When I see the blood I will pass over you!’
Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats … and ye shall kill it in the evening’ Exodus 12:5
In our last lesson, we saw how Pharaoh tried to fight against God. The LORD purposed to deliver the people of Israel who were slaves in Egypt, but the king of Egypt was determined to keep them as his slaves. However, “an egg should not wrestle with a rock!”. Thus, we saw how God brought upon Egypt
nine terrible plagues
by the word of Moses and Aaron. Yet all these miracles and signs did not cause Pharaoh to submit to the word of God and let the Israelites leave his country.
In this lesson we plan to continue in the story and see how God brought upon Pharaoh
one final plague,
the tenth, so that Pharaoh would allow the Israelites to leave Egypt. In our last lesson, we heard Pharaoh, after the ninth plague, say to Moses and Aaron, “Get thee from me, take heed to thyself,
see my face no more;
for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die.” (Exod. 10:28) Now let us read in chapter eleven and hear how God Himself answered Pharaoh,
through the mouth of Moses.
The Scripture says: (Exodus 11:4-8) “And Moses said, Thus saith the Lord, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt. And
all the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die,
from the first-born of Pharaoh who sitteth upon his throne, even unto the first-born of the maidservant who is behind the mill; and all the first-born of beasts. And there shall be a great cry
throughout all the land of Egypt,
such as there was none like it,
nor shall be like it anymore.
But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast; that ye may know how the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, Get thee out,
and all the people that follow thee:
and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger”.
Thus, we see how God planned to bring a plague upon the land of Egypt which was to be worse than all the other plagues that had already happened. God announced the approaching death of every firstborn child in the land of Egypt.
And what would happen to the firstborn of the Israelites? Would they die along with those of the Egyptians? Certainly, they did not deserve to escape God’s judgement, because
they also were sinners,
just as all the people of Egypt were. However, God who is faithful and merciful, designed a plan to protect the people of Israel from that plague.
Let us continue in chapter twelve and hear what God told Moses to instruct the Israelites to do so that
their firstborn would escape death.
The Scripture says: (Exod. 12:1,3,5-9,46) “And the Lord spoke unto Moses and Aaron … Speak unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house …Your lamb shall be
a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats. And ye shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And
they shall take of the blood,
and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein ye shall eat. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roast with fire; its head with its legs, and with the inward parts thereof … In the house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth any of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither
shall ye break a bone of it”.
Let us pause here. Do you see what God planned to save the firstborn sons of Israel from death and redeem all the people of Israel from their bondage of slavery in Egypt? It was an amazing plan; a plan which, to man’s way of thinking, was utterly ridiculous. He purposed to redeem them with
the blood of a lamb
the blood of a lamb without blemish–blood with which they would stain the doorframes of their houses. Only the blood of the lamb could save their firstborn from death.
After God had finished speaking to Moses and Aaron, they assembled all the elders of Israel, telling them the word which God had spoken concerning the sacrifice of the lamb. When the elders of Israel heard how the LORD planned to save their firstborns from
the plague of death,
they prostrated themselves and worshiped the LORD. After that, the elders and all the people of Israel did exactly what God had commanded Moses.
Thus, the Scripture says:
(Exod. 12:29-30) “And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh who sat on his throne unto the first-born of the captive who was in the dungeon; and all the first-born of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians, and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead”.
Did you see what happened on that dreadful night? Did God judge the land of Egypt as He said He would? Yes He did! At midnight, the angel of destruction passed through the land of Egypt, striking all the firstborn, from the firstborn of king Pharaoh to the firstborn of those in prison. On that night, great crying and wailing echoed throughout Egypt, because there was not one Egyptian house without someone dead! But
Did God save their firstborn from the plague of death? What do you think? God had promised them, saying, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” The people of Israel had stained the doors of their houses with the blood of a lamb, exactly as God had commanded. Consequently, there was
not one death
among their firstborn. However, in the houses of the Egyptians, every firstborn died because they did not take part in God’s way of deliverance, the way of the blood of a lamb.
