I welcome you to our first blog on our revised website. Interestingly, it comes at a very significant time of the year, which is the subject of this blog. According to the Hebrew calendar and the Word of God, we are entering into the spring feasts of the Lord which are the appointed times of the Lord; as revealed in Leviticus 23:4-5, “These are the appointed times of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at the times appointed for them. In the first month, on the 14th day of the month at twilight is the LORD’s Passover.”
To honor this appointed time of the LORD is not to place you back under the law, but for you to perceive the meaning of Passover as a return to the Hebraic roots of the faith. Two significant factors, from a biblical standpoint in the Passover, are the lamb and the blood of the lamb. In John 1:29, when John the Baptizer saw Jesus coming to him he said, “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Paul refers to the Messiah in I Corinthians 5:7, “For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.” In Ephesians 1:7, Paul writes, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”
The lambs that were slain on the eve of the Passover in Egypt was the foreshadow of our redemption through the true Lamb of God––Jesus Who was crucified to save us.
Passover is the oldest continually observed feast in existence, dating back 3500 years. The explanation of Passover begins with the Pharaoh and his anxiety over the Hebrews living in Egypt. He feared they were going to outnumber the Egyptians so he appointed taskmasters to afflict them with hard labor. In Exodus 1:12 we read, “but the more they inflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread so that the Egyptians were in dread of the sons of Israel.”
Additionally, the Pharaoh decreed every son born to the Hebrews would be drowned in the Nile. Is it not interesting, that decree was in effect when Moses was born, but God, through His providential care, preserved the baby Moses. It was Moses whom God called to be the deliverer of His people from their bondage in Egypt, 80 years later.
When a Goliath comes on the scene, God raises up a David. When a Haman comes on the scene, God raises up a Mordecai. When a hardhearted Pharaoh comes on the scene, God raises up a Moses. God spoke to Moses in the burning bush saying, “I will send you to Pharaoh so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:10). God knew that Pharaoh would not permit them to go except under compulsion, so He sent Moses to Pharaoh, “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘thus says the LORD, Israel is My son, My first-born. Let My son go, that He may serve Me’” (Exodus 4:22-23).
The Lord brought nine plagues against Egypt and Pharaoh still refused to let the sons of Israel go. It took the tenth plague, the death of the first born in every house for Pharaoh to relent. The Lord was going through the land of Egypt to kill the firstborn man and beast alike. However, to protect His people, He told Moses to speak to the congregation of Israel, “On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ household, a lamb for each household” (Exodus 12:3). The Lord also said that the lamb shall be an unblemished male.
“And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two door posts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.” Exodus 12:6-7
“And the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.” Exodus 12:13
It was the blood of the unblemished lamb that saved the sons of Israel.
“Now it came about at mid-night that the LORD struck all the first-born in land of Egypt, from the first born of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the first born of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the first born of cattle. And Pharaoh arose in the night, and he and all his servants and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no home where there was not someone dead. Then he called for Moses and Aaron at night and said, ‘Rise up, get out from among my people, both you and the sons of Israel; and go worship the LORD, as you have said.’” Exodus 12:29-31
The exodus of Israel had begun after 430 years in Egypt. However, this was not the end of the story. Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and he along with his horsemen and his army and chariots chased after the sons of Israel. They approached them when Israel was encamped by the Red Sea. As Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel feared greatly, and came against Moses for bringing them out of Egypt. We read in Exodus 14:13-14, “But Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today. The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.’”
“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. And as for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land. And as for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so they will go in after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horses.’” Exodus 14:15-17
No doubt you know the rest of this story! Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord swept the sea back by a strong deep wind and turned the sea into dry land. The Egyptians pursued. Then the Lord told Moses to stretch out his hand over the sea so that the waters came back over the Egyptians. Not one of them survived!
Passover is the story of redemption––Israel was set free from bondage in Egypt––a picture of our personal salvation, our redemption from the bandage of sin by the Blood of the Lamb.
“Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from you futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of the lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” I Peter 1:18 & 19
Thoughts To Ponder:
1) The persistence of Moses. Exodus 6:6 & 7 – The seven I wills of God.
2) Cooperating with God. Exodus 14:16 & 17 – as for you – as for Me.
May you be blessed this Passover Season!