��� The Pastor's Class


God's Passover Protection


Exodus 12



After nine plagues Pharaoh's heart was still hardened. The tenth and final plague would be worse than anything they had ever seen before. The firstborn in all of Egypt would die, from the greatest to the least including cattle. However, the Lord prepared a way in which the Israelites would be protected. Not so much as a dog would bark at them.



Exodus 12: 1-5

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt,2 �This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat.5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats

The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.



1.Why is the Jewish calendar different from ours?







God commanded that the month in which the Israelites were freed would be their first month.


The Jewish calendar is primarily lunar, with each month beginning on the new moon.The problem with strictly lunar calendars is that there are approximately 12.4 lunar months in every solar year, so a 12 month lunar calendar loses about 11 days each year. The months on such a calendar "drift" relative to the solar year. This is corrected by occasionally adding a 13th month to the Jewish calendar.

The first month on the Jewish calendar is called Nissan and falls between March and April of the Solar Year.

This difference in the lunar and solar calendar helps us understand why Jewish holidays do not fall on the same date each year.

Since Easter is linked to Passover and Passover is linked to the Jewish calendar, Easter can fall anywhere from the last Sunday in March to the third Sunday in April.




2.�� Why did God state that a lamb should be slaughtered?







Even here God is laying the framework for what would become the greatest event in all history. All the way back in the garden of Eden we learned that there was no sufficient covering for sin without the shedding of blood. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. This is a central theme throughout the whole bible.


A lamb's wool was white. White is the color of purity. The sacrifical lamb had to be without spot or blemish. The irony�� is�� no such animal existed. That is, of course until the Lamb of God.





Exodus 12: 6 - 11

6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast.9 Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire�head, legs and inner parts.10 Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it.11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD�s Passover.

The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.


The lamb that was selected was taken into the home and kept from the 10th until the 14th day. During this time it was determined that the lamb was suitable for sacrifice. Also during this time it would become like a family pet. Thus when the animal was killed the family felt the loss.


In primitive times there were superstitions associated with doors. People would sometimes place ornaments on the door to ward off evil. Even today you might occasionally see a door with a horse shoe over it.




3.Why did God instruct the people to place the blood of the slain animal on the doorposts of their homes?







The blood was a visible sign that the people who lived in that dwelling had received, understood and obeyed the word of the Lord.


The blood was a visible sign that the sacrifice had been made and that the people inside were to be "passed over" that is protected from the tenth and final plague.



Exodus 12: 12 - 13

12 �On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn�both men and animals�and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD.13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.

The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.



4.What is the purpose of this tenth plague?







The purpose is to bring judgment upon the gods of Egypt. The false deities of Egypt were no match for the Living God.



Exodus 12: 14 - 20

14 �This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD�a lasting ordinance.15 For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel.16 On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat�that is all you may do.

17 �Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.18 In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day.19 For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And whoever eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel, whether he is an alien or native-born.20 Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread.�

The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.



5.Why did God instruct the Israelites to establish this passover as a lasting festival?







Israel's worst enemy was forgetfulness. This festival was a way of preserving history. It was an opportunity to tell the story.


It is said that the Seder is celebrated especially for the children. It is important for Jewish children to be and feel involved in the celebration of Passover. Much of the ceremony is based on the commandment in the Bible that says, "And thou shalt tell thy son"

At the Seder the Haggadah, the Book of Exodus, is read and the history celebrated with its stories, songs and prayers



Why? Why? Why?


Why is this night different ?

Why do we eat such unusual foods as Matzoh, the unleavened bread, and Maror, the bitter herbs?

Why do we dip green herbs in salt water?

Why do we open doors?

Why do we hide and then eat the Afikomen?

Why? Why? Why?

At the Seder it is the youngest child at the table that answers the 4 questions asked at Passover.


Remembering what God has done is always an act of worship.


The two major holidays on the Christian calendar is Easter and Christmas. These holidays are about remembering what God has done.


When Jesus met with his disciples on their last Passover meal together. Jesus said to them "As often as you do this do it in remembrance of me."




6.Why was Yeast not permitted as a part of the Passover festival?







" Yeast represents a connection with their past life in Egypt.When bread was made, but before it was baked, a small lump was pinched off and set aside as a "starter" for the next day's batch of bread.Each day the same process was performed, so that day after day, and year after year, the yeast maintained a "living" connection with the very first loaf ever made.God wanted the Israelites to cut off all connection with Egypt and leave behind the yeast of Egypt.In this way the yeast is used as symbolic of the sinful influence of Egypt (with its idolatry).


