Deliverance Through Community

Deliverance Through Community
Author: Ian Young, Middle School Director
Foretold - Part 4
The blood on the houses where you are staying will be a distinguishing mark for you; when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No plague will be among you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
– Exodus 12:13
Passover is a Jewish holiday that we see celebrated in Scripture that commemorates when God delivered the nation of Israel from the bondage of slavery they experienced at the hands of Egypt. God inflicted ten different plagues on the nation of Egypt until Pharaoh conceded and let God’s people go. Passover comes from the final plague God ordered over the land. He showed that the Egyptian gods were nonexistent, and He was (and still is) in control by passing through Egypt and striking down the firstborn of both people and animals. However, those who obeyed specific instructions from the Lord would be “passed over,” and this destruction would not touch them (Exodus 12:12-13).

Each man was to slaughter an unblemished-year-old male lamb for his household with all members of the Israel community. If any household was too small for a whole lamb, they were to share it with their nearest neighbor in accordance with what each person would eat. Then, they were to take the lamb’s blood and apply it to the doorway of their homes. Once that was completed, the Israelites were to roast the lamb and eat it, along with bitter herbs and bread made without yeast, while dressed ready for travel. The leftovers were to be burned (Exodus 12:1-12, 22-23). Then, as the Lord passed through Egypt, He would “pass over” the houses marked with the lamb’s blood and would not allow destruction to enter their homes (Exodus 12:23, 27).

This is how we are called to live once we have received the grace God has given us—together.

Notice the instructions God gave the Israelites were not to be followed alone; they included other people. He gave the instructions to Moses and Aaron, which they shared with the elders in Israel. Then, they shared with the rest of Israel. Each man got a lamb for his family, and if a family was too small for an entire lamb, they shared it with their closest neighbor. They even took into account how much each person would eat. The whole community slaughtered their lambs together, and every person dipped their hyssop branches in a basin of blood and marked their doorways for their household. Each Israelite family cooked the lamb the same way and ate together as a family. Additionally, every family discarded their leftovers the same way and all dressed ready for travel.

Why did they do this? They believed that God was faithful to them and was going to deliver them (Exodus 12:1-12, 21-23). They shared God’s instructions and did what the Lord instructed them to do together. This is how we are called to live once we have received the grace God has given us—together (Colossians 3:11-17).

If you are not connected in community, take a step, whether that be asking a friend to start praying and studying Scripture together, going to Next Steps in the lobby and asking about groups happening around The Ridge, or maybe simply going back to church.

If you are already connected in community, take five minutes in prayer and solitude and ask the following questions:

  • How am I caring for each person in my community?
  • How is my community loving those on the “outside?”
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