Now the Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household. Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb. Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails. And you shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire. Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste-it is the Lord’s Passover. For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments-I am the Lord.
This night when God passed over the homes adorned with the blood of a lamb, he ratified his promise that he was taking these descendants of Abraham somewhere—that after over one hundred years of their forefathers wandering’ wanderings followed by another four hundred years of slavery, God had not forgotten his people. These people were a people holy to the Lord their God. The Lord their God chose them as a people for his treasured possession, out of all peoples who are on the face of the earth. (Deut. 7:6).
So the people of God grew up with the command to tell this story—the story of the rebellion in the Garden, the devastation of the flood, the wanderings of the patriarchs and the covenant promises God cut with them, the four hundred years in bondage to Egypt, and God’s holy and sober deliverance that followed. What was the point? God had claimed a people as his own, a people he swore to one day fully redeemed and fully restore. This wasn’t a simple matter of the Divine helping his subjects when they got into scrapes. This was a matter of affection, of adoption, of redemption, and of salvation belonging, from beginning to end, to the Lord.