Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.
The important events in Israel’s history were marked by feasts, much like we celebrate birthdays and holidays and other occasions with dinners and parties. It’s a way to remember, a time to reflect on those milestones of life, and an opportunity to celebrate those moments again. The Passover was to be a lifelong remembrance. They were to acknowledge their redemption from Egypt year after year in the way prescribed by God for their entire lives, much like we remember our salvation through the Lord’s Supper.
In our own lives, we are not to forget what we’ve been delivered from, how we were delivered, and who delivered us. How could the people of Israel ever forget what Egypt was like? The cruel bondage, the heavy yoke, the helplessness they felt being subject to those slavemasters. Likewise, we once served the master of sin, bound by heavy chains, forced to toil under his cruel direction. We were trapped in that condition of darkness and hopelessness.
The people of Israel were delivered by a miracle, by God’s intervention, and because blood was shed on their behalf. He passed over them because of their sacrifices, and then they just walked right out of Egypt in total freedom, and no one could stop them. We are also saved by God intervening on our behalf. He made a way, through the sacrifice of His son’s blood, to set us free. And now no one can stop us from walking right out of that bondage and into the freedom that Jesus gives to us. But without God working, we would have never been able to escape.
One last thing the Passover meal reminded Israel was that they left in haste. When the time came to leave, they had to take their unleavened dough and get out. There wasn’t time to linger. And for us, our salvation is not a process, but a moment. That quickly, we are saved, and we dwell no more in sin. In an instant, freedom and forgiveness are ours, and there’s no waiting. Only after that comes the journey, the sanctification, the learning and growing until we reach our prepared place. So as we continue on, may we acknowledge where we’ve come from, how we were rescued, and who enabled us to be set free.