Have you ever wondered why we set off fireworks on the Fourth of July? The tradition goes back to the start of America’s nationhood. In 1777, one year after the Declaration of Independence was signed, the anniversary was celebrated in Philadelphia with a parade, speeches, and fireworks. Boston was the first city to declare July 4th an official holiday in 1783. Congress finally made it a national holiday in 1870.
Even before it took place, the Passover was declared by God to be Month One Year One on Israel’s calendar (vv. 2, 14). The tenth day would be their Independence Day! Passover was the flip side of the tenth plague: The Egyptian firstborn would die—”judgment on all the gods of Egypt” (v. 12)—but God had determined that the Israelites would live. Because they sacrificed a lamb and put its blood on their doorposts, the angel of death would “pass over” that house and spare the family inside (vv. 7, 13). The lamb would then be roasted and served as the main dish of the Passover meal.
Bread without yeast was another symbolic part of that meal (v. 15). No yeast indicated haste or hurry, that is, how quickly the Egyptians wanted them gone! The absence of yeast also came to signify holiness, purity, or consecration.
Moses proclaimed Passover as a national holiday, to be celebrated in the future in the Promised Land (vv. 24–27). This declaration was an act of faith—Moses trusted completely that what God said would happen. And his obedience matched his faith. He told the elders of Israel to “go at once” to carry out the instructions (vv. 21–23). The Israelites would remember, through the ages, the mighty work of God on their behalf. That’s why Jewish people still celebrate Passover today!
>> Just as the Israelites were saved by a lamb’s blood, so we are saved by the blood of Christ (1 Cor. 5:7). If you’ve never done so, we urge you to trust Him for your salvation!
Father God, we confess that we need Your forgiveness and protection. We repent of our sins and ask to be covered in the blood of Christ. Spare us from eternal judgment so we can live, eternally worshiping You.