I will go out into . . . Egypt . . . when I see the blood, I will pass over. (11:4; 12:13 NKJV)
Up until now, Israel’s biggest problem in Egypt has been Pharaoh’s genocidal policy. But when the Lord himself comes into the land in judgment (11:4), everything changes. The problem is no longer how to escape Pharaoh but how to get right with God. The terrible tenth plague achieved deliverance from Egypt (11:1), but that deliverance was no longer the issue. God himself was coming in judgment, and only the Passover could save the people of Israel from death (12:12-13). “Blood” is the outward sign that death has taken place. To see the blood (12:13) is to register the fact that the lamb has died. So look at this lamb:
- The chosen lamb must be perfect: fully acceptable to God, meeting his standard (12:5).
- It must take account of the number of people and also their needs (how many they are and what each will eat, 12:4). The command to have no leftovers (12:10) made the equivalence of lamb and people exact: the lamb has perfectly met both the Lord’s requirements and his people’s needs.
- By God’s declared will, those under the blood of the lamb are immune from his judgment (12:13).
And so the Lord’s great principle of substitution has been implemented.
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)