Exodus 12 Chapter Study

INTRODUCTION

The 12th chapter of Exodus is an important chapter in the Bible because it tells us of the institution of the first Passover and the Exodus of the children of Egypt from their 430 year sojourn in Egypt.

Jacob, his sons, and his son’s families had migrated to Egypt over 400 years before and had grown into a nation of between 2 & 3 million!

A change of ruling dynasties had also taken place in Egypt during this period that saw the Semitic dynasty which had been favorable toward Jacob’s family overthrown by an ethnic Egyptian dynasty which was hostile.

This dynasty had put the descendants of Jacob under harsh bondage, subjecting them to a strict kind of apartheid and slavery.

And while this was hard to endure on the part of the children of Israel, it had served to keep them separated and unique as an ethnic group.

Now, after 430 years, the time has come for them to be birthed out of the womb that Egypt had become, and for them to return to the land God had promised to their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

But there was a problem - Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, was not about to let the massive resource of some 2 million slaves go without some resistance.

So God sent 10 rounds of trouble, 10 “punches” if you will, to soften Pharaoh and compel him to let the Hebrews go.

But Pharaoh was an inordinately arrogant man and refused to yield.

So far, we’ve read through 9 of the total 10 plagues that came on Egypt.

The land lies, literally, in ruins from the devastation of these judgments, and Pharaoh is still unbending.

There is one more plague to go – one more judgment that will break Pharaoh, at least momentarily.

Ch. 12 is crucial because it records the first Passover & the Exodus, which stand as the defining moment in the history of Israel.

This was Israel’s “birthday” – the signature event which forever sealed their identity as a nation.

And it’s commemorated every year in their Feast of Passover.

Ch. 12 can only be rightly understood against the backdrop of what God told Moses to say to Pharaoh when he went in to demand that he let the people go.   In ch. 4 we read,

22Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.”’”

You see, even from Moses’ first interview with Pharaoh, Moses had warned him what would happen if he refused to listen & yield.

The first 9 plagues were proof of God’s power, and dramatic warnings to Pharaoh.

The 10th plague, the death of the firstborn, was no surprise – it had been given up front of how far all of this would go if Pharaoh resisted the Lord.

So now, as we come to ch. 12 – 9 plagues have come and gone and Pharaoh is still resisting; even when he admits he is in the wrong and God is just.

Outline [for note takers]

I.   The Exodus • Chs. 1-13:16

G. The Plagues • 7:14-12:30

1-9.    7-10 • The First Nine Plagues

10. 11:1-12:30 • The Tenth Plague – Death of the Firstborn

a.  11:1-3 • announced to Moses

b.  11:4-10 • announced To Pharaoh

Tonight -

c.  12:1-28 • the Passover Instituted

d.  12:29-30 • the Tenth Plague

H. The Departure from Egypt12:31-51

CHAPTER 12

c.  12:1-28 • the Passover Instituted

1Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2“This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.

 What’s about to take place will be so dramatic, so important in the identity of the children of Israel as a people that it will mark the genesis of a whole new calendar!

When they left Egypt, they were to leave behind its culture as well, including the calendar that had governed their lives while in bondage.

The Exodus was a new beginning, a birth that marked a new day, a new identity for them.

So this would be a the start of their year.

The month had been called Abib, but was renamed to Nisan.  {Calendar}

In a similar way that God told the children of Israel to mark a new beginning with the Exodus, our calendar revolves around the life of Christ.

It was his birth that marked the new beginning, so that we account our years as BC, before Christ, and AD, anno domini (Latin: year of the Lord).

Of course, we realize now that more than likely Jesus was born in 4 BC, but that’s a while different issue.

In popular reckoning, it’s been 2003 years since the birth of Christ.

The years prior to His birth are counted backward, so that all of history is a kind of countdown to the Messiah, and then a count up from there.

While this is the calendar most of the world uses, the Orthodox Jews, because they reject Jesus as Messiah, have maintained their own calendar and numbering of years.

For them, they reckon from creation, so it’s the year 5763.

Today is the 25th of Sivan, 5763.

An interesting development that’s taken place over the last couple decades is the movement of the academic community away from the designations of AD & BC.  They’ve adopted the letters, CE and BCE – Common Era, and Before the Common Era.

Pick up any modern academic journal, or any current school textbook and you’ll find CE & BCE replacing AD & BC.

In most college classes, students are marked off for using the older terms.

