Text: Exodus 12:21-28 March 15, 2009.
1) A historical event: One of the most important
events in Jewish history is the exodus when God freed the Israelis from the
2) A historical lesson: To commemorate this special event in their history, God commanded the Israelis to celebrate the Passover every year after they had entered the Promised Land. They will celebrate the event with the same rituals with their children and grandchildren so the act mercy of God will never be forgotten. When their children and grandchildren would ask: “What do this mean?” Then they were responsible to retell the story of God’s judgment and grace. The exodus story of salvation would not be forgotten.
BACKGROUND OF THE PASSOVER:
1) First, a dysfunctional
when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers
pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for 20 shekels of silver to
the Ishmaelites who took him to Egypt.” (Genesis
37:28) Because of a dysfunctional family, the older brothers of Joseph sold him
2) Then, a worldwide famine: “When the famine had
spread over the whole country, Joseph opened the storehouses. And all countries
3) After that, an oppressive
a new king, who did not know Joseph, came to power in
4) Finally God took charge: “So now, go, I am sending
you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelis, out of
LESSONS FOR THE EGYPTIANS:
1) God is God of justice: “Yet the Lord does not leave the guilty unpunished. He punishes the children and their grandchildren for the sin of their fathers to the third and fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:7) When the new Pharaoh rose to power after Joseph, instead of continue to treat the Israelis with mercy and gratitude because of how Joseph had saved his country, he plotted plans of genocide to destroy the Israelis. God won’t allow human injustice to last long. He will set His time and form of punishment.
2) God pays no favoritism: “At the Lord struck down all
the firstborn in
3) God punishes where it hurts: “On that same night I will
4) God punishes for results: “During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said: Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelis! Go, worship the Lord as you have requested.” ()If Pharaoh obeyed God in the first place, there won’t be any death in the nation. Many people have to go through punishment to obey God’s commands. No man, including the powerful and fearful Pharaoh of Egypt, may despise God for long. God gave the Pharaoh 9 chances to obey Him but the Pharaoh resisted on his pride. Eventually, he had to do what God told him to do in the first time. People suffer unnecessary punishment due to their stubborn resistance. No one may fight God and win.
LESSONS FOR THE ISRAELIS:
1) God has concern of His
“The Lord said: I have indeed seen the misery of my people in
2) God has a plan of deliverance: “Go and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.” (12:21-22)The plan of deliverance was the blood of a lamb to cover the house of God’s people. That Passover lamb at the exodus for the Israelis became the Lamb of God in Jesus Christ for the sinners of the world. No one would be excluded from salvation of God.
3) God wanted them to remember: “When you enter the land the Lord will give you as He promised, observe this ceremony. And when your children ask” What does this ceremony mean to you? Then tell them it is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord.” (-27) Telling our children the acts of God in our life and teach them the meaning of devotion to God is very important part of being Christian parents. Nothing we may leave for our children is more important than helping them to know God, His love and mercy so they will continue to tell their children. Passing on the spiritual heritage to our children is our honor as well as duty.
4) God wanted to see obedience: “The Israelis did just what the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron.” ()Obedience to the commands of the Lord is the sure way to be saved. It was true then and it is true now. Knowing God’s command is only the beginning. Obeying God’s command brings results of salvation. This is about being humble and having faith in God.
1) The value of history: Many years ago, my high school history teacher told the class the value of studying history: learn from people of the past and how they lived: the good and the bad, so we don’t have to repeat their mistakes. There is one more benefit in studying biblical history: we learn how to follow God’s plan to live right in the future.
2) When life is in despair: Few people, if any, live their life all in smooth rides. We all will go through bumps and potholes. When your life is plunging into a ditch, there is hope if you have God on your side. God can see where you are and what you are facing. “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavily laden and I will give you rest.” Jesus said.
3) Life beyond history: Every life will have a history after that life is over. But the spiritual life continues to live after the soul leaves the body. We all work and plan for physical life and its needs. We also need to work and plan for the spiritual life and its needs. Have you done anything to prepare for your spiritual life? Do you know where you will go after this life? It is never too late to start planning: believe in Jesus and receive His grace of eternal life.