The Passover Begins | by Jacob Christy
Holy Week Devotional: Monday, April 06, 2020
The book of Exodus begins with all 70 members of Jacob's family living as immigrants in the land of Egypt. Then a new Pharaoh arose who did not know Joseph. This new Pharaoh enslaved these rapidly growing Israelite foreigners for fear of their increasing numbers. After many years of slavery, the LORD called Moses to lead the Israelites out of their bondage in Egypt. The LORD sent plague after plague upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians in an effort to persuade Pharaoh to set the Israelites free, but Pharaoh kept refusing time after time.
Finally, the LORD prepared the Israelites for one final and terrifying plague against the Egyptians: the killing of all first-born Egyptian children and animals. The first-born of the Israelites would be spared the deadly effects of this plague by participating in the Passover meal and smearing the blood of the Passover lamb on the doorposts of their homes.
The Passover meal is a remembrance of the LORD's deliverance of the Israelites from their slavery in Egypt. It marks the most important event in Israel's memory as the people of God and remains so today for people of Jewish faith.
Three of the New Testament Gospels affirm that it was the Jewish Passover meal that Jesus ate with his disciples on the night before he was betrayed and crucified (Matthew 26:17-29; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:1-20). The associations of Passover and the Lord's Supper are numerous. The Lord's Supper uses wine and bread as in the Passover. Christ's saving blood of the covenant (Mark 14:24) on the cross recalls the saving blood of the Passover lamb smeared on Israelite doorposts (Exodus 12:7). Jesus is associated with the image of the Passover lamb of God (Luke 22:7; John 1:29, 36).
Just as Passover commemorates the identity-defining story of the exodus out of Egypt for Israelites, so the Lord's Supper is a powerful "remembrance" of the death of Jesus on the cross as the defining event of Jesus' ministry.
Practical Application: Let us put our trust in the blood of our Passover Lamb-Jesus, not only for the cleansing and forgiveness of our sins but also for the protection from the plagues that are around us.