This is just one more sign of the movement of Western civilization away from its Judea-Christian roots.

During the French Revolution, which was coopted by some serious humanist radicals, there was an attempt to re-make French society along purely materialistic and humanistic lines.

Anything Christian or Jewish was rejected and they proposed to redo the calendar; renumbering the years, and turning the week from 7 to 10 days.

Of course it failed, then!  But make n mistake, the intellectual seeds planted in the Enlightenment are alive and well and springing up in all kinds of ways even today.

In Daniel 7:25 we read that when the Antichrist comes, he will seek to change the times and the law.

Many commentators believe this refers to his attempts to change the calendar and order it on the new political, economic, and religious system he will bring in.

In any case, God tells the children of Israel that the Exodus will be for them the beginning of a new calendar.

3Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. 4And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. 5Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. . . . [STOP]

God gives Moses & Aaron the guidelines for observing the Passover.

On the 10th day of Nisan, the first month, they are to take a young male lamb from the flock and bring it into their home for 4 days – one lamb per household.

If a house has too few people, they were to find another small family nearby and go together.

The rabbis later set a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 persons per lamb for the Passover.

They were to pick a healthy, whole lamb and it was to live with them in their home for 4 days.

The idea was that it was to become a part of the family – they were to get attached to it.

6Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.

Now, this seems cruel, until we realize that the Passover is meant by God to be a picture of what He would do in sending His own Son as the Lamb of God to take away our sins and save us from destruction.

In 1 Cor. 5:7, Paul wrote that “Christ is our Passover, who was sacrificed for us.” 

John the Baptist proclaimed that day while baptizing people in the  Jordan River – seeing Jesus pass by, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

This is why the lamb had to be a male, and why it had to be without blemish, because it was to be a type, a foreshadowing of Jesus.

You’ll remember that Pilate said, “I find no fault in Him.”

Judas proclaimed, “I have betrayed innocent blood!”

“This man has done no wrong,” said the thief crucified next to him.

“Surely this man was the Son of God,” said the Roman at the foot of the cross.

A lamb without blemish!

And this also explains why God told them to select the lamb on the 10th day and then kill it on the 14th.

Not only did He intend the family to grow fond of it, but these 4 days were a time of inspection – to keep a close eye on it to make sure it was in fact without blemish; not sick or having some imperfection.

Question: What day did Jesus enter Jerusalem for that last week, the Passover week?  It was on the 10th of Nisan, the day the people were supposed to select their lamb.

What day was he killed?  It was on the 14th!

What did He spend those 4 days doing?  He was in the temple, being tested, questioned, probed by the Pharisees and scribes.

They were inspecting Him, and He was showing Himself to be without blemish.

The picture is perfect!

There’s another little gem buried in these verses for us to mine tonight.

3Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, . . .

4 . . . according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb.

5Your lamb shall be without blemish, . . .

A lamb, the lamb, your lamb.

Who is Jesus to you?  Is he a lamb? 

This is the way most people see Jesus; an innocent, good man who lived a morally excellent life and left a good example we all ought to aspire to.

But ultimately, he’s just one of several such examples in history, along with other notable religious leaders and sages.

Who is Jesus to you?  Is he the lamb? 

Some people go further and see Jesus as more than just an excellent moral example and teacher.

He’s the supreme moral teacher, the embodiment of truth and virtue, and endued with divine power.

As good and right as this position regarding Jesus is, it isn’t the best place to be.

Jesus must be more to you than THE lamb, He must be YOUR lamb.

That night in Egypt when the 10th plague came, it was not enough to believe there was a lamb, or even to have seen THE lamb next door at your neighbor’s house.

You had to have your own lamb.

Who is Jesus to you?  A lamb, the lamb, or YOUR lamb?

7And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.

When they prepared the lamb, they were to take some of its blood and place it on the doorposts and lintel of their home, marking it as a house of one of the children of Israel.

This would then protect them from the 10th plague, the angel of judgment who was coming to slay the firstborn.

It’s been noted that as the blood would be applied to the doorposts and lintel, they would make the sign of the cross – foreshadowing what the blood of the Heavenly Lamb would accomplish for us at the Cross of Calvary.

As v. 22 describes, they would take a bunch of hyssop and use it as a kind of brush, dipping it into a bowl of the blood, then they would strike the lintel and doorposts, dragging the hyssop across the door from post to post.

As the blood would then drip down from the lintel, it would make the figure of the cross on the door.

8Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails. 10You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire.

Because the Passover sacrifice was symbolic of Jesus Christ, God was careful to give specific instructions on how it was to be prepared.

Just the details would awaken within the Hebrews the awareness that what they were doing pointed beyond itself to something more important.

In John 6, Jesus said to the large multitude following Him that what it really meant to follow Him was to eat his flesh and drink His blood.

This offended most of them on such a deep level, they immediately went home.

What Jesus was saying was that He hadn’t come to be just one more rabbi, or even the kind of Messiah they were anticipating.

Following Him would involve more than a loyalty of convenience that was propped up by free bread and circuses.

No – to be His disciple, His follower, would mean an intimacy of relationship that was all consuming.

He would offer Himself completely on the cross, and what He wants in return is all we are.

By eating it all, the point was made that this wasn’t just some ritual- this was to be a real meal, a genuine partaking.  They were to enter in fully to the sacrifice of the lamb, not stand on the sidelines and observe.

And it was to be prepared by fire, not boiled.

The fire was emblematic of the judgment of God Jesus took in Himself on the cross, bearing the full brunt of the Holy Wrath.

On the cross, when Jesus was offered the numbing wine, He refused, so that He might experience the full force of our judgment, and so fully atone for us.

The bitter herbs spoke of the bitterness of Christ being made the sin of the world and experiencing death for us.

The unleavened bread is another picture of Christ.

Leaven is emblematic of sin, and so they were to eat unleavened bread because Christ was sinless.

Unleavened bread is always prepared the same way; it is stripped and pierced, just as Jesus bore the stripes of the whip on his back and the wounds of the thorns, nails and spear.

They were told to eat it all – leave none of it as leftovers.

Representing the fact that Jesus paid fully for our sin.

“It is finished,” He said.  There’s nothing leftover for us to do but to receive by faith what He has done.

11And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.

Contrary to how they would usually take the evening meal, which was relaxed and reclining, they were to partake of this meal standing & fully dressed as for a journey.

And the reason why was because this meal, this event of the Passover, while being judgment for Egypt would be deliverance for them.

When the word finally came that it was time to leave, they must be ready to go, without delay.

12‘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 [Yahweh] the Lord.

The firstborn was the privileged in the ancient world, the child that represented the strength, vitality, and hopes of the entire family.

If the firstborn were struck dead, what hope was there for the rest?

God is breaking the back of worldly strength and pride with this judgment.

This is by far the most grievous plague to strike Egypt.

And many ask, “How could God do this?”

He anticipates that question and says, “I am Yahweh!”

“I am God!  I know this plague seems harsh and severe, but remember, you are a human, with a limited understanding & vision.  I am God Who knows and sees all things, including all eventualities.”

Friends, whenever God does something we don’t understand, rather than passing judgment on Him, it’s best to retreat to what we do know about Him.

And everything we need to know and remember is summed up perfectly in the message of the Cross!

Mary was having back problems, a lot of pain and limited mobility.

So she went to the doctor who told her she needed an MRI.

She went and was called by the doctor’s office a few days later; she had an appointment with a surgeon.

She went to the appointment and was shown the results of her MRI.

The surgeon pointed out a bulging disk that was pinching nerves and creating the problem.

Left untreated, it was crippling, but an operation could restore her.

Now, to be frank, as Mary looked at the MRI, she had no idea what she was looking at, she lacked the training to interpret what she was seeing.

She sat there, listening to the doctor, and facing a choice: to say she couldn’t see what he was talking about and reject his advice, or accept what he was saying and yield to his counsel.

What should Mary do – should she trust herself or the doctor?

There have been several points in my life when I didn’t understand what God was doing, and at times, it felt like I was being treated unfairly.

Yes, there have even been times when I complained to God about how I thought He was treating me.

But you know what – I’ve always come to realize that He was right, and what He did was best.

Now when I don’t understand, I resign myself to this, here’s what I fall back on – God is God!  And He is good! And this moment is not the end of the story.  When all is said and done, this I know – God will be vindicated and His ways shown to be the prime best!

13Now 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.

Note that – it was the blood that made protection!

Quite frankly, there was nothing that would keep the Egyptians who desired to, from doing the same thing!

Earlier we read that the commoners among the Egyptians held Moses in great esteem and the Hebrews in respect.

Yahweh had proven Himself superior to the gods of Egypt and many of them had come to a kind of admiring faith in Him.

