The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV, (Tyndale, 2013), February 4
The Passover would mark the new beginning of the nation of Israel: "This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you" (Ex. 12:2). The weeklong celebration would be called "The Feast of Unleavened Bread."
On the tenth day of this month at twilight a lamb per household would be selected and watched for four days to ensure that it had no blemish (12:4-6).
On the fourteenth day of the month the lamb was to be slain, its blood drained from its body, its body roasted in fire, and eaten (12:8)
On this night the blood would be smeared on the doorposts and lintel to signify that death had already occurred in the house (12:7).
From the fourteen day until the twenty-first day of the month, only unleavened bread would be eaten (12:17).
Only the circumcised could partake of the Passover meal (12:43, 48).
The Passover would also be an annual teaching tool: "And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever. It will come to pass when you come to the land which the LORD will give you, just as He promised, that you shall keep this service. And it shall be, when your children say to you, 'What do you mean by this service?" that you shall say, 'It is the Passover sacrifice of the LORD, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households'" (12:24-27).
Throughout the story of the Bible God gives His people visuals to remind them of His promises and His activity on their behalf:
- The sacrifice made in the garden reminds Adam and Eve's descendants of the seriousness of sin and the cost of redemption.
- The rainbow reminds people that no matter how hard it rains, God will never destroy the earth again by water.
- The dust of the earth, the stars of the sky, circumcision, name changes, and the interruption of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac by God's provision of a substitute remind Israel of the promises of God regarding them as a nation.
- The land of Canaan was peppered with the altars built by the patriarchs to remind them of God's promise of redemption and His acceptance of a substitute.
Now, God gives the community as a whole an annual event to remind them of who He is for them as Redeemer and Provider. Sadly, throughout their history Israel allows this annual event to lapse, and the vacuum is filled with celebrations to idols.
This instruction regarding the annual celebration of the Passover is for Israel's good; it is not meant to be a burden but a reminder.
Questions from today's reading (Exodus 10:1-12:51):
What role did the plague of locusts have in the dismantling of the financial infrastructure of Egypt?
How did God distinguish Israel from the Egyptians in the ninth plague? What does this reveal about God?
Review the promise given to Abraham in Genesis 15:13-14. What had God spoken regarding this time nearly 400 years earlier?
What will the instruction given by Moses in Exodus 11:2 require of Israel's women?