All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Blood on the Doorposts
Based on Exodus 11–12

The first nine plagues discredit the Egyptian gods. They are divine judgments, designed to be redemptive for the Egyptians and awaken their desire for salvation. They also serve to mature the faith of the Israelites in preparation for the Exodus. As they observe the consequences of rejecting the Lord, God’s people marvel at His protection. In fact, Scripture records that at least half the plagues didn’t affect them, and now the Lord prepares them for the tenth plague by instituting the Passover.

A Devastating Blow

The tenth plague is the most severe and will result in the death of the firstborn of both man and beast—including Pharaoh’s son, the heir to his throne. Pharaoh is considered a human god, and this will be a devastating blow to his person, kingship, divinity, and posterity. Although he has rejected all attempts by the Lord to reveal Himself to him, if he accepts the Lord’s provision for sin, he will save himself and every Egyptian from sorrow and pain. But sadly, he doesn’t, and at midnight the Lord Himself goes throughout Egypt, causing the death of every firstborn and executing judgment against all the Egyptian gods (Exodus 12:12).

The sound of mourning is hard to imagine. Sorrow in Egypt is mostly expressed by women who wail intensely with disheveled hair, gesturing with upraised arms, and beating their breasts.

Understanding the Symbols

The ancients used symbolism extensively, so it’s important to look at the Passover through their eyes.

By declaring a new “first month,” the Lord institutes a new religious calendar—giving Passover the highest symbolic importance.

To avoid the plague, they must sacrifice a lamb with no defects—just as Christ, the Lamb of God, has no defects. It must be a one-year-old male—mature, yet in the prime of its life. Later, Jesus begins his ministry when he reaches 30—the age of maturity, when priests can begin to minister in the tabernacle.

The sprinkling of lamb’s blood with hyssop symbolizes cleansing from sin, and just as the lamb’s blood protects the house from death, Christ’s blood saves the righteous from eternal death.

Bitter herbs symbolize bondage and suffering in Egypt and the leaven represents fermentation—a symbol of impurity. Leftovers from the lamb must be destroyed, since they represent Christ’s body, which should not begin decomposition.

The eating of the lamb at Passover continues with Communion in the New Testament, where the symbolic body of Christ provides food that gives eternal life, like the Tree of Life in Eden.

Finally, the Lord links the Passover with the tenth plague, and Israel as His firstborn with Egypt’s firstborn in Exodus 4:22–23: “Israel is my son, My firstborn. So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.” Again in Numbers 3:13 He states: “All the firstborn are mine. On the day that I struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I sanctified to Myself all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast. They are mine: I am the Lord.”

But notice the great contrast between the two: One firstborn perished at the hand of the Lord, the other He sanctified. One rejected the Lord and perished, the other accepted the Lord and lived. One will experience eternal death, and the other will have eternal life.

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