Too Little for the Lamb
“They shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: and if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.” — Exodus xii. 3, 4.
April 8th, 1875
THE paschal lamb was not killed in order to be looked at only, but to be eaten; and our Lord Jesus Christ has not been slain merely that we may hear about him, and talk about him, and think about him, but that we may feed upon him. Everything that has to do with Christ’s work is of real, practical, vital consequence to believers. He is to be the food for our souls. Faith is to receive him; love is to embrace him; hope is to rejoice in him.
The lamb of the passover was not to be eaten in part, — some of it to be left, and some of it to be divided at the feast; but the whole lamb was to be eaten. And, in like manner, the whole of Christ is to be spiritually received by us, whether he is made of God unto us wisdom, or righteousness, or sanctification, or redemption. All that he is, and all that he does should be received by us with open and grateful heart. There must not be any picking and choosing among the good things of Christ, but all must be alike accepted. We are all sinners, and we all need a Saviour, and we need the whole of that Saviour.
So, too, as the whole of the paschal lamb was to be eaten, I think I may say that all the power to save, which is in Christ, is meant to be exercised. He is able to save to the uttermost all them that come unto God by him, and that uttermost power of his was not intended to lie idle. He is able to save those who are at the very ends of the earth; and that power to save the outcasts and the offscourings was not intended to be left unused. It is our business to stir up the divine strength, and to pray the Lord to come and save even the vilest of the vile, and great multitudes of them.
Further, the whole of the lamb was meant to be eaten at once; none of it was to be kept till the morning. As with the manna, there was to be not laying of it up in store for future use. They were to eat it there and then; and it will be well if the members of Christ’s Church will always look to the present using of Christ and of all that is in him. I think we may lawfully delight ourselves in the anticipation of those happier days of his millennial glory which are yet to dawn upon this sin-cursed earth; but, as a matter of fact, we had better concern ourselves principally with the needs of the present age, — with the soul-hunger of those among whom we live, — the dire necessities of those who are perishing for lack of the knowledge of Christ. Christ is meant for present use. Whatever he may do a thousand years hence, it is of more concern to us to see what he can do to-day. The principal business of the Christian is to proclaim Christ today, with this as part of the proclamation, “To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” Even now is he mighty to save, mighty now by his blood to deliver his people from the avenging angel, and by his flesh to be the continual food of their souls; and we are to see to it that we do not so project ourselves into a future age as to be negligent of the present use of the ever-present Saviour who is with us alway, even to the end of the age.
The paschal lamb was meant to be eaten, to be all eaten, and to be all eaten there and then; and Christ is meant to be used, meant to be altogether used, and to be used just now. May each believer here be impressed with these thoughts!
I. Now, coming to our text, it appears to me that IT REMINDS us OF A PRIMARY PRIVILEGE. The third verse speaks of that privilege in so many words: “They shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house.”
The place for all true religion to begin is at home. Wherever charity ought or ought not to begin, certainly true religion must, begin at home. It should be a cause of great joy to us if we have Jesus Christ as our own according to the paschal ordinance: “They shall take to them every man a Jamb.” Are you, dear friend, searching your heart to know whether you have to do with Christ personally, in your own individuality? It will be a fatal delusion if you fancy that you will get into heaven as people sometimes get into this Tabernacle, — by being carried along by the force of the numbers who are pressing to get in. You must come to Christ personally, by personal repentance and personal faith, and there must be a personal feeding upon him if he is to be of any service to you. It is idle to talk about the neighbour who is next unto you until, first of all, you have seen to it that you yourself are a partaker of the Lord Jesus Christ. I put the question now from the depths of my soul to my own heart, “Preacher, hast thou the blood sprinkled on the lintel and on the side-posts of thy house? Hast thou fed upon Christ?” And when I have answered that question for myself, I would beseech each one of you to answer it too. I am not asking about your parentage, or about your church-membership, or about the pious relations whom you have in your house; but about yourself. How is it with you, brethren and sisters? Even old professors have need to ask the question., for an old imposture may long be kept up, it may be preserved throughout life, I fear; and perhaps nothing will pull the mask off some men’s eyes until the skeleton hand of death reveals the terrible truth to them. It is an unspeakable mercy that the Lamb of God is provided for our passover, and that, for the very worst of us, for those of us who are most conscious that we deserve to perish, there is still the precious gospel message, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” May it be a fact, known to us beyond all question by the witness of the Holy Spirit within us, that Jesus Christ has been slain for us, and fed upon by us!
