The Passover: Judgment or mercy depends on the blood

With this study I want to take a fairly specific look at the tenth plague (Exodus 11-12) that the LORD brought on the land of Egypt and on Pharaoh, Egypt’s ruler. This is called either the plague of the death of the firstborn or the Passover, depending on whose experience is in view. Before I look at the tenth plague, I want to get some context for this great event.

It is important to understand that the LORD brought the plagues on the land of Egypt (Exodus 7-12) to destroy the most powerful country then on earth as a demonstration of His power and to humiliate the false gods of the Egyptians by showing that those false gods were impotent. Almost each plague was an attack against a different Egyptian god.

But what prompted the LORD to destroy Egypt? What prompted the LORD to destroy Egypt was the arrogant question that Pharaoh asked Moses (Exodus 5:2): “Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice?” Now, there should be a horrified gasp and an evident wince from everyone who hears that question from Pharaoh. “O Pharaoh, you should not have said that. You should not speak that way about the LORD of all the earth, for the LORD does not take your arrogance and pride lightly. And the LORD will not be ignored and despised, nor will He tolerate being compared to other gods. ‘Who is the LORD?’ you ask. You are about to find out who the LORD is, and when He is finished with you, you will not be in any doubt. The LORD, He is God and He will be obeyed and He will be worshiped or He will be your Destroyer.” So the ten plagues which systematically destroyed Egypt were the means the LORD used to answer Pharaoh’s question.

Now that we have established the context for the plagues, I want to focus on the tenth and final plague. This was by far the most significant plague, because this plague brought about the death of the firstborn. For God’s people, this event was known as the Passover when the LORD, in His mercy, passed over the houses which had the blood on the door post. Where there was the prescribed blood on the door, the LORD spared the firstborn. But for the Egyptians who did not put the blood of the lamb on the door post, this tenth plague meant death and judgment. The point to understand here is that the Passover event pictured both mercy and judgment. For those who were covered by the blood of the lamb, there was the LORD’s mercy, but for those who were not, there was death and judgment as the LORD killed the first-born. The difference between mercy and judgment was the blood of the lamb.

As we understand the Passover, we see that it is a crystal clear picture and a “foreshadow” of what the final Passover Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ, accomplished when He died on the cross. For the situation today is exactly the same as it was for the children of Israel and the Egyptians so long ago, at least in this sense: still today, as then, every single human being will receive either mercy or judgment from the Lord, and the difference is the blood of the Lamb. Hebrews 9:27 says, “And it is appointed for man to die once and after this comes the judgment.” From this verse it is clear that there is a judgment coming. Whether we believe it or not, there is coming a day for every single human being when they will stand before the Lord to be judged, and on that day, the verdict will either be eternal life or eternal condemnation. For the one who has repented of their sins and who has believed in Jesus Christ, that day will be a day of mercy, since the Lord will see the blood of the Lamb of God on that person’s soul and judgment will forever pass over them. But for the one who has not placed their faith in Jesus Christ; for the one who has ignored the warnings and the pleadings and who has continued in their sin and who has never called upon the name of the Lord (Romans 10:13); for the one who has trusted in their own righteousness and who has continued to believe that the Lord’s patience would last forever, there will be terrifying judgment and eternal condemnation. Every single human being will experience an eternity of either mercy or judgment, and which eternity awaits you depends on the blood.

And so the question that must be answered is this: “Are you certain that the blood of the Lamb is over your doorpost?” That is, have you definitely and irreversibly committed yourself to follow the Lord Jesus by repenting from your sin and placing your faith in Christ? Because of your faith, have you been wrapped in a robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10)? In the Judgment, will Jesus’ blood cover your sin and atone for your sin and thus allow you to receive God’s mercy, or will you be one of those who experiences the terrifying wrath of God forever? It all depends on the blood.

SDG                                      rmb                                   2/26/2017

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