Many of us are familiar with the Passover story. Pharaoh of Egypt forced Israel into cruel slavery. The Lord God sent Moses to rescue his people. After nine plagues, Pharaoh still refused to let them go. Finally, the Lord God deals a final blow. The plague of affliction passes through Egypt, killing every firstborn, forcing Pharaoh to let Israel go (Exodus 12:29).
We often fail to notice that the Egyptian households were not the only ones with someone dead during the Passover. Someone died in the Israelite households too. Prior to that night, the Lord God gave Israel specific instructions. They were to take a lamb several days prior. It was to be a male, which made sense because males were often used for meat and females saved for milking and breeding. It was to be a year old, which would have made it virtually an adult animal. They were to calculate the need for one meal for each household. If a household was too small for a lamb, they were to share it with their neighbor. This was to be their last supper in Egypt, and it was to be a feast.
The lamb was also to be free of defect. Certainly the meat of a defected animal would have tasted as good as a perfect one, but this lamb was not just for a meal. It was also a sacrifice. God required a perfect sacrifice, because it signified the spiritual perfection needed to approach God. Its blood was put on their doorframes. When the plague went by, it would see the blood, know that there had already been a death in that house, and pass over it. (Exodus 12:12-13)
An omniscient God would not need to see blood to know who was in a home. In all the other plagues, the Israelites were spectators. This time they had to demonstrate their faith. Moreover, through the blood of lambs, the Lord was redeeming Israel as his own. A lamb died as a substitute for every firstborn Israelite. There had been a death in their homes too.
This is where the microphone drops in God’s plan of salvation. When John the Baptist sees Jesus coming, he says, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).” Jesus was our perfect sacrifice to God (Hebrews 4:15). The Apostle Paul said, “For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed (1 Corinthians 5:7).”
If you were at that first Passover, you likely would have applied the blood of a lamb to your doorway? Will you now cover yourself in the blood of the one true Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, who came to redeem you and take away the sin of the world?