Exodus 9–12: Death & The Passover Lamb

Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 16: Monday

Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and take for yourselves lambs according to your families, and slay the Passover lamb. You shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you. And you shall observe this event as an ordinance for you and your children forever.”
Exodus 12:21–24

Monday’s Bible reading is Exodus 9–12. Today’s chapters contain the last six of the ten plagues that God brings on Egypt. The final plague is also the  best known of the ten—the death of the firstborn.

The Egyptians endure the plagues of the death of their livestock in the fields, the boils and the hail and fire, and when Pharaoh’s servants hear that the next plague will be locusts, they implore him to let the Hebrews go: “Do you not realize that Egypt is destroyed?” But Pharaoh refuses. So the locusts come and eat the rest of the plants and fruit that were left from hail. Then the ninth plague comes—a thick darkness that could be felt was over all Egypt for three days.

The tenth and final plague is the death of the firstborn of both people and cattle.

“For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments—I am the LORD.”
Exodus 12:12

Tonight is the first night of Passover; in Exodus 11 and 12, God gives explicit instructions for the first Passover: the Hebrews are to put the blood of a slain, unblemished male lamb on the two doorposts and lintel of their homes.

“The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; 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.”
Exodus 12:13

“Now it came about at
midnight that the LORD
struck all the firstborn in
the land of Egypt, from the
firstborn of Pharaoh who
sat on his throne to the
firstborn of the captive who
was in the dungeon, and all
the firstborn of cattle.

Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no home where there was not someone dead.”
Exodus 12:29–30

And Pharaoh tells Moses and Aaron to, “get out from among my people,” and go.

In his commentary on 1 Peter, as Edmund Clowney explains Peter’s words on Noah, he compares the saving of Noah’s family with the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt:

“Like the exodus liberation, it was a symbol of God’s final salvation from all sin and death. Peter uses the term ‘antitype’ to describe the relation of the new to the old. (3:21; NIV’s verb symbolizes translates the Greek noun antitypos). This use of ‘type’ and ‘antitype’ is itself figurative, drawn from the striking of coins or the impression of seals. ‘Type’ describes either a matrix from which an impression is made or an image created. In the letter to the Hebrews, the typology is vertical. That is, the heavenly realities are called the ‘type’ and the earthly symbolizes the ‘antitype’. The tabernacle in the wilderness was therefore the antitype of the heavenly sanctuary. In Paul’s letters and here in 1 Peter, the typology is horizontal in history: the Old Testament is the type, and therefore Christ’s fulfillment is the antitype.”

The Passover lamb was slain so that God would pass over the people of a house marked with blood and not visit them with a judgment of death. This week is not only the beginning of Passover, but also Easter week, when we remember the death of the Lord Jesus for His people and celebrate His Resurrection. God does not visit us with the judgment of death we deserve for our sins because Jesus Christ, our Passover Lamb, was slain for us.

“The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
John 1:29

Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
The Signs on the Door, James Tissot: Public Domain.
First Born Plague, J.M.W Turner: Public Domain.
Death of the Pharaoh’s firstborn son (Ex. 12:29), Lawrence Alma-Tadema: Public Domain.
Agnus Dei, Francisco de Zurbarán: Public Domain.
Edmund Clowney, The Message of 1 Peter, 1988, pp. 164–165.

Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter

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