7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs…12 “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt (Exodus 12:7, 12-13).
Undoubtedly, one of the “highlights” of this week’s readings are the 10 plagues God releases against Egypt (Exodus 7-12). Over and over, God reveals his superior power and glory over the (so-called) “gods” of Egypt. The first nine plagues deal with phenomena that have to do with the world of nature. Each plague was a miracle of God, in which God used the natural means of Egypt to manifest his supernatural power. Since the Egyptians worshipped those powers of nature, the true God reveals his glory by turning those very forces of nature against Egypt. And in the tenth plague, God would show definitively that his strength and glory outshines that of Egypt by striking down the firstborn of all the people and cattle in Egypt. How devastating is the judgment of God!
But what is especially worthy of our attention is how God saves his people from this destruction. The people were to take a lamb – one-year-old and without defect – slaughter the lamb at twilight and paint the doorframes of their homes with the innocent lamb’s blood. And when the angel of death passed through Egypt and saw the lamb’s blood on their doorframes, he would “pass over” their homes. Hence the Festival of the Passover was instituted, a powerful testimony of God’s power to save his people from death!
The New Testament makes it clear that the salvation Israel experienced through the blood of the Passover Lamb was a shadow of the greater spiritual salvation that comes through faith in Jesus Christ. John the Baptist likely had the Passover Lamb in mind when he says of Jesus, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). The apostle Paul makes this connection explicit when he writes, “For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Corinthians 5:7). And Peter encourages us to walk in the confidence of faith when he writes, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such a silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18-19). Our true Passover Lamb is Jesus! Those first Passover lambs saved one nation (Israel) from physical death. But our Lamb saves all nations from eternal death!
In this week of reading, stand in awe of the God who brings judgment down on those who stand against him and his kingdom. But even more importantly, marvel at the God who so richly provides the world salvation through the blood of his Son, Jesus Christ!