International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday February 7, 2016
Purpose: To claim the freedom God offers by remembering God’s mighty acts in Scripture and in our lives
Bible Lesson: Exodus 12:1-14
Background Scripture: Numbers 28:16-25; Mark 14:12-26
Key Verse: This day will be a day of remembering for you. You will observe it as a festival to the Lord. You will observe it in every generation as a regulation for all time. (Exodus 12:14)
Exodus 12:1-14 (CEB)
(1) The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, (2) “This month will be the first month; it will be the first month of the year for you. (3) Tell the whole Israelite community: On the tenth day of this month they must take a lamb for each household, a lamb per house. (4) If a household is too small for a lamb, it should share one with a neighbor nearby. You should divide the lamb in proportion to the number of people who will be eating it. (5) Your lamb should be a flawless year old male. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. (6) You should keep close watch over it until the fourteenth day of this month. At twilight on that day, the whole assembled Israelite community should slaughter their lambs. (7) They should take some of the blood and smear it on the two doorposts and on the beam over the door of the houses in which they are eating. (8) That same night they should eat the meat roasted over the fire. They should eat it along with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. (9) Don’t eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over fire with its head, legs, and internal organs. (10) Don’t let any of it remain until morning, and burn any of it left over in the morning. (11) This is how you should eat it. You should be dressed, with your sandals on your feet and your walking stick in your hand. You should eat the meal in a hurry. It is the Passover of the Lord. (12) I’ll pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I’ll strike down every oldest child in the land of Egypt, both humans and animals. I’ll impose judgments on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. (13) The blood will be your sign on the houses where you live. Whenever I see the blood, I’ll pass over you. No plague will destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. (14) “This day will be a day of remembering for you. You will observe it as a festival to the Lord. You will observe it in every generation as a regulation for all time.
Some Thoughts by Burgess Walter
As we prepare to enter the Lenten Season, we are going to look at some of the Jewish Holy Days. On Wednesday the 10th of February our Lenten Season starts with Ash Wednesday.
The first Jewish Holy day we will look at is Passover. Our text is from Exodus and it comes after a series of plagues that have attacked the different Egyptian gods.
The instructions given by God to Moses are very detailed, and the schedule is very exact. It will mark the beginning of the Jewish calendar. The four-day delay might serve a twofold purpose. Because there was a call for everyone to be circumcised prior to departing, it would provide healing time. Also this pause helps to create a lot of tension and anxiety like we experience prior to a great event.
While this ritual was to take place in the home, it was also done simultaneously with all of the other households. Therefore, it is both family and community, that share in the experience.
The meal is eaten while dressed for travel, and consist of the sacrificed meat, unleavened bread and bitter herbs. The symbolism is important, the meat would represent Jesus, (the perfect sacrifice) the unleavened bread shows holiness, (because leaven represents sin) and the bitter herbs represent the bondage of Egypt. (a reminder of what they have been redeemed from)
The blood smeared over the door and down the door post is the sign God is looking for as He visits each house in Egypt. The first born of the Egyptians will pay the price for the redemption of the Jews as they leave their bondage.
Since all of this happens prior to the Law, they must exercise faith and obedience and just as Abraham's obedience was counted as righteousness, so too each family that followed God’s command was redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.
As Christians, I think we need to heed God’s command to do this each year, which we now do on resurrection Sunday. While the original was a pattern, we should never forget what we have been redeemed from.
There is an old gospel hymn that we used to sing, “When I See the Blood” I will pass over you. It seems to fit well for this lesson.