Actually, we’ll start this post with the foreshadowing of Jesus in the Passover Lamb from Exodus chapter 12. God gave a few requirements for the Passover Lamb, and also there were some reasons and benefits for Israel. These are as follows:
- The lamb was to be perfect, with no flaw, one-year old (Jesus was sinless).
- The lamb was to have no bones broken (Jesus had no bones broken).
- The blood of the lamb was to cover the doors of the Israelites so that the angel of death sent by the Lord would “pass over” their houses and not kill their first born sons, as he would in Egypt (Jesus’ blood covers Christians so that we are saved from our sins and eternal death and separation from God).
- The rules applied to Israelites and foreigners alike (the same with Jesus’ salvation).
- The Passover celebration was to commemorate this event and was carried on for generations (Jesus was also crucified during the Passover festival, and is our Passover Lamb).
It is interesting that immediately after God kills all the Egyptian firstborn sons and spares all the Hebrew firstborns, he commands the Israelites to consecrate every firstborn to him (including livestock) (13:1-2). This is obviously to be done in remembrance of what God had done and to honor him.
Also, at this time, as the Israelites left, God led them the long way to the Promised Land toward the Red Sea (going through Philistine country would have been shorter, but God wanted to avoid conflict – otherwise his people might have fled back to Egypt).
This chapter shows another famous scene from Exodus. Just as the Israelites reach the Red Sea, the Egyptians set out to catch them and bring them back. The people start to be fearful, but Moses tells them to “stand firm” and wait on the Lord for deliverance. The Lord, in the pillar of fire and cloud, creates a barrier between the two for the night. And in the morning, God (through Moses) parts the Red Sea and the Israelites walk through on dry land. God releases the Egyptians to pursue them, but they only make it halfway before the waters of the sea return to normal and drown them.
Chapter 15 is the song of Moses and his sister Miriam in praise of the things God has done to rescue them from Egypt.
There are a few things we can learn from these stories today:
- Jesus is our Passover Lamb. If we accept his sacrifice, he covers us with his blood so that we are saved from our sins.
- It is a good thing (even still today) to dedicate our children (not only the first-born) to God. We trust Him to protect them and guide them and make Himself known to them (through our instruction).
- Also, although there may seem to be a shorter or easier way to reach our destinations at times, God may be leading us a longer way in order to protect us or teach us something. Just because things seem longer than they should be doesn’t mean that God is not with us. Sometimes, it’s proof that he is.
- Moses told the people to “stand firm” and wait for God’s deliverance. Too often, we also do not stand firm in our faith in God, nor do we wait for God’s deliverance. There are many things in this world that cause us to falter in our faith and fear. There are also many times when we try to take matters into our own hands because God just isn’t moving fast enough for us. Or we think he’s not moving enough, or even at all. We would do well to heed Moses’ advice to the Israelites and “Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today… 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:13-14). We can even see how this was true during the Passover and plagues. So long as the Israelites obeyed God’s commands, they only needed to wait on Him to see His deliverance.