Then, the next part of this primary privilege is that we should have Christ for our whole family. There was to be a paschal lamb for all the members of the Israelitish family: “a lamb for a house.” They were all to share in the blessings which that lamb brought. Oh, privileged beyond compare is that man who has a partner in life who, with himself, rejoices in Christ, and who sees all his children following in his steps, equally rejoicing in the Lord Jesus Christ. And happier still is he if all his servants are in the same blessed condition. How is it with you, brethren and sisters? Have you this blessing? I know that some of you have. Your house ought to be a little heaven, for you have a church in your house. Keep the bells always ringing “Holiness unto the Lord,” and let your hearts be so many harps from which there shall constantly pour forth floods of music to the praise of him who has so highly favoured you.
Perhaps your children are as yet only little ones, and you are looking forward with the hope that the Lamb of God may yet be available for your whole household. In what way can you promote this? There are rules given you in Scripture. You cannot convert your children; to regenerate them is altogether beyond your power. It is a divine work, and must be done by the Holy Spirit. But you have that ancient exhortation, “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” For the most part, the training of children does affect their manhood and womanhood. There are some who seem as if we could not train them; they are like wild vines that will not be trained, and their afterlife reveals the force of the wilfulness which resisted the training which parents would gladly have given them. Unhappy are we if we have such children, and how sincerely we ought to sympathize with any who are in such a sad case; but how happy ought we to be if our children take kindly to the training which, by the grace of God, we seek to give them, so that they are like vines fastened up upon the walls of our houses, and do not seek to tear themselves away from the fastenings which are for their support and safety. May they bring forth fruit to God’s glory, and to our own comfort in years to come!
We must, however, add something to our training to make it effectual. There must be constant prayer where training appears to fail, for we ran pray even for those of our children who are past the age in which we can exercise the influence of training upon them. I do not think that we shall long plead for our sons and daughters without seeing a prayer-hearing God stretching out his hand to save them; or if we do, we must look upon the delay as a further trial of our faith, and we must intensify our prayer until it becomes an agony, and in that agony we lay hold upon the covenant angel, and cry, “I will not let thee go unless thou bless me and my seed also.” So choice a gift as this may be reserved for something more earnest than the prayer to which we have yet attained; and when the Lord shall have flung us upon our faces, — shall have brought us to self-despair, — shall have made us see, in the rebellious character of our children, a picture of our own rebelliousness, — and made us see, in our own agony, a reflection of the agony of the heart of Jesus over our wanderings, then, perhaps, he will speedily listen to us, and our children shall, with us, be sheltered beneath the blood of the Lamb.
With both the training and the prayer we should take care that we mingle much gracious teaching. Our children should not be left ignorant concerning the things that make for their peace. I have been surprised to find how many young people appear to know little or nothing about Holy Scripture; yet most if not all of them had been to a Sunday-school. It is singular how quickly children will forget what they learn; and that which is merely learned by rote, and has not been taught affectionately, is very readily brushed off from the memory. I think that a boy very seldom forgets the teaching which has been moistened with a mother’s tears. There is, somehow, a wonderful power about a mother’s voice, when she talks to her children about Jesus and his love, which stamps itself upon the heart, and the heart is a far better place for the custody of truth than ever the brain can become. We may forget what we only learn with the head; but we shall not forget what we learn with the heart. Therefore, Christian parents, teach your children thus; let them, from their youth, know the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make them wise unto salvation; let them be early acquainted with the precious things of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
But, above all things, my brethren and sisters, if we would have our household feeding upon Christ, we must set them a godly example. I have known families, — I think I know some now, — where the training is certainly severe enough, perhaps too much so, and where the teaching is as clear as it is cold, but where the example set before the children is not good. Now, if you pray in one way with your lips, and in another way with your lives, your lives will win the day, and your children will rather be like what you are than what you ask for them to be. It is a great pity when men, who seem good at the prayer-meeting, are really bad at home, — when those, who show much kindness to their Christian friends, seem to have given away all their honey to comparative strangers outside the walls of their own house, but have no sweetness left for their own children. Let us, dear friend? endeavour always to set such an example as it will be safe for our sons and daughters to follow; and then I think there will very rarely be found any instance where training, teaching, prayer, and a good example have gene together, where the blessing of God has failed to come. God grant to you, brethren and sisters, at any rate, the grace to attend carefully to all these matters; and then if, peradventure, you should prove to be the father of an Ishmael, or the mother of an Esau, you will not have to say, “I kept the vineyards of others, but mine own vineyard have I not kept;” but you will feel that you did use such means as were within your reach, even though the blessing of God did not come to your children. I pray, beloved, that it may be the privilege of every one of you to have the Lamb of God for your whole household, and that each member of your family, from the youngest to the oldest, may joyfully partake of all the benefits of the common sacrifice which is provided for all the chosen.
