In the book of Exodus, the Bible tells us the story of how God delivered the Hebrew children out of the bondage of slavery in Egypt. God, through his servant Moses, showed Pharaoh His power by sending many plagues–frogs, locusts, turning water into blood, darkness–just to name a few. Each time, Pharaoh hardened his heart and refused to release the Hebrews so that they could go out and serve God in the wilderness. The tenth and last plague was the “straw that broke the camel’s back” so to speak. God told Moses that He would send the Angel of Death and kill the first born of every living being, human and animal. This was God pouring out His wrath upon Pharaoh and the people of Egypt.
God also told Moses what to do to prevent the Angel of Death from killing any of the Hebrews. They were to take a male lamb that was a year old and without any imperfections, and bring it into their home. The lamb was to live with the family for four days. After four days, they were to kill the lamb, take it’s blood and cover the 2 door posts and the lintel of the house in which the Passover meal would be eaten. Then they would cook the meat and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. This meal would be observed every year after that.
In the middle of the night, the Angel of Death swept through the land of Egypt killing the first born of every household that was not covered by the blood of the lamb. When the Angel saw the blood covering the lintel and door posts, he passed over that house, thus giving this meal the name Passover. Those who were covered by the blood were spared.
This event was a shadow of what Christ would do for those who are born again. Jesus, the only Begotten Son, came to earth to be the Sacrificial Lamb because He was without imperfection (sinless). He voluntarily went to the cross to die for our sins. His shed blood covered over our sins so that we would not taste spiritual death. Just as when the Angel saw the blood on the lintel and door posts and passed over, God looks upon us and sees the blood of Jesus and we are saved from His wrath.
The beauty of the Old Testament is that we can see the foreshadowing of Christ and what He did on the cross. Because He was the ultimate sacrifice, He paid the debt for sin ONCE and FOR ALL which means we no longer needed to sacrifice every year. His sacrifice saves us from God’s wrath.