WHEN I SEE THE BLOOD, I WILL PASS OVER YOU|Holy Thursday|Day 38


We often hear christians pray or use stickers and handbills with the inscriptions: "witches and wizards 'pass over' because this house is covered with the blood of Jesus" or "enemies of progress 'pass over' because this house/building is covered with the blood of Jesus", and if it is a sticker/poster, the bible verse Ex 12:13 is written underneath. Do these prayers reflect the true meaning of Passover? Who really passed over the Israelites in Egypt: God, angel (of death), demons, witches or wizards? If you wish to know read slowly...

Cf Exodus 12:1-8,11-14
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: ‘This month is to be the first of all the others for you, the first month of your year. Speak to the whole community of Israel and say, “On the tenth day of this month each man must take an animal from the flock, one for each family: one animal for each household... It must be an animal without blemish, a male one year old...you shall slaughter it between the two evenings. Some of the blood must then be taken and put on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses where it is eaten. That night, the flesh is to be eaten, roasted over the fire; it must be eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. You shall eat it like this: with a girdle round your waist, sandals on your feet, a staff in your hand. You shall eat it hastily: it is a passover in honour of the Lord. That night, I will go through the land of Egypt and strike down all the first-born in the land of Egypt, man and beast alike, and I shall deal out punishment to all the gods of Egypt, I am the Lord! The blood shall be a sign on the houses that you live in. When I see the blood I will PASS OVER you and you shall escape the destroying plague when I strike the land of Egypt. This day is to be a day of remembrance for you, and you must celebrate it as a feast in the Lord’s honour.
POINTS FOR REFLECTION
1. Child of God, the bible passage you just read reflects the first Passover- how God delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt- by passing his wrath and judgement on the Egyptians. The first confusion found in this text comes from trying to interpret the Hebrew word Pesach used in the text to mean 'PASS'. The original text reads thus:
When I see the blood I will [וּפָסַחְתִּי -Pesach] OVER you, and you shall escape the destroying plague  when I strike the land of Egypt. (Ex 12:13)
Therefore, the verb פָּסַח pesach does not really mean “pass over” when translated into English. Rather it means that God, upon seeing the sign of the blood upon the doorposts, covers (or hovers over, protects) these houses. When God sees this sign, He does not just “pass over” the Israelites’ houses. If God were to simply "pass over" their houses, it would not impede the destroyer who could enter the houses after God passes over. Hence it is God who Pesach (hover/covers) over his people while the destroyer (God's agent) executes judgement on the Egyptians and their first born.
2. The first Passover was a sign pointing to Jesus. Hence God says 'the blood shall be a sign'- something pointing to a greater reality. Just as the animal to be killed must be male without blemish (Ex 12:5) so also is Jesus a lamb without spot (1Pet 1:19). Just as the instructions of the first passover secured the bones of the lamb from being broken (Ex 12: 46), so also was Jesus' bones not broken after he died (Jn 19:32-36). Just as the instructions of the first passover lamb did not permit any of it to remain till morning (Ex 12:10), so also the body of Jesus was not allowed to remain on the cross till the next day (Jn 19:31). God endorses Jesus as the reality 'True Passover' lamb when he receives the spirit of Jesus on the cross in between the two evenings of the Passover feast, just as the lambs for Passover were killed.
TASK: The word of God is highly beneficial when used appropriately, for it is 'useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work' (2Tim 3:17). On this day, Holy thursday, we call to mind when Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist which now becomes the new Passover meal for us christians. Spend some time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and experience the Pesach (protection and covering) of the Lord.

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