rescue by grace

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Exodus 12:1-11

1 While they were still in the land of Egypt, the LORD told Moses and Aaron 2 “This month will be the beginning of months for you. It shall be the first month of the year for you. 3 Tell all the congregation[1] 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. 4 And if the household is too small to eat an entire lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor will share according to the number of souls; according to what each can eat you will make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, 6 and you will keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel will kill their lambs at twilight. 7 “Then they will take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 They will eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. 10 And you will let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you will burn. 11 In this manner you will eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you will eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover.

rescue by grace

I wonder how much of the symbolism of the Passover meal was actually understood by the average Israelite who first received these instructions. It is so easy to see Christ in the facets of this memorial event, and he is definitely here. But what would be obvious from the perspective of an Israelite who had been raised in Egypt, and had endured the plagues. What would they have seen in these preparations? Permit me to speculate:

  • · tenth day: reference to rescue from the plagues.
  • · first month: a new beginning, free from the bondage of the past.
  • · sharing a lamb: rescue for the whole community.
  • · the whole animal: rescue from a specific death, not a general provision.
  • · perfect animal: God’s provision for rescue, not my second best.
  • · blood on the doorpost: marked for life, not death.
  • · roasted: quickest way for a healthy meal, not a slow process.
  • · unleavened bread & bitter herbs: quickest available sides, no long preparation.
  • · eat in haste: prepared for soon departure.

This was to be the first of many Passover meals that these people were to celebrate, because although the rescue would happen only once, it would be remembered forever. It would obviously have prophetic significance. But even if someone did not see that, they would see rescue by grace.

LORD, thank you for you intervention, your rescue of us from the slavery of sin by your grace.


[1] Hebrew ‘edah = company assembled together.

About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is a former Christian missionary and a candidate for pastoral ministry. You can contact him at marmsky@gmail.com -- !
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