When God brought Israel out of Egypt, He used a series of miraculous plagues to loosen Pharaoh’s grip on the people. But the final plague required an act of faith on the part of the believers in the God of Israel. They had to mark their doors with the blood of a lamb in order to be spared. Within every unmarked door, every firstborn male died. It was in this frightening act that God broke the bonds of Egypt, leading His people to freedom in the Land He had promised them. When God made the initial command to mark the doors, He also gave instructions how to remember this event each year.
For the next 3600 years, the Jewish people have remembered this event in the Passover Seder. It was sitting at this meal of remembrance that Jesus took the foods used to remember the body and blood of the lamb and showed they spoke of Him and the Covenant He was about to make. Jesus’ words at the Last Seder before He suffered find their fullest meaning when seen on the backdrop of the Exodus celebration. Both are stories of God’s powerful and liberating love- love that continues to transform lives today. Jesus was the Lamb of God, whose blood causes the judgment of God to ‘pass over’ us. He is the firstborn Son who died so we of His family might live. He has made a renewed covenant with us, so that we might be part of the people of God. He is God’s means of deliverance from slavery into freedom.