blood of the lamb was typical of the Blood of Christ. It was on the fourteenth day of the month that the lamb was killed in Israel. It was on that very day that Jesus Christ died upon the Cross. The lamb was slain at the going down of the sun. Jesus Christ uttered His last cry from the Cross and yielded up the ghost at the going down of the sun.

3. The blood sprinkled upon the two sideposts and the upper doorpost was a type of the Blood of Christ applied to our hearts by faith. It was not the blood of the slain lamb which sheltered the Children of Israel, but it was that blood sprinkled upon the tipper doorpost and the side doorposts. It is not the death of Christ that saves us, but it is the Blood of Christ applied by faith. If we receive not the Atonement we will be lost.

4. The blood token to Israel typified the Blood token to us. God said that when He saw the blood He would pass over them, and they would not be smitten. Then He added, "The blood shall be to you for a token." Thus, also, is the Blood of Jesus Christ our token from the Father, and if we are under the Blood we are in safety.


We all remember the story of how Israel hungered, and how God sent them quails for meat. In the morning when the dew had gone up, "behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing," and the Children of Israel said, "It is manna."

"And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat." This bread is a beautiful type of the body of Christ.

On one occasion the Lord said to Satan, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." That quotation had to do with the deeper meaning of the manna.

The Jews plainly told that "Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from Heaven to eat." Then Jesus added, "My Father giveth you the True Bread from Heaven. For the Bread of God is He which cometh down from Heaven, and giveth life unto the world." Then the Lord plainly said, "I am the Bread of Life." "Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the Bread which cometh down from Heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die." Here is a word, however, that maketh the typology of the manna plain and certain: "I am the Living Bread * * the Bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

IV. THE SMITTEN ROCK (Exodus 17:6 )

The Children of Israel were thirsty. They were traveling through the Wilderness of Sin, and there was no water. Then it was that the people murmured against Moses. Moses in turn cried unto the Lord, and the Lord said, "Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink."

It is not difficult for us to find in this the foregleams of the smiting of Christ. "One of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side, and forthwith came there out blood and water."

The Apostle Paul wrote, saying, "And * * they drank of that Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."

We can almost see the thirsty crowd as Christ stood before them and said, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink." The very last call of the Bible says, "Whosoever will, let him take the Water of Life freely." Thus it was that the water which came out of the rock for the people who were thirsty prefigured and typified the Blood which came from the side of the Saviour of which the thirsty may drink and live. We feel like joining with the Prophet in crying, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters."


We now pass into the 18th chapter of Exodus, and we find that Jethro, the priest of Midian, who was Moses father-in-law, has come over into the wilderness to visit his son-in-law, his daughter, and grandsons. This must have been an epochal occasion. We read that during the visit of Jethro there was a great gathering together and a feast in honor of Jethro in which Moses, Aaron, and the seventy elders of Israel were the hosts. However, we are discussing strictly the matter of the Cross of Christ as seen in Exodus. There are three things, therefore, to observe.

1. The names which Moses gave to his sons. The name of the first son was Gershom; for Moses said: "I have been an alien in a strange land." The name of the second son was "Eliezer; for, The God of my father, said [Moses,] was mine help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh." The name of this second son looked back to the sprinkling of the blood through which Moses came out of Egypt in a wonderful deliverance. This, name, however, also had a forward look anticipating the deliverance which we have in Jesus Christ: a deliverance sealed by the Blood of our Saviour.

2. Jethro's great joy. In Exodus 18:9 it is written, "And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the Lord had done to Israel, whom he had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians." Jethro said, "Blessed be the Lord, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians."

Once more our mind is centered upon "deliverance," and the joy for the deliverance. There is always joy and rejoicing to anyone who is saved from Satan's yoke and from bondage to the world; to anyone who is brought into a covenant relationship with God.

3. Jethro's burnt offering. Here is a striking incident. Jethro who was the priest of Midian, was so happy over the deliverance of Moses, of his daughter, of his grandsons, and of all Israel, that he offered a burnt offering and sacrifice to God. Then it was that Aaron came and all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses' father-in-law. This burnt offering and sacrifice by Jethro, and under the suzerainty of Moses and Aaron, showed the basis upon which deliverance was made, and also the basis upon which God could be praised and glorified.

Jethro evidently knew from Moses the meaning of his burnt offering, and of the sacrifice which was made. Would that men everywhere would praise the Lord; praise Him with their hand upon the Sacrifice of the Cross.


As we come into the 19th chapter of Exodus we find the Children of Israel boasted, saying, "All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord." In this attitude of the people they unanimously took themselves out from God's Grace, and put themselves under the Law.

It was then that the Lord commanded Moses to gather the people together at Mount Sinai. As they gathered on the third day, the mount was altogether smoking (Exodus 20:18 ) because the Lord descended upon it in fire, and the smoke thereof descended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

The Law is holy, just and good, but it is without mercy. The thunderings of Sinai bespoke the judgments which hang over the giving of the Law. The writer of the Hebrews, in describing the scene we have just mentioned, spoke of "the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire." He spoke of "blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words." Then he added: "And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake."

We, who linger around the Cross, have not come to the mount of Sinai, where the Law was given, but we "are come unto Mount Sion, and unto the City of the Living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, * * and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the Blood of sprinkling."

In the Book of Exodus we have this story of the quakings, and of the fear of the people under the Law, but there is immediately following the giving of the Law, and the signs which accompanied it, this wonderful statement: "An altar of earth thou shalt make unto Me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record My Name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee." Here is the place where we get no thunderings, wrath, fire, and smoke, but we get the blessings of the Living God.

The place of fear is the place of the law. The place of confidence and trust, and of forgiveness is the place of the burnt offering and peace offering. There is no peace apart from the Blood of Christ.


There are many references to the blood in Exodus, yet we are forced to mention only seven. In our selection we could not pass over the Divine laws relative to an Hebrew servant as found in Exodus 21:1-36 .

These laws are so marvelously prophetic of Jesus Christ, the Divine Servant, the Servant-Savior, that we wish to emphasize them.

1. The Hebrew servant was to serve six years. In the seventh year he was to go free without the payment of any price. The peoples of the earth are to be under bondage and servitude for six thousand years; the seventh thousandth year is the Millennium. Then deliverance from the bondage to sin will come.

2. The Hebrew servant has had the privilege of remaining in bondage as a willing bondslave. Exodus 21:5 says, "If the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever."

We bring the spiritual analogy to Christ. Jesus Christ is continually spoken of in the Word as the "Servant" of God. In Isaiah 42:1-25 is the expression, "Behold My Servant, whom I uphold; Mine Elect, in whom My soul delighteth." This verse is universally acknowledged as referring to Jesus Christ.

The servant in Exodus 21:1-36 , said, "I love my master." But he, also, said, "I love * * my wife, and my children." Who then can be the wife and the children of our Saviour? None other than the Church and the saints for whom He died. He loved the Father, and His ears were bored. He loved the Church, and gave Himself for the Church.


A mother said to her little boy, after the chapter describing the Passover had been read in church, "You might have gone out before that, for you could not understand it." "Oh, yes, I did," said the little lad. "It was a beautiful story I loved hearing it It was about the blood of the lamb, and they were all safe." The Quiver.

Christ's Blood. In Ireland a teacher once asked a little boy if there was anything God could not do, and the little fellow said: "Yes, He cannot see my sins through the Blood of Jesus Christ. D. L. Moody.

Bibliographical Information
Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on Exodus 12". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lwc/exodus-12.html.
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