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At this juncture it is important to say something about Exodus 12:7. This verse implies that we are dealing with a ritual that did not involve atoning for sin, but rather was a rite of protection for God's people, a different though not unrelated matter. It involved a blood ritual to avoid God's last blow against the firstborn. Thus Passover and atonement were not originally associated, though apparently by Jesus' day there were some such associations. Notice that nothing at all is said or suggested here about Israel's sin, or about forgiveness. This ceremony is more like an insurance policy. Yes, the blood is to avert divine wrath, but it is not wrath against Israel's particular sins. In this case they simply happened to be too close to the danger zone, or in the line of fire. We must assume that this blood ritual arose before there even was a fully formed priesthood, for it is highly unusual to have such a ritual without any mention of involvement of priests."
Author: Ben Witherington III

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