As Exodus 11 begins, the Lord told Moses that there will be only one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. This is the one that would cause Pharaoh to not only let God’s people leave Egypt, but they would be driven out of Egypt. It was time to plunder the Egyptians by asking them for their gold, silver, and clothing.
Strange as it may seem to us, Moses was considered great in Egypt by Pharaoh’s servants and the people. Perhaps this was because they had seen the power of God demonstrated through him.
With this final plague, God reminded everyone that He makes a distinction between the Egyptians and Israel. Moses warned Pharaoh that all of the firstborn whether male or female, servant or free, animal or human would die and that there would be a cry in Egypt unlike anything in the past or the future. He said that all of Pharaoh’s servants would bow down to him and tell him and his people to get out. Moses was very angry when he left Pharaoh’s presence.
When Jesus returns in the future, He will make a distinction between the righteous and unrighteous too. Our Messiah will make the real squatters and invaders in Israel leave and they will be angry. Many of the unrighteous will die in battle but there will still be people who did not go to war that will remain on earth for His millennial reign. You can be sure that every knee will bow and confess that Jesus is Lord at that time.
I find it interesting that Moses was angry when he left Pharaoh. I believe this was a righteous anger considering Pharaoh had repeatedly refused to heed the word of the Lord. Anger is an emotion that many of us have been taught is wrong but it is an emotion that God gave us and one that Jesus experienced and acted on. After all, who would dare say Jesus sinned in His anger when He drove the moneychangers and merchants out of the Temple? Some believe that anger is wrong depending on how you express it. That makes me recall Phineas, the son of Eleazar who took a javelin and thrust it through a man of Israel and a Midianite woman at the same time at Baal of Peor (Num. 25:6-13). The Lord said this demonstration of zeal for God turned back His wrath. We would have considered Phineas’ action to be an impulsive murder and way out of line. This leads me to believe that a righteous reason for anger is important to God when determining the appropriateness of an action and/or determining if someone has sinned in their anger or not. We can be sure that those who will be angry when they are cast out of Israel will not be justified because of their lawlessness and unbelief.
Moses may have been angry with Pharaoh but God forewarned him that Pharaoh would not listen or obey him so that the wonders of the Lord could be multiplied in Egypt. Certainly, what happened in Egypt would be heard throughout the known world and would put fear into the hearts of those who would encounter the Hebrews in the future.
Before that could happen, the Lord also had to prepare His people for the last plague. Previously, God had made a distinction between the Egyptians and Israel that did not require anything from His people. This time would be different because He would require faith demonstrated by obedience to God’s commands.
The Lord explained this month was the first month of the festival year. It was the month in which the barley was ripe (Aviv/Abib). It would be later known as the month of Nissan. The congregation of Israel was commanded to take either a male lamb or goat in its first year on the 10th of the month and set it aside. It was to be examined over the next several days for any defects. It was to be killed at twilight (between the evenings) on the 14th of the month. Its blood was to be smeared over the top of the doorframe and on the two doorposts using a bunch of hyssop. The animal was to be roasted in the fire and eaten with matzah (unleavened bread) and maror (bitter herbs). Anything that remained until morning had to be burned in the fire. They were to eat it quickly with a belt on their waist, sandals on their feet, and a staff in their hand. It was the Lord’s Passover.
On that night, the Lord passed through Egypt and killed all the firstborn, both people and animal. If the Lord saw the sign of the blood on a house, He passed over it and did not kill anyone that was dwelling there.
This day has been celebrated ever since as a memorial according to the command of the Lord. The 14th of Nissan is known as the Preparation Day or Passover Eve (Erev Pesach). The next 7 days are known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread or Passover. The first (15th) and last day (21st) of the feast are considered High Sabbaths and there is to be a holy convocation or assembly held on those days. The only work that can be performed on those days is the preparation of food. Unleavened bread is to be eaten from the 14th through the 21st day of the month at evening. No leavening agents are to be in the house during that time. Anyone, whether they are a foreigner or citizen of Israel who eats what is leavened, will be cut off from the congregation of Israel. This would be the equivalent of losing your salvation.
God still expects us to observe and teach our children this as an ordinance forever. All Jewish or foreign males must be circumcised in the flesh in order to observe the feast. As we abstain from eating leavened foods, it should remind us of the need to avoid sin in our lives. We should always strive to be obedient to the Lord, thereby showing our love for Him. As we do so, we should remember that God loved us so much that He gave His Son to be our Passover Lamb so that we could have eternal life.
Do not forget that at midnight, the Lord did as He promised. He came into the land of Egypt and struck all of the firstborn of man and animals throughout Egypt. As a result of this, Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron by night, told them to take the children of Israel along with their flocks and herds, and leave Egypt. Not only that, Pharaoh asked for a blessing. Even the Egyptians were encouraging the people of Israel to leave because they feared for their lives.
The Israelites were so excited to leave that they had no idea what would happen to them in the near future but that is a discussion for another day.
This coming Monday is Erev Pesach. Will you be observing the feast of Passover this year and in the future? If you have never done so, you can get a Messianic Haggadah that you can use to lead you and your family through a Passover Seder. Please keep the feast and allow God to bless you as you experience greater depth in your walk of faith in Jesus, our Passover Lamb (1 Cor. 5:8).
As you celebrate, remember the Lord’s death until He comes. Jesus was a sinless lamb led to the slaughter. He tasted wine mixed with bitter gall but wouldn’t drink it. His feet and hands were nailed to the cross and He wore a crown of thorns on His head to picture the blood of the Passover lamb that was put over the lintel and doorposts of the homes in Egypt. After He died, His body was buried according to the handling of the ashes of a red heifer (Num. 19:9-10; Matt. 27:57-60). He was leavened or raised to life after 3 days and nights. He became firstfruits from the dead and lives to intercede for us before the Father (1 Cor. 15:20).
As you avoid products with leaving agents during the feast, let it be a reminder to purge and avoid lawlessness in your life. As you do so, may you be richly blessed.