Exodus 12:24–25 (HCSB)
24 “Keep this command permanently as a statute for you and your descendants. 25 When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as He promised, you are to observe this ritual.”
The description of the Passover ordinance, and all the details, seems to simply be some sort of ritualistic disruption of the Israel-Egypt-God-Plague story. But, despite there being ritual details, I think this pericope is more important than just some legalistic guidelines.
The continual observance of Passover is obviously important since some form of the phrase, “as a permanent statute,” is repeated three times (Exodus 12:14, 17, 24). God was about to deliver His people, after already displaying His power through the plagues, this was going to be the culmination of that process. This was all for His glory, and through His glorification, His people benefit as well!
It seems to me things like the Passover either strengthen the faith of those who belong to God, or bolster the rebelliousness of those who do not. When I was lost I would have read this verse and thought God was some sort of megalomaniac, demanding the worship and praise of people for some sort of selfish, ego-driven, self-centered motives. But now, as a believer, I see the Passover as a gift of God, a reminder not for Himself of how great He is, but for us, lest we forget, to remember His power, love, grace, and deliverance of His people. It points us back to that one event, and gives us a chance to “feel” it in a sense, but also reminds us of His work in our lives daily, His constant tug on us and leading us in the ways that we should go, because they are best for Him and us.
Observance of Passover is not an ego-boost for God, it is a tool for us. Exodus 12:26 says, “When your children ask you…” Passover is designed to help us remember, to help fight our tendency to live in the now, forgetting God, all His sustainment of us, all of His sacrifice for us, all of His love for us, and to focus on self and current circumstances, and instead recall His love, His grace, His mercy, His provision. If we are not steeped in remembering just who God is, and what He does for us on a consistent and continual basis, how can we answer the questions about the rituals we keep: praying, going to church, worshipping and praising Him, and reading His Word, along with any other activity and action we might undertake that is supposedly focused on God? We should remember Him, and what He has done.
Lord, thank You, not only for saving us from our enemies, delivering us, but for helping us to remember, putting practices in place to help us not focus on self, but on You. I pray that the Passover story inspires a recollection and acknowledgement of You and Your love for us, for all that read it. Amen.