“When your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord. . . .’”
— Exodus 12:26-27
Passover is an ancient feast that celebrates God’s deliverance of his people Israel from slavery in Egypt (around 1440 B.C.). Israel had been in bitter captivity for more than 400 years. The people groaned and cried out to God for deliverance. God saw the people’s suffering, heard their cry, and prepared Moses to lead them to freedom, where they could worship and live for the Lord. God called them out of Egypt so that they could shine like a light and share his blessings with all nations. God’s command to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, was urgent: “Let my people go, so that they may worship me” (Exodus 8:1; see also 5:1; 7:16, 8:20; 9:1, 13; 10:3). But Pharaoh hardened his heart, and God sent ten plagues, showing that the false gods of Egypt had no power to help them. The last plague was devastating, bringing death to the firstborn in every Egyptian family. Every Israelite family sacrificed a lamb and put its blood on their doorframe. That night God passed over those houses and would not let death enter. But in all other houses the firstborn died.
So Israel was set free. The blood of the lamb that was sacrificed for each household was a sign that death could not enter there. And this sign pointed to Jesus, whose death once for all sets us free from the curse and slavery of sin.
Lord, thank you for setting us free. Through Jesus and by your Spirit, guide us to worship you and live for you. Amen.