Moses and Aaron continued to wage a war of signs and wonders while Pharaoh continued to harden his own heart until God began to harden it for him. A plague of locusts descended upon Egypt, turning the sky black with their sheer numbers, stripping the ground as they devoured every living piece of vegetation. A plague of darkness blotted out the lights of Egypt creating darkness so heavy that it felt palpable—yet in the houses of the children of Israel, light still shone.
Finally, the signs and wonders culminated with a terrible and awe-inspiring final plague that struck at the heart of Egypt, even breaking through Pharaoh’s resilient pride: the plague of the slaying of the firstborn.
The LORD described how He would pass over Egypt around the middle of the night, striking dead the firstborn of every family—from the least to the greatest. The slayer would not even spare the firstborn of the cattle. Even Pharaoh’s firstborn son, heir to the throne of Egypt and heir to Pharaoh’s divinity, would not escape.
Juxtaposed against the drama unfolding in Egypt, the Passover sacrifice strikes an indelible impression on the mind of the reader. God set the stakes high. Death came to the land of Egypt—a judgment from heaven, a terror in the night, and it did not spare even the firstborn sons of the Israelites. The slayer of the firstborn took no account of merits of innocence or guilt. Faith and creed did not enter the equation. Previous plagues had shown particularity, sparing the children of Israel in the midst of Egypt. The tenth plague, however, dealt its blow impartially. Just as in life itself, death knows no boundaries, the final plague brought death to the righteous and the wicked alike.
The LORD required only one condition for salvation in this instance: the blood of the lamb on the doorway of the home. Only homes marked by the blood of a lamb could escape.
The Torah commanded the children of Israel to keep the Passover every year as an appointed time. For 3,400 years, the Jewish people have kept the legacy of the Passover alive with the annual celebration of Passover, the time appointed for redemption.