1.Beginning in Exodus 12:2 and following G-d told Israel to mark their calendar – to reckon time based on what had transpired. Why would this be important to them? Can you draw any parallels to this in your own life?
If you think back to Genesis, scripture starts with the creation story told by using days of creation. Here we see months of the year being established. Both of these speak of time and its importance for us as G-d’s people. G-d himself had no need for time. He was, He is and He will be. However His creation works based on time. It is for our benefit not His.
What does time do for us? How does it help us in our lives? One way, it gives us time to reflect on our lives. It gives us the opportunity to repent, to change, to work on our spiritual lives and draw closer to the Father. In this Torah portion we see an example of time wasted, opportunities missed.
We would do well to follow this pattern of remembering times in our lives. Remember when our lives changed. Remember what it would have been like had not this change occurred.
G-d does this here by giving a new calendar to Israel. This first day of Nissan (Aviv) would be much more than just starting a new month. It would be the day of marking their lives as redeemed people. No longer slaves but free men! In fact we see here in the celebration of Passover on the 14th and the 21st of (Nissan) Aviv, days set aside as Sabbaths. This means no work.
So the first thing after the sacrificing of the lamb in the afternoon was a day of rest to be celebrated each year. A time of resting in our redemption, a time to be focused on being completely free from the pressures of the world – our old world. A time of resting from the old things that beset us in our prior lives. There would be no leaven for 7 days followed by another day of rest.
This could relate to our redemption experience and then the final Shabbat being the coming Day of the L-rd at the end of the age. The only power that sin has in our lives, during this time between the Shabbats is the power we give it. What a sweet picture G-d has given us here of being His completely and being free from those things of the past.
2.If we look at the last three plagues what do they all have in common? Why is this common theme important?
Darkness took place in all three plagues. The eighth plague was locusts (Ex. 10:4-5, 15) Here it says in Hebrew they will cover the eye of the earth. They will darken the earth. Then the ninth plague is darkness so thick you could feel it.(Ex. 10:21-23 The tenth plague, killing of the first born, came in the middle of the night. (Ex. 11:4-6)
So what does this mean? To get some clue let us look at an old exchange between Moses and Pharaoh in Ex 10:9-11. Remember one of the reasons for the plagues was to discredit the gods of Egypt. Who was the highest god of Egypt? His name was Ra, the sun god. (The worship of the sun continued up through Constantine. ) In Exodus 10:10 when Pharaoh said look evil is before you he used the word ra which means evil or bad but could be read as the name of Egypt’s highest god. Pharaoh is warning Moses to remember who he is dealing with. So, these plagues of darkness are a direct affront to Ra, the sun god. He has no power and is ridiculed by the G-d of Israel. Let us never forget who we serve. Our G-d is our Shield and Deliverer. Just as He redeemed Israel so has He redeemed us.
3.This Torah portion is called “Bo” in Hebrew. It is translated as “Go to Pharaoh.” The surprise here is that, go, is not the meaning of the word. The actual meaning of the word is come. Does this change how we read this verse and what it says to us spiritually?
Here are two simple requests that a parent might give to his child. A father might say, “Go clean your room” or “Come clean your room.” The latter speaks of him, in the room, waiting for his son to come join him and clean the room.
This is pretty much what G-d is saying to Moses here, “Come on in Moses, We have something to share with Pharaoh.” Now this was not the first time Moses had been with Pharaoh. But this time Moses was going into the heart of darkness or Pharaoh’s inner sanctum rather than meeting him in a somewhat neutral place such as by the river. Here Moses is coming face to face with the very face of darkness. Remember Pharaoh saw himself as god,
So G-d was saying, “Come with Me to Pharaoh.” Remember in Ezekiel 29:3 how Pharaoh is described as a great serpent who crouches in the river and says, “My river is my own, I have made it or ‘made myself.’”
Maybe G-d was saying to Moses, “Come in with Me and see My power.” G-d speaks to each of us the same message each time He calls us to take a step which may seem more than we can comprehend in our limited vision. But always remember whatever lies before you G-d is already there waiting for you and will get you through whatever it is you are facing. It does not mean it will be easy or end like you thought but it for sure will end for your betterment, for your good. He is already there. He is calling each of us to come. We can rest in that.
