In Leviticus 23, we find seven feasts that are required for the people of God through all generations to participate in. The first mentioned (after the Sabbath) is Passover. All that is mentioned about it is this: “The Lord’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month.” That’s it. We have thus exhausted what Leviticus says about the Passover. This should cause us to ask a question: was there something that is being referenced that everyone already knows? The answer is yes.
There is this book called Exodus in the Bible, and the first part of the book is about how God delivered His people out of a nation called Egypt. The book of Exodus, as an overview, starts with this deliverance out of slavery and bondage, the collapse of an entire nation that would not let God’s people go, the cleaving unto these people that some of the Egyptians performed, the journey to a mountain called Sinai, the receiving of the Ten Commandments, the receiving of a heavenly vision into the Holy of Holies in heaven, and the building of an earthly Tabernacle after the pattern that was seen and experienced by Moses on har Sinai. The book ends with the Tabernacle being built, and God comes into the midst of the Holiest Place to dwell with His people forever.
This story of the Exodus and the establishment of God’s “house” upon the earth revolves around a single event. There are these plagues in the land of Egypt that are brought about by God. God turns the Nile into blood. He brings forth a plague of frogs. He turns dust into gnats – sometimes considered lice. God brings forth flies to plague the Egyptians. He kills the livestock. He causes boils to appear upon the people – such excruciating boils that the magicians were not able to stand before Moses. God sends hail to destroy the crop and the landscape. He then sends locusts to eat whatever crop was left. God then shuts off the sun and moon – there is darkness in the land for three days; darkness that can be felt. Finally the last plague is the death of the firstborn. It is this moment that is the pivotal moment. When Pharaoh hardened his heart to every other plague, but the people of Egypt were crying out that he would just let the Israelites go, this plague was going to be the final knockout punch.
But God still required one thing. From His chosen people, God required a lamb to be sacrificed. The idea is that this firstborn lamb is to take the place of your firstborn. You slaughter it, and then you take the blood and put it upon the doorposts of your house, and the angel of death will “pass over” your home. How is this a requirement and a challenge to the Israelites? Their neighbors, the Egyptians, would be watching as these Israelites were slaughtering the lambs. They would see the blood on the doorposts. They would know who was standing in opposition to Egypt. So the question can be raised, “Do you trust the Lord enough to mark yourself for destruction?” Do you believe that God has shown His sovereign power in a way that you can trust in His ability to protect you? Or are you afraid of the Egyptians still?
These are huge implications in the realm of what the Passover means for us today. The Passover is about a God who delivers us from the kingdom of darkness, and brings us into His marvelous light. The question can ever and always be asked. Are you willing to make a stand, and in making that stand mark yourself for possible attack and persecution? Do you trust that the Lord has this all in His hands? Or are we still enslaved to the system of Egypt, hoping for relief, but not for complete severance? We can continue to follow the prince of this world, and be ruled by his oppression, but it takes a complete coming out and apart from Egypt, first in the heart and then in reality, before we can truly be free.
This Passover season, as we reflect on the implications of this holy Feast, may we have the courage to step out of our comfort zones to stand firm in our faith, to stand firm in the Lord and the power of His might.