As the climactic act of God was approaching, Moses was given an unusual command. In the prior plagues, Israel was a passive bystander. But now they have a role to play. In this final act of judgment, they will finally be set free from the oppression of Pharaoh. But there is a lesson for Israel here also. When the angel of death sweeps over the land, taking the life of every firstborn son, the people of Israel need to be delivered from this same act of judgment. The houses of Israel will be marked with the blood of the lamb, and when the angel of the LORD comes by he will “pass over” the house where the blood is shed. Notice that the agency of this activity seems to be given to an angelic being whom the LORD calls, “the destroyed” (Ex. 12:23). But, throughout the chapter, God owns the activity himself – “I will pass through the land… I will strike… I will execute judgments.” This is a clear message about the identity of God. He is pure in his holiness and he is opposed to human sin. This opposition will prove to be deadly for all people, even those people that have a covenant relationship with him. While Israel needs to be saved from Pharaoh, their greatest need is to be saved from the judgment of God himself. The Passover would become a yearly feast that was intended to cement this memory into the minds of God’s people. They were saved by a substitute (lamb) and saved by grace, but they were saved from the judgment of God for their own sins.
Reflect: Often other problems loom larger in our life, but the Bible tells us that the biggest problem we each have is that we are sinners who cannot stand in the presence of a holy God.
Connect: The New Testament authors show that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Passover. He is the lamb slain in our place that we can be forgiven and so that God’s judgment will Passover us.
John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
I Corinthians 5:7 Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
This blog is part of the ministry of City Reformed Presbyterian Church. Unless otherwise noted, the entries are written by Matt Koerber. This is part of a project that our church is doing as we read through the narrative sections of Scripture between early January and Easter 2020. New entries will be scheduled to drop automatically at 5:00 am on the scheduled day.