There’s an urgency is in the air of this story from Exodus. There’s no time for yeast; no time to boil water. No time to prepare the animal in the usual way—just roast it quickly over the fire. Make certain your shoes are laced and ready, your hiking staff is in hand, your walking clothes are on, your pack is strapped on your back, for the time for which you have been waiting, is at hand; in the morning, you will be refugees.
The contexts may vary, but the experience of exile, the longing for a place to call home, a place where you can take your shoes off and put the walking stick away for a while, these are basic human longings. And our text reminds us of that tonight.
Yet it does more than simply remind. It asserts something. It tells us: This is the Passover of the LORD. That is—it tells us that GOD is somehow mixed up in all this. GOD is at work here, and not just any parochial or territorial God, but a God who aligns himself with those who are in bondage.
12:1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 2 “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. 3 Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household. 4 And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, 6 and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.
7 “Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. 10 And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11 In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord's Passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. 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 no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.
14 “This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast. (ESV)
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