Remembering Passover

Numbers 9:4-5 “So Moses told the Israelites to celebrate the Passover, and they did so in the Desert of Sinai at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. The Israelites did everything just as the LORD commanded Moses” (NIV).

Observation: A year had passed since the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt when God’s people had hidden behind the blood of sacrificed lambs, safe from the persistent advance of the death that invaded every unprotected home in the land. At the first annual commemoration of that singular event, each Hebrew family would remember how God had cut off the advancing army of Egypt, making it possible for the Israelites to emerge in freedom.

Application: Passover. The most profoundly important moment in Israel’s history. This was not one of those ceremonies done just in the privacy of the Holy of Holies; it was carried out in tens of thousands of Hebrew tents spread in tribal clusters across the desert. It was not a ceremony conducted only by specially consecrated priests and Levites; it was done in families by dads and moms whose bodies still bore the scars of Egyptian enslavement—parents who lovingly gazed at children around the Passover table and with tears in their eyes recounted what it meant to be free.

The sacrifice that night was intensely personal, individual. Twilight’s air must have filled with the bleating of thousands of lambs, followed by the pleasing aroma of their roasting carcasses ascending to God. Each father was reminded to leave none of it until morning and forbidden to break any of its bones. Foreshadowing the sacrifice of the Lamb of God at a Passover still generations in the future, I should notice that nothing of Jesus was left until morning; His body was removed the previous twilight. He suffered no broken bones despite the Roman tradition of breaking weight-bearing legs to hasten death.

But this Lamb, my personal Passover, volunteered for death. His life was given, not taken. His blood was shed once for all. No longer must each home be filled with the aroma of fresh sacrifice. Or must it? Isn’t the point of my identification with Him the idea that I, too, would enter into His death? This isn’t just a once-and-for-all kind of thing on my part, but moment by moment. There was such power in the blood of the first Passover lamb that it could deflect even God. So it is with the blood of Christ. I must remember Him today. I must connect in the midst of today’s busyness with His awesome love for me.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, as I shut out the noise of life today, I weep over Your sacrifice for me. It is not only something historic, but it’s now, very personal and intimate. Thank You for Your great love.

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