God had heard the cries of His people Israel in bondage in Egypt. He’d sent Moses to Pharaoh with the message, “Let my people go!” He’d also sent increasingly serious plagues to match Pharaoh’s increasingly hardened heart and to demonstrate to everyone that the gods of Egypt could not and would not prevail. Today’s narrative retells the climax of this drama. There would be one more plague to settle things: God would send an angel on a mission of death— to kill every firstborn son from the palace to the slums, throughout the land of Egypt.
The Israelites would be excluded, but not automatically. They were instructed to take a lamb, one per household, year-old males without defect, and slaughter them at twilight (vv. 3–6). They were then to put the lamb’s blood on the doorposts of their homes so that the angel of death would skip or “pass over” their house (vv. 7, 12–13, 21–23). (This is the same principle of substitutionary blood atonement we’ve already learned about this month.) That night, the Israelites were to eat the lamb, roasted with bitter herbs, along with unleavened bread. “Eat it in haste,” God said, for their liberation was near at hand (vv. 8–11).
This life-changing day would be commemorated and celebrated down through the ages (vv. 24–27). It would be such a significant event for the nation that Passover would henceforth be a festival marking Day One of Month One on their calendar (vv. 2, 14–20; see Lev. 23:5–8). The tenth plague, Passover, the Exodus, and deliverance from bondage would be the defining events of Israel’s history!
>> The Israelites were asked to act in faith, believing in what God promised. Too often we act based solely on what we can see. Do you tend to live by faith or by sight? How can you live today in faith, believing that God will complete His promises for you?