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November 10, 2013
“Beginning of Passover”
Devotion: 1 Peter 1:18-21
(Click here for PDF: Beginning of Passover Sunday School Lesson, or simply click the print button below. Enjoy!)
How fast are we to remember where God delivered us from? This week’s lesson marks a great time of deliverance for God’s people. He was going to crush the head of the enemy that oppressed them and bring them out with His mighty arm. In the process, God set up a policy for the people to remember and celebrate all that God had done for them. Passover was to forever be a national time of celebration for God’s people and before they left Egypt God had already instituted it.
Exodus 12:1-2 “And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.”
By the time we reach this point in the Bible much has occurred. Last week’s lesson focused on God speaking to Moses in preparation for their deliverance (see “Preparation for Deliverance”). This week’s lesson picks up with “the LORD” now speaking to Moses and Aaron (Moses’ older brother).
All preparations are done except for one final event. Pharaoh has resisted Moses’ warnings, and so has resisted God Himself. All warnings to let His people go have fallen on deaf and spiritually hardened ears. God has issue plague after plague; everything from water being turned to blood, lice, frogs, darkness and so on. God’s power has been manifested and the Egyptians saw enough of it that it should have compelled them to repent of their evil ways before God and then, release His people.
Alas, it was not to be so. One more plague was forth coming. This was to be the worst of all. This would not only liberate God’s people but it will humble the Egyptians under the mighty hand of God.
So sure was God that this would be the last straw for the Egyptians that He had to now get these lifetime slaves in a readiness and a mindset to be a people that will be free. In doing so, the first thing He announce to Moses is “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months,” (see also Exodus 13:4).
Their lives were about to take a dramatic change for the good. Their freedom was now going to be a mark of celebration for the Israelites. This would be the “beginning,” the starting point of their new journey in life. Later in the Bible God tells Jeremiah, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end,” (Jer. 29:11). But, before one can reach the “expected end” they have to have a “beginning.”
Exodus 12:3-4 “Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.”
“Speak unto the congregation of Israel.” As the mouthpiece of God, Moses was instructed to relay God’s mandates before His people. John C. Maxwell is quoted as saying,
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way,” (Psychology Today).
These were all the prerequisites of leadership that Moses was performing. Moses knew the way because God Himself has taught him what needs to be done. He goes the way because he has followed God’s leading call and answered in obedience. And, here he is instructed to show the way which we know according to historical facts that he indeed does.
“In the tenth day of the month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers.” Every Israelite, every man, every house was to participate in this feast that God was instituting. There is a revelation in the fact that God wanted ALL His people covered. God wanted ALL His people celebrating on the same page.
This is where unity comes to play a key role for their national deliverance. Jesus teachers His disciples in the New Testament that, “If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand,” (Mark 3:25). God wanted all of His people free, standing, and marching victoriously out of Egypt. For that to occur they ALL had to be covered.
“And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next unto his house take it.” We are so used to doing our grocery shopping the modern way. I go to the store and I get exactly what my family needs for a particular recipe (ex. 1 ½ lbs. of ground beef for meatloaf, 3 lbs. of chicken if I’m in a fried chicken mood and so on). During Moses’ day the measurements were not so exact for meat. To slaughter a whole animal for only 4-6 people would be extremely wasteful. So, in this preparation a community effort of sharing their resources comes into play. If an animal was too much for one family, rather than let it go to waste they were to share it will their “neighbor.”
Exodus 12:5-7 “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.”
“Your lamb shall be without blemish.” A “blemish” is a flaw. It means it’s not in its most perfect state. There’s something wrong with it. This kind of animal may be okay for a regular Sunday dinner or a weekday supper, but this day was going to be a holy day with great spiritual significance attached to it and there could be nothing wrong with the “lamb.”
Another reason why there could be no “blemish” is because not only was this “lamb” part of the celebration meal, but this little guy was also a symbol of sacrifice. His “blood” would be used to cover the people, so to speak, on that fateful night to come, “And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.”
What a beautiful picture of salvation represented here. 1 Peter 1:19 shows Jesus “as of a lamb without blemish and without spot,” whose precious blood bought us and covered us.
Exodus 12:8-11 “And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover.”
Not only had God given very specific details in the choosing of the lamb but he also gave clear instructions on how it was to be cooked and eaten.
They were to “eat the flesh in that night.” Everything was to be kept in the purest, freshest state possible. God left no room for contamination or impurities to enter in to this sacrifice. It had to be cooked, “roast with fire” and eaten immediately.
“Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire.” This is the second time He emphasized that it be “roast with fire.” Any other way of preparing or eating it would be a violation of the way God prescribed for this sacrifice and therefore would be rendered an unacceptable sacrifice (read Malachi 1:7-8, 12-14 for the chastisement of using unacceptable sacrifices).
God further instructed that everything be kept intact, “his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.”
