Discipleship Minute: Captivity #2

Read Exodus 6:2-8; 12:2-7, 12-13, 29-32.

After his encounter with the living God, Moses returned to Egypt to carry out his mission. The message was met with resistance by the Pharaoh and opposition by the Israelites themselves because their work had been made harder by the Egyptians. God was not surprised by this, so He told Moses to tell the Israelites that Yahweh remembered His covenant and would act in a powerful manner to release them from bondage and give them the land that He had promised Abraham so many years before.

God acted by releasing plagues of judgement on the Egyptian land such that they had never seen before. In fact, each plague was directed at a particular Egyptian god, from the Nile god Hapi to the sun god Ra. This demonstration of Yahweh’s power was necessary for both the Egyptians and the Israelites to see that Yahweh was the one true God. In the midst of this, God had a larger plan. He was building the Israelites into a new people with a new identity.

This was to be seen in the last, and most devastating, plague against the firstborn male offspring of the entire land of Egypt. This plague was aimed directly at the Pharaoh who was thought to be a living god. God told His people that during the plague they were to begin a new ritual which would consist of a meal and a sacrifice. The blood of a spotless lamb was to be painted on the doorposts of their houses as an act of obedience to God’s command and an act of faith in His provision for them. This was a paradigm shift for the Israelites, but it pointed to the Law that they would soon receive and a sacrificial system for sin.

Of course, we, as believers, do not celebrate the Passover anymore. However, that remembrance points us to Jesus Christ and His perfect sacrifice on the cross which gives us salvation by faith. God showed His power through plagues, but was really showing them His provision through the sacrifice of a lamb. God showed us His provision for salvation through the sacrifice of a sinless Savior, Jesus our Lord.

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