2/19 Exodus 13:15-16

15 For when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of animals. Therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all the males that first open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.'16 It shall be as a mark on your hand or frontlets between your eyes, for by a strong hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt."

The last plague was the death of the firstborn males. Most Egyptians believed the Pharaoh and his son were gods. For the moment, Pharaoh was a broken man. He had to acknowledge that the LORD is the supreme God. It took the death of his son to get him to bow his knee. What will it take for the world to bow before the LORD?

Two things in this passage offend the unregenerate mind. First, how could God end the life of these children? God had warned Pharaoh from the beginning of his encounter with Moses that Israel was God's firstborn. He told Pharaoh that if he would not let His firstborn go, God would kill Pharaoh's firstborn (Exodus 4:23). God was extremely patient through nine miraculous plagues and Pharaoh's continual hardness of heart. It is not as if Pharaoh wasn't warned. If Pharaoh had not been so stubborn, his son and many sons in Egypt would not have died. The slaves were going to be freed. It was Pharaoh's choices that determined that the Hebrew's freedom would only come at the death of the firstborn.

The second thing that disturbs many is the sacrifice of the firstborn male animals to remind Israel of this great deliverance. One problem is that we forget that animals were made for man. The blood of the animal reminds us of the cost of that deliverance from slavery and the protection from the angel of death. It reminds us of the grace that is available to those who will enter into the home with the blood-stained door. It also causes us to look forward to the blood of the Lamb of God whose blood is upon the doorpost of our hearts so that we might be delivered from sin and the judgment we deserve. God so loved us and desired our freedom that He was willing for His Son to die for our deliverance. It took such a graphic reminder to show the severity of sin, the stubbornness of man's heart, the grace of God, and His passion to set us free.

A mark on your hands and frontlets between your eyes means that the Word of God affects all that we do (hands). It means that when people look at us, they should see the effects of the deliverance in our lives (frontlets on the forehead).

Consider: Is the great price that Jesus paid for my freedom something that affects all that I do so that when people look at me they see a free man or woman?