We’re in a message series called “Exodus: God’s Plan.” In this series, we’re studying the book of Exodus to better understand God’s plan for our lives today. Let’s take a few minutes to summarize what we’ve covered so far. The people of Israel had been in slavery in Egypt for 400 years. God called Moses to set His people free. However, when Moses spoke to Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, he refused to let Israel go. God then sent nine plagues against Egypt and it’s gods, but still Pharaoh refused to let Israel go. That’s where we pick up the story today.
Today’s message is entitled “Deliverance” and is about the tenth plague sent by God on Egypt beginning in Exodus 11. Moses spoke to Pharaoh one last time and said …
Exodus 11:4-5 (ESV) So Moses said, “Thus says the LORD: ‘About midnight I will go out in the midst of Egypt, and every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the cattle.
None of the first nine plagues caused people to die, but the tenth plague was the most deadly by far. Every household that had any children would lose their firstborn to the destroyer. Even the cattle, which were venerated by the Egyptians would be affected. So, what would happen to the Israelites who lived in Egypt?
Exodus 11:7 (ESV) But not a dog shall growl against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast, that you may know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.’
God will bring His judgements on the Egyptians, but would protect His people, the Israelites. Not a single firstborn would die in Israel, if they followed God’s instructions. The people would be protected by their faith in God and obedience to His commands. We still need God’s protection and deliverance today. Jesus said in …
John 10:10 (ESV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
The thief that Jesus is talking about here is Satan, who comes to steal, kill and destroy. We need protection and deliverance from Satan’s power today. Jesus taught us to pray in the Lord’s prayer:
Matthew 6:13 (ESV) And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
To be delivered from evil it to find a way to escape both the temptations and attacks of evil, which come from Satan and his forces. Today we’re going to learn the connection between the Old Testament Passover and how Jesus protects us today, through faith and obedience.
The destroyer was going to go through Egypt killing the firstborn of every family. Now the Israelites were supposed to be spared, but God’s protection was not automatic. There were very specific instructions that each Israelite family had to follow in order to be protected.
Exodus 12:21-22 (ESV) Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning.
Each family was to take a one year old male lamb that had no blemish and sacrifice it on the night of the Passover. The lamb was to be roasted and eaten, along with unleavened bread. The blood of the lamb was then to be applied to the doorway of the family’s home.
Exodus 12:23 (ESV) For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you.
The blood of the lamb would then provide protection for all those inside of the house from the destroyer, referring to a destroying angel. If the blood was not applied or someone left the house before morning, there would be no protection against the destroyer. When the Lord saw the blood, he would pass over that home and not allow the destroyer to enter. That is where the term Passover comes from.
Exodus 12:24 (ESV) You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever.
The Israelites were then supposed to follow these instructions for the Passover lamb and meal yearly, even after leaving Egypt.
Exodus 12:29 (ESV) At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock.
There was loud wailing throughout every home in Egypt. But all the Israelite families were protected by the blood of the Passover lamb. Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and demanded that they leave Egypt, along with their animals. So, obedience to God’s instructions had protected God’s people.
This Old Testament Passover is mentioned frequently in the New Testament. The Passover is a type of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Jesus is called the Passover lamb in 1 Cor. 5:7. He was the sinless, unblemished lab of God. The blood of Jesus forgives our sins and protects us from Satan, the destroyer.
Let’s watch a short video about the relationship between the Passover Lamb and Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. It’s simply called The Passover Lamb. The protection and deliverance of Jesus does not happen automatically, just as the Israelites were not protected automatically. Protection by Jesus comes through faith and obedience, which we’ll talk about more as we go through the message this morning.
So, let’s see how God delivered Israel after the final plague.
Exodus 12:30-31 (ESV) And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead. Then he summoned Moses and Aaron by night and said, “Up, go out from among my people, both you and the people of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as you have said.
Finally, Pharaoh relented and allowed the people of Israel to go. Not because he wanted to, but because he feared what God might do if he didn’t. As Pharaoh demanded that Moses leave, he asked Moses for a blessing. An indication that Pharaoh finally viewed the Lord, the God of Moses, as more powerful than his Egyptian gods or himself. As the Israelites left, they asked the Egyptians for their gold and silver jewelry and clothing. And what was the result?
Exodus 12:36 (ESV) And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.
