Passover

These small group studies take us through almost twenty of the key events in the Old Testament. Our Old Testament Survey contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Old Testament Survey Lesson 8 – The Passover

Exodus 11-12

Outline:

  1. The last plague (11-12)

    1. Announced (11)

    2. Remembered: The Passover (12:1-28)

      1. The new year (1:2)

      2. The lamb (3-6)

        1. Unblemished

        2. Substitute

      3. The blood (7)

      4. Rules for eating (8-11)

      5. The judgment that would be avoided (12-13)

      6. The holiday memorial (14-20)

      7. The command repeated by Moses (21-25)

      8. To teach the children (26-27)

      9. Obeyed (28)

    3. Executed (29)

    4. Responded to (30-33)

      1. Great mourning (30)

      2. Forced submission without compromise (31-32)

      3. Driven out (33)

      4. The Egyptians plundered (34-36)

  2. Freedom: The Departure (37-51)

    1. The way they left Egypt (39)

    2. The time in Egypt (40-41)

    3. More Passover rules (43-50)

    4. Freedom (50)

Questions?

How could a loving God kill so many people?

Did they have a chance to repent?

Weren’t the children innocent?

Why was God perfectly just and righteous in sending this plague?

What does it tell us about God?

What does it teach us about the consequences of sin?

Do any verses come to mind?

What can we learn from this last plague that God sent?

What can we learn from 11:5?

What can we learn about God from 11:7?

Why is it important that this plague wasn’t extended to the Israelites as well?

Do you think the firstborn includes adults or is it limited to children?

What significance does the Passover have for us today?

What comparisons can you find between the Passover and Jesus’ death on the cross?

What about the Passover lamb?

What about the blood?

What’s the relationship between the ordinance of the Passover and the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper?

Does God’s attitude towards the celebration of the Passover also extend to the Lord’s Supper?

Then how should we treat the Lord’s Supper?

What can you see about Pharaoh’s response to this last plague?

What principle can we learn from this?

What is significant about the rules for a foreigner to partake of the Passover? (Salvation was available to those outside of Israel. But they had to be saved through God’s way, not their own.)

Comparisons between Passover and Christ’s death-

Both predicted

Both to accomplish a salvation for His people

Lamb (Unblemished male, sacrificial substitute, no bones broken)

Lamb was eaten – Jesus our bread of Life

Blood

Doorposts, lintel- cross

Followed by faith (if one didn’t have faith that God would send the last plague they wouldn’t have followed His instructions)

Both are a memorial

Both were to be an ordinance which involved eating bread

Both were to be taught to children

Cross-references –

Luke 22:17-20 (Christ celebrating the new covenant with His disciples)

1 Corinthians 5:7-8 (Christ is our Passover and we are to celebrate this. Our unleavened bread)

John 1:29 (Jesus, the lamb of God)

Observations

Chapter 11 (The last plague announced) –

God’s plan was here coming to full fruition. Not only would Pharaoh let them go, he would drive them out. God wasn’t going to let them go empty-handed either. The Egyptians would freely give many valuable gold and silver articles. This was something like their wages for their long hard years of slavery.

Here one can see that the people’s attitudes towards Moses had changed. No longer did they resent him or blame him for their troubles. But he was greatly respected, not only by his own people, but also by the people of Egypt. They could see that he was a man of God. One would have to be blind not to see this!

God’s last plague would be by far the worse of all of them. He planned to strike down every first born child and beast. This was indeed a terrible judgment and would cause the greatest outcry of grief in the history of Egypt. Some might say God was unfair for doing this. But this is far from the case. As we know, the wages of sin is death. Every single parent had committed gross sins. These Egyptians from poor to great had brutally mistreated the people of Israel. It wasn’t as if it was only Pharaoh’s ideas to have them as slaves of the people, but the Egyptians people received much benefit from this as well and almost surely supported it. And the children? They were also sinful and guilty in God’s sight. Every single person is completely sinful. Every single person deserves this fate. It is only God’s mercy that doesn’t send it immediately to all of us. It is not that God is not just so killed them. God is just. If He didn’t extend mercy to us, He would execute all of us in the same way. What is more, everyone whether young or old, whether poor (the slave girl) or rich (Pharaoh) has this same problem and deserves the same judgment. God executes people everyday. It would be wrong for us to do so, but not for God because He is the judge. And He did tell Adam that death would be the result of sin.