That will suffice for our first point, which is, that the text reminds us of a primary privilege.
II. Now, secondly, THE TEXT IS SILENT ABOUT A CERTAIN CONTINGENCY WHICH WOULD SEEM TO HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE.
You observe that it speaks about what was to be done when the household was not large enough to eat the lamb, but it says nothing about what was to occur if the lamb was not sufficiently large to feed the household. Oftentimes, we can learn much from the silence of Scripture. We know that it is so in the case of Melchizedek; since his parentage is not mentioned, the silence is significant. And so, here, the silence concerning such a contingency as tire insufficiency of the paschal lamb for the household is, I think, meant to teach us an important lesson. It is probable that the lamb was, literally speaking, never too little for the household for this reason, that the Jews say that the passover was not intended to be eaten with a view to feasting, but that frequently only a small portion was eaten. There were, doubtless, large families, but there was sufficient for each one to have a small portion of the lamb; just as we do not come to the Lord’s supper merely to eat and drink, but we come there for a religious observance, and a small portion of bread and a sip of wine suffice us. There may have been as many as twenty persons in one bouse who would partake of the lamb, and, in our Lord’s case, we know that, at the last supper, he sat down to the passover with the twelve, making thirteen with himself; but the contingency is not supposed that there should be an insufficient provision in the lamb for the proper observance of the feast.
And now, using the type spiritually, let us rest assured that it never can happen that there should not be enough of Jesus Christ to feed all our families. “Well,” says one father, “we are a very numerous household; our children need a very large table, and when they all sit down together, they make a tribe equal to that of good old Jacob.” Yes, and no doubt some of those Jewish families were as large as that, yet they all fed upon the paschal lamb; and there is enough in Christ for all your family, and there would be enough even if it consisted of five and twenty persons, or even of five and twenty thousand. If any of them perished, it would not be because Christ was not sufficient for them, but because they had not received him, had not believed on him. Do not let the number in your household restrain your praying or working for them, and rest not until, by God’s good grace, the whole of them shall know and trust in Jesus.
“But,” says another, “our family is more peculiar than that, for we are a family of sinners.” It happens, sometimes, that a man, who, in former times, was a very great offender, is converted, but he is like a speckled bird to all the rest of his family. His brother is a drunkard, his sister is godless, his father and mother despise religion; and as he looks round upon them, he can only wonder how it was that sovereign grace should ever have selected one out of such a family as his. He does not remember any one of his relations who ever made a profession of religion. They have been “the devil’s own” as far back as he can trace. Well, beloved friends, if it is so with any of your families, do not hesitate, for a single moment, in your prayers or in your efforts for them, under such a wicked, dishonouring notion as that, perhaps, your family is too bad for Christ to save, their sins too many for his blood to wash away, and their necessities too great for him to relieve. That cannot be. You have an all-sufficient Saviour to talk of, to rely upon, and to bring before them. Go to him in prayer for all your family, beseeching that all the members of your ungodly family may yet participate in the blessings procured by the Lamb of God. I do not know anything in the Bible that ought to check our prayers for our whole households. The doctrine of election may suggest to some ignorant persons the idea that they cannot pray for all; but let us always remember that the doctrine of election — which is a most blessed truth, — is never used in Scripture as a damper to our prayers. The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men,” meaning all ranks and conditions of men and all sorts of men. We are not told concerning anybody that we may not pray for him, with the one exception that, if we knew a man to have committed the unpardonable sin, — which we do not and cannot know, — it is written, “I do not say that he shall pray for it.” But, in any other case, we may pray hopefully, and I know of nothing in the Scriptures that should hinder earnest effort for the salvation of our whole households. Never ought we to look any child of ours in the face, and feel, “Well, I never will speak to that child about Christ, it would be useless; he cannot be saved. It would be antagonistic to the whole current of Sacred Scripture for us to imbibe any such notion as that, so may we never imbibe it! Neither do I know of anything in Scripture that should lead us to give up hope concerning any who belong to a household in which some have already been saved. If Christ has saved me, I gather from that fact this inference, that he can save anybody. I have never doubted the possibility of the salvation of anybody since Jesus Christ saved me, for I feel that he went about as far as he could go then, and all other sinners must come within the reach of his merciful power. So plead on, work on, train on, beach on, and do not relax your efforts, or suffer your hopes to be damped, till the whole household shall have been brought to feed upon Jesus Christ; for, rest assured that, at the King’s banquet of mercy, there was never a failure of viands yet. Behold how the tables groan with the weight of the oxen and the fatlings for the great gospel supper; and the wine and milk are poured out with unstinted hand. There shall be enough to satisfy the hunger and thirst of all who shall ever come to that table as long as time shall last; and if, as indeed it shall yet be, thousands and tens of thousands and millions should come flocking to the house of bread, there will always be found enough and to spare for all who come.