When the Jews went out in the Exodus, we read that a mixed multitude went out with them, meaning there were probably many other people besides the children of Israel who observed that first Passover.

The important thing was that they apply the blood to their doorways.

It wasn’t just the blood that protected them – it had to be applied!

They had to make personal application of it to their homes, to their lives.

They had to invest faith in it, that it would indeed provide a covering and protection from the divine wrath that would fall on Egypt that night.

The parallel to Christ and us is obvious.

Christ’s blood was shed on the cross of Calvary nearly 2000 years ago – that’s an historical fact.

But have you applied His blood?  Does it cover and protect you?

Have you put your faith in Him as your atoning sacrifice?

14‘So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.

God made the observance of the Passover an annual and perpetual event.

They were never to forget the great work He did in delivering them from bondage in Egypt and making them into a nation.

15Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. 16On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat—that only may be prepared by you. 17So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance. 18In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 19For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land. 20You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.’”

The Passover festival begins on the 10th day when they selected a lamb.

The Passover meal itself was on the 14th day.

The very next day marked the beginning of a 7 day period known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

In commemoration of the fact that they hurriedly left Egypt and their bread dough could not rise, they would spend the next 7 days eating only unleavened bread.

It’s from this practice that leaven became idiomatic of sin.

Leaven works by, in effect, corrupting the bread dough.

The cells of the yeast puff up and explode, dying in the process.

A perfect picture of sin, which corrupts us, puffs us up and then works death and corruption.

Bread was the food of fellowship; by sharing a common loaf, people shared their lives.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread was a reminder that God calls His people to fellowship with Him in holiness, free of the corruption of the world, which Egypt was a type of.

Just as Passover was followed by the 7 day Feast of Unleavened Bread, God wanted their Exodus from Egypt to be their emergence from sin and corruption as well.

In preparation for Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Jewish homes go through an elaborate cleansing rite which became the basis for our annual Spring cleaning.

The wife cleans every corner, every nook and cranny is swept and dusted, and all evidences of leaven are be removed.

All except one obvious little crumb of leavened bread she leaves on the table or on a counter.

Then she tells her husband that she’s was done cleaning, and he comes in and does an inspection.

He finds the crumb, sweeps it up with a feather, and then ceremoniously walks outside and disposes of it.

Now the house is clean and they can celebrate the Passover Feasts.

Besides the ceremonial meaning to the Feast of Unleavened Bread, there was a practical benefit to the annual purging of their homes and pantries of leaven.

Harmful bacteria can piggy-back on yeast, and since a tiny bit of yeast is transferred from one batch of dough to the next, disease can grow over time and work sickness among many.

The annual purging of the house of leaven would ensure the harmful growth of pathogens would be kept to a minimum.

The Passover meal itself along with the week long Feast of Unleavened Bread are usually just referred to as Passover.

The average Jew knows that Passover means this entire 8-day  celebration.

While it’s not given here in Exodus 12, another Feast was added in the middle of the Feast of Unleavened Bread – called the Celebration of Firstfruits.

It’s three days after Passover – the very day that Jesus rose from the dead!

And that is why Paul refers to Jesus as the firstfruits.  He rose first, and we shall rise because of Him, like Him.  [1 Cor. 15:20]

There are so many striking parallels between the Passover and Jesus Christ it’s hard to understand why Jews do not see them.

Take for instance, the practice of the “Afikomen,” the only Greek word in the Hebrew liturgy of the Passover.

Afikomen means = “I came.” [Elaborate]

21Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. 22And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. 23For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. 24And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever. 25It will come to pass when you come to the land which the Lord will give you, just as He promised, that you shall keep this service. 26And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ 27that you shall say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of the Lord, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.’” So the people bowed their heads and worshiped. 28Then the children of Israel went away and did so; just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.

Passover was to be an annual celebration in which the parents rehearsed for their children the wonderful redemptive acts of God.

So many of the annual holidays we have are based in the events of the Gospel, but parents don’t take advantage of them to teach their children and to tell them the wonderful things God has done for us.

Use the holidays as opportunities to teach your children about what God has done.

d. 12:29-30 • the Tenth Plague

29And it came to pass at midnight that the Lord struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock. 30So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead.

The anguished cry of a mother or father at the loss of a child can be a terribly sound.  Multiply that by many thousands and you get an idea of just how terrible this judgment was.

Not a single house that lacked the blood was left without a dead child that night.

