|Sin and its consequences.||God’s provision in Christ.|
|Being under the judgement of God.||Justification and forgiveness.|
|Being separated from God.||Reconciliation.|
|Being spiritually dead.||Regeneration.|
There are several feasts in the life of the Lord’s ancient people representing different events in their history. Some were celebrations of the seasons and of God’s faithful provision for the nation. None of them however carry the significance that the Passover does. Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, combining pastoral and agricultural elements, were observed together, to commemorate Israel’s departure from Egypt. The observance began on the fourteenth day of the first month and lasted for a week. These events are recorded for us in Exodus 12:1-20; 23:15.
So why are these Feast so important and so faithfully commemorated each year, even today by practising Jews?
They point back to the terribly dark years of their history when the nation was subjugated under a tyrannical despot, Pharaoh, in Egypt. For four hundred years they were a nation of slaves, having no national identity.
How they were delivered is truly remarkable.
Through a series of ten plagues God sent judgement on Pharaoh, culminating in the death of the first born in every family and house. Israel too would have suffered the same fate unless they had obeyed God’s instruction. They were to stay in their houses but were to paint the two door posts and the lintel with the blood of a lamb that each family had acquired in preparation. It had to be cooked in a special way and the whole family were required to eat it together, all dressed to leave at a moment’s notice. When the Angel of Death passed over the land any living in the houses with the blood-stained doors were safe and would not die.
When the cries of despair were heard from the Egyptian homes all the people of God began to move out. God had miraculously delivered them. They were en route to the promised land.
However, it was not too long before Pharaoh relented and ordered his army to pursue the escaping Israelites. At this point Israel’s progress was halted by the Red Sea. Trapped in the wilderness with the Sea in front of them and Pharaoh’s army behind them, they once again faced impossibility. Then God told Moses to lift up his rod and in doing so the waters stopped flowing, they rose up on either side, and revealed a path through the sea. All of the Israelites passed over on to dry land. Lifting up his rod again Moses and the people then watched as Pharaoh’s chasing army were all drowned in the Sea.
A likely two to three million people were delivered from Egypt to begin a new life as a nation, with their own identity, laws, authorities, culture, worship etc. This event has been known as the Exodus. Its story lies deep in the psyche of the ancient people of God.
He had redeemed them. They had been redeemed by the blood of the lamb, upon which they also fed. Their enemies were defeated and destroyed before them. The power of the oppressor had been broken. “A nation had been born in a day”.
The whole story can be read in Exodus chapters 3-15.