Meta. "The passover" was an annual festival of the Israelites, and still is kept by the Jews, in commemoration of their escape from the Egyptians. It was used by Jesus to represent the freeing of the spiritual man from the dominion of sense. It is part of the regenerative process that goes on in the body under the inspiration of the Christ mind. It is the passing over or out of one state of consciousness into another.
In order to get the esoteric interpretation of the Passover, it is necessary to analyze the descent of Spirit into the subjective consciousness and follow it step by step in its many manifestations. Physically speaking, Egypt represents the part of the body below the diaphragm. The various plagues brought upon the Egyptians by the Lord through Moses are symbolical representations of appearances that ensue in this part of the organism when the presiding intelligence (Pharaoh) opposes the influx of the higher life.
A parallel to the bloody waters, frogs, lice, flies, murrain, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and death of first-born may be found in the various diseases of bowels, kidneys, and other organs of the body, as named by doctors. A very large portion of these ills is the result of human resistance to spiritual consciousness, which is working widely in humanity.
A concept of Truth in the head will eventually find its way through the whole body; and when its vibrations penetrate into the centers established in materiality, great resistance and pain sometimes follow. This sets up a chronic irritation and gives rise to a local condition to which the physician gives a name. Did the patient only know that it was Spirit at work, and fearlessly affirm the presence and power of the divine life, the opposition of the physical would pass away and a new and more enduring life flow would follow.
There is a physical basis of life through which the natural world manifests. Physical generation is its law, and its seed is the material cell. In Exodus the natural world is called Egypt; Jesus spoke of it as "this world." Then there is the true world, whose foundation is Spirit. This is the "heaven" of Jesus, and the "house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens," referred to by Paul. These are both in evidence in man's soul and body, and in regeneration there is a breaking up and passing away of the physical basis and an ushering in of the spiritual.
The "first-born" of the Egyptians is the highest concept of life perpetuation that the physical man possesses. When the divine word, or angel of the Lord, passes through consciousness, a transformation takes place in this life thought. If the consciousness is established in materiality and has no expectation or thought of spiritual life, the germ is destroyed by the high vibration and passes away through the kidneys or bowels, and a general physical weakness follows.
This is the death of the first-born of the Egyptians. If the mind is set on higher things, on the understanding that the enduring life is spiritual both within and without (blood on the doorposts), then the germ is saved from destruction; it is retained in the organism, goes through a regenerating process, is multiplied, and eventually strengthens the whole man.
We may mentally have made our truest statements and seemingly complied with all the law, yet Pharaoh does not let our people go there is no realization of freedom in the body consciousness. Another step is necessary, which is typified in the feast of the Passover.
In every change of consciousness on the physical plane there is a breaking down of cells and a building up of other cells to take their place. Mentally this is denial and affirmation, and this process in the body is the result of these two movements in the mind. We let go the animal life and take hold of the spiritual life by giving up consciously to this "passing over" process, which takes place when the old cells are replaced by the new. The lamb that is killed and eaten in the night represents this giving up of the animal life in the obscurity of the carnal body. The command is that the lamb shall be without spot or blemish, and be wholly eaten after being roasted with fire. This refers to the complete surrender of the human life after it has been purified by the fires of regeneration. Fire represents the positive, affirmative state of mind, as opposed to the negative or watery state. The Children of Israel were commanded not to let the lamb be "boiled" (in the A.V., "sodden," which is the Old English present tense of seethe). We are not to allow the life in our organism to simmer and stew with the worries and negative words of carnality, but we must set it afire with strong words of Truth.
This is to show us that there must be a physical sacrifice as well as a mental, and that "all the congregation of Israel" shall join in it; that is, the whole consciousness of spiritual desire shall acquiesce. Many metaphysicians think that it is not necessary to change the habits of the sense man--that one has only to keep his thoughts right and the flesh will thereby be wholly regulated--but the Scripture teaches that there must be a conscious physical change before the complete demonstration in mind and body is manifest. Thoughts work themselves out in things, and we get the full result of this work only when we follow them consciously every step of the way and help them along. So watch your thoughts as they consecutively work their way through your organism; and if you find that some pure thought of spiritual life is striving to free the life in the appetites and passions of your physical Egypt, help it by consciously elevating that life to the open door of your mind. This is typified by putting the blood of the lamb on the two side posts and the lintel of the door of the house. Do not be afraid to expose your inner life to the sight of the Lord, for only in perfect candor and childlike innocence can man come under the protection of divine law.
So long as there is a hidden, secret use of God's life in our habits and ways that we are not willing that all should know, just so long will the bondage of Egypt's Pharaoh hold us in its clutches. The whole man must be pure, and his inner life must be made so open and free that he will not be afraid to blazon it upon the very doors of his house where all who pass may read. Then the Lord will execute His judgment, and those who have purified the life of the lamb (or the body) will escape the messenger (or thought) of death.