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Discovery Magazine 6/1/2003

Passing Over the Israelites

If it were not for monuments and memorials, men and women would quickly forget certain people, places, and events that meant so much to them at one time. If it were not for the U.S. flag, Americans would be more likely to forget the men and women who died for our freedom. If it were not for things like the Washington Monument or the Lincoln Memorial, we might forget some of the greatest leaders in American history. Memorials serve a great purpose.

Throughout the Bible, God and His servants put great emphasis on remembering special events by setting up various memorials. Jacob, Samuel, and Joshua all set up stones on different occasions to remember special events. Jesus instituted a memorial feast just before His death, which Christians eat every first day of the week (Luke 22:14-20). One special memorial that God set up for the Israelites was called the Passover.

Following the ninth plague that God sent upon the Egyptians, He told Moses and Aaron that the final plague would be the death of all of the first-born in the land of Egypt—both of men and of animals (Exodus 11-12). Moses informed the Israelites that in order for them to be spared of such a plague, and be released from their bondage, they would have to take a lamb that was without defect, and kill it on the fourteenth day of the month of Abib. Then, they were to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and the top of the doorframes of the houses where the lamb was eaten. This blood was a sign to the Lord. When He passed through Egypt, striking dead all of the first-born, and saw the lamb’s blood on the doorframes of the Israelites, He passed overtheir houses, and did not allow destruction to come upon them.

God instituted the Passover feast so that future Israelite generations would not forget their God-given deliverance from Egypt. In the New Testament, the apostle Paul compared Christ to the Passover lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7). Similar to how the Israelites were saved with the blood of a lamb, today God’s people (Christians) are saved through the blood of Jesus (Matthew 26:28).

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