III. But now, thirdly, I comet to the very heart of the text, where it mentions, in so many words, A PROBABILITY FOR WHICH IT PROVIDES: “if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls.”
Brethren, that which was a possibility in Egypt is not only common but universal with us. My household and my father’s household, — we can rejoice to know that they feed upon the Lamb of God; but our households alone are much too little for the Lamb. If I know that I and my sons are saved, I cannot feel that we alone would be sufficient to reward our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for the travail of his soul. You, my friend, said that you had a large family; but you could not call your sons and daughters together, and say, “My dear children, now that I see you saved, I feel that Christ is quite sufficiently rewarded for all that he has done.” Oh, no! It is a very great proof of his grace and mercy that he has saved your children, yet you look upon it almost as a little thing in comparison with what his infinite sacrifice must have bought, and his work and death must deserve as their crown.
Our household is also too little to sing the praises of Jesus, the Lamb of God. Suppose that, in us, and in our children, all the attributes of Jesus Christ should be revealed in a very remarkable degree. That will be something for which to praise him throughout eternity; but, dear friends, merely to have those attributes revealed in father, and mother, and five or six children or grandchildren, will not suffice; we want Christ to be revealed in thousands, and tens of thousands, and unnumbered millions of saved souls. Our household is indeed too little to sing the praises of this blessed Lamb, and we do well often to cry, —
“Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise!”
We long to hear ten thousand times ten thousand tongues singing “Worthy the Lamb.”
Our household is also too little to do all the work that is to be done for Jesus in proclaiming him as the Lamb of God. It would be a great mercy if God gave us the privilege of having many sons who all preached the gospel, and many daughters who were all eminent in the church as teachers, deaconesses, missionaries, and the like. It would be a great privilege to have a whole family all diligently employed in the service of the Saviour; but if a man had twenty sons, and they were all preachers, would he say, “There are quite enough now to do Christ’s work”? Oh, dear no; our household is too little for the Lamb in all the senses that I have mentioned; we want more to feed upon Jesus, more to praise Jesus, and more to proclaim Jesus.
There are some brethren, who meet in a little building, in an out-of-the-way street, who seem to feel that their household is quite big enough. The new Jerusalem, according to them, was intended to comprise some little, miserable hamlet, bounded on the North and East by a ditch of strict communion, and on the South and West by a rampart of Hyper-Calvinistic doctrine; but I like to think of Jesus Christ’s kingdom as very widely extended, his throne as high and lifted up, and the loyal subjects over whom he reigns as an enormous multitude whom no man can number, who shall be given to him as the reward of the travail of his soul. This Tabernacle church, numbering five thousand souls, is much too little for the Lamb. If we could have the Agricultural Hall crowded, and all there should say that they were converted, and if they all were really converted, it would still be too little for the Lamb. And if we had the Agricultural Hall multiplied twenty times over, and all of them full of saved souls, it would still be too little for the Lamb; and if all in England, and Scotland, and America, and France, and in every country where Christ is preached, were converted, it would still be too little for the Lamb; and if we were to have all the inhabitants of Europe and Asia brought to Jesus, I should still say that it was too little for the Lamb; and if we could add all in Africa and Australasia, as long as there was an island of the sea in which the people were not converted to Christ, our hearts would still cry, “The household is too little for the Lamb!”
“Ah! reign wherever man is found,
Our Spouse, beloved and divine!
Then are we rich, and we abound,
When every human heart is thine;”
but not till then, — till over the whole earth the knowledge of the Lord shall be spread as the waters cover the sea; until then, we shall still feel that the household is too little for the Lamb.
