Exodus Extracts 12 – Meal of Deliverance

You shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the Lord ’s Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.’” And the people bowed their heads and worshipped. (Exodus 12:27 ESV)

The Bible is epic.

The first five books of the Bible are epic. Exodus is epic. Exodus chapter 12 is a great example of the epic nature of the book, the series of books and the collection of books in which it finds itself.

Serious reading of chapter 12 does not happen just once. Not just because of its length. To truly behold the magnitude of events from the initiation of a new calendar to the exist of over a million people in this one chapter merits multiple readings.

Some would suggest the heart of this epic chapter is the inauguration of the Passover meal and it’s easy to see why. Of all the aspects of the chapter considered, the centrepiece is not the actual final plague which is recorded fairly briskly. The centrepiece is a communal event around a meal. A meal of significance in the birth of a people. A meal of significance in the deliverance of a people. A meal of significance in the affirmation of the Word of God to His people.

The relationship is not relayed in a monologue. The relationship is not established in an entertainment setting. The significance of this month in the life of this people is commemorated in a meal. A meal that tells a story unique to a people.

Consider the meal, the time of the family gathering, the time to converse and share from gender to gender across generational lines. United by blood, both the one that courses through the veins and establishes the identity as well as the blood shed that brings an entire people together to be protected, to be covered. The blood within and the blood without.

It’s ritual deeply entrenched in relationship. It’s ceremony that elaborates on the story of slavery and freedom, of promises kept by ultimate power overpowering the best that man has to offer.

Were we to consider the depth of the grip of slavery and its horrific effects on the generations before, we could begin to understand that significance. Were we to consider the stranglehold of oppression that sought to become intertwined in our identity and the miraculous act needed to rescue us from such a grip, we could begin to see why this meal of deliverance cannot be a small token gesture held in a sombre manner briefly.

This is epic.

For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden

For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden


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