1 Corinthians 5:6-8 "Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast--as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth."




Exodus 12: 21 - 30

21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, �Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb.22 Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning.23 When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.

24 �Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants.25 When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony.26 And when your children ask you, �What does this ceremony mean to you?�27 then tell them, �It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.�� Then the people bowed down and worshiped.28 The Israelites did just what the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron.

29 At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well.30 Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead.

The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.




Terms associated with Jewish Passover



Pesach (PAY-sahkh or PEH-sahkh) - meaning "passing over" or "Protection"

Seger - Passover Meal

Matzohs (MAHTZ-uh) - unleavened crackers

Chametz (KHUH-mitz)- Food containing Yeast

Haggadeh (huh-GAH-duh)- The book of Exodus

Maror - Bitter Herbs



Seder Meal






Symbols of the Passover


*Three whole Matzos (unleavened bread).

A reminder that the Israelites did not have time to wait for the yeast bread to rise because they had to be ready to move when God said. A piece of the middle one is hidden for a child to find.

(New Testament represents the Body of Jesus Christ broken for our sins. As Christians it is a reminder to live so that we are always "ready to go" when Jesus returns. Also yeast sometimes represents the evil in the world. God wants His people to be pure.)


*A roasted lamb ~ placed to the host's right ~

in memory of the lamb sacrificed by Israelites the night before their flight from Egypt.

(Jesus is our final perfect Lamb sacrificed for us.)


*A roasted egg ~ to the left ~

in mourning for destroyed temple.

(Symbol of the free-will offering that was given with the lamb. This represents giving more to God than just what is demanded. This is a gift of love. Jesus is God's ultimate gift. God's law demanded justice, but with the gift of Jesus, God gives us more than justice;

He gives us mercy, love and forgiveness.)


* Maror (bitter herbs) ~ placed in the middle

A reminder of the bitterness of slavery in Egypt.

(As Christians we remember that many suffered so that we may know the joy of the good news of Jesus.)



(chopped almonds, apple, wine, sugar and cinnamon)~

Symbolizes the mortar which the Jews had to mix in making bricks for the king of Egypt


*Salt water ~

to signify the Red Sea which miraculously parted to let the Israelites across.

(Represents the tears of all of God's Saints)


Karpar (celery, parsley, greens)-

The Hebrew word means 600,000 the recorded number who left Egypt.

(These plants stay green all year and represent the everlasting life because of Jesus Christ's Resurrection.)


Wine or grape juice ~ Wine represents JOY.

As the service proceeds, as each plaque is mentioned, each person sips a little of the wine. This means that until we were totally free and out of bondage, joy was incomplete.

(At the Last Supper Jesus said that the wine represented His own life's blood, poured out for us. He had to die so that we could know the total joy of freedom and forgiveness.)


*Elijah's cup ~ usually a treasured one filled with wine ~

is placed on the table to await the arrival of the Messiah.

(Jesus said in Matthew 11:14 that John the Baptist was the promised Elijah who was to announce the Messiah's coming. For Christians this cup does not remain untouched. It is shared by everyone at the table in the joy that our hope had come true. The Messiah has come to us and is alive to give our lives eternal joy.




7.In what way(s) are the Passover and the Lord's Supper alike? How are they different?







Many Jews still observe the Passover just as it was observed in biblical times. However, Christians follow Jesus' example when he gave new significance to this ancient tradition. The breaking of the bread is symbolic of the brokenness of Christ and the winerepresents the shed blood and the new covenant in Christ. The only thing Jesus said as to when to observe this ordinance was that it should be an occasion of remembrance. The worst thing that can happen is to allow the Lord's Supper to become just another ritual.




8.Why did God allow his judgment to fall upon innocent people and livestock?







This is a question that has been asked countless times in one form or another. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does God allow children to suffer and die? Answers to these questions are never easy. However, here some things to consider.


1. Sin and Evil is the source of all misery.

2. Sin came into the world through Man's disobedience.

3. God's is righteous and cannot condone sin.

4. God showed grace and mercy on those affected by sin by offering his Son as the wages of Sin.

5. Sin's greatest weapon is death and God has demonstrated his power over death by raising his Son from the dead.

6. Almost always our sin has an affect on others. God has promised a greater condemnation on those who cause the innocent to suffer.



Exodus 12: 31 - 36

31 During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, �Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the LORD as you have requested.32 Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me.�

33 The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country. �For otherwise,� they said, �we will all die!�34 So the people took their dough before the yeast was added, and carried it on their shoulders in kneading troughs wrapped in clothing.35 The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing.36 The LORD had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.

The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.


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