As I have been reading through Exodus 12 several times a day this week, my mind continues to paint more color around the black and white type of my Bible.
I don’t add my own thoughts to the story, but I enter in to the setting and apply what I know of this physical world to the details of that first Passover.
I think how God declared to be a shift in their calendar.
This will be the new start of your year.
This will be New Year’s Day for you from now on.
Like we would plan our grocery purchases for the amount coming to dinner, they were to select their lamb or goat to provide enough but not too much.
Small family…perhaps a single mom with one or two children? A widow or widower living alone or with another aged sibling? Take shelter in someone else’s home and join together to share the meal.
All the community gathering outside their homes that night at twilight as the sound of the sacrifice cut through the paths that led from house to house.
To our urban minds, the thought of drawing the knife across a living animal seems barbaric and, ironically…”inhumane.”
We prefer buying our meat nicely packaged and far from the slaughter house floor.
We think we are above the cruelty of taking an animal’s life.
When we do so, we miss the whole point of our humanity … what we are … who we are…and who God is.
We forget that the first knife that ever took the life of one of those animals we rally to protect the rights of was God’s hand skinning His creation to cover the shame of our willful desire to be our own god.
And so Israel gathered outside their homes that evening and, as families, they each slaughtered…a harsh but necessary word…the lamb or goat that had been in their homes for four days….and they took some of the blood and spread it across the doorposts of their houses as a sign.
With traveling clothes on and luggage packed, they roasted the meat and ate it with unleavened bread…and burned whatever was left and listened as night brought death over all of the land except where they were gathered.
And in that darkness of night Moses was called out by Pharaoh and urged to gather the people and leave.
I think of times we have awakened at four in the morning to sleepily dress and grab our packed suitcases and head to the airport through star lit country roads. To catch a flight before the sun rises.
I think of the Egyptians loading these people up with their own possessions to send them on their way.
What was that like as the people who had been their captors insisted they take some of their favorite possessions…cloth and sliver and gold and jewelry…as this group of people moved out in mass from the area?
The animals herded, children carried in arms…and blood stained doorposts left behind.
Surely the Egyptians looked on those houses and wondered about this God who had come to rescue His people in a way never seen before.
No army had defeated them this time.
Just a God who had shown up in the night and called His people out of the darkness.
And so we marvel today….
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26