“For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. Now 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 to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 12:12-13).
How important is justice to you? All of us want to live in a world where justice is carried out. We want criminals and those who hurt others to be punished. However, we are less eager for justice to be carried out when we have done the wrong. During such times, we hope mercy will be shown to us.
As the verse above indicates, God’s final judgment had come upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians. God had sent multiple plagues upon the Egyptians in an effort to open Pharaoh’s eyes that God was the Lord and that Pharaoh should humble himself before God and let the Israelites go. However, instead of softening his heart and humbling himself before God, following each plague Pharaoh’s heart continued to grow harder and harder against God (cf. Exodus 8:15, 19, 32; 9:7, 12, 34; 10:20, 27; 11:10). In stubborn rebellion, Pharaoh refused to repent of his sin against God.
Pharaoh’s rebellion against God would have terrible consequences for him and his nation. God informed Moses of one final plague he was bringing upon Egypt: “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will bring yet one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out of here altogether’ ” (Exodus 11:1). Moses informed his people of the details of this terrible plague: “Then Moses said, ‘Thus says the Lord: “About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt; and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals” ’ ” (Exodus 11:4-5). Pharaoh’s sin would result in the death of all the firstborn children and animals in Egypt.
On the other hand, God had provided an opportunity for the Israelites to be spared of this judgment. God had instituted the Passover memorial for the Israelites. As the opening verses above indicate, God tells His people when He sees the blood of the lamb over their doorposts and lintels of their houses, He would pass over them and they would be spared this terrible plague of the death of their firstborn (Exodus 12:12-13). As the Israelites feared God and obeyed His instructions for them, instead of experiencing God wrath and judgment, they would experience God’s grace and mercy.
This section of Scripture reminds me of the dreadful consequences of sin. The end result of sin is death (Romans 6:23). My sins result in my deserving to die. However, like the Israelites, as a Christian, I have been given the opportunity to have my sins passed over through the sacrifice of Christ. Christ is my Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7).
Praise God that I have been covered by the blood of Christ and have been spared of the terrible death I deserved. Praise God that I do not have to experience His wrath as did Pharaoh and the Egyptians. Today, I will remember that Christ is my Passover who bore my sins that I might be spared of God’s judgment over my sins. I enjoy God’s mercy and grace because I have been saved by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ!
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).