This Facilitator’s Guide is intended to assist the facilitator lead the discussion of a group on the following topic. It is not meant to give an exhaustive review of the topic, but rather give pointers from the Bible. To that end we have inserted a few comments and Bible verses that are relevant to the discussion – this may help get the discussion started. For a more comprehensive study of this topic see the related online resources at the end of this guide.
God’s purpose for mankind is to reproduce His own kind—that is, to fashion in each person His holy character. God gave to Israel seven annual festivals which reveal the steps to the fulfillment of that plan. Through this inductive study guide you’ll learn about the first step in that plan: Passover, the first festival of the year.
Evidence From Scripture
EXODUS 1:13-14 “So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. (14) And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage — in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve was with rigor.”
EXODUS 3:7 “And the Lord said, I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.”
1. What was life like for an Israelite in Egypt?
· As shown in Exodus 1:13-14 Exodus 1:13-14 13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor:
14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigor.
American King James Version×, for the Israelites, life was tough and they lived in slavery to the Egyptians.
JOHN 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.”
· Sin is lawlessness (a violation of the law).
3. How was an Israelite’s bondage in Egypt analogous to bondage to sin?
· They lived in a pagan culture and were immersed in the customs and life of that culture.
4. Can one live in sin and be in God’s family? Read I John 3:5-10 John 3:5-10 5 Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said to you, You must be born again.
8 The wind blows where it wants, and you hear the sound thereof, but can not tell from where it comes, and where it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
9 Nicodemus answered and said to him, How can these things be?
10 Jesus answered and said to him, Are you a master of Israel, and know not these things?
American King James Version×and comment.
· No, we have to strive for righteousness and not live in sin, otherwise we cannot be part of the family of God.
· Comment: Unbaptized individuals are not yet part of the called and begotten family of God. They can and will be, however (future tense), upon their willing response to God’s Spirit as it leads them toward repentance and baptism. (See our Study Guides on these subjects for more information). Those who are children of baptized members of God’s Church are in a special category until that time, referred to as “sanctified” or “holy” (1 Corinthians 7:14 1 Corinthians 7:14For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
American King James Version×). They are being called of God and have access to His promises (Acts 2:39 Acts 2:39For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.
American King James Version×), pending their mature acceptance of His calling, repentance and baptism.
EXODUS 12:3 “Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. (5) Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or the goats.’”
I CORINTHIANS 5:7 “For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
5. List the requirements of the sacrificial animal.
· Without blemish and first born
6. Compare those requirements with Jesus Christ, our Passover sacrifice.
· Christ is without sin and He was God’s first and only child.
EXODUS 12:6-13 “ ‘Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month…”
7. Who killed the lamb? Who is responsible for Christ’s death? When was Christ crucified?
· The high priest. We are all responsible for Christ’s death. He was crucified during the daytime on Passover (the afternoon after the Passover service was kept in the evening by Christ and His disciples).
8. What is the symbolic meaning of putting blood on the door posts and lintel?
· The blood covers the sins of those who come under the blood.
· Comment: Many- if not most – of the Israelites who came under the blood on the door posts and lintels were actually not righteous.
9. Why would unleavened bread and bitter herbs be part of the meal?
· Unleavened bread makes us focus on living a life without sin, and bitter herbs symbolized the unpleasantness of slavery.
· 1 Corinthians 5:8 1 Corinthians 5:8Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
American King James Version×Paul compares truth and sincerity with unleavened bread.
10. Why were they to eat it in haste?
· God told them to be prepared to leave Egypt. Exodus 12:8 Exodus 12:8And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.
American King James Version×
11. What would happen to an Israelite who did not have blood on his door posts and lintel?
· Their first born child would be killed.
12. What is the penalty for sin? Quote a verse from the New Testament which proves it.
· Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
American King James Version×“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
· Are there other verses that make this point as well?
13. Is blood required also for deliverance out of bondage to sin and its penalty? Read Romans 3:24-25 Romans 3:24-25 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
American King James Version×.
· Y es
EXODUS 12:14 “So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.”
14. How long is this festival to be kept?
15. Would you say this is an important day in God’s sight?
· Y es
16. What does ” feast to the Lord” mean?
· A commanded observation of the day according to God’s instructions.
