Sustained by God’s Word of Forgiveness and Mercy
Exodus 12:1-28: As the Israelites prepare 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 from the final disaster and led them out of slavery in Egypt.
“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.”
1 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in Egypt:2“This month is to be the first month of the year for you.3Give 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.4If 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.5You may choose either a sheep or a goat, but it must be a one-year-old male without any defects.6Then, on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, the whole community of Israel will kill the animals.7The 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.8That night the meat is to be roasted, and eaten with bitter herbs and with bread made without yeast.9Do not eat any of it raw or boiled, but eat it roasted whole, including the head, the legs, and the internal organs.10You must not leave any of it until morning; if any is left over, it must be burned.11You 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.13The 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.”
15The Lord said, “For seven days you must not eat any bread made with yeast—eat only unleavened bread. On the first day you are to get rid of all the yeast in your houses, for if anyone during those seven days eats bread made with yeast, he shall no longer be considered one of my people.16On the first day and again on the seventh day you are to meet for worship. No work is to be done on those days, but you may prepare food.17Keep this festival, because it was on this day that I brought your tribes out of Egypt. For all time to come you must celebrate this day as a festival.18From the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month to the evening of the twenty-first day, you must not eat any bread made with yeast.19-20For seven days no yeast must be found in your houses, for if anyone, native-born or foreign, eats bread made with yeast, he shall no longer be considered one of my people.”
21Moses called for all the leaders of Israel and said to them, “Each of you is to choose a lamb or a young goat and kill it, so that your families can celebrate Passover.22Take a sprig of hyssop, dip it in the bowl containing the animal's blood, and wipe the blood on the doorposts and the beam above the door of your house. Not one of you is to leave the house until morning.23 When the Lord goes through Egypt to kill the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the beams and the doorposts and will not let the Angel of Death enter your houses and kill you.24You and your children must obey these rules forever.25When you enter the land that the Lord has promised to give you, you must perform this ritual.26When your children ask you, ‘What does this ritual mean?’27you will answer, ‘It is the sacrifice of Passover to honor the Lord, because he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt. He killed the Egyptians, but spared us.’”
The Israelites knelt down and worshiped.28Then they went and did what the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron.
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.
Houses of worship celebrating special occasions in the life of their communities of faith
Exodus 12:29-51: The Israelites leave Egypt.