In Exodus, the Lord designates the month of departing from Egypt a beginning of months for the witnesses of Israel, and implements an annual observance of the Passover and Feast of Unleavened bread. Exodus 12:1-3.
Verse 14 says: and this day shall be unto you for a memorial, and you shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations.
The feast commemorates the night before the exodus when all the first born males of Egypt, both man and beast, were slain; but the children of Israel were passed over, because of the blood of the lamb on the doorposts and lintels.
This feast as a memorial is vital, for the commandment connects this event in the history of Israel with the first of three testimonies from the Word of God concerning their first patriarch Abraham. Just prior to the judgment of Sodom the Lord says this:
for I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do judgment and righteousness; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He has spoken of him. Genesis 18:19.
Notice that Cornelius in Acts 10 received the same positive review, as a man who not only looked to his own salvation, but his family and household.
Returning to the Lord’s instruction for the Passover in Exodus 12:
and it shall come to pass, when your children shall ask you, what mean you by this service? That you shall say, it is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when He smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed their heads and worshiped. Exodus 12:26 & 27.
The Hebrew word zakar-to remember, that provides the root for both memorial and remembrance, includes the aspect of passing on all things vital, be it worldly wisdom or divine instructions.
This is particularly emphasized for parental instructions to children. This includes the need for elders and leaders of the church to pass on the full gospel apostolic instructions. The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy:
the things that you have heard of me by many witnesses, the same commit you to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. 2 Tim 2:2. In short, the apostolic teachings exist as a Memorial for the church.
And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. Exodus 12:29.
God’s most severe judgment against Egypt results in Pharaoh acquiescing to Moses and Aaron, and the Exodus begins with urgency.
It is a night to be much observed unto the Lord for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the Lord to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations. Exodus 12:42.
I mentioned previously the testimonies of the Lord concerning Abraham. Before going further let us quickly look at the others
God makes this testimony concerning Abraham: For he is a prophet and he shall pray for you and you shall live. Genesis 20:7.
This is the first time the Hebrew word nabi-for prophet occurs in scripture and is applied to Abraham, because he stepped into the gap on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah. The first principle of the Old Testament prophet is to be an intercessor.
The third God-given testimony concerning Abraham is spoken to his son Isaac. The Lord tells Isaac that He intends to perform the oath which He swore unto Abraham, saying “because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” Genesis 26:5.
Isn’t it amazing that five centuries before Moses is given the Law, God claims that there was a man who had fulfilled them! Abraham was truly a friend of God. We also can include the words of the angel who stayed Abraham’s hand from slaying Isaac on Moriah, saying “now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son from Me. Genesis 22:12.
God then swore an oath by Himself to fulfill all His promises made to Abraham.
Praise be to God that He gave His only begotten Son for our Salvation!