A family waits in the dark.

Outside it is strangely quiet.

In the cool night air of Egypt, the whisper of a breeze rustles the leaves of a tree.

This is the night.

This is the night Moses told the children of Israel to be ready for. This is the night they are going to be set free from the pain and suffering of slavery in a foreign land. This is the night they are going to begin their journey to a land flowing with milk and honey.

This is the night the angel of death is coming.

Moses had told them to go out to their flocks four days before and choose a spotless lamb. It was to be a lamb without any defects, its wool without any bare spots, its eyes clear, its legs straight and strong.

They took the lamb into their house, and it lived with them like a family pet.

And then this day, at sunset, they killed the lamb and prepared the meat for a special meal - the Passover Meal. They roasted the meat on a fire with bitter herbs to remind them of the bitter taste of slavery. They made a flat, hard, bread without yeast because there wasn’t time to let dough rise. They ate with their walking sticks in their hands, and their sandals on their feet. They had to be ready to leave at any moment.

But, most importantly, they took a bowl, and with a hyssop branch they marked the crosspiece and sideposts of their front door with the blood of the lamb.

And now they waited.

At midnight they heard a cry way off in the distance. It was the cry of a mother who just discovered that her first born child was dead. And then they heard another cry, and then another, and then another. Until the night was filled with the awful cries of pain and loss.

The angel of death had come to Egypt.

But the angel of death didn’t come to this house.

The angel of death passed over every house that was marked with blood.

They were saved by the blood of the lamb.

That very night, Pharaoh commanded Moses, “Take your people and go!”

Next - The Lamb of God

Paul Dallgas-Frey

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