The Passover in Exodus (Week 14, Part 4/6) Exodus 7–13 | Mar 28 – Apr 3 Exodus 7–13 – powered by Happy Scribe
I’m Lynn Hilton Wilson, happy to be here to talk about the last plague of the Moses Egyptian battles over the children of Israel being taken out of bondage. We’re going to start in Exodus, chapter twelve, and I just look at the first half of that beautiful chapter. Verse one describes that the culture now is going to use a new calendar system, that the children of Israel are going to start their new year in the springtime. I think this is so significant in the new hope that’s going to come after they’ve endured so many hardships. Now the last seven of the plagues have not destroyed the Hebrew people.
Only the first three were affected by the children of Israel. Just the Egyptians have been plagued by these last few, but they don’t know that yet. The 10th has not yet come to Pass. But as we look at Exodus, chapter twelve, verse three, we’re told that God commanded Moses to tell the children of Israel that on the 10th day of this month, each man is to take a lamb for his family, and there’s qualifications for this. But the 10th day of choosing this lamb becomes very important to them, and it’s not only for them, but it’s passed on, as we know in Scripture, and that the Passover becomes this religious ordinance that’s very sacred.
And it goes clear down to the time of our Savior, where they had pilgrimages for the Passover feast, and Israelites from all over the Roman Empire would come to Jerusalem, including our Savior. And it’s interesting that the day that the Savior rides in on the donkey, the day that we refer to as the triumphal entry, that Sunday morning was possibly the 10th day of that month. It is beautiful to think of him as coming in then, and we read in the Scriptures that he is rejected by his people. In both Matthew and John’s account, I’ll just read John the Pharisees then said, you see that you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him, and they begin conniving and plotting, and many people have been trying to plot his death for a while, but it is this incident that I believe is when they have chosen him to be that lamb.
And as we look back at the Exodus text, verse five and six, we learn that the lamb is to be without Blemish. Brandt Malone and the first born or in its first year, he’s to be a sheep or a goat, and he’s to be kept with them from the 10th to the 14th. As we look at what happened to our Savior during this time, he stays in Jerusalem. He preaches at the Temple. He is right there with the people from the 10th to the 14th.
And as we learn in the Book of Mormon, he becomes the whole meaning of the law of Moses. Every wit pointing to that great and last sacrifice and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, Yea, infinite and eternal. I am so grateful for Alma’s record there as we return back to Exodus, chapter twelve. The Lord commanded them that the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill in the evening or shall kill their lamb that they’ve been holding now in the family with them for these four days. That fourth day we see the Savior going through those trials before Pilate and Caiaphas and Anias as they are calling him to be crucified.
In Exodus, chapter twelve, verse seven, they are commanded to take the blood and strike it upon the two side posts of the upper door and the post of the houses wherein they shall eat it. This is such powerful imagery to have the blood of the lamb in your entrance way and when you leave, protecting all who are within and giving you safety and guidance on your way out. It’s beautiful to be a covering over you, as the word atonement Kafar in Hebrew is the covering. It’s your place where the Lord can guard us and be with us. In Exodus, we continue to read in verse eight that they shall eat the flesh in that night and roast it with fire.
Now fire is so important, he says, you can’t boil it, it’s got to be roasted. Why? Well, fire purifies. Why else? Fire is a symbol of the spirit.
Why else just keep looking for these symbols until you can find the beauty of our Saviors cleansing and burning, that he will become a part of our lives. Also, verse eight talks about the need for unleavened bread. Now at the time, of course, they just don’t have time for it to rise properly. But as we look at the imagery, this unleavened bread and the bitter herbs not only discuss the life in Egypt, but it describes bread that will not spoil as readily. Only the bread that puffs up and is built up with pride can mimic the type of attitudes against God that are wrong.
We want something that will be preserved, that can last, and that can be eaten that night immediately. Continuing on to verse ten, you shall let none of it remain until the morning, and what remains of it until the morning? You shall burn with fire. Everything must be purified, everything must be given to God or consumed. And internalized, we want the entire lamb internalized.
I want to continue back in Alma 34 to see more on this symbol here. And then shall the law of Moses be fulfilled? Yea, it shall be all fulfilled, every jot and tittle. None shall have passed away. Our Savior wants us to take the entire representation of the Lamb of God, all that he is going to represent into our lives.
And in fact, we even read about this in the Doctrine Covenants where no Salvation can come from partial obedience. I want to read from Doctrine Covenant, section 42, verse 29 if thou lovest me, thou shalt serve me and keep all my Commandments. Returning back to Exodus, chapter twelve, in verse eleven, we read that the children of Israel were commanded to be ready to travel before they ate this meal. Be prepared to go where the Lord calls you, and when he calls you, quote, you shall eat it with the belt on your waist and sandals on your feet and your staff and your hand, and you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover I love this imagery of always being ready to do the Lord’s will, and whether it is a difficult journey like theirs, a very hard call, or whether it is something as easy as choosing a new job, which sometimes isn’t that easy.
But I love the imagery that we are always to be ready to follow the Lord’s direction when he is passing over us, we are to follow that spirit. Continuing on in verse 13, the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be on you or destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. It is the Savior’s blood that atoning sacrifice that can cleanse us, that can purify us, that will allow us to be protected from the adversary and all the vagaries that are continuing to come upon us in the last days that we are beginning to see that we might be buoyed up and held in the bosom of the Lord through that great atoning blood of our Savior. The images are so beautiful. Verse 14 continues on you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations, and you shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.
Now the word ordinance is often just translated as teachings, and that’s really what this is. And here I have a picture of my family’s Passover last year with my husband and my grandson answering the questions going back and forth. Much of the discussion in the Passover Haggadahs now are about the redemption of slavery into freedom, and we always tie in the ideas of the redemption of our Savior from the slaves of sin into the freedom. I love the imagery also of Paul, who describes the Savior this way. For even Christ, our Passover is sacrificed for us.
Just even narrowing in on Nephi’s account of the vision of the Tree of Life, we find the phrase describing our Savior as the Lamb of God 56 times. This is an image that Nephi felt so powerfully, and we see throughout the Book of Mormon this familiarity with the Passover tradition. Even though we don’t find families gathering eating a lamb, we do find families gathering and discussing the need for a redemption from sin and the need for a Savior and the need to follow all of His Commandments. And I’m speaking specifically of an article that Jack Welch John W. Welch wrote here that you can find in Book of Mormon central on one of our no Why’s on discussion with his three sons in Alma chapters 36 and 37 on that beautiful chiasmic poetry that talks about the need for the redemption of our Savior.
I believe that the Passover and the symbols of our Savior protecting us with his blood, with his life bloodshed can be as powerful to us as they were today in the early days of the Lord’s people in Egypt and I pray that every time we partake of the Sacrament and enter into our ordinances that we too can remember to paint the Lord’s blood in our hearts that we can always remember him is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.