This week we are in the midst of celebrating Pesach (Passover), and the weekly reading is a special one for Shabbat, “Chol HaMoed Pesach” from Exodus.
As we are on the theme of Passover, I thought about sharing some thoughts that may be a little different from the main reading. As a child, I always understood Passover to be the amazing story of the redemption of the Children of Israel from slavery. However, the more I studied the text, the more I understood that the main story is not about Israel nor Egypt, but rather about the One and only true God! The Passover story is ultimately about His faithfulness, His might, and absolute control.
Back in the time of the Passover story, Egypt was the mightiest nation on earth, and Pharaoh was much more than just a king – he was considered a god. A key verse to understanding the story is Exodus 5:2, when Pharaoh responded to God’s call to let His people go, “But Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and besides, I will not let Israel go.”
Pharaoh did not know the God of Israel; Pharaoh was full of pride and thought that he was in control over everything. Yet, as we know, it was God Himself that displayed His power and might when He redeemed His people for His own glory:
“Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for under compulsion he shall let them go, and under compulsion he shall drive them out of his land.” God spoke further to Moses and said to him, “I am the LORD; and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, LORD, I did not make Myself known to them. “And I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they sojourned. “And furthermore I have heard the groaning of the sons of Israel, because the Egyptians are holding them in bondage; and I have remembered My covenant. “Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. ‘Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. ‘And I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a inheritance; I am the LORD.” Exodus 6:1-8 (emphasis mine)
In the Scripture above, we see that everything about the Passover event was about God Himself! He did what He did in order to display His awesome power and faithfulness, all for His own glory.
Let us be encouraged that this is the same God that we choose to put our trust in. He is the One that you and I need to keep our eyes on. As I said and wrote many times before, one of the greatest witnesses that we serve the same God is found in the fact that today we see God’s faithfulness and power in the re-gathering of His people back to the Land of Promise, Israel:
“Therefore behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt, ’but, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where He had banished them.’ For I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers.” Jeremiah 16:14-15
Here we see the same principle: it is the same God, and all that He does, He does it for His own glory and namesake. We should be thankful to have the eyes to see that, and to be chosen to partake in His plan for the redemption of this world through His Son, Yeshua the Messiah!
In closing, in the story of Passover, we read, “And the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.” Exodus 12:13
In the same way that it was for the Children of Israel who had to mark their doorpost with the blood of a lamb in order for God to “pass over” their homes when He judged Egypt, so it is for us today; God requires the Blood of the Lamb (Yeshua our Messiah) so that when the final judgment comes, He will pass over us, who choose to obey His command, sparing our souls eternal death apart from Him.
May you continue to have a blessed and peaceful time of remembering the LORD’s Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread!
This article originally appeared on Hope for Israel, April 13, 2017, and reposted with permission.