Sep. 6. The Passover Instituted

Ex. 11:1-12:28

God announced to Moses and Aaron that after the next plague, Pharaoh would let His people go. Actually, he would drive the Israelites out of the land. The tenth plague was the death of the firstborn. Moses informed them that would take place and they began to prepare for leaving.

In preparation for their departure, God instructed the people to ask the Egyptians for articles of gold and silver. Even though Pharaoh was hard hearted against Moses, the Egyptians themselves held him in high esteem. They recognized the power of his God and freely gave their treasures to the Israelites.

The history of the children of Israel made a dramatic change. God instructed Moses and Aaron to mark the beginning of a new calendar. This would be the beginning of the first month, Abib later called Nisan. The tenth plague would soon come to pass and God gave instructions for the salvation of the Israelites from this plague.

In order for the Hebrews to be spared the death of the firstborn, God instituted the Passover, a feast that is still observed by the Jewish religion today. He gave strict instructions and expected them to be followed exactly. On the tenth day of the new month and year, they were to select a male lamb without blemish either from the sheep or goats and keep it up until the fourteenth day. On that day, they would slaughter it without breaking any bones; roast it on the fire; completely eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs that evening and sprinkle its blood upon the doorposts and lintels of their house. If any of it were not eaten, the remainder was to be burned.

God gave instructions that the children of Israel were to be fully clothed and ready for travel as they observed this first Passover. Upon their release, they would need to leave quickly.

The Israelites were unaware at the time, but the unblemished lamb and its blood were a type of the Son of God, Jesus, the Messiah. He would shed His blood as the sacrificial Passover Lamb for us many years later and none of His bones would be broken either.

While God was giving instructions for the salvation of the firstborn Hebrews, He also instructed that the Passover would be observed by them as an annual memorial of how He had saved the Israelites from death. The Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month would be immediately followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread for the next seven days. Again, He gave strict instructions as to how this memorial would be observed. God demanded then and He still demands strict obedience to His commands.

After bowing their heads and worshipping, “The children of Israel went away and did so; just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.”

Those memorials were also types of the Lord’s Supper that Christians observe today in memory of Christ’s death on the cross.