Key Scripture: Exodus 11:4-7; 12:3-7, 12-13
Jacob’s family, also known as the Israelites, grew very big while living in Egypt. Because Pharaoh was afraid they would take over completely, he made them slaves. The Egyptians forced the Israelites to work very hard and treated them badly for many years. But God had not forgotten his promises. God called an Israelite named Moses to lead his people out of slavery. Moses told Pharaoh to let God’s people go free, and Pharaoh said, “No!”
So, God sent plagues (which are really terrible things) to show Pharaoh he meant business. First, God turned the river to blood. Then, he sent frogs and bugs and hail and darkness all over the land. He made animals die and people break out with sores, but still, Pharaoh would not obey God and let his people go.
God was going to send one more plague—the worst one of all. The firstborn son of every family living in Egypt was going to die. Sin would bring death to every family, but God was going to show mercy to his people. He told the Israelites to kill a perfect lamb and rub its blood on the sides and top of their doors. When God saw the blood on the door, he would pass over that house. The firstborn sons in houses covered by blood would live because the lambs had died in their place.
On the night of the last plague, there was great sadness in Egypt. Many sons died, including Pharaoh’s son. Pharaoh finally gave in and let the Israelites leave Egypt. But it wasn’t long before he changed his mind and came charging after them with his army. The Israelites were camping by the Red Sea when they saw Pharaoh coming. Just when things seemed hopeless, God split the sea and made dry land appear, so his people could get across safely. Then, he made the waters come crashing back down on the Egyptian army.
God saved his people from death by the blood of lambs and set them free from slavery in Egypt. Sadly, though, God’s people were still slaves to their sinful hearts. But one day, many years later, God sent a better Lamb to set them free from sin forever by his blood.
Main Point: Every firstborn son in Egypt was going to die because Pharaoh refused to obey the one, true God. The Israelite families each killed a lamb and put its blood on the doors of their homes. The sons living in the homes covered by blood lived because the lambs died in their place.
Christ Connection: Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb! Because he died, we can live. We are set free from sin and death by trusting in him (John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7-8).