1. FORETOLD BY JOSEPH
a. When Joseph died, what did he prophesy regarding his brethren? What oath did he require them to make? Genesis 50:25, 26.
“The last two kings who had occupied the throne of Egypt had been tyrannical and had cruelly entreated the Hebrews. The elders of Israel had endeavored to encourage the sinking faith of the Israelites, by referring to the promise made to Abraham, and the prophetic words of Joseph just before he died, foretelling their deliverance from Egypt.”—The Story of Redemption, p. 113.
b. How was this prophecy fulfilled? Exodus 13:18, 19.
“In their departure from Egypt the Israelites bore with them a precious legacy, in the bones of Joseph, which had so long awaited the fulfillment of God’s promise, and which, during the dark years of bondage, had been a reminder of Israel’s deliverance.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 282.
2. GOD’S METHOD OF DELIVERANCE
a. What happened when Moses tried to deliver the Israelites from Egypt in his own strength? Exodus 2:11–15. Why did God allow this?
“In slaying the Egyptian, Moses had fallen into the same error so often committed by his fathers, of taking into their own hands the work that God had promised to do. It was not God’s will to deliver His people by warfare, as Moses thought, but by His own mighty power, that the glory might be ascribed to Him alone. Yet even this rash act was overruled by God to accomplish His purposes. Moses was not prepared for his great work. He had yet to learn the same lesson of faith that Abraham and Jacob had been taught—not to rely upon human strength or wisdom, but upon the power of God for the fulfillment of His promises.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 247.
b. When Moses returned to Egypt with Aaron, they first gathered the elders of Israel to make known to them God’s plan to deliver Israel from Egypt. What was the reaction of the elders? Exodus 4:29–31.
c. After having their burdens increased and seeing no signs of deliverance, what now was the attitude of the children of Israel? Exodus 5:19–21; 6:9. Why did God delay in their deliverance?
“The Hebrews had expected to obtain their freedom without any special trial of their faith or any real suffering or hardship. But they were not yet prepared for deliverance. They had little faith in God, and were unwilling patiently to endure their afflictions until He should see fit to work for them. Many were content to remain in bondage rather than meet the difficulties attending removal to a strange land; and the habits of some had become so much like those of the Egyptians that they preferred to dwell in Egypt. Therefore the Lord did not deliver them by the first manifestation of His power before Pharaoh. He overruled events more fully to develop the tyrannical spirit of the Egyptian king and also to reveal Himself to His people. Beholding His justice, His power, and His love, they would choose to leave Egypt and give themselves to His service.”—Ibid., p. 260.
3. A MEMORIAL OF DELIVERANCE
a. What was the meaning behind the Passover service? Exodus 12:21–27.
“The observance of the Passover began with the birth of the Hebrew nation. On the last night of their bondage in Egypt, when there appeared no token of deliverance, God commanded them to prepare for an immediate release. He had warned Pharaoh of the final judgment on the Egyptians, and He directed the Hebrews to gather their families within their own dwellings. Having sprinkled the doorposts with the blood of the slain lamb, they were to eat the lamb, roasted, with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. ‘And thus shall ye eat it,’ He said, ‘with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s passover.’ Exodus 12:11. At midnight all the first-born of the Egyptians were slain. Then the king sent to Israel the message, ‘Rise up, and get you forth from among my people; . . . and go, serve the Lord, as ye have said.’ Exodus 12:31. The Hebrews went out from Egypt an independent nation. The Lord had commanded that the Passover should be yearly kept. ‘It shall come to pass,’ He said, ‘when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? that ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when He smote the Egyptians.’ Thus from generation to generation the story of this wonderful deliverance was to be repeated.”—The Desire of Ages, pp. 76, 77.
b. What was the Passover to remind them of? Exodus 13:3, 9, 10.
“In delivering them from Egypt, God sought to reveal to them His power and His mercy, that they might be led to love and trust Him. He brought them down to the Red Sea—where, pursued by the Egyptians, escape seemed impossible—that they might realize their utter helplessness, their need of divine aid; and then He wrought deliverance for them. Thus they were filled with love and gratitude to God and with confidence in His power to help them. He had bound them to Himself as their deliverer from temporal bondage.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 371.
“It was the design of God that these exhibitions of power should strengthen the faith of His people, and that their posterity should steadfastly worship Him alone who had wrought such merciful wonders in their behalf.”—The Story of Redemption, p. 115.
4. JESUS, OUR PASSOVER
a. What intrigued Jesus when visiting the temple at the age of 12? Luke 2:41, 42, 46, 47. What did He then realize?
“For the first time the child Jesus looked upon the temple. He saw the white-robed priests performing their solemn ministry. He beheld the bleeding victim upon the altar of sacrifice. With the worshipers He bowed in prayer, while the cloud of incense ascended before God. He witnessed the impressive rites of the paschal service. Day by day He saw their meaning more clearly. Every act seemed to be bound up with His own life. New impulses were awakening within Him. Silent and absorbed, He seemed to be studying out a great problem. The mystery of His mission was opening to the Saviour.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 78.
b. How is the sacrifice of Jesus linked to the Passover? 1 Corinthians 5:7; Isaiah 53:7; John 1:29.
“The passover pointed backward to the deliverance of the children of Israel, and was also typical, pointing forward to Christ, the Lamb of God, slain for the redemption of fallen man. The blood sprinkled upon the door-posts prefigured the atoning blood of Christ, and also the continual dependence of sinful man upon the merits of that blood for safety from the power of Satan, and for final redemption. . . . The passover had been observed to commemorate the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt. It had been both commemorative and typical. The type had reached the antitype when Christ, the Lamb of God without blemish, died upon the cross.”—The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, p. 201.
“On the fourteenth day of the month, at even, the Passover was celebrated, its solemn, impressive ceremonies commemorating the deliverance from bondage in Egypt, and pointing forward to the sacrifice that should deliver from the bondage of sin. When the Saviour yielded up His life on Calvary, the significance of the Passover ceased, and the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was instituted as a memorial of the same event of which the Passover had been a type.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 539.
“Moses was a type of Christ, who was to come to break the reign of sin over the human family, and to deliver those who were captives to its power.”—The Signs of the Times, November 6, 1884.
5. OUR SIGN OF DELIVERANCE TODAY
a. Of what was the Sabbath a reminder to the children of Israel? Deuteronomy 5:15.
b. How is the Sabbath also a sign of deliverance from sin? Exodus 31:13; Ezekiel 20:12.
“As the Sabbath was the sign that distinguished Israel when they came out of Egypt to enter the earthly Canaan, so it is the sign that now distinguishes God’s people as they come out from the world to enter the heavenly rest. The Sabbath is a sign of a relationship existing between God and His people, a sign that they honor His law. It distinguishes between His loyal subjects and transgressors. . . .
“The Sabbath given to the world as the sign of God as the Creator is also the sign of Him as the Sanctifier. The power that created all things is the power that re-creates the soul in His own likeness. To those who keep holy the Sabbath day it is the sign of sanctification. True sanctification is harmony with God, oneness with Him in character. It is received through obedience to those principles that are the transcript of His character. And the Sabbath is the sign of obedience. He who from the heart obeys the fourth commandment will obey the whole law. He is sanctified through obedience.”—Testimonies, vol. 6, pp. 349, 350.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What hope did Joseph give the Israelites of their future deliverance from Egypt?
2. How did Moses show a lack of faith in God’s plan to deliver Israel? How can we do the same?
3. Why was the service commemorating the deliverance from Egypt named the Passover?
4. Of what future event was the Passover a type? What deliverance would be gained?
5. From what is the Sabbath a sign of deliverance? How?