Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions (Genesis 15:13-14).
Today, we see God’s word to Abraham come true. After nine horrible plagues, God gives Moses instructions to prepare the people for the final plague. This is it. The people are to prepare a lamb, mark their doorposts with its blood and eat the lamb “girded with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste” (Exodus 11:11). It’s time to move. The blood of the lamb protected the people from God’s destroyer who came and killed the firstborn of each house without the blood. Many Egyptians died that night.
The Passover is riddled with symbolism. The symbols serve to remind the people and the coming generations of the Lord’s power and faithfulness in rescuing them from Egypt’s oppression. But the symbols serve a deeper purpose… They point forward to the Lamb of God, Jesus, who was sacrificed to rescue us from our sins.
Consider the detail found in the passage:
- The Lamb
Lamb will be without blemish (12:5)
When to kill and eat the lamb (12:6;8)
How to cook and eat the lamb (12:8-10)
The lamb’s bones should remain unbroken (12:46).
- The Blood
Where and how to put the blood (12:7; 22)
Protective work of the blood (12:13; 23)
- The Bread
Unleavened bread (12:8; 34)
- The Feast
A memorial of the Exodus (12:14-20)
It is to be remembered from generation to generation (12:24-28).
- Provision for the Foreigner
Some Egyptians left with the Israelites (12:38).
The foreigner must be circumcised to eat the Passover (12:43-44; 48-49).
God instituted the Feast of Unleavened Bread so that on the 14th day of the first month of every year, the Israelites would gather and commemorate the night that God’s destroyer “passed over” their families so that they could escape from Egypt in the darkness.
Instead of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we look forward to a later day when people from every tribe, people and language will worship together at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19). At that feast, the bread will have risen to its fullest and instead of haste, there will be an eternity to linger… in the presence of our Passover Lamb!