Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you. You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever. And when you come to the land that the Lord will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this service. And when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ you shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.’ ” And the people bowed their heads and worshiped. (Exodus 12:21–27)
There are few stories in the Old Testament that display God’s power more fully or his redemptive love for his people more completely than the story of the exodus from Egypt. It is a defining moment for the people of God, and it should be a defining moment in your own life!
In Deuteronomy, when God is giving the Law to his people through Moses, the text says that when your children ask, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees, and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?” you are to respond by saying, “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.” In other words, in years to come, in decades from now, in centuries from now, and even in millennia from now, when your children ask, “Why do we celebrate the Passover or obey the Ten Commandments or worship God?” the response of God’s people is, “We were slaves in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand!” There is an eternal present in that moment, a perpetual living within the moment of that freedom!
I too was a slave in Egypt, and so were you! We were slaves to sin, and – with a mighty act of outstretched arms – God redeemed us! Brought us out of bondage! Gave us a new life in a new Kingdom!
Understanding what God did for us in Egypt gives us a greater understanding of what He did for us on Calvary! The Passover of Exodus 12 is both an event and a shadow of an event to come. It is the exodus of God’s people from slavery to Pharaoh and a shadow of the exodus of God’s people from slavery to death and sin.
We need to stand in the eternal present of both events. We need to stand under the shadow of the cross that is cast over both events.
How can remembering what God did for us in Egypt help us understand more clearly what He did for us on Calvary? How can we stand in the eternal present of both events? How will this standing change how we see God, ourselves, and our neighbors?
Heavenly Father, thank you for saving me from slavery in Egypt. Thank you for saving me from my slavery to sin and death. Hold me in the eternal present of Exodus and Calvary so I can experience your love and redemption more fully today! May it prepare me to love you and others more completely. In the powerful name of the Passover lamb, Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, amen.