Exodus Day Twenty-Four
August 3, 2020, 4:41 AM

Passed Over
Exodus 11:4-6

Thus says the LORD: “About midnight I will go out in the midst of Egypt,
and every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die,
from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne,
even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the handmill,
and all the firstborn of the cattle.
There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt,
such as there has never been, nor ever will be again.”

Exodus Eleven inaugurates number ten: “Yet one plague more I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here.” (11:1).

Most of the plagues have been natural events, albeit supernaturally juiced. One plague, the boils, was quite personal and painful. However, the final plague is one that transcends both nature and the personal. It is a judgment of finality. As the other plagues are spurs to recognize and embrace the Lord of all creation; the final, tenth judgment – a biblical number of totality – is the point of no return; with no possibility of relenting or repenting. Ten is the final nail in a self-constructed coffin of sin. Death becomes the firstborn— from Pharaoh, rippling through his court, to the elite, rich and poor alike, down to the servant-classes. Even the animals are found by this terrible decree. From high to low, all the way through, comprehensive. Of note, there is a distinction made between Egypt and Israel. God preserves his people from the “destroyer” (so called, death angel). God protects the apple of his eye.

This plague, by far the most devastating, will serve as the basis for a catechetical feast in perpetuity. Passover. The climax of plagues will be judgment day, of sorts, with the “destroyer” moving through the dark streets and putting to death the firstborn of Egypt. Unrepenting Egypt receiving the “wages of sin.” The flipside of hard-heartedness.

However, as noted already, the destroyer passes over each home where the blood of the Passover lamb is offered on the door frames and lintel. Years before the children of Israel sojourned in Egypt, atop a mountain in Jerusalem where the Temple would one day be built, Isaac asked Abraham, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And his father replied, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” (Gen. 22:7-8). Every Passover, this provision/deliverance would be recalled: That dark night, when in haste, God’s people prepared and celebrated this meal in haste before they were chased out of Egypt. God did provide for his people then. …But there was always still a greater provision coming. Abraham’s prophecy and the annual Passover meal tilled fertile hearts in eager expectation for a greater provision yet to come.

Fast forward to the Gospel of John. John the Baptist sees Jesus for the first time, and with Passover never far from his mental rolodex, cries out, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (1:29). The Lamb will play a central role in the visions of John in the Book of Revelation— John’s first vision in heaven sees “between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain.” (Rev. 5:6).

“When [the Lamb] had taken the scroll [the plan of redemption for the world], the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb …they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. …Worthy is the [Passover] Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’” (Rev. 5: 8-9, 12).

And the final vision of the Bible, in the New Heavens and the New Earth, the New Jerusalem— when God is “all in all,” it says, “No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.” (Rev. 22:3). The Lamb opens salvation back in Egypt, and He will be the final Word in Eden restored. The Lamb of God, the Alpha and the Omega!

The Blood of the Lamb, then, was always a part of the Grand Plan. On that dark night in an upper room on the southside of Jerusalem, at that yearly observance of Passover, Jesus told his disciples the hour had come— the ultimate hour of Abraham’s provision on Mount Moriah; the hour of the Passover Lamb from a hasty night in Egypt— about to be fulfilled on the lintel of the Cross, in the flesh of the Son of God.

As followers of Jesus, we no longer celebrate Passover.
We observe the Lord’s Supper  — the fulfillment of that great feast.
Our sin passed over.
Delivered from death to life.
Praise God, In Christ!


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