17. Do you think this is a festival that Satan, God’s adversary, would like us to forget or take lightly?
MATTHEW 26:17-19 “Now on the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread…”
MATTHEW 26:26-28 “And as they were eating…”
I CORINTHIANS 11: 23-28 “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you:…”
18. What changes in the Passover ceremony did Jesus make?
· He fulfilled the sacrificial requirement and instituted symbols to represent the life
· He gave as upon His sacrifice for our sins. John 1:29 John 1:29The next day John sees Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.
American King James Version×
NOTE : Another change in the New Testament Passover is that only baptized members are to participate in the actual ceremony. Exodus 12:43-44 Exodus 12:43-44 43 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof:
44 But every man’s servant that is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof.
American King James Version×,48 shows the original Passover was to be observed only by circumcised or true citizens of Israel. When Christ founded His Church He began the “new” Israel, or spiritual Israel…comprised of people of all races. Circumcision is still required for participation in this spiritual nation, but it is now “circumcision of the heart (see Ephesians 2:11-12 Ephesians 2:11-12 11 Why remember, that you being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
American King James Version×and Romans 2:28-29 Romans 2:28-29 28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
American King James Version×), which occurs with conversion and comes by the Holy Spirit, i.e. at the time of a person’s baptism. As such, unbaptized individuals are not to take of the Passover symbols since they have not yet willingly come under the sacrifice of Christ.
19. What does it mean to “eat” Christ’s body? What does it mean to “drink” Christ’s blood? Is the bread and wine literally the body and blood of Jesus?
· The bread and wine are not literally the body and blood of Jesus; they are emblems Christ designated to represent His body and blood.
20. How does one eat or drink “in an unworthy manner”?
· 1 Corinthians 11:27 1 Corinthians 11:27Why whoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
American King James Version×One eats or drinks in an unworthy manner by taking for granted Christ’s sacrifice.
· B y not having deep respect for His sacrifice
· By not living a repentant way of life .
· We have to come to the Passover with reverence and accepting and believing in Christ’s sacrifice.
21. How does one examine himself? What does one look for in this self-examination?
· We have to meditate on our own lives and determine where we fall short of the glory of God based on Christ’s example.
22. What additional ceremony did Jesus perform and commanded His disciples to do likewise? Read John 13:1 John 13:1Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them to the end.
American King James Version×,3-17.
· Read John 13:1 John 13:1Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them to the end.
American King James Version×, 3-17. The foot washing.
23. What lesson(s) are we to learn from performing this ceremony?
· No one is greater than his master and we are all performing the same responsibilities that Christ performed by cleansing one another.
1. What does God want us to understand about Passover in our age? Does He consider the day on which He allowed His only Son to die worthy of man’s remembering in the 21st century?
God wants us to understand that the Passover sacrifice was fulfilled by Christ’s suffering and crucifixion. He commands us to observe the Passover in remembrance of His Son and proclaim Christ’s death until He returns. 1 Corinthians 11:22-26 1 Corinthians 11:22-26 22 What? have you not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise you the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered to you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24 And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do you, as oft as you drink it, in remembrance of me.
26 For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death till he come.
American King James Version×.
God wants us to understand that the Passover sacrifice commanded in the Old Testament was fulfilled by Christ’s suffering and crucifixion. God commands us to observe the Passover in remembrance of His Son and proclaim Christ’s death until He returns. 1 Corinthians 11:22-26 1 Corinthians 11:22-26 22 What? have you not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise you the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. 23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered to you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do you, as oft as you drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death till he come.
American King James Version×.
2. Summarize your convictions now about the meaning and value of commemorating Passover.
Christ commands His disciples to partake of the Passover yearly. In the Old Testament, Exodus 12:43 Exodus 12:43And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof:
American King James Version×, the Israelites were commanded to keep the Passover. We also learn in Hebrews 13:8 Hebrews 13:8Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
American King James Version×that Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Therefore, we ought to keep the Holy Days as God commands us to, understanding that the laws were never done away with, but rather changed in their meaning from physical to spiritual fulfillment. Christ died for our sins and therefore we have life in Him.