The Egyptians had plundered the Israelites for centuries in forced slavery, but now the tables were turned. God worked it out for the Egyptian’s wealth to be transferred to His people. And so finally, very quickly, the nation of Israel marched out of Egypt.
Exodus 12:39 (ESV) And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had brought out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves.
Of course, leavened bread must be allowed to rise before baking. There was no time for that, so they baked unleavened bread and that was the bread of the Passover from then on. Also, unleavened bread was suitable for a long journey and took less room to pack.
Exodus 12:41 (ESV) At the end of 430 years, on that very day, all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.
The Israelites were delivered not on their timetable, not on Moses’ timetable but on the Lord’s timetable, which had always been set for 430 years. The centuries of bondage and slavery had come to an end. The Lord had brought deliverance and freedom. The Scripture records that the men coming out of Egypt were 600,000, not counting women and children. So, the hosts of the Lord, the children of Israel had grown numerous and strong over the years of their time in Egypt. But now it was time for deliverance and a journey to the Promised Land, promised to Abraham.
How does this apply to us today? You’ll remember that the Passover Lamb was a type of Jesus. The Israelites deliverance from Egypt is a type of a New Testament believer’s deliverance from sin through faith in Jesus Christ. Egypt represents your old life of sin before you trusted your life to Jesus. The Scripture teaches that unbelievers are in bondage to sin, they can’t stop sinning. But Jesus came to deliver people from slavery to sin and make them servants of God.
The children of Israel were delivered from Egypt with a purpose of following God’s direction and going to the Promised Land. In the same way, those who put their faith in Jesus are delivered from their sin with a purpose of following God’s plan for their lives. We don’t have time to talk about it today, but the generation of Israelites that came out of Egypt did not make it to the promised land. Why? Because they didn’t have the faith to believe God to take them there. So, they wandered for 40 years in the desert and it was their children who made it to the promised land. God doesn’t want us to wander in a spiritual desert, he wants us to follow His plan to the promised land of His will He has for us. So, God desires for us to …
The Lord performed many mighty miracles to deliver Israel from Egyptian slavery. He desired for the Israelites and their children to remember what He had done for them. Why remember? So that they would have faith to believe God for His plan for their lives, which was to go into the Promised Land. We’ve already talked about how God instructed the Israelites to remember the Passover by eating the Passover Lamb on an annual basis with a seven day feast. But there was another way that God instructed the Israelites to remember their deliverance.
Exodus 13:1-2 (ESV) The LORD said to Moses, “Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine.”
Why were the firstborn to be consecrated to the Lord? Because the Lord had spared them from death by the blood of the Passover Lamb. To be consecrated to the Lord, meant to be set apart for service to God. In the Law, a special offering was required to be given to redeem the firstborn. Finally …
Exodus 13:3 (ESV) Then Moses said to the people, “Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the LORD brought you out from this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten.
The people did not deliver themselves from Egypt. Moses did not deliver them by his own strength. It was the strong hand of the Lord that brought them out of Egypt, the house of slavery. The Israelites were instructed to remember that day and teach their children to remember that day of deliverance.
Why remember God’s deliverance? Because it’s easy to forget God’s blessings. It’s easy to not give thanks to Him. It’s easy to lose faith in a miracle-working God and become overwhelmed with our circumstances. It’s easy to slip back into wanting to go back to Egypt or slip back into slavery to sin.
In the New Testament, Jesus was crucified on the Passover. Jesus transformed the Passover into the Lord’s Supper or Communion. In the Lord’s Supper, we partake of bread which represents Jesus broken body and the fruit of the vine, which represents Jesus’ blood shed for our forgiveness. The Lord’s Supper, which we practice once a month, is for all who have chosen to believe and commit their lives to Jesus Christ. As we remember what Jesus has accomplished for us, as our deliverer, it gives us strength to continue to believe in and follow Him.
The story of the Passover shows us the importance of putting our faith in God and obeying His instructions in order to be protected. God desires to deliver us from bondage to sin and to forgive us. We should daily remember and thank God for our deliverance from the power of sin. God wants to protect you from the destroyer, who seeks to destroy your life and your eternity with God. I’m going to give everyone here, whether young or old, an opportunity to respond to God’s free offer of deliverance from bondage to sin and its consequences. As you put your faith in Jesus, His blood will forgive your sins and protect you. It’s like applying the blood of the Passover lamb to the doorway of your home. As you commit your life to Jesus, He applies His blood to your life.