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Death Sentence

Exodus 11; 12; Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 273-280


The Message:

We praise God for rescuing us from sin.

Memory Verse

“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them” (Psalm 34:7).

Have you ever played that you were a prisoner or caught somewhere? Then did you pretend to be rescued or released? For the Israelites, it was not a game. They were caught in Egypt, but God had a plan to release them.


God gave Moses a special job. Nine times he went to Pharaoh and asked him to let the Israelites go. Nine times Pharaoh said no.

God sent terrible plagues on the land. Water turned to blood. Frogs, gnats, and flies covered the land. Cattle died. People suffered with ugly, hurting boils. A hailstorm destroyed most of the crops, and locusts ate what was left. During the ninth plague it was dark for three days. It was so dark that the Egyptians couldn’t see to leave their homes or even see each other!

After all that, Pharaoh threatened to kill Moses if he ever saw him again. Then God told Moses about the last and most terrible plague.

God said, “There will be one last plague. After this Pharaoh will let you go. At midnight I will send an angel of death throughout Egypt. Every firstborn child will die. I will protect My people if they do as I command.”

Moses called the people together. “Israelites, come and listen to the instructions God has given us. Follow them closely, and you will be safe. Ignore them, and people will die.

“Each family must choose a perfect 1-year-old lamb. In four days’ time, around sunset, the father in each family is to kill the lamb. Some of the blood is to be saved. Sprinkle this blood on the sides and top of your front doorframe. After this no one is to leave the house until morning.

“God will send an angel throughout the land of Egypt. The firstborn in every family will die. But no one will die in the houses with blood on the doorposts. The angel will pass over those homes.

“You must roast the lamb. Eat it with bitter herbs and unleavened bread. Wear your coat and shoes as you eat. If there is any of the lamb left, burn it in the fire. If your family is too small to eat a whole lamb, invite another family to share it. But both must put the blood on the doorposts of their houses.”

When the day came, Israelite families followed the instructions exactly. Everyone stayed in their houses until they heard the shouts: “The Lord’s destroyer has gone through the land.” The firstborn of all the Egyptians from Pharaoh to the poorest servant had died.

Pharaoh finally agreed to do what God asked. He told the Israelites to leave the country. Everyone excitedly packed their belongings. Their Egyptian masters gave them gifts of gold and silver. The Israelites were excited. They laughed and shouted to each other.

”We are free. At last we are free!” This meal became known as the Passover. The Israelites celebrated it every year to remind them of how God rescued them from the Egyptians. Jewish people still celebrate it today. The Passover is also a reminder of the promise that Jesus will come and die for our sins. Just as the lamb‘s blood saved the firstborn at the first Passover, Jesus’ death saves all of us from our sins. If we believe and love Jesus, we are free and can choose to live in heaven because of His death.

What a wonderful God!