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What was the ultimate purpose of the Passover? Was it only for protection from the destroyer? Surely, the plague was coming and the firstborn were going to die. The blood on the door would cause the Lord to “pass over.”

Exodus 12:23
For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.

The Passover sacrifice served to protect the people from the plague. But what was the purpose of the plague of the firstborn? It was God’s judgment on the upper echelon of the Egyptian pantheon that was supposed to protect Egypt’s children and the Pharaonic dynasty.[1] This final plague would also cause Pharaoh to release the Israelites.

Exodus 11:1
And the Lord said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether.

So the purpose of the plague was deliverance, but deliverance for what? We know the “from what”—they were enslaved in Egypt. But why did God want them set free? Did He say, “Let my people go that they might be a free and independent army of sheepherders?” Or was it “Let my people go that they might establish kibbutzim all throughout the land and cause the desert to bloom like the rose of Sharon?” No? Well, then, it must have been, “Let my people go that they might establish a socialist democracy on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean.” No, it was none of these. He said, “Let my people go so that they may worship Me.”

Exodus 8:1
Then the  Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me.’” NIV

Worshiping God was the real point of the Passover. The blood of the Passover lamb was for protection from the plague, and the plague was for deliverance from Egypt. But they were to come out of Egypt and journey to the mountain of God to worship Him there. So the Lord leads them out with the column of smoke and fire. The Red Sea is split and they walk across dry-shod and see their enemies swept away by the returning waves. The tribes encamped at the foot of the mountain and the Lord came down to meet His people.

Honestly, even with the current computer animation technology, nothing Hollywood could produce would do justice to the scene. How do you film the arrival of Almighty God? He descended in fire and the mountain smoked. The angels began blowing their trumpets and Sinai responded with trembling. The trumpets grew louder and LOuder and LOUDer and LOUDER. And God boomed the Ten Commandments from the mountaintop, “I am the Lord thy God which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”[2]  And the people said, “Hallelujah, we’ve met God!” No, they didn’t say that. They didn’t say that at all.

Exodus 20:18-19
18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.
19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

They said, “We can’t take this.” And you know what? We can’t blame them; we couldn’t have taken it either. God told Moses, “It’s a good thing they say unto you.” God wasn’t putting on a show. If anything, He was showing restraint in His manner of entering in. But the children of Israel learned quickly that Jehovah is a fearsome God. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God. He is a consuming fire. And the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, amen?

They didn’t dare approach; they stood afar off. But we are told that “now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”[3]  It is true that the blood protects us. And yes, the blood delivers us. But there is a point to it. It allows us to enter into the presence of a holy God and not die. Worship is what He desires. He spilled His blood to make our worship not only possible but acceptable as well.

[1] Ex 12:12 shows that all the plagues were judgments not only on the Egyptians, but on all their gods as well.
[2] Ex 20:1
[3] Eph 2:13

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