Passover Week 2017
Family Bible Study
Today, we remember all the Lord has done for us:
as a group of people (the church), with our families, & by ourselves.
IN JEWISH CULTURE, the Day of Passover begins on Thursday night, because their days begin at night. This comes from Genesis 1 where we see the progression of each day signified by the passing of evening, then morning. So a meal was held on Thursday night to begin the day of Passover, known as, you guessed it, the Passover meal. This meal is the longest existing, continuous celebrated feast in human history. When we are participating in the Lord’s Supper together, we are taking part in something that has been happening for thousands of years.
After the Lord had delivered His people from their bondage of slavery to the Egyptians, He gave them a way to respond to His great grace. Deuteronomy 6 tells us they were to:
VERSE 5: Love the Lord (their) God with all (their) heart and with all (their) soul and with all (their) strength.
VERSE 6: These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.
The Lord gave them specific ways and specific times to do this. As a larger nation (group of people), they were to celebrate the passover together. In their smaller units (the family) and as individuals they were to remember what the Lord had done for them by:
VERSE 7b: Talk(ing) about (it) when (they) sit at home and when (they) walk along the road, when (they) lie down and when (they) get up.
Modern day, this would be when we:
1. eat together
3. wake up in the morning (quiet times)
4. and before bed (family devotions)
The command of the Lord was, therefore, to remember how He had saved them and their nation from bondage. This was a foreshadowing of what He would do for His people through His Son, Jesus Christ, delivering them from the bondage of their sin.
Today, we to are to remember all the Lord has done for us: as a group of people (the church), with our families, and by ourselves.
Take part in all the Lord has done for you as a family tonight…
Tonight as you sit down at the dinner table (or a time of your choosing) take time as a family (of whatever size and makeup) and talk about how the Lord has changed your lives. Read Deuteronomy 6:1-12 together. Then reminisce of the great things He has done for you as an individual, for your family, and for our church. You may want to look at Scriptures you have placed throughout your home and remember why they have been placed there, and the covenants you have made to the Lord as a family. Take as much time as you need. Turn off all devices, and just be with each other and the Lord.
If you really want to go crazy, you can prepare the actual passover meal and discuss the elements and their meaning to your lives as a family…
Like every good Baptist, this meal takes about 3 hours to celebrate, and their table is full of food. On every table, there are six prescribed foods: roasted lamb, bitter herbs, parsley that would be dipped in salt water, a hard- boiled egg, a brown paste mixture of apples, pears and nuts, wine, and unleavened bread.
The roasted lamb represents the lambs killed for their blood that the ancient Israelites sprinkled over their doorposts. This sacrifice was their salvation from God’s wrath. As for the bitter herbs, eating this caused their sinuses to react, producing tears. This is very symbolic because it reminds them of not only the bitterness of slavery in Egypt, but for the Egyptian women who lost their babies, and for the Egyptians who lost their lives in the Red Sea.
The hard- boiled egg symbolized another festival sacrifice offered in the Temple of Jerusalem, and the brown paste symbolizes the mortar used by the Israelite slaves when they toiled for Pharaoh. The parsley (which signified the Israelites as the living children of God) would be dipped in salt water to remember their walk through the Red Sea.
As for the unleavened bread, before the meal starts, people would do a candlelight search in their houses to find and dispose of any leaven. See, leaven was anything extra that was added to the dough to make it rise. So when they were searching for leaven, they were clearing out what didn’t need to be there. Kind of like in Psalm 139 where David pleads with the Lord to search his heart, to do a deep search for the things that don’t need to be there, to illuminate and expose those things, and to get rid
Unleavened bread didn’t just pull apart. It broke completely in half. This was so important for a few reasons. Jesus says at the meal that this unleavened bread (a bread without anything bad in it) signified his sinless body being broken for us. Also, like the lambs killed for Passover, their bones were not crushed, but only their blood spilled. This fulfilled the rule given to Moses by God in Exodus 12 for how to sacrifice the lambs for Passover, echoed prophetically later in Psalms 34, which says, “He protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.” To the last detail of his death, Jesus fulfilled the Messianic prophecies, showing that he truly was the sacrificial Lamb of God.
ALSO AT THIS MEAL, Exodus 6: 5-7 is read before the toasting of four cups of wine:
VERSE 5: I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.
VERSE 6: Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.
VERSE 7: I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.
So, each cup would represent a piece of this passage, a promise made by God to us:
Cup 1 - I will bring you out
Cup 2 - I will deliver you from slavery
Cup 3 - I will redeem you, or buy you back
Cup 4 - I will take you to be My people
So imagine this scene...
Jesus, this scandalous rabbi, one who hung out with the sinners, the outsiders, the hated ones, the prostitutes, the sick and unclean, one who says that they are not only invited to the meal, but they get to sit close to Him; He has brought with him these rejected men of Jewish society into an intimate setting with him to eat together and remember God’s faithfulness together. And while they remember the past together, Jesus brings something new to them. These cups of wine represent the blood of the lamb sacrificed for them at the first Passover. It is in this moment that Jesus himself fills his cup and claims that this is “My blood of the new covenant.” His blood would be what causes God’s wrath to pass over us. This new covenant does not depend on our faithfulness, but on His. You see, He initiates the covenant, knowing we can’t keep it, so he fulfills it for us.
This is the God we serve. Don’t miss this! What we were supposed to do for God, God came as a man to do for us. He lived the life we were supposed to live and died in our place. All He asks is to drink from this cup; to receive what He’s already done for us. So when we celebrate Passover together, when we take of the Lord’s Supper, we remember together that He has overcome all the sins of the world. That it truly is finished, and our hope is found in Him alone.
Oh, and this final cup, the cup that promises that He will take us to be His people, he says “I will not drink this cup until I drink with you in the new kingdom”. He promises to us that he’s resurrected. That he came back from the dead, and he is coming back to make all of this new. And one day, we will drink that cup at the table with Him in the new kingdom.