Passover Wrath & Mercy


At the end of the plague of darkness, Pharaoh’s heart is hardened, and he banished Moses to not come back, threatening that the next time he saw Moses he will kill him.  Moses was ready – God had prepared him to explain the final plague which became Passover…

27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to let them go. 28 Pharaoh said to Moses, “Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again! The day you see my face you will die.”

29 “Just as you say,” Moses replied. “I will never appear before you again.”

4 So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. 5 Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. 6 There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again. 7 But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any person or animal.’ Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. 8 All these officials of yours will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, ‘Go, you and all the people who follow you!’ After that I will leave.” Then Moses, hot with anger, left Pharaoh.

3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.

6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.

12 “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.

14 “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance.
Exodus 10:27-29, 11:4-8, 12:6-7, 12-14

Before he leaves, Moses gives Pharaoh one last message from God, which is the plague on the firstborn.  Like the other plagues, Israel will be spared, yet the pain for Egypt will be so great that they will beg Israel to leave.

When Moses left Pharaoh, Moses went to instruct Israel on this plague, which God said would become a lasting ordinance for future generations.  It was the initiation of Passover.

Each family would take a perfect, spotles lamb, and on the 14th day of the first month, they slaughtered the lamb, putting some of the blood on the top and side of their doors where they eat the lambs.

God passed over each house with the blood on the door.  His death angel did not take their children.  For Egypt, there was no passing over the judgment of their gods and king.

God’s wrath and mercy are juxtaposed again in his dealing with his people.  It seems that in the wrath toward some, there is mercy toward others.  In the mercy toward some, there is wrath toward others.  The lamb is without sin, yet it is sacrificed to enable the enacting of God’s mercy and wrath.

It is like that with Jesus.  The Lamb of God is at the centre of God’s plan.  He was innocent, yet he was killed, his blood spilled.  His death provided for God to pass over those whose faith is in Jesus, showing them mercy because of Jesus’ sacrifice.  Those who reject the Lamb of God’s sacrifice experience God’s wrath.

Mercy contrasted with judgment.  Sacrifice made for those who had rejected God’s way.  A merciful chance for freedom from slavery provided for in a spotless Lamb.  In the shadow of celebrating Easter, this is timely.  Will you receive the gift of God?  Will you believe on the Lamb to receive mercy from God?

Amen.

Marc Kinna

 

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