What was the Israelite to do to meet the contingency of the household being too little for the lamb? The provision was, “Let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls;” and the Christian man, whose household is certainly too little for the Lamb of God, is to call in his neighbour to share the blessing with him. Brother, if you and all your household are saved, call your neighbour to the great gospel feast. I do not mean merely the person who lives next door to you; for, in London, it often happens that there is nobody further off than the person who lives next door to us; but your neighbour may be the person sitting next you in the pew, or the man who works at the next bench to yours in the shop, or someone with whom, you meet in trade or in the order of God’s providence. Any one of those people may be the neighbour to join with you in feeding upon the Lamb. God has put him in your way for some reason or other; and, certainly, not that you may be an injury to him. It must be that, at least, you may endeavour to be of service to him. We are all more or less dependent upon one another. One of the obligations of near neighbourhood should be that we should seek our neighbour’s good, even as the commandment says, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self and although that relates to all mankind, it must refer in a very eminent and emphatic sense to the man who is literally our neighbour.
Look, then, after the man who is near to you; and if you do this, you will not have so far to go as if you looked after anybody else. God is a God of economy, so he did not say to the Israelite, “You are to bring into your house, to make up your company at the passover, the man who lives at the furthermost end of Goshen but he saved his people as much trouble as possible by saying that the man “and his neighbour next unto his house ” were to unite in the celebration. You, who live in the South of London, are not commanded to go and tramp six or seven miles in order to find someone in the North of London to whom you may be useful; but you are first to look after those who live in the street in which you yourself live, or with whom you come into connection in your daily life. There is a very good regulation concerning the clearance of snow, — that each householder shall clear the pavement in front of his own house; if that rule could always be carried out, London would be cleaner than it is now after a fall of snow. Let us all try to act like that with regard to the moral and spiritual snow that lies on the pavement opposite to us. All who live in London will soon be evangelized if each Christian man seeks to win for Christ “his neighbour next unto his house;” and then if that neighbour seeks to win his next-door neighbour, and that one his neighbour, and so on. It will not only be a saving of effort, but it will be an orderly regulation by which it will be guaranteed that the truth shall be brought to the notice of all who need it.
Besides, your neighbour is the person who is most likely to be influenced by you. A total stranger would need more time to introduce himself, but your neighbour already knows something of you; and if he sees that you are a consistent Christian, that will materially assist you in delivering your message to him. If you are living as you ought to live, your neighbour knows something about the effect which the gospel has had upon your life. For you to speak to him, therefore, will be most fitting, for you are the man who can give the living example as well as the spoken word.
Above all, he is the pea-son whom you are specially bidden to seek. We are to go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature; but there is a special obligation upon us to preach that gospel to the one who is nearest to us. Dear brethren and sisters, do you always attend to this matter? Do you talk of Jesus Christ to those who live near you, or with whom you are brought into contact? Some Sundays ago, at the East London Tabernacle, Mr. Archibald Brown spoke to his people about this duty, and then he stopped, and said, “Now we will put into practice what I have been urging upon you; will every Christian in the Tabernacle speak to the person who is next to him?” And everybody in the building was spoken to, there and then, about Christ. It was a good plan, and it resulted in the conversion of a great number of persons, while there were many others who were brought under conviction of sin, and who will, it is hoped, be led to the Saviour through that striking personal appeal. I will not stop my sermon, and ask you to do that; but I will ask you to do it every time you come together into this place, and as often as you have a proper opportunity of doing it in your daily calling. Be wise and prudent as to the time when you make your appeal. Religion is not to be rammed down people’s throats; but watch for a suitable opportunity of speaking for Christ, and that opportunity will come to you sooner or later. You may do harm if you do not take care to speak at the right time. The wise man tells us that “to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven;” so watch for the occasion of bearing testimony to Christ, and then, feeling that your household is too little far the Lamb of God, try to introduce him to others.
I fancy I hear somebody say, “Ah, but they only brought in Israelites to feed on the paschal lamb; they did not call in the Egyptians.” Quite so, nor will you, so you need not be frightened about that matter. None but God’s elect ones will spiritually feed upon Christ. Some people seem to be afraid lest we should be the means of saving some of the non-elect, but that is a fear which never troubles either my head or my heart; for I know that, with all the effort and preaching in the world, we shall never bring more to Christ than Christ has had given to him by his Father. You will never fall into that trouble. Our Saviour has bidden us preach the gospel to every creature; he has not said, “Preach it only to the elect;” and though that might seem to be the most logical thing for us to do, yet, since he has not been pleased to stamp the elect in their foreheads, or to put any distinctive mark upon them, it would be an impossible task for us to perform; whereas, when we preach the gospel to every creature, the gospel makes its own division, and Christ’s sheep hear his voice, and follow him. It is unnecessary to stop the ears of other sheep, or to try to prevent your voice from travelling where other sheep are found; but only the true sheep of Christ will recognize his voice in the gospel message, or be obedient to it. Therefore, let not your zeal be repressed by any doctrinal views, however sound; for, depend upon it, sound doctrine is never inconsistent with obedience to the command to preach the gospel to every creature. Sound precept and sound doctrine must agree.
