Obedience to Remember
Posted September 11, 2022
Lesson 2 Fall Quarter
Lesson Text: Exodus 12:1-14
Golden Text: Exodus 12:14
Our lesson this week is the second lesson in our month of lessons that are focusing on honoring God through our obedience. In our lesson last week, we saw the call of Moses by God through the burning bush that was not consumed. As we know, Moses went to Egypt and on behalf of God, said to Pharaoh, “let my people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness (Ex. 5:1).”
Plague after plague, the Lord plagued Pharaoh and all the land of Egypt. With one final plague, the Lord was going to kill all the firstborns of Egypt, man and animals (Ex. 11:4-5). On this note, this is where our lesson for this week takes place. This week’s lesson is being taught from Exodus 12:1-14.
Institution of the Passover
Our lesson opens with the Lord speaking to both Moses and Aaron (v.1). The Lord says to them both, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you (v.2).” The first month being spoken of in this verse is Nisan, which corresponds with between March and April. Nisan was the start of the children of Israel being freed from their bondage in Egypt.
The Passover lamb
So, how did Passover begin? It began with Moses and Aaron going before the people as God commanded, and saying to them, “On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the parsons (v.3).” If a house was not large enough for a lamb, they were to share in with their neighbors (v.4).
Now, the lambs that they were gathering were to be without blemish, and males of the first year; so, these lambs were to be innocent in other words (v.5). This is a particular verse, along with Isaiah 53, that I often reference when I speak of the innocence of Christ as He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. Christ is the Lamb of God, innocent, and was sacrificed to be our propitiation so that God will pass over our sins.
The lambs that were gathered on the tenth day of the month were to be held until the fourteenth day of Nisan, and then on that day, the whole congregation of Israel were to kill their lamb at twilight (v.6). Essentially, they were to kill the lamb before the fifth day began.
The blood of the lamb
With some of the blood that would be shed from the lamb, and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses where they ate (v.7). Being covered by the blood of the lamb would show who belongs to the Lord as we see mentioned in a latter verse in our lesson (v.13) Not only was this the case but we will see that the blood covering the doorpost would lead to the Lord’s judgment of death for the firstborns to pass over that house.
This, again, certainly calls to memory about how we are covered by the shed blood of Jesus. At the Feast of Passover, Jesus said that the cup represented is a new covenant that represents His shed blood which was shed for the remission of all sins (Matt. 26:28). Jesus’ shed blood covers the sins of all of those that believe in Him.
The flesh of the lamb
In the next verse of our lesson, we will see that the Lord then said to the people, “then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it (v.8).” So, there are a few things to touch on in this particular verse.
Firstly, I want to focus on eating the flesh of the lamb; the children of Israel were to consume their sacrifice. This, again, reminds me of something that Jesus said about His flesh and His blood to the Jews. Jesus said to those that were following Him at the time, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6:53-54).”
At that time, the Jews thought that Jesus was speaking about literally eating His flesh and drinking His blood; some chose to turn around and stop following Jesus after He made that statement. However, what Jesus actually spoke of was consuming all that He lived for, taught, and preached. You see, we are to consume the way of Christ so that we may grow and live by it.
The children of Israel were going to now begin their new journey with the Lord passing over them. They were not to eat it raw, nor boiled, but roasted in fire (v.9); they were to eat every single part of the sacrifice – the head, legs, and entrails – consuming all of the sacrifice.
Adding on to all of this, they were to also have unleavened bread with bitter herbs. Notice that the bread was to go without yeast and even the herbs were to go without any additives. It is also taught that the herbs they ate may have been called to be bitter as a reminder of the bitterness of their bondage in Egypt.
Eating in haste
Everything the children of Israel were to consume was to be as pure as it possibly could be. Everything was to be eaten with none of it remaining until the next morning and what did remain was to be burnt (v.10). The children of Israel would no longer be dwelling in Egypt so what would be the point of having leftovers? We also know that on their journey in the wilderness, the Lord would provide them with the food that they needed.
Not only were the children of Israel to eat everything, but they were to also eat with a belt on their waist and sandals on their feet with a staff in their hands (v.11); they were to eat in haste – ready to go. Why? Because they would not be in the land of Egypt much longer. So, to another point, we could see another reason as to why the bread wasn’t to be leavened that night. When yeast is added to dough it can take a while for the dough to rise. This would take an amount of time that the children of Israel simply did not have.
This point in driven home for us when we see the Lord say, “For I pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike 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 (v.12).”
Remembering the day
In the final verse of our lesson today, the Lord calls for the day where the lamb is sacrificed to be a memorial; a day celebrated by a feast and passed down through the generations for an everlasting ordinance.
Why would the night of Passover not be a day memorialized and remembered for all generations? You see, it is when we remember all that the Lord has done for us that we show our thanks and gratitude. You know what also happens when we celebrate days like the Resurrection of Christ? We are able to share the story, the good news, of the Lord with others.
For example, Christmas should be a day where we truly celebrate the giving of Christ to the world. When I was a kid, yes, I certainly enjoyed the gifts but you know what I truly learned through the Christmas plays and, even the Easter speeches? I learned about Christ. On Easter, I learned about the Resurrection of Christ and for Christmas, I learned about His birth – and it was so fun!
Sadly, these days, along with Thanksgiving even, are being moved further and further away from what should be celebrated. And you know what is being lost? The message of the goodness of God. The holy feasts that the children of Israel were supposed to keep, eventually got lost as the moved further and further away from the Lord into sin. By the time of the divided kingdom years, the feast was no longer being held and both kingdoms ended up lost in sin.
I worry about us as a whole today when it comes to our regard for the Lord and the holy days. I think it says a lot about us with how we treat those days when we struggle to honor the Lord. The Lord called for the children of Israel to remember the day, and their obedience to being able to do so would say a lot about them and their faith.