Exodus 12:31–51 (NRSV)
31Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron in the night, and said, “Rise up, go away from my people, both you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord, as you said. 32Take your flocks and your herds, as you said, and be gone. And bring a blessing on me too!”
Theme song (instrumental) by Ernest Gold from the 1960 movie Exodus, HERE arranged by Henry Mancini. Ernest Gold won Song of the Year at the 1961 Grammy Awards for this song; it is the only instrumental song to receive that award to date.
The Exodus: From Rameses to Succoth
33The Egyptians urged the people to hasten their departure from the land, for they said, “We shall all be dead.” 34So the people took their dough before it was leavened, with their kneading bowls wrapped up in their cloaks on their shoulders. 35The Israelites had done as Moses told them; they had asked the Egyptians for jewelry of silver and gold, and for clothing, 36and the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. And so they plundered the Egyptians.
The Egyptians were only too happy to give their wealth to the Israelites and be rid of them. For the Hebrews, it was only just recompense for all the labor they had given to Pharaoh. It provided them with equipment for the journey and materials for the service of God.
37The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. 38A mixed crowd also went up with them, and livestock in great numbers, both flocks and herds.
39They baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had brought out of Egypt; it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves.
40The time that the Israelites had lived in Egypt was four hundred thirty years. 41At the end of four hundred thirty years, on that very day, all the companies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. 42That was for the Lord a night of vigil, to bring them out of the land of Egypt. That same night is a vigil to be kept for the Lord by all the Israelites throughout their generations.
Directions for the Passover
43The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: This is the ordinance for the passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, 44but any slave who has been purchased may eat of it after he has been circumcised; 45no bound or hired servant may eat of it.
46It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the animal outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones. 47The whole congregation of Israel shall celebrate it.
48If an alien who resides with you wants to celebrate the passover to the Lord, all his males shall be circumcised; then he may draw near to celebrate it; he shall be regarded as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it; 49there shall be one law for the native and for the alien who resides among you.
50All the Israelites did just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. 51That very day the Lord brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, company by company.
The Supper that Jesus instituted on the night he was betrayed was a new Passover meal. Or we might say that the Passover was the Old Testament Lord’s Supper.
The reason the Lord instituted the Passover was so that people of Israel would always remember and proclaim their redemption from Egypt:
This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast. (Exodus 12:14)
And when you come to the land that the Lord will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this service. And when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ you shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.’” (Exodus 12:25-27)
The Lord’s Supper was instituted for the same reason:
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
OT Israel looked back to the Exodus through the Passover meal. NT Israel (that’s us) looks back to the cross and resurrection of Jesus through the Lord’s Supper.
As often as we eat this new Passover meal we remember a greater exodus: “for he has delivered us from the domain of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sin.” (Colossians 1:13)
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.