4.What was Pharaoh’s biggest sin?
Was it the enslavement of the Jewish people or killing of infants? No, everything he did sprung from his unbridled ego. He lived his life saying, “I am god. What is good is what helps me. What is bad hinders me.” Have you ever known anyone who looks at life like that, “what is good is what helps me and what is bad is what hinders me.” If so, they have a fleshly ego problem.
Is our ego bad? It is only bad when it is separated from G-d. Our ego should be a reflection of G-d and as such should lead us to do those things which brings glory and honor to G-d, not to ourselves. If not, then we become god in our own eyes and the world revolves around us. Right and wrong becomes perverted.
So that was what Moses was about to confront and is also what we sometimes have to face. We are not G-d but we serve one who is the maker of the Universe and Who is always with us. How often do our decisions in life reflect only what is good for us?
5.If you look at our Torah portion, specifically the first 12 verses of chapter 12 see how many points in these verses remind you of Yeshua and His time here on earth? Can you find verses in the Messianic Scripture to prove your point.
It says in Exodus 12:13, “The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”
Did G-d really need a sign? Did He not know when houses belonged to the Hebrews? Why did they need to mark their houses with blood? I think God wanted to teach His people the concepts of sacrifice and blood atonement. The ritual of the lamb’s blood at Passover provided Israel with a preview of what was to come in the atoning work of Yeshua.
The Passover lamb was the avenue of escape that God provided for His people in Egypt from the tenth plague. What if an Egyptian had put blood on his doorpost? What would have happened? I believe had the Egyptians sacrificed a lamb according to the instructions and applied its blood to the doorposts of their houses, they too would have been spared. The sacrificial death of Yeshua is the avenue of escape that God has provided to spare us from condemnation and eternal death. One need not be Jewish to benefit; one only needs to be under the blood of Yeshua.
Exodus 12:3 says to take a lamb on the 10th of the month. Four days the lamb is to be kept before slaughter. The tenth day of the month is around the same day Yeshua entered Jerusalem. (John 12:1, John 12:12-13) We read where large crowds were there to meet Him. They were there for the holidays and to pick their lamb and to be purified before Passover. So here, in effect, by their actions, they were picking Yeshua, proclaiming Him Messiah. They didn’t know the outcome of this action but G-d did.
It is written in Exodus 12:5 it is to be an unblemished lamb. For animals this meant no physical defects. The same word when used for a person means one who has integrity and is blameless. Yeshua fits this completely. He was without defect so Peter could write in I Peter 1:19 and Paul in I Cor 5:7-8 as the Passover Lamb.
Exodus 12:6 says the lamb is to be kept for 4 days. Why? It was to see if any blemish appeared. The Hebrew word is to guard or watch and observe. How was Yeshua observed to see if he had a blemish? He went to the Temple to teach and there the Pharisees and Sadducees asked him many questions. They were looking for any moral or theological blemish that would disqualify Him. Of course none were found. Matthew 21-22.
In Luke 22:15 we read about Yeshua celebrating the Passover with His disciples. The things we read here are still a part of the Seder today. Exodus 12:8 says they are to eat bitter herbs to remind them of their hardship in Egypt. In Matt. 26:21-23 Judas dips his bread into the bitter herbs before he goes out to betray Yeshua. In Luke 22:1-6 we read of His bitterness of heart when he agrees to betray Yeshua.
Exodus 12:11 says eat of it with your loins girded, sandals on and staff in your hand. Yeshua sends His disciples out in a similar way in Matthew 10:10.
Exodus 12:12 talks of the tenth plague, killing the first-born. So in the first Passover the first born of Egypt were slain and later Israel had to redeem their first born to remind them of how G-d had spared them in Egypt.
In Hebrews 1:3-6, Revelations 1:5-6 and Romans 8:29 Yeshua is described as the first born whose death redeemed us from that fate spiritually. Please continue to read this account of the first Passover and see how you can relate it to your own life spiritually, such as taking out the leaven in Exodus 12:15.