by Kristen C. Strocchia
“It was by faith that Moses commanded the people of Israel to keep the Passover and to sprinkle blood on the doorposts so that the angel of death would not kill their firstborn sons.” Hebrews 11:28 [NLT]
Today we know the Passover as the Jewish feast prior to Easter. But the tradition started as the final meal shared by the Hebrew families before their exodus from Egyptian slavery. Leading up to the final plague, Moses faithfully relayed God’s commands to the Israelites.
- 1. Ask your Egyptian neighbors for silver and gold…which the Egyptians willingly gave them [Exodus 11:2]. *The kindest plundering of a nation in all of history.*
- 2. Change the calendar to make this the first month of your year [Exodus 12:2].
- 3. Butcher a perfect [no defect or blemish] one-year old male lamb–either sheep or goat–at twilight and roast it for dinner [Exodus 12:3-6].
- 4. Apply the blood drained from this lamb to the door frame of the house–top and sides [Exodus 12:7].
- 5. Eat it all–or burn what you can’t finish–with bitter greens and unleavened bread [Exodus 12:8-10].
- 6. And eat, ready to run [Exodus 12:11]!
The reward for observing God’s commands down to the letter? Their firstborn sons would be spared when the angel of death passed over Egypt, AND the Egyptians would willingly let them leave.
But Moses relayed these commands in faith–in absolute certainty of what he hoped for, but couldn’t see. He could only trust God that the Egyptians wouldn’t turn and kill the plundering Hebrews themselves. He could only trust God that an obedient feast would keep the angel of death at bay. He could only trust God that Pharaoh would finally let the people go even though he had changed his mind so many times before.
And Moses did trust God. And following his lead, the people trusted God too. As a result of their obedient faith, God did for them exactly as He said He would. They were saved from death and released from their slavery to go on to claim the earthly inheritance promised to Abraham.
This first Passover paints a beautiful picture of our deliverance today. To deliver means to set free from. Moses and the Israelites’ obedient faith set them free from slavery in Egypt, just as our obedient faith will set us free from the slavery of sin and death.
God has invited us to eat a feast with Him as well–in heaven, at the marriage supper of the lamb [Revelation 19:6-9]. But He has not asked us to butcher our own lamb, because He offered His Son, Jesus, as the unblemished lamb for our sins. And we do not have to paint our doorframes with lamb’s blood, but we do have to apply the blood of Jesus to our hearts by asking Him to be Lord of our lives. We can’t take silver and gold with us, but we can lay up treasures in heaven [Matthew 6:19-21]. And God calls us each to live our lives ready at all times for His return [Matthew 25:1-13].
The Passover was meant to be an annual remembrance of the future gift God has for each of us who live by obedient faith.
Is your faith obedient? Do you live daily ready for Jesus’ return? What else is God asking you to do?