Today’s Bible reading is Exodus 12 and Revelation 11.
In Exodus 12, “all the congregation of Israel” was told to take a lamb for every household. “Keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight” (Exo 12:6).
“Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it… In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.” (Exo 12:7-8, 11-13)
On that very day, for the first time in more than four centuries, all the hosts of the LORD left the land of Egypt (Exo 12:41).
From that point forward, year after year, the descendants of Abraham remembered the LORD’s Passover. Decade after decade, the blood of an untold number of lambs was shed at twilight on the fourteenth day of every first month. Century after century, Yahweh’s hope-giving words in Egypt continued to echo in the minds of those who remembered: “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.”
Flash-forward more than a millennia after the Exodus. Rugged John the Baptist points at an ordinary-looking man on the banks of the Jordan River and proclaims, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). This Lamb was a man, a sacrifice provided by God himself.
Eventually, the apostle Paul writes a letter to Christians in Corinth and forever connects the dots of what God had been doing all along:
For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. (1 Cor 5:7)
A promise had been made to Jews and fulfilled in Egypt.
A promise had been made to the world and fulfilled in Jerusalem.
The promise continues to be fulfilled in the lives of people whose scarlet sins have been washed clean–white as wool–with the blood of God’s own Lamb.
“When I see the blood, I will pass over you.”
Let us therefore celebrate… (1 Cor 5:8)