God’s Renewing Word of Joy
Exodus 12:1-14: Today we will begin reading excerpts from the book of Exodus, a name that means departure and refers to the most important event in Israel’s history—the departure of the people of Israel from Egypt, where they had been slaves. In today’s reading, as the Israelites get ready to leave Egypt, they are told to prepare a special meal that will be celebrated in future years as the Passover Festival, a time to remember how God saved them and led them out of slavery in Egypt.
12 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in Egypt: 2 “This month is to be the first month of the year for you. 3 Give these instructions to the whole community of Israel: On the tenth day of this month each man must choose either a lamb or a young goat for his household. 4 If his family is too small to eat a whole animal, he and his next-door neighbor may share an animal, in proportion to the number of people and the amount that each person can eat. 5 You may choose either a sheep or a goat, but it must be a one-year-old male without any defects. 6 Then, on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, the whole community of Israel will kill the animals. 7 The people are to take some of the blood and put it on the doorposts and above the doors of the houses in which the animals are to be eaten. 8 That night the meat is to be roasted, and eaten with bitter herbs and with bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled, but eat it roasted whole, including the head, the legs, and the internal organs. 10 You must not leave any of it until morning; if any is left over, it must be burned. 11 You are to eat it quickly, for you are to be dressed for travel, with your sandals on your feet and your walking stick in your hand. It is the Passover Festival to honor me, the Lord.
12 “On that night I will go through the land of Egypt, killing every first-born male, both human and animal, and punishing all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13 The blood on the doorposts will be a sign to mark the houses in which you live. When I see the blood, I will pass over you and will not harm you when I punish the Egyptians. 14 You must celebrate this day as a religious festival to remind you of what I, the Lord, have done. Celebrate it for all time to come.”
TODAY’S KEY VERSE: Exodus 12:14
“You must celebrate this day as a religious festival to remind you of what I, the LORD, have done. Celebrate it for all time to come.”
What instructions does God give to Moses and Aaron for the preparation of the Passover? What will happen in each Egyptian household? What are the Israelites instructed to do so that they will be spared? Within your community of faith, are there observances or celebrations to remind everyone of God’s faithfulness?
Gracious God, I thank and praise you for your steadfast love and faithfulness. With my whole heart I worship you and glorify your holy name. Amen.
Exodus 12:15-36: The Israelites celebrate the first Passover.