EXODUS 12–13 THE PASSOVER
What’s happened since last week? We left the story of Joseph and his brothers and families all reunited down in Egypt. Joseph dies at a good old age. The Israelites grow to be a large population. The Book of Exodus begins with this foreboding note: “Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.” This leads to the Hebrew refugees being enslaved and severely oppressed. God hears their cries! God calls Moses to confront Pharaoh. In a struggle to show that God is God and Pharaoh is not-there are 9 plagues that take place. Each time, Pharaoh’s heart hardens against God and the people. The 10th plague is the plague of death on the first born in every Egyptian household. It’s a wrenching story, where God turns the violence of Pharaoh back onto his own people. The night of “Passover” is the story of how God spared the Hebrew people from this plague of death (“passed-over” their houses). A ritual meal remembering what God has done to deliver them is to be observed every year!
Digging Deeper: 1. The event of the Exodus (exit from Egypt and slavery) unfolds with this very symbolic meal: roasted lamb (the sacrifice for sin), bitter herbs (a reminder of the bitterness of slavery), and unleavened bread (a symbol of haste; it was time to get out of Egypt!)