exodus: 12: 1-31
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a
“Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts
“This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast
Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you. You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever. And when you come to the land that the Lord will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this service. And when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ you shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the Lord's Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.’” And the people bowed their heads and worshiped.
Then the people of Israel went and did so; as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.
At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead. Then he summoned Moses and Aaron by night and said, “Up, go out from among my people, both you and the people of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as you have said.
Stories and experiences shape our lives. Have you had experiences that you will never forget? What events in the past continue to have ongoing consequences today?
As we continue our walk through Exodus, we find a story that was life changing for the people of Israel and us as well: the Passover. In the story of the Passover we see God’s redemptive power, mercy, and justice displayed and His promises kept. As we read of the institution of the Passover celebration, we see the need to remember God’s saving power from generation to generation.
This idea of remembering God’s grace is an important practice for Christians. We are a forgetful people. We are urged throughout Scripture to remember. When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper (which is of course linked to the Passover), He said, “Do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19).
In our text, God gave His people a multi-sensory way to remember their Exodus from Egypt. Let’s unpack its significance.
God’s Judgement And Mercy Intermingled
God’s people need delivery. Our text speaks of the tenth and final plague of this horrific judgement. We must note that in Chapter 11, that there is one last pause before this final judgement. There was a prophetic plea warning as God offers an opportunity for repentance. In fact, there has been many opportunities to repent during the long drama of the nine other plagues.
All throughout Scripture, we see people abusing God’s grace over and over again - and God still showing grace and patience. In our text, we see God move from grace to judgement. The imagery of God being, “the Lion and the Lamb” describes this concept of judgement and grace. God is gracious and long-suffering, but He is not weak. In the 10th plague, He kills all firstborn animals and people. Why? Sin and disobedience always brings death. We tend to forget this because we don’t always see it so immediately. People die because of sin - all struggle is a result of sin in general.
We can look at suffering - especially of children - and ask God, “why?” It’s as if we think that there wouldn’t be suffering if it weren’t for God. The Biblical view doesn’t look at God as the problem - it looks at us. We are the problem. I am the problem. We are the worst of all of His creation and at the same time the choicest part of creation. We will have to justify to God what we have done - this is the concept of justification.
God Loves Sinners
We see in Exodus that God loves Israel His people despite the fact that they were wicked before Egypt and they will sin greatly after Egypt. God simply loves them and His love motivates everything that He does. Jesus is the full expression of God’s love - Christ’s acts started because of God’s love Jesus helps us know how the Father loves us (John 3:16).
Sinclair Ferguson said, “...the Father does not love us because we are sinners, but he does love us even though we are sinners. He loved us before Christ died for us. It is because he loves us that Christ died for us!”
God’s Delivery Is Sure
Verses 14 and 17 give instructions on how to remember the victory that He will give. These detailed instructions of remembrance were given before the deliverance even happened. They are still slaves. God wants them to know that His deliverance is sure - it will come! He wanted them to count on their victory while they were in the midst of slavery.
This is true for us as believers as well! In the midst of struggle, sin, feeling the sting of death, anxiety, fear, and suffering, the Lord wants us to remember our victory that is already paid for and still coming. The Lord would have us remember our deliverance. This is the “already/not yet” portion of our salvation and faith.
Our victory is not measured by our current circumstances, our self fulfillment, the absence of suffering, or even our present struggle of sin. Instead, Christian victory is dependent on Christ that has purchased victory on our behalf. It has been realized, but not fully realized (1 Corinthians 13:12).
This is how we can can still celebrate the Lord’s Supper today and have confidence in the gospel while we are still struggling with sin and brokenness today. This is how we can boast victory and deliverance when we have voluntary slavery to sin today. Despite the suffering in the world that we see, God has not left us.
The Passover Is The Next Generation Remembering
The Passover is the next generation remembering the victory (verse 24). The significance of the Passover is generation after generation hearing about the Lord’s deliverance of His people. Some who never put blood on their doorpost will celebrate God’s deliverance. Some who were never slaves will celebrate. How can that be? The Lord has something bigger in mind. By the Passover, He is pointing them to something bigger. (John 1:29 Luke 22:7-20)
The blood of Christ was sprinkled that the destroyer would pass by. In our text, the Lord chose, as He looked at the doorposts, to bruise the lamb and not His people in order to bring freedom to His people. It points to the sufficiency of the lamb yet to come - Jesus Christ!
Jesus rescues people from judgement (John 1:29). Revelation, like Exodus, looks to a lamb that rescues people from judgement (Revelation 5:8-10). The Lord’s Supper reminds us that the victory has already been won by the blood of the Lamb. It points to the sureness of our promised victory. Meanwhile, we do not grieve as those without hope (1 Peter 1:3-9).
Do this in remembrance of Me!
This week, as you reflect on the message, utilize this section to help you apply what has been taught to your life. Think of friends, co-workers, neighbors, family etc., that you could meet with to have a time of mutual sharing to discuss the implications of the message.
This simple acronym (BLESS, B - Bless, L - Listen, E - Eat, S - Speak, S - Sabbath) should help you to frame your life according to the great commandment “love God” (Matthew 22:37) and the expression of that commandment in loving your neighbor (John 13:34). Each time you meet, start by discussing the rhythms of your life according to B.L.E.S.S.
Intentionally bless: Christ-followers, non-believers and those different than you.
Listen to what God is saying to you, through His Word and others.
Share a meal with a Christ-follower and also a non-believer.
Talk to God through prayer and to others about Jesus through witness.
Be intentional about taking time to both rest and recreate.
An Examined Life
As we continue to reflect on the sermon, allow these questions to guide your discussion with others concerning the conviction points and what you sensed God’s Spirit was doing in you through the preached Word. Jot notes to help you remember.
What was God doing in you through the message on Sunday?
Describe how you’ve grown in your understanding of the Gospel (good news of Jesus)?
How are you going to respond to God’s Word in your life?