Charles Simeon Commentary - Deuteronomy 16:3 - 16:3

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Charles Simeon Commentary - Deuteronomy 16:3 - 16:3

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Deu_16:3. Remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt, all the days of thy life.

OF all the facts recorded in the Old Testament, the Resurrection of our blessed Lord created the most general and intense interest; because, by that, the hopes of his enemies were blasted, and the fears of his followers were dispelled. We may judge of the emotions that were excited by it from this circumstance, that, when two of the disciples, in their way to Emmaus, had seen their Lord, and had returned to Jerusalem to inform their brethren, they, on entering the room where they were assembled together, found them all saying one to another with most joyous exultation, “The Lord is risen indeed! the Lord is risen indeed [Note: Luk_24:1-3; Luk_24:30-34.]!” Between that and the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt, there is a strict analogy. In fact, the deliverance from Egypt was typical of our redemption by Christ: and, as God required that the people of Israel should remember the one to their latest hour, so does he expect that we should remember the other “all the days of our life.”

The words which I have read to you are assigned by Moses as the end for which the paschal feast, and the feast of unleavened bread, were instituted; namely, to keep up in the minds of that people, to their latest posterity, the remembrance of the typical deliverance: and with the same object in view, I would now call your attention to the Resurrection of our blessed Lord. Beloved Brethren, it is a subject of supreme importance: and to every one of you I would say,

I.       Treasure it up in your minds—

Good reason was there why the Jews should remember their deliverance from Egypt—

[Most grievous was their bondage there [Note: Exo_3:7.]: and most wonderful were God’s interpositions for them [Note: The ten plagues, and the passage of the Red Sea, &c] — — — Never, from the beginning of the world, had God exerted himself in behalf of any people as he did for them [Note: Dent. 4:32–34.]. There was good reason, therefore, why so singular a mercy should be had in everlasting remembrance.]

But far greater reason is there why we should bear in mind the resurrection of our blessed Lord—

[Far more grievous was our bondage to sin and Satan, death and hell — — — And infinitely more wonderful were the means used for our deliverance [Note: The incarnation and death of God’s only-begotten Son.] — — — Yea, and infinitely more blessed the issue of it [Note: Not mere temporal benefits in Canaan, but everlasting happiness in heaven.] — — — Shall we, then, ever forget this? Would not the “very stones cry out against us?” — — —]

Yet, dwell not on it as a mere fact; but,

II.      Improve it in your lives—

The Jews, in remembrance of their redemption, were to kill the passover, and to keep the feast of unleavened bread [Note: ver. 1–3.] — — — And, if we would answer God’s end in our deliverance, we must improve it,

1.       By a renewed application to that sacrifice by which the deliverance was obtained—

[It was by sprinkling the blood of the paschal lamb on the door-posts and lintels of their houses that the Jews obtained deliverance from the sword of the destroying angel [Note: Deu_12:21-24.] — — — And to the blood of Christ, who is “the true paschal sacrifice,”. must we apply, “sprinkling it on our hearts and consciences [Note: Heb_10:22.],” and expecting from it the most perfect deliverance [Note: Psa_51:7.] — — — To those who use these means, there is no danger [Note: 1Jn_1:7.] — — — to those who neglect to use them, there is no escape [Note: Heb_2:3.] — — —]

2.       By more diligent endeavours after universal holiness—

[What the meaning of the unleavened feast was, we are told by the Apostle Paul, who urges us to carry into effect what that typified: “Purge out the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth [Note: 1Co_5:7-8.].” In vain we keep the passover, if we do not also keep the feast of unleavened bread: they are absolutely inseparable. The very end for which Christ redeemed us, was, “that he might purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works [Note: Tit_2:14.]:” and, if we would reap the full benefit of his resurrection, “we must seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God [Note: Col_3:1.].” — — — This was designed by God in the appointment of the feast we have been speaking of [Note: Exo_13:8-10.]; and the same is designed in the mercy vouchsafed to us [Note: Rom_14:9.] — — —]

In conclusion, then, I say,

[Be thankful to God for the special call which is now given you to observe this day. If to the Jews it was said, “This is a night to be much observed to the Lord, for bringing them out of the land of Egypt; this is that night of the Lord to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations [Note: Exo_12:42.];” how much more may it be said to us! Methinks, any man who kept the Passion-week, as it is appointed to be observed amongst us, could scarcely fail of attaining the salvation of his soul; so plain are the instructions given us throughout the whole course of our services, and so exclusively is Christ held forth to us as “the way, the truth, and the life.” My dear Brethren, we really are great losers by our neglect of these seasons. Doubtless they may be observed with superstitious formality: but they may be kept with infinite profit to the soul. And I beg of you not to let the present opportunity pass away without a suitable improvement: but, as David said, with a direct reference to the Saviour’s resurrection, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it [Note: Psa_118:22-24.];” so do you engage with your whole souls in securing the blessings which the Redeemer’s triumphs, as on this day, have obtained for us — — —]