Tuesday, January 26, 2010
The Passover & Community
I've read Exodus 12 many times before, but something struck me as I read it this morning. This is the story of the final plague on Egypt, where God kills the firstborn in every Egyptian family. God has multiple bottom lines with his plans. His main purpose with this plan is obviously to redeem his people, but if you've read much of Scripture, you also know that God is giving them a symbolic picture of the ultimate redemption that will take place through Christ's sacrifice.
God wants his people here to create a tradition in which they will always remember what happened on that night. But here's what struck me this morning. He includes everyone in the community. Everyone is responsible for doing their part. This isn't just a task for the leaders. Each household is to sacrifice a lamb. They are to prepare that lamb in a certain fashion, and then they are to enjoy eating it. God gives special conditions that if a household is small and doesn't need a whole lamb, then they can go in with another small household and share a lamb. But everyone takes part. Every member of the community plays a role in God's plan.
Sometimes the details in the Old Testament can bog us down, but I think there's real purpose in them, and in a passage like this one, it's clear to me that God is giving us a picture of community. And I think it's a brilliant picture!