What does it say?
Plagues of locusts and darkness provoke Pharaoh’s third and fourth compromise offers (Exo 10). The continual hardening of Pharaoh’s heart is a fascinating study in human nature as he continues to bargain with God through his servant Moses.
The announcement of the death of the firstborn (10th plague), is brief, yet powerful (Exo 11). God has smitten Egypt with nine devastating plagues exactly as promised. Imagine the horrible impact of these words announcing the death of the firstborn!
The story of the Passover (Exo 12) is as long and detailed as the initial proclamation was brief. This is a mountaintop of scripture. Skim the first two chapters and read this one for understanding. The difference between life and death is the blood of a lamb signaling the destroyer to pass over that house.
What does it mean?
The heart of God’s redemptive narrative, the Exodus story provides framework for understanding God’s mission through the ages. Parallels to Christ’s death abound, but most important is to understand that Jesus Christ is our Passover (1Cor 5:7). Eternal death passes over us because Jesus Christ shed his blood to receive in himself the judgment for our sin.
The Passover becomes the beginning of Israel’s month’s, not only the calendar year, but the new beginning of Israel now emerging from Egypt no longer as 12 families, but as the great nation God promised. The celebration of Passover remains central to Jewishness to this day (12:14). The Jesus followers see Jesus as the Lamb offered on that Passover 2,000 years ago and now celebrates the Lord’s Supper commemorating his death for us until he comes (1Cor 11:23-26).
Finally, notice the missional aspect of the Passover. Though no stranger or foreigner is allowed to participate, free provision is made for foreigners to become family with Israel (12:43-49). God offers redemption to the families of the earth through the seed of Abraham just as promised (Gen 12:1-3). Ephesians 2:11-22 makes this application to us today.
How will I respond?
Seeing the seriousness of carefully and ceremoniously remembering the majesty and awe of our redemption from sin, how much more seriously should we consider baptism and the Lord’s Supper as milestones and testimonies to the foreigners around us who need to be part of God’s family?
Is this the day to decide to follow Jesus in baptism? Is this the day to comprehend the seriousness of the assembly of believers as evidenced by the Lord’s Supper and resolve to make assembling together a priority in your life?