January 21

Read Exodus 11 -- 13

In Today's Reading:

Death of the firstborn; the Lord's Passover; the Exodus; pillar of cloud and pillar of fire.

With each miraculous plague, God proved that Egypt's gods were false deities and that He was the one true God who controls His creation. The final plague of judgment was death. God spoke to Moses: About midnight I will go throughout Egypt and every firstborn male in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh . . . to the firstborn of the servant girl (Exodus 11:4-5). However, God lovingly provided a way for all of the Israelites who were obedient to save their firstborn from death. The sentence of death would not fall on them, but upon an unblemished animal . . . take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which. . . . They are to eat the meat that night; they should eat it, roasted over the fire, along with unleavened bread and bitter herbs . . . you must eat it: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You are to eat it quickly; it is the LORD's Passover (12:5,7-11).

The Hebrew word translated atonement carries the idea of covering something, thereby removing it from God's sight. However, even though an innocent lamb made a temporary atonement, sin was not fully eradicated. Even though there were numerous daily, weekly, and monthly sin offerings, the Israelites were still required to annually observe a full Day of Atonement.

The sin offering, the trespass offering, and the Day of Atonement as the supreme act of national atonement for sins were offered. They were only substitute offerings until Jesus, the one true Sacrifice, died for the sins of the world.

Since God is holy, He cannot fellowship with man in his sinful state. But God has provided His sinless Son as the perfect and complete substitute to die for our sins. How much more will the blood of the Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14).

Christ Revealed:

Through the sacrifice of lambs without blemish. Not one of the lamb's bones was to be broken (Exodus 12:5,46). We were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot (I Peter 1:19). It was foretold of Christ: He keeps all His bones: not one of them is broken (Psalms 34:20; John 19:36).

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Gov. Gary Locke (WA) · Country: Malta (381,000) about 60 miles south of Sicily · Major languages: Maltese and English · Religious freedom · 97% Roman Catholic; 2% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Call to the Lord for help; He will save you out of your troubles (Psalms 34:17).

Optional Reading: Matthew 21

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:5