Thus, the Scripture says: (Exod. 12:31-33) “And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and
serve the Lord, as ye have said … and bless me also. And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We are all dead men!”
Finally, Pharaoh had no choice but to give in and let the Israelites go. We have already seen how, at first, Pharaoh said to Moses and Aaron, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey Him and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD and I will not let Israel go!” But, in the end, Pharaoh and all the Egyptians were forced to admit that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel is the Almighty God, more powerful than any of their idols, charms, and magicians!
No one can fight with God and win! On that night, the Israelites made their exodus from Egypt, and left with much wealth that the Egyptians gave them. The Scripture says: (Exodus 12:35,36, 40) “and the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they asked of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment. And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they gave unto them such things as they required. And they despoiled the Egyptians … Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was
four hundred and thirty years”.
All this took place to fulfil what God had promised Abraham hundreds of years earlier, saying, “Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a sojourner in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them for four hundred years; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.” (Gen. 15:13,14)
The story we have seen today, known as
is like a deep and wide ocean full of hidden treasures. There is so much that we could say about the story of the Passover. Obviously, we do not have time to explain all the truths contained in this story. However, there is one very important truth which we must retain in our minds. It is God’s promise to the Israelites:
Why did the firstborn of Israel not die along with those of the people of Egypt? They did not die because God opened for them a way of salvation through the blood of a lamb. God decreed that the firstborn would be spared from death in every house where the door was stained with the blood of a lamb. But every firstborn found in a house where the blood had not been applied
If a youth from among the firstborn of Israel questioned his father, saying, “Father, why does our innocent lamb have to die?” The father would reply something like this, “My son, as you know, God has condemned every firstborn son in the land. Because of our sins, we all deserve God’s judgement. However, God, in His mercy, has told us that if we sacrifice a lamb without defect, and apply the blood to our doors, the plague will not strike us. The lamb must die, because the payment of sin is death.
God is righteous and cannot simply overlook our sins. The lamb will replace you. We will sacrifice it in your place, as our forefather Abraham sacrificed the ram in his son’s place. Our God is righteous and does not take sin lightly! His word to us is clear. He will only pass over our house if
is on the doorframes!”
Dear friends, what we need to realise today is that, before God, all of Adam’s descendants are like the firstborns of the people of Egypt and Israel. God’s holy law
condemns every one of us
to die and face God’s righteous judgement.
That is what the Scripture says: “For there is no difference, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:22,23) The payment of sin is
“punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power!” (2 Thes. 1:9)
What then must we do to be saved? How can God save sinners from the penalty of their sins and still remain righteous? We cannot take it very far in this lesson, but
what we need to know is this:
The lambs which the Israelites sacrificed to escape the plague of death spoke of the Redeemer
who was to come and pour out his blood to pay the debt of sin for all the descendants of Adam. Concerning that Redeemer, the Scripture says: “He died for sins once for all,
the righteous for the unrighteous
to bring you to God . . . [like a sacrificial lamb offered up to God on the day of the Passover].” (1 Pet. 3:18; 1 Cor. 5:7). Thus,
the blood of the lamb,
which the Israelites applied to their doors to save their firstborn from death, was an illustration. It pictured the blood which the Savior of the world would shed upon the cross, so that whoever believes in Him, might escape God’s everlasting punishment.
Do you know what God’s prophets have written concerning the blood of the Redeemer? The Redeemer shed His blood so that God might forgive you of your sins and still remain righteous. Do you believe what is written concerning the blood that has the power to save you from the punishment of hell and guarantee you a place in God’s presence forever? In the Day of Judgement, will God’s terrible judgement pass over you? Or will it fall upon you as it did upon the Egyptians?
In our next lesson, God willing, we will continue with the story of the Israelites and see how God opened a path through the middle of the sea. . . .
May God bless you and reveal to your hearts the deeper meaning of the words which He spoke to Israel, saying,
“When I see the blood I will pass over you!” (Exodus12:13)
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