Though God is a perfectly righteous, holy, and just God all the time, He is also faithful and merciful. Look at how He treated the people of Israel. They were sinners as well, but God chose them and chose to extend a special mercy to them. Was it because of anything they had done? Not at all. It was completely His choice. God made a “distinction” in not pouring out His wrath on everyone alike.

Finally, all of this death and destruction was used by God for a specific purpose, the magnifying of His name throughout the earth.

Chapter 12:1-28 (plague remembered)

Here God establishes a permanent memorial in the land of Egypt. First, He gives rules for the first Passover. These were things that the Israelites were to obey by faith so that the judgment would Passover them. They were also symbols purposely chosen by God which would point forward to the future, when the Messiah would come to take away judgment from God’s people forever.

There are many comparisons here between the first Passover and Christ’s death on the cross. From this we can learn why it is so important to read the Old Testament and why it was given. We can learn one reason why God had the Bible written over such a long period of time. Passages like this one were meant to prepare people for the coming of the Messiah. So many close similarities are not the result of chance. Just as the lamb was the substitute for them so Jesus, the Lamb of God, is for us. Just as it was unblemished and a male, so was Christ a perfect male with no sin. Look up at the list for more similarities. Both are a memorial and to be remembered for their huge impact on the lives of God’s people. God took a very serious attitude towards the rite of celebrating the Passover. It was not a light matter and those who broke it would be treated severely. God doesn’t want us to treat the Lord’s Supper casually either. It is a very serious thing. Also it is extremely important that we regularly celebrate it as Christ Himself commanded.

This was such an important memorial that God specifically commanded it be taught to their children. We must also teach about Christ’s death faithfully to the younger generation, to our children. Don’t leave their education to the world.

Chapter 12:29-36 (Judgment executed and responded to)-

God carried out this judgment just as He promised. Pharaoh had many chances to let the people go, but in his overwhelming pride did not do it. Here we see that those who lift themselves up in pride will be brought low by God. Great was Pharaoh’s fall. His firstborn son did die. He had to pay the consequences for his sin by losing his close son, one who would be the heir to the throne (Amenhotep II, thought to be the Pharaoh of the Exodus, was succeeded not by his first-born son). The sheer extent of the consequences of sin can be seen as well. No one and no house is immune. It is everywhere.

Pharaoh finally was willing to let the people go. This time he didn’t offer a compromise. He did it completely on God’s terms. And he, considered to be divine, asked Moses to bless him. This was a complete reversal of Moses’ first encounter where Pharaoh arrogantly asked who Yahweh was. Before, the people of Israel were restrained from going. Now they were forced to leave. Before they were slaves and brutally treated. Now they were honored and enriched with numerous valuable articles.

Chapter 12:37-51 (Freedom: The departure) –

After hundreds of years of slavery and seeing ten terrible plagues strike the Egyptians the people of Israel were finally free to go. They were allowed to leave with all of their livestock. This was such an important event that it was to be remembered as a memorial forever. Notice also that it looks like they went immediately with no delay. They were ready!

In these verses we can see the stringent rules placed on those whom could and could not celebrate the Passover. Basically, anyone who didn’t follow God’s law and thus assimilate themselves into the nation of Israel, was not allowed to partake of it. God’s judgment cannot pass over us by anything we do. We must trust in Him and show this by following the commands He has laid out for us to do. If we do have faith in Him and desire to follow His way God will not judge us as He didn’t the people who originally were strangers to Israel, but who followed God’s law to become part of Israel.

Main Points-

  1. The consequences of sin are severe and far-reaching. No one is excluded. Any punishment that comes is the result of our own sins.

  2. God’s love and mercy are also far-reaching. He will not judge those who come to Him.

  3. The Passover foreshadows the eventual coming of the Messiah. The Old Testament was meant to prepare people for this event. By studying the Old Testament we can understand the background behind God’s working in the New Testament (or New Covenant).

Old Testament Survey #9 – Ten Commandments

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