The People of Israel
31During the night the king sent for Moses and Aaron and told them, “Get your people out of my country and leave us alone! Go and worship the Lord, as you have asked. 32Take your sheep, goats, and cattle, and get out. But ask your God to be kind to me.”
33The Egyptians did everything they could to get the Israelites to leave their country as quickly as possible. They said, “Please hurry and leave. If you don't, we will all be dead.” 34So the Israelites quickly made some bread dough and put it in pans. But they did not mix any yeast in the dough to make it rise. They wrapped cloth around the pans and carried them on their shoulders.
35 The Israelites had already done what Moses had told them to do. They had gone to their Egyptian neighbors and asked for gold and silver and for clothes. 36The Lord had made the Egyptians friendly toward the people of Israel, and they gave them whatever they asked for. In this way they carried away the wealth of the Egyptians when they left Egypt.
37The Israelites walked from the city of Rameses to the city of Succoth. There were about 600,000 of them, not counting women and children. 38Many other people went with them as well, and there were also a lot of sheep, goats, and cattle. 39They left Egypt in such a hurry that they did not have time to prepare any food except the bread dough made without yeast. So they baked it and made thin bread.
40-41 The Lord's people left Egypt exactly 430 years after they had arrived. 42On that night the Lord kept watch for them, and on this same night each year Israel will always keep watch in honor of the Lord.
Instructions for Passover
43The Lord gave Moses and Aaron the following instructions for celebrating Passover:
Only Israelites may eat the Passover meal.
44Your slaves may eat the meal if they have been circumcised, 45but no foreigners who work for you are allowed to have any.
46 The entire meal must be eaten inside, and no one may leave the house during the celebration.
No bones of the Passover lamb may be broken. 47And all Israelites must take part in the meal.
48If anyone who isn't an Israelite wants to celebrate Passover with you, every man and boy in that family must first be circumcised. Then they may join in the meal, just like native Israelites. No uncircumcised man or boy may eat the Passover meal! 49This law applies both to native Israelites and to those foreigners who live among you.
50The Israelites obeyed everything the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron to tell them. 51And on that same day the Lord brought Israel's families and tribes out of Egypt.
God definitively answered Pharaoh’s question, “Who is this Lord and why should I obey him?” (5:2). Pharaoh discovered God’s uniqueness and let the Israelites go! The Lord displays his nature, defeats the gods of Egypt and delivers his people from bondage. God is the director and producer of this dramatic documentary. The Israelites were obedient and ready to be freed to worship God (vv 35, 50-51). This was the reason for the plagues. His people were saved through judgment, not destroyed and left in the darkness. There were many others who came out of Egypt with the Hebrews (v38) because God’s invitation to be saved under the blood of the lamb was open to all.
At Passover, we drink four cups of wine. The second cup is the cup of plagues. Before we drink it, we pour out ten drops from the cup to show that our joy is diminished due to the destruction of the Egyptians. For those who participate in this story, it clearly reminds us of the consequences of disobedience. Every part of the Passover tells God’s story. From the instructions to clear out all leaven (which is a symbol of sin) to the slaughter of a lamb without breaking its bones (not one of Jesus’ bones was broken in his death) teaches us his plan of salvation.
The Son of God bore our judgment on the cross. He took the plagues on himself, he experienced the darkness for us (Matthew 27:45). God didn’t just talk about his love, he demonstrated it by dying for us (Romans 5:8). We are no longer slaves to sin. We are free to be who he created us to be and to worship him. In disobedience, we will lose our purpose and identity. Instead, let us find deliverance and discover that there is no one like him!
Gracious God, you deliver us from death and destruction. You are perfect in your plans and you love your people. Cleanse the leaven out of our hearts and homes so that we can worship you. Thank you for sending Christ our Passover to die for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.