In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord's Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt. Exodus 12:11-13
God reveals the tenth plague; the final warning to Pharaoh of what will happen if he refuses to release the Israelites from slavery to freedom: every firstborn in the land of Egypt will die. God tells Moses that Pharaoh won’t listen. His heart is hardened, but through it, God’s wonders will be multiplied.
God instructs the Israelites to take and kill a male lamb without blemish. They are to take blood from the slain lamb and put it on the doorposts around their houses. The blood of the lamb, marking them as God’s people, will save them.
As promised, the angel of death shows up. All firstborn sons – including livestock – are struck dead. But all the houses with the blood over the doorposts are passed over. You better believe Pharaoh lets them go. And not only that, he sends them on their way with gifts …gold, silver, clothing. God provides for their journey.
A Passover celebration is instituted annually to remember this incredible event. A celebration that many years later Jesus participates in as part of His last meal with His disciples before He becomes the ultimate lamb without blemish sacrificed to save us all.
Passover is a taste of what is to come. We are hopeless in our mess and pride and disobedience, but God provides a way out for us. God loves us so much, He wants to save us from the death and destruction that is sure to come when we dig in our heels, harden our hearts, and insist on doing things our own way. He wants us to be “passed over” from death and instead have eternal life with Him. He knows it will require a sacrifice and He is willing to provide that sacrifice for us. God’s plan for a Savior continues to unfold.
Question: In what ways do you see Jesus in the Passover story?