1. A MERCIFUL WARNING
a. How was Moses regarded by the Egyptians? Exodus 11:3 (last part).
b. What judgment was foretold before the tenth plague, and what would Pharaoh and his servants do? Exodus 11:1, 4–8; 12:12.
c. What can we learn about God’s character from the many warnings He sent to the Egyptians before sending the tenth plague? 2 Peter 3:9.
“The judgment of which Egypt had first been warned, was to be the last visited. God is long-suffering and plenteous in mercy. He has a tender care for the beings formed in His image. If the loss of their harvests and their flocks and herds had brought Egypt to repentance, the children would not have been smitten; but the nation had stubbornly resisted the divine command, and now the final blow was about to fall.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 273.
“The Lord wills not that any soul should perish. His mercies are without number.”—The Upward Look, p. 150.
2. THE PASSOVER INSTITUTED
a. Who was permitted to eat the Passover lamb? Exodus 12:43, 48, 49.
b. What were the Israelites instructed to do with the blood, and what was the purpose of that instruction? Exodus 12:7, 13, 23.
“Before obtaining freedom, the bondmen must show their faith in the great deliverance about to be accomplished. The token of blood must be placed upon their houses, and they must separate themselves and their families from the Egyptians, and gather within their own dwellings. Had the Israelites disregarded in any particular the directions given them, had they neglected to separate their children from the Egyptians, had they slain the lamb, but failed to strike the doorpost with blood, or had any gone out of their houses, they would not have been secure. They might have honestly believed that they had done all that was necessary, but their sincerity would not have saved them. All who failed to heed the Lord’s directions would lose their first-born by the hand of the destroyer.
“By obedience the people were to give evidence of their faith. So all who hope to be saved by the merits of the blood of Christ should realize that they themselves have something to do in securing their salvation. While it is Christ only that can redeem us from the penalty of transgression, we are to turn from sin to obedience. Man is to be saved by faith, not by works; yet his faith must be shown by his works.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 278, 279.
c. Who was to perform the work of slaying the Passover lamb and applying the blood to the doorpost? Exodus 12:21, 22. What significance does this have for us today?
“The father was to act as the priest of the household, and if the father was dead, the eldest son living was to perform this solemn act of sprinkling the doorpost with blood. This is a symbol of the work to be done in every family. Parents are to gather their children into the home and to present Christ before them as their Passover. The father is to dedicate every inmate of his home to God and to do a work that is represented by the feast of the Passover. It is perilous to leave this solemn duty in the hands of others.”—The Adventist Home, p. 324.
3. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PASSOVER
a. How were the Israelites to eat the lamb and the other provisions of the Passover feast? Exodus 12:8–11. What change took place after they had settled down in their own land?
“At the time of their deliverance from Egypt, the children of Israel ate the Passover supper standing, with their loins girded, and with their staves in their hands, ready for their journey. The manner in which they celebrated this ordinance harmonized with their condition; for they were about to be thrust out of the land of Egypt, and were to begin a painful and difficult journey through the wilderness. But in Christ’s time the condition of things had changed. They were not now about to be thrust out of a strange country, but were dwellers in their own land. In harmony with the rest that had been given them, the people then partook of the Passover supper in a reclining position.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 653.
b. How was the marvelous deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt kept fresh in the minds of their children? Exodus 12:26, 27.
“The Passover was ordained as a commemoration of the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage. God had directed that, year by year, as the children should ask the meaning of this ordinance, the history should be repeated. Thus the wonderful deliverance was to be kept fresh in the minds of all.”—Ibid., p. 652.
c. What is the relationship between the Passover service and the Lord’s Supper? What work is kept fresh in our minds by the communion service? Matthew 26:17–19, 26–29; 1 Corinthians 11:26.
“As [Christ] ate the Passover with His disciples, He instituted in its place the service that was to be the memorial of His great sacrifice. The national festival of the Jews was to pass away forever. The service which Christ established was to be observed by His followers in all lands and through all ages. . . . The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was given to commemorate the great deliverance wrought out as the result of the death of Christ. Till He shall come the second time in power and glory, this ordinance is to be celebrated. It is the means by which His great work for us is to be kept fresh in our minds.”—Ibid., pp. 652, 653.
4. THE SYMBOL AND THE SUBSTANCE
a. Of whom was the Passover lamb a type? John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7.
“God desired to teach Israel that from His own love comes the gift which reconciles them to Himself.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 113.
“The sacrificial lamb represents ‘the Lamb of God,’ in whom is our only hope of salvation. Says the apostle, ‘Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.’ 1 Corinthians 5:7. It was not enough that the paschal lamb be slain; its blood must be sprinkled upon the doorposts; so the merits of Christ’s blood must be applied to the soul. We must believe, not only that He died for the world, but that He died for us individually. We must appropriate to ourselves the virtue of the atoning sacrifice.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 277.
b. Who is symbolized by the bread and what reality should this remind us of? John 6:47, 48, 51.
“To the death of Christ we owe even this earthly life. The bread we eat is the purchase of His broken body. The water we drink is bought by His spilled blood. Never one, saint or sinner, eats his daily food, but he is nourished by the body and the blood of Christ. The cross of Calvary is stamped on every loaf. It is reflected in every water spring. All this Christ has taught in appointing the emblems of His great sacrifice. The light shining from that Communion service in the upper chamber makes sacred the provisions for our daily life. The family board becomes as the table of the Lord, and every meal a sacrament.
“And how much more are Christ’s words true of our spiritual nature. He declares, ‘Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life.’ It is by receiving the life for us poured out on Calvary’s cross, that we can live the life of holiness. And this life we receive by receiving His word, by doing those things which He has commanded. Thus we become one with Him. [John 6:54, 56, 57 quoted.] To the holy Communion this scripture in a special sense applies. As faith contemplates our Lord’s great sacrifice, the soul assimilates the spiritual life of Christ. That soul will receive spiritual strength from every Communion. The service forms a living connection by which the believer is bound up with Christ, and thus bound up with the Father. In a special sense it forms a connection between dependent human beings and God.”—The Desire of Ages, pp. 660, 661.
5. THE TENTH PLAGUE – DEATH OF THE FIRSTBORN
a. Describe the last plague. Exodus 12:29, 30.
b. How were the Israelites driven out of the land of Egypt? Why? Exodus 12:31–33.
“Throughout the vast realm of Egypt the pride of every household had been laid low. The shrieks and wails of the mourners filled the air. King and courtiers, with blanched faces and trembling limbs, stood aghast at the overmastering horror. Pharaoh remembered how he had once exclaimed, ‘Who is Jehovah, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I know not Jehovah, neither will I let Israel go.’ Now, his heaven-daring pride humbled in the dust, he ‘called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said. . . . And be gone; and bless me also.’ The royal counselors also and the people entreated the Israelites to depart ‘out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.’”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 280.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How did God show mercy in His warnings before each plague and especially before the tenth plague?
2. How does the Passover service illustrate how faith and works are to be combined? How does this relate to my own personal experience?
3. What deliverance does the Lord’s Supper commemorate? Why do we need to observe it regularly?
4. How do we appropriate to our souls the saving blood of Christ?
5. How do we, as Pharaoh, sometimes wait until God has humbled us before we obey His voice?