The Passover is a great celebration of freedom. To the Jewish mind, it represents both the birth of a nation and the coming out of the physical bondage of slavery. To the Christian mind, Christ our Passover became the Lamb without blemish who died and delivered us from the bondage of sin. Jesus told us that whoever commits sin is a slave of sin (John 8:34), and Peter tells us that we will be brought into bondage by whatever overcomes us.
So to both the Jew and the Christian, Passover is about freedom. When the slaves of the Old South were introduced to the Gospel, the idea of freedom from slavery fired their imaginations, and they sang the words of that wonderful old spiritual “Tell ol’ Pharaoh, let my people go.” We who are free cannot imagine the passion and depth those words must have aroused in the hearts of those who longed for liberty. But as free men we must remember that freedom has its price, and too often it is a price paid by blood. Witness the millions who have died in battles against tyranny. On a deeper and ironic level, we are free only as long as we are slaves, for we either serve God or we serve sin. We cannot serve both, and if we fail to serve one, we will certainly serve the other.
Paul tells us, “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?” (Rom 6:16-17 NAS) God wants us to be free, but what is missed in this celebration of freedom is right in front of our very noses. “Let my people go,” said Moses, but we forget the rest of what Moses said. “Let my people go, that they may serve me.” We have been freed from slavery so that we may be better servants of God. God freed the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt so that they could be a nation of priests who would serve him. (Exodus 19:5-6). We are freed from the bondage of sin so that we too could be a holy priesthood and servants of the Most High (I Peter 2:5). We will either serve God or sin. With that freedom comes responsibility. “Let my people go, that they may serve me.”