Exodus 12:1-42

This story, called the Passover is one of the most foundational stories for both the Jewish and the Christian identity.  While the story is real, meaning it literally happened, there is also deep symbolism and allegory that can apply directly to our lives. 

The people of Israel were lost in the darkness of slavery.  It is true that they were inheritors of the covenant that the God “out there” (refer to Wednesday’s devotional) made with Abraham, yet their experiential reality was that of being surrounded by the pagan gods of Egypt.  They were cut off from their God, they were cut off from their land, they were cut off from their own identity, and they were bound by the chains of slavery.  That is how we were at the beginning of our spiritual journeys.  We were cut off from God, we were cut off from healthy relationships, and we were in bondage to our own desires, addictions, self-deception and self-destructive patterns.

Perhaps you are still in that dark place of slavery today.  If you feel alone and cut off from truth and life, if you are not experiencing a healing and meaningful relationship with God and others, then perhaps today could be the day for your own “Exodus” to begin.

While God’s people were wallowing in slavery, He had not forgotten them.  He called to a man named Moses and revealed Himself to Moses as Yahweh; the God who is present.  Yahweh sent Moses into the darkness to confront the powers that held His people in bondage, to demonstrate God’s supremacy over all humanly constructed powers and religions, and to display his compassion for His people. 
Then God instructed the people to take a perfect lamb, to kill it, and to take its blood and smear it on the door posts of their house.  When the death angel saw the blood of the lamb it would recognize the sacrifice that had been made and the faith that was demonstrated in the placing of the blood on the doorposts, and it would pass over the house.  The next morning the people would be free.

1400 years later God sent His Son out into the wilderness and told Him to head into the darkness of Israel where the people were being held in slavery to their own self-righteousness, self-deception, and sin.  Jesus was another Moses.  He was sent to confront the powers of darkness and lead God’s people into freedom.  When Jesus entered into the region, John the Baptist took one look at Him and proclaimed, “Behold, the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world.”  Not only was Jesus another powerful prophet like Moses, He was also the lamb itself.  By the shedding of His blood freedom from death and slavery was possible. 

Remember, however, that it wasn’t just the shedding of the blood that set the Israelites free, it was the faith behind placing the blood on the doorposts that demonstrated to the death angel that this family was to be spared.  Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who became the human prophet of God to proclaim God’s truth to the world.  He also became the lamb of God to use His own blood to pay for the sins of the world.  God offers to us the opportunity to be free from bondage, to experience the fullness of life with Him that we were created to experience.  Yet, we cannot know this freedom unless we “place the blood on our doorposts.”  In other words, unless we believe that Jesus’ sacrifice is able to save us, and unless we proclaim to the world that we have placed our trust in the person and the sacrifice of Jesus, we will still be stuck in the darkness.  But if we say “yes” to Jesus’ gift of salvation — place the blood on the doorposts —  then we can walk with the Israelites, cross the Red Sea, and step into the journey of Spiritual Life and Growth.

Now, if you have already stepped into that life you may be tempted to dismiss this devotional as not pertaining to you.  Not so.  Remember that God instructed the people to observe the Passover feast for years to come. Why?  He knew that we have the tendency to forget.  As we will see in the rest of the Old Testament story, the people continually battled with their own sin and the threat of being enslaved.  As Christians we must never lose sight of the fact that the blood of Jesus that once set us free is still on our door posts.  It is only through Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit that we can walk in freedom each day.  Remember the Passover…never forget.

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