Story of Passover
2 Timothy 2:2 – Hear, Entrust, Teach, Multiply!
Moses’ life and ministry is a tightly woven story within the salvation narrative of the entire Bible. Judaism identifies Moses as the primary source of rabbinic authority. Jesus’ followers identified Him as the prophet like Moses spoken of in Deuteronomy 18:18-20. Even Islam claims Moses as one of its prophets. There is no possibility that Moses could have been anything other than an actual historical figure.
On Mount Sinai, God gave Moses the challenge of convincing Pharaoh to let His people go. Making the Lord’s demand of him, Pharaoh scoffed and ridiculed Moses. “Who is God that I should obey him?” As a sign that the Lord had sent them, Moses had Aaron throw his shepherd staff to the ground where it turned into a serpent. Pharaoh was not impressed. Two of his magicians were able to do the same thing. However, Aaron’s staff swallowed the staff of the magicians.
It would take an escalating series of national calamities called plagues before Pharaoh would finally relent to God’s demand. The 10th plague was the most devastating, the death of Egyptian firstborn sons. God did not automatically exclude the Hebrews from the consequences of the tenth plague. Every household was required to kill an unblemished lamb, paint its blood on the doorposts and lintel of the house, roast the lamb and eat it while remaining inside the home all night.
During the night of the first Passover, the Lord passed over all of the homes of Egypt. Inside the houses that had the blood applied to the entryways, everyone remained safe. In the households that did not have blood on the entrance, the family’s firstborn son died. Can you imagine the wailing of the mothers throughout Egypt as they crept into their children’s rooms only to find that they were dead? What must it have been like in the Hebrews’ homes listening to what was happening throughout the land?
Pharaoh commanded Moses and Aaron to appear before him immediately. His message? “Leave Egypt immediately!” Upon departure, as an incentive to leave them, the Egyptian people gave food, clothing, silver and gold, expensive jewels, cloth, and skins to the Israelites. On one night, the Hebrew slaves received 400 years of workers’ wages.
To this day, Jewish people commemorate the first Passover each year. Around the family table, the story of the exodus from Egypt is recounted. It is an evening filled with laughter and merriment, accompanied by tears and longing. If you ever have the opportunity to attend a Passover Seder, don’t hesitate to accept the invitation. You won’t forget it!
The first Passover is to the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) what the Crucifixion is to the New Testament. The fact that Israelite households painted the lamb’s blood on their entryways was evidence of their belief in what God would do. The death of the Passover lamb delivered Hebrew freedom from slavery under Pharaoh’s rule in Egypt. In the New Testament, belief in the death, burial, and resurrection of Yeshua, the Lamb of God, frees believers from slavery to sin. It promises an exodus from this broken world and entrance into a perfect one.
Talk Thru the Bible – OT Lessons
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Read Exodus 5:1-12:51
- In his own eyes, Pharaoh believed himself to be the most powerful man on all the earth. The Egyptians revered him as the god over all their other gods.
- Moses and Aaron directly confronted that thinking. The Lord was demanding that Pharaoh let His people go, to release them slavery. Pharaoh responded by asking, “Who is God that I should obey Him?”
- God provided the answer by sending ten catastrophes on Pharaoh, and the Egyptians called plagues. Each plague mocked one of the gods in the Egyptian pantheon of deities. After each plague, Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, refusing to let God’s people go. The tenth plague was the most devastating. It proved Pharaoh was no god at all!
- Every Hebrew home was to kill an unblemished lamb, paint its blood on the doorposts and lintels of their home, roast the lamb and eat it along with unleavened bread, and remain indoors all night long. This was the night of the first Passover when the Lord passed through the land of Egypt.
- God passed over every home that had the lamb’s blood painted on its doorway. Everyone inside remained safe.
- In the Egyptian homes without the blood on the doorway, all of the first-born sons were killed. Every Egyptian home experienced the death of a son, father, grandfather, or uncle. Can you imagine the crying in those homes on that night?
- Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron, instructing Israel to leave Egypt that very night, the night the Lord passed over the Hebrew households and struck the Egyptian homes.
The Passover Principle:
Comparing Bible passages from both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament demonstrates God’s eternal redemptive plan. Take a look and see for yourself.
Instruction to Sacrifice: Exodus 12:3,6 & John 1:29
Condition of Sacrifice: Exodus 12:5 & 1 Peter 1:19
Reason for Sacrifice: Exodus 12:12 & Hebrews 9:27
Application of Sacrifice: Exodus 12:3 & Acts 4:12
Result of Sacrifice: Exodus 12:23 & Romans 8:1
Make an “I will” Statement
- Based on your study of Passover, what will you think, say, or do differently starting today?
- Who will you tell your “I will” statement to that will hold you accountable?