In light of the great disrespect recently shown by a prominent rabbi for this mitzva, vilnagaon.org has decided to print this excerpt as a separate post.
What is the reason for the mitzva of Slaughtering the Pessach Sacrifice?
According to the viewpoint of Sefer Hachinuch [mitzva 5] “the root of this mitzva is in order that the Jews remember forever, the great miracles that the Holy One Blessed be He, did for them during the exodus from Egypt”.
Even though it seems obvious to me, there are those that find it difficult to understand how the slaughtering of the Pessach sacrifice helps us to remember the great miracles that Hashem did for the Jews during the exodus from Egypt. Therefore, I will quote from the midrash [Shmot Rabba 16:3] to clarify the connection, between the two concepts.
Another explanation,” Draw out [your hand] and take for yourselves lambs”, this pertains to what is written [ Psalms/Tehillim chapter 97 ] “let all the idol worshippers be embarrassed”. At the time that the Holy One Blessed be He, said to Moshe to slaughter the pessach, Moshe responded, Master of the Universe, this thing how can I do this ? Is it not known to you that the lambs are the gods of Egypt. For it was said [Exodus/Shmot chapter 8 ] “could we sacrifice the abomination of Egypt, before their eyes and they would not stone us?”
The Holy One Blessed be He, said to him, by your life! [the nation of] Israel does not go out from here until they sacrifice the gods of Egypt before their eyes that I make it known to them that their gods are of no significance.
And thus do we find, that he did. That in that very night he smote the first-born of the Egyptians and in that night Israel slaughtered their pessach lambs and ate. And the Egyptians were seeing their first-borns slain and their gods slaughtered and they were not able to do anything. For it was said [ Numbers/Bamidbar 33 ] “And Egypt was burying them which Hashem had smitten among them, every first-born and against their gods, Hashem executed judgments”. Namely, “let all the idol worshippers be embarrassed”.
So too, for the subject of eating the pessach sacrifice, it is written in Rashi on the phrase “in order that you remember the day of your going out from Egypt all the days of your life”, [ Deuteronomy/Dvarim 16:3 ] , “by means of eating the pessach and the matza”.