The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.
“Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt. (Exodus 12:1-13 ESV)
After centuries living as slaves in Egypt, the Jewish people are about to embark on their miraculous, God-led journey into freedom and ultimately into the land and new life God had promised them. Their exit from the land of their captivity was not welcomed by their captors, who made quite a profit having slave labor at their disposal, so God had to “convince” Egypt’s king and its people that they should let God’s people go. He did so through a series of awful plagues, each showing how the God of the Hebrew people was vastly superior to the gods the Egyptians settled for. The last plague was the worst. The firstborn son of each family would die.
The Jews did have one way of deliverance – if they sacrificed a lamb and placed the blood of that sacrifice on the doorpost of their home, death would “pass over” that home. Notice that the Jews weren’t more deserving of any escape from death than their captors were. Their firstborn would also die, unless they obeyed. It was only through an act of trustful obedience to God’s instruction that God provided a way of escape.
The same is true of all of us, who deserve death (separation from the One who is life, itself) because of our sinful rebellion toward our Creator. We aren’t deserving of deliverance from our punishment. But God still graciously provides a sacrifice for us, the death of His Son, who’s blood applied to our sinful lives frees us from death and enables us to experience life. We must simply trust that His blood is enough for our deliverance.