Exodus 11:1-12:13; Matthew 20:17-28; Psalms 25:16-22; Proverbs 10:22
OT: “Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month they must each select an animal of the flock according to their fathers’ families, one animal per family… You must have an unblemished animal, a year-old male; you may take it from either the sheep or the goats. You are to keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembly of the community of Israel will slaughter the animals at twilight. They must take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses where they eat them. They are to eat the meat that night; they should eat it, roasted over the fire along with unleavened bread and bitter herbs… Here is how you must eat it: You must be dressed for travel, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You are to eat it in a hurry; it is the Lord’s Passover. “I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night and strike every firstborn male in the land of Egypt, both people and animals. I am the Lord; I will execute judgments against all the gods of Egypt. The blood on the houses where you are staying will be a distinguishing mark for you; when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No plague will be among you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 12:3, 5-8, 11-13 CSB)
You can either be covered by God’s hand or uncovered by God’s hand. When you are uncovered, you are left vulnerable to the unpredictability of the world and the works of Satan. The more and more Pharaoh hardened his heart and refused to submit to God’s requests, he left his people more and more vulnerable to the erratic and destructive forces of nature and the desires of Satan. The final “plague” to hit Egypt occurred when God fully removed His hand from the nation, opening the door for Satan to have his way… but even then, God still restrained Satan from the fullness of his evil desires, only allowing the first born to be taken. While God was removing His hand of protection from Egypt in an act of judgement, He was simultaneously providing covering for the nation of Israel. God would cover his people through the blood of a blemishless and innocent lamb. Whoever had the blood of the lamb on their door posts would be protected by God and would be passed over by the spirit of death. Ultimately, that provision foreshadowed the ultimate provision that would be made by the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ when He shed His blood for the salvation of all mankind.
NT: “While going up to Jerusalem, Jesus took the twelve disciples aside privately and said to them on the way, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death. They will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked, flogged, and crucified, and on the third day he will be raised.” …Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions act as tyrants over them. It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”” (Matthew 20:17-19, 25-28 CSB)
Once again, Jesus foretold what was about to happen to Him in Jerusalem… that He would be tortured and killed, but would raise to life again. Oddly, right after that, James‘ and John’s mother began negotiating a position for her sons in Jesus’ kingdom – which prompted this lesson on authority. God never gives authority to a person to benefit the person. God gives authority to a person to benefit those who are covered by the authority. The person with the authority is to serve those who are under his covering – just as God serves the needs of those who are submitted to His authority. A great way to erode your authority is to lord it over people. They may do what you say because of fear, but you will lack honor and respect in their eyes. Even Jesus, the Son of Man, the person with the greatest authority under God the Father, did not come to lord His authority over His subjects, but came to lay down His life and shed every ounce of His blood to serve mankind and pay for their liberation from sin and death.