Keeping everything in the purses state possible they were also instructed to “let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.” There was to be no leftovers. No lamb sandwiches for the road the next day. Remember, this isn’t wastefulness, rather this lamb as opposed to others for normal dinners, was a lamb of sacrifice and deliverance. He was a special lamb, for a special night, with a special purpose. Therefore, anything remaining they had to “burn.”
And they were to “eat it in haste.” God was going to do something in that land that He had never done before and He already knew how it would turn out. He already knew that His people would be free. The people had to prepare themselves in faith as God was instructing, as if they too are anticipating their own freedom. They had to eat with “loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand.” They were to eat in readiness to move no matter what time it would occur.
I rode past a firehouse the other day with their doors opened. There on the floor, positioned by the trucks, were their boots and gear just like you see on TV. When the alarm sounds, they run to the truck, step in the boots, pull the gear up and go. They are always in a state of readiness to move if need be, day or night. This is similar to the idea of God instructing the people to eat with “loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand.”
Exodus 12:12 “For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.”
“For I will pass through the land . . . this night.” God was passing through with a purpose. On “this night” Egypt will be humbled once and for all and God’s people will gain their long awaited deliverance. There is a “firstborn” in every family, in every house, and in every field. This meant there would not be a home that would no experience the horror that would be unleashed on “this night.” No Egyptian will be able to turn a blind eye any longer. They will feel of an affliction of their own. They all will taste of the wrath of the Lord on “this night.”
And every false idea about the supremacy of false gods would be killed along with the firstborn. God will “execute judgment” and show once and for all that He is the only God. “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible . . .,” (Duet. 10:17). For He says, “I am the LORD.” And, after this night all arguments of His deity will be put to rest, (see also Numbers 33:4).
Exodus 12:13 “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.”
“When I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you.” Had they not followed the plan the way God prescribed surely then they would have tasted the fate of the Egyptians that night. God only promised to “pass over” them when He saw the unblemished “blood” of the lamb on the doorposts; when he saw they obeyed his instructions in readiness.
Exodus 12:14 “And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.”
“This day shall be unto you for a memorial.” This “feast to the LORD,” this day was to be commemorated “throughout your generations.” Passover wasn’t about God’s people; rather it was about what God did for His people. It was a “feast to the LORD.”
The story and celebration of how God delivered them and brought them out of Egyptian bondage was to be passed down always like a treasured family heirloom. So much so, God institutes it as law “by an ordinance for ever.” When Jesus Christ died for all mankind He became our Passover lamb. “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us,” (1 Corin. 5:7b).
We all have a beginning point of when God saved us and brought us out of our own bondage to sin. Our job is not to forget what He has done for us rather to build on that and let it cause your faith to continue to grow in Him.
Below are activities that you help support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
How many words can you make out of our lesson title this week? Click the PDF: How many words Passover to test your skill. :)
Draw the Scene: Beginning of Passover Draw the Scene
“MUST SEE VIDEOS” to support the lesson:
“Passover Story” great for older students and adults (This one is a really awesome resource to give a visual representation to today’s lesson. Enjoy!)
“The Passovers Story” for older students and adults
“Beginners Bible for Kids: Moses” for younger students (Animation at its best to show students about this magnificent time in history)
Below you will find even more Resources and Links for this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
“Lamb Ideas/Crafts” for kids. (These lamb ideas and activities can easily be applied as a great reminder to these week’s lesson. Enjoy!)
“Leaving Egypt Tonight” Coloring Page
“The Passover Lesson and Ideas” (Quite a few interesting games and activities to support the lesson such as incorporating “Freeze Tag” and a making bread and follow me activity which students will get a kick out of. Enjoy!)
“Ten Plagues Passover Craft” (Very cute and easy to do craft that allows students to remember events such as the 10 plagues that led up to their release from Egypt. Enjoy!)
“Simple Origami Jumping Frogs” (Oh my, are these little guys adorable. This is such a fun craft for your students and great to use up any left over wrapping paper. Doesn’t have to be green like, make your frogs any style you like. Enjoy!)
“Passover Printables” (Here you find several activity and coloring sheets that support this lesson. Enjoy!)
“Passover Lapbook” (Lapbooks are a great way to incorporate many different aspects of a lesson into one area. Especially for a lesson such as this week’s. Many stories lead up to today’s main lesson focus and that is the Passover. Building/making a lapbook will allow students to gain an overall view of the story as a whole)
- “Preparation for Deliverance” Sunday School Lesson, Exodus 3:7-17, November 3, 2013 (wordforlifesays.com)
- “A Promise of Land / The Promise of a Future” Sunday School Lesson, Genesis 15:7-15, October 6, 2013 (wordforlifesays.com)
- “The Blessing Conveyed to Jacob” Sunday School Lesson, Genesis 28:10-22, October 27, 2013 (wordforlifesays.com)