11 October 2016

Judgment Passes Over

Theme: God delivered His people

Know: God struck down the firstborn of Egypt but passed over the Israelites who sacrificed a lamb and applied its blood to their doorposts. The yearly Passover celebration was instituted.
Think: Abide in the confidence that Christ's blood covers your sin and protects you.
Do: Trust in Christ, the Passover Lamb, whose shed blood washes away your sin!

Scriptures: Exodus 12:1-42

Notes and questions:
B1 Outline
  • Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread Exodus 12:1-30
  • Exodus Exodus 12:31-42
  • Specific Instructions Exodus 12:43-51
B2 Exodus 12:1-11,
  • When is Passover 2016? It began at sunset Friday, 22 April 16 and ended at sunset Saturday 30 April 16. The Passover celebration was at sunset 22 April 2016 and the Feast of Unleavened Bread was 23-30 April.  For 2017 see here. The whole time is considered the Passover.
  • What is the Passover mean regarding the calendar? (It is the start of their New Year).
  • What is the significance of the Passover? (It is the day that God begins the deliverance of Israel from Egypt.
  • God warned Pharaoh and Egypt that He would kill their firstborn, because of disbelief in God's warnings and lack of repentance (change of mind which results in change of life). The lamb was killed and its blood applied to the doorposts as a sign of believing God and a substitute that died for them. How does 1 Corinthians 5:7 ("Purge out the old leaven, in order that you may be a new batch of dough, since you are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us") apply to us Christians? See also John 1:29.
  • Why keep the chosen lamb for 4 days before slaughter? (The ancient Egyptians worshipped lambs. Taking a lamb, the Egyptians' deity, into their homes for four days, with the intention of slaughtering and eating it, was an act that was sure to be noticed by the Egyptians. It was extremely likely that they would be infuriated by this disrespect of their god. This act of courage, standing up for their beliefs and following G‑d's command in the face of possible danger, was a merit for the Jews, one that made them worthy of being redeemed. Nowadays, for the most part, standing up for our beliefs doesn't put us in physical danger. But we should still use the example set by our ancestors to inspire us to have courage in living according to our principles. Source)
  • What is the importance of believing God?
B3 Exodus 12:12-13
  • Why did God warn that He would kill the firstborn? (To Pharaoh, the first born would be the heir. Jesus Christ is the firstborn and the only begotten Son).
  • How did God bring judgment of the Egyptian deities? Could Egyptians deities help people? Who could help them?
  • What did God have to see in order to not kill the firstborn? What is the significance of this? (Humanity was doomed, without hope, to go to hell for eternity. Jesus Christ did not offer money to God, but His blood. The penalty that was to be meted to humanity was paid in full by the death of our savior, Jesus Christ, and the offering of His blood as proof of death).
B4 Exodus 12:14-16, why could they not work the first day and the seventh day, except to cook? (Probably to do holy work rather than physical work. It would also show defiance of the Egyptians).
B5 Exodus 12:17-20,
  • Not having any leaven in the house was very serious to the Israelites. It represents contamination and thus sin. It spreads throughout the dough, so does sin.
  • "Probably the most significant observance involves the removal of chametz (leavened bread) from homes and property. Chametz includes anything made from the five major grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats and spelt) that has not been completely cooked within 18 minutes after coming into contact with water (Ashkenazic Jews also consider rice, corn, peanuts, and legumes as chametz). The removal of chametz commemorates the fact that the Jews left Egypt in a hurry and did not have time to let their bread rise. It is also a symbolic way of removing the “puffiness” (arrogance, pride) from our souls. In fact, Jews are not only prohibited from eating chametz during Passover, but they may not own or derive any sort of benefit from it either, including using it to feed pets. This important stipulation requires Jews to sell all remaining leavened products before Passover begins, including utensils used to cook chametz. The grain product we eat during Passover in place of chametz is called matzah. Matzah is unleavened bread made simply from flour and water and cooked very quickly. This is traditionally viewed as the bread that the Jews made for their flight from Egypt. Matzah is also referred to as Lechem Oni ("Bread of Affliction"). The process of cleaning the home of all chametz in preparation for Passover is an enormous task. To do it right, most Jews spend several days and even weeks scrubbing down their kitchens, thoroughly cleaning the insides of stoves, fridges, and ovens, and covering all surfaces with foil or shelf-liner that came in contact with chametz during the year." From http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/holidaya.html
B6 Exodus 12:21-23, what is the importance of applying the blood? Why would God then not kill the firstborn?
B7 Exodus 12:24-28, for how many years was Israel to observe the Passover? How many years are we to remember what Messiah, Jesus, has done for us?
B8 Exodus 12:29-32
  • Does God keep His word?
  • Does socioeconomic status affect God's judgment?
  • Who did the killing?
  • Remember that God had warned them in advance, so they deserved their foolish decision. They did not believe God.
  • Was Pharaoh truly humble and repentant? See Exodus 14:5.
B9 Exodus 12:33-36, what did the Israelites do? (They packed up and left, after asking and being given much riches).
B10 Exodus 12:37-39
  • What might be a reasonable number for the crowd that left? (There were 600,000 men, probably 600,000 women, maybe 1,200,000 children, plus the mixed multitude. So there might have at least 2,400,000 but probably more than that).
  • In light of Exodus 12:39, God had instructed them to be ready to leave. How was that warning relevant?
B11 Exodus 12:40-42
B12 Questions from the study guide
  • Think about your life before you came to Christ. What were you like? What sins were you in bondage to?
  • Now think about your life since you came to Christ. What difference has Christ made in our life? How has He set you free?

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