IV. The last thing upon which I have to speak is not in my text, yet THE WHOLE SUBJECT SUGGESTS THOUGHTS UPON NEIGHBOURLY FELLOWSHIP IN THE GOSPEL.
Here is a man, whose household is too little far the lamb, and he has called in his next-door neighbour to share the feast with him. “Come in, friend,” says he, “I have a wife and two children, and our household is too little for the lamb. You have a wife and one child; come in, and we will keep the passover together.”
I know what the result of that invitation would be. First, there would be sweet fellowship. They would feed upon the same lamb; and, in doing so, they would come to know each other as they had never done before. They would talk together most gratefully concerning the divine plan of sacrifice by which they were being saved while Egypt was being destroyed. They would talk to each other about that remarkable day when there was darkness over all the land of Egypt except in the houses of the Israelites, for they had light in their dwellings. They would talk about those flies and frogs that came up in swarms over the land, and how the mighty arm of Jehovah had been outstretched on their behalf. I think that the members of both families would be all the happier after meeting under one roof, and feeding together upon the paschal lamb. It would be a pleasant time for all of them; and I can assure you that, if you are the means of bringing any souls to Jesus Christ, you will find that those whom you bring to him, by the power of the Holy Spirit, are the very best companions you have ever had. You will talk together very sweetly of all that the Lord has done for you, and you will thus warm each other’s hearts. Like two firebrands, that might only have, smouldered alone, you will burn and blaze when you, are put together.
Then, after the feast was over, there would be pleasant relations established between those two families. Surely, after they had been together that night, sheltering under the same sprinkled blood, feasting on the same paschal lamb, partaking of the same bitter herbs, and each one standing with his loins girt and with his staff in his hand, the members of those families would never be at enmity against one another. They must always have felt that they were very near akin to one another; and it is a still more blessed kinship that is established and cemented at the cross of Christ. Where we love each other for Christ’s sake, and love Christ as we see him revealed in one another, such love as that will outlast our earthly life, and will reach on into eternity, and be sweet even in heaven.
I should say, dear friends, that both those families would have very pleasant memories of that passoverand out of those memories would grow future communion. The master of one household, when he met the other, years afterwards, in the wilderness, would say to him, “Do you remember, Jacob, coming to my house on the passover night?” “Yes, Ephraim,” the other would reply, “I remember it well; your family was too little for the lamb, so we joined together for the feast.” One would ask, “Will you ever forget that night?” “No,” the other would say, “it was very solemn, but it was very sweet, and I think I liked it all the better because it was in your house.” And the first one would say, “And I am sure that I enjoyed it all the mare because I had you to come in and share it with me.”
So those memories, you see, would beget new communion, and they would be ready to help each other, and to cheer each other in the future. They would often make interchanges of experience; and interchange of experience is like profitable trading, it enriches all concerned. They that fear the Lord, when they speak often one to another concerning him, are sure to be mutually helpful to one another; and I think that this bringing in of others to increase the family for the observance of the passover would be certain to lay the foundation of much mutual intercourse and much mutual benefit in the future. And, surely, brothers and sisters, in proportion as, by the grace of God, we labour successfully to bring others to Christ, and so Christ’s family is increased, we shall be anticipating the joy of heaven. It will never be said there that the household is too little for the Lamb. When Christ comes in all his glory, and all his redeemed ones come with him, — when he gathers all who have been redeemed with his precious blood about him at the marriage supper of the Lamb, and he himself drinks the wine new in the kingdom of his Father, it will not be said then that the household is too little for the Lamb, for the whole spiritual household of Israel shall then be gathered together; the complete company redeemed by blood shall muster at that one “general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven,” and Christ shall then “see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.” Until that glorious gathering shall take place, brothers and sisters, keep on inviting others to the Lamb of God; and as for you, who have never yet trusted in the blood of Jesus, or tasted of his grace, may the Lord, in his infinite mercy, bring you to him this very hour, and then this shall be the beginning of months unto you; you will reckon your true life as dating from this hour. The Lord grant it, for Christ’s sake! Amen.