1. ISRAEL'S PASSOVER
This awe-inspiring event which became celebrated as The Feast of Passover, took place towards the end of the time of Israel's sojourn in Egypt.
They were there in the first place because the Pharaoh at the time honoured them with residence. (See Genesis 47'27 onwards.)
But at this stage a new Pharaoh had ascended the throne and he saw them differently. He brought Israel into slavery.
Because of the relentless cruelty he ordered to be inflicted on them they desperately needed deliverance so they called out to God.
He called Moses to confront the Pharaoh and lead His People out of Egypt.
God said to Moses:
"... you shall say to him, ‘The Lord God of the Hebrews has sent me to you, saying, "Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness'," Exodus 7'16.
The Pharaoh denied Moses on ten occasions. Each denial resulted in a plague coming upon the country. His final denial resulted in the most severe plague: The Passover.
Here's what Moses was to tell Israel that would ensure their safety:
"Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a house.
Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.
Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.
And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.
Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.
Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire - its head with its legs and its entrails.
You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire.
And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord's Passover.
For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.
Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance'," Exodus 12'3,5-14.
Israel's Passover foreshadowed and typified our Passover. For them it was "a lamb for a house".
John made the New Covenant difference very plain. Immediately before immersing Him in water he "... saw Jesus coming toward him" and declared:
"Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world," John 1'29.
His listeners knew about their Passover. But John was telling them (and the world) that by the sacrifice of this man their sins would be forgiven, totally.
He was saying, that as far as being judged for their sins, God would pass over each person who put their trust in this Lamb - and they would not come into judgement.
He was declaring something that most of them had never heard before - not even thought of.
Later Jesus Himself would say:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life," John 5'24.