An interesting inscription was found in an Egyptian shrine which recorded a solemn promise from the Egyptian gods that Thutmose IV would succeed his father, Amenhotep II - the pharaoh of the Exodus.

What’s unusual about this is that if Thutmose was the firstborn son of Pharaoh, it would be expected that he would succeed his father and no promise of protection would have been necessary.

The inscription is noteworthy precisely because of its promise to Thutmose IV – he wasn’t the firstborn, he was the second son!

The firstborn had been killed in the 10th plague.

The Egyptians took special pains to protect Thutmose so as to ensure a peaceful succession to the throne – thus, the inscription.[1]

H. The Departure from Egypt 12:31-51

31Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, “Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the Lord as you have said. 32Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also.”

Pharaoh’s previous oath that they would not see his face again on pain of death means that he sent an official message to Moses & Aaron telling them to leave.

His last remark has to be understood, not as a sign of real faith, but as just one more desperate comment from a man who’s cast his own dice and doesn’t like the way they’ve come up.

That he isn’t sincere will become obvious when he sends the armies of Egypt out to recapture the children of Israel.

33And the Egyptians urged the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste. For they said, “We shall all be dead.” 34So the people took their dough before it was leavened, having their kneading bowls bound up in their clothes on their shoulders. 35Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing. 36And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.

37Then the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children.

The count was those 13 and up.

But the earlier Egyptian policy of throwing the male babies into the Nile meant that the ratio of men to women was far less than normal.

So it’s likely that there were far more women than men.

As well, history has proven that in times of intense extremity, such as the harsh conditions Israel endured in Egypt, women tend to survive longer than men.

So the 600,000 men 13 and up could have been easily doubled in the number of women.  Add in the “chillen’s” and you have between 2 and 3 million people.

38A mixed multitude went up with them also, and flocks and herds—a great deal of livestock.

By “mixed multitude” is meant people who were not of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

These were some Egyptians and other ethnic groups who had intermarried with Israel, along with other oppressed people who saw the door to freedom opened and went through it.

Generations had passed and they no longer had ties to their original peoples so they just went along with Israel when she made her exodus.

This mixed multitude is going to prove a major trial and source of trouble to the people of God later.

39And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they had brought out of Egypt; for it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared provisions for themselves.

40Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. 41And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years—on that very same day—it came to pass that all the armies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. 42It is a night of solemn observance to the Lord for bringing them out of the land of Egypt. This is that night of the Lord, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations.

Notice the change of identity given to the children of Israel as they leave their bondage in Egypt.

They go from being slaves to being the people and army of Yahweh.

[Sunday]

The Passover becomes such a solemn and important memorial that God gave Moses more instructions in how it was to be observed throughout their generations.

43And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it. 44But every man’s servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then he may eat it. 45A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it.

This was a memorial and feast only the Jews were to observe.

46In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones.

They weren’t to get innovative with the Passover and turn it into a banquet or movable feast.

It was to be celebrated exactly the same way every year so that each generation would renew its identity and link back to the first generation that saw all the mighty deeds God did in Egypt and in the Exodus.

This reference to breaking none of the bones was one more of the many clues that the Passover sacrifice pointed to Jesus Christ who’ll you’ll remember had none of his bones broken.

The Jewish leaders appealed to Pilate to hasten the deaths of Jesus and the two thieves because the holy day was coming on and they didn’t want to defile the land with exposed dead bodies.

The usual Roman practice to hasten the death of the crucified was to break their legs, thus suffocating the victim.

When the soldier came to Jesus’ cross, he saw that Jesus was already dead, but needing to prove it, he simply ran his spear into his chest.

Thus fulfilling two prophecies, that none of Jesus’ bones would be broken, and that His side would be pierced.

Why?  Why would God say not to break the Passover lamb’s bones?

Well sure, it foreshadows Christ – but why none of His bones broken; why is that important?

Where is the blood made?  In the marrow of the bone.

If a bone is broken, it makes no blood.

It was crucial Jesus have no bones broken to communicate that there is no end to the effectiveness of His blood to save and cleanse us from our sin.

Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound, because none of His bones were broken.

His blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness!

47All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it. 49One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you.”

God is making it clear that Gentiles can convert to Judaism, if they are willing to deal with the flesh.

50Thus all the children of Israel did; as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. 51And it came to pass, on that very same day, that the Lord brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt according to their armies.



[1] ibid