Exodus 12:1-13 (ESV)
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.
“Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. 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.
The account of the Passover with which Israel begins its exit out of Egypt and slavery is in many ways the central story of the Old Testament. It is meant to speak profoundly to God’s people. On the one hand, it is a reminder that unless God intervenes and covers us, we are in the same condition as everyone else: part of a rebel creation that stands under God’s judgment and condemnation. That is always part of our identity as human beings and without it we cannot walk in humility either before God or others.
On the other hand, it is a reminder that the primary thing God wants from us is trust. He wants us to trust that he is merciful and that he cares for us. He wants us to trust that he desires to save and not condemn us. That is why he became incarnate in the person of Jesus. And he wants our lives to issue in the acts of obedience that manifest our trust in him – whether that is putting blood on our doorposts and eating the Passover meal as was the case for the Israelites, or remembering Jesus’ death which saved us when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper and then living lives of forgiveness and generosity. Is your life being characterized by this kind of humility and trust? If not, why not?
Lord Jesus, grant me to so deeply feel my need for your mercy and to know your provision of it that humility and obedient trust might be profoundly manifest in my life. In Christ’s Name, Amen.
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