Living on ‘Passover Night’: Between Redemption and Judgement

This pastoral passage was first written for LRBC in August 2014

Recently at my young adults Bible study we looked at the Passover and the Plague on the Firstborn of Egypt (Exodus 11-12). This was an act of divine judgement on Egypt and redemption for the Israelites. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul used this event as a warning against bad behaviour amongst Christ’s people.

Some of the Christians in the city of Corinth had slipped into immoral living. Some even boasted that it demonstrated the freedom they had in Christ (1Corinthians 5-6). Paul warned these wayward Christians to abandon such behaviour. Part of his rebuke to them included these intriguing words: “For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Corinthians 5:7b). Paul often used Old Testament experiences to instruct the churches in Christian living. Here, he picks up on the Passover night and places us – Christians – within that story. Like the Israelites on that fateful night, we live between the time of the redeeming sacrifice (Christ crucified, our Passover lamb) and the coming moment of judgement (Judgement Day).

The lesson is this: we may sit amongst God’s people under the protective ‘blood of the lamb’, but if our behaviour looks no different to those for whom judgement is coming, might we find that we are in fact one of them and belong with them when that impending judgement arrives. If we really have been bought for a price, then we will want to glorify God with our bodies and prove we are Christ’s people by our actions (1 Cor. 6:20).