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picture of last supper February 5 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today's Bible reading: Exodus 10:1- 13:16

A Picture with a Purpose

What do we do to help us remember significant events or people? We take pictures. Or, if the person or event was very significant, we might set up memorials or even dedicate a day to honor them. Most people would recognize the picture in today's lesson - a picture of the last supper of Jesus with his disciples. In today’s Bible study we will look at one of the most significant events in history: Israel’s miraculous deliverance from slavery to Egypt. It was the basis for that picture. The significance of this event gives us hope.

As we saw in our last Bible study, God was delivering his people through plagues on Egypt. Each plague attacked one of their gods to show them that He is sovereign (more...). The purpose of the plagues is recorded in Exodus 10:1-2:

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD." (NIV)

When stories of how God delivered the Israelites were shared, children would come to know God and their faith and hope in him would increase. They would know that God sees his people when they are distressed, and he delivers them from their enemies. We can draw the same encouragement from the story of Israel’s deliverance today. Their God is our God. We should also share this story and other true stories with our children and grandchildren to help them remember that God answers our prayers. We need to keep repeating them until they know the stories by heart. This will help build our confidence and their confidence in God.

Just before Israel was delivered from slavery they did something to remember it; they celebrated the first Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. This, too, was for a purpose. In Exodus 12:24-27 the LORD told Moses,

Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. And when your children ask you, “What does this ceremony mean to you?” Then tell them, “It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.” (NIV)

In the last plague upon Egypt God killed every first born son and first born animal. The Passover was instituted to remember the time each Israelite family selected a one year old male lamb without defect, killed it, and then spread its blood on the door posts and lintel of their dwellings with a hyssop branch. When the plague came, God saw the blood and passed over them.

Later in history, Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples in an upper room in Jerusalem, giving it a more significant meaning. The Passover pictures how the blood of Jesus Christ, the perfect lamb of God, covers us. His blood sacrifice is even better than the Passover sacrifice because his blood atones for our sin with one sacrifice forever (Hebrews 9:28; 10:10,14). On the Day of Judgment, when God sees the blood of his Son applied on the doorposts of our hearts, he will pass over us; we are safe from destruction (eternal judgment in hell). Have you accepted the Passover sacrifice of Jesus for you? If so, you are delivered from your sins and made righteous in his sight. You will not be condemned; you will enter the Promised Land of heaven. If not, salvation is available to you (more...)

The Passover meal was eaten in haste. Judgment upon the Egyptians was being accomplished, and the Israelites were swiftly delivered from their bondage. Because of the haste of that night, not even the bread was leavened. The Feast of the Unleavened Bread was for the Israelites to remember their quick deliverance from affliction. 2,000 years later Jesus' body was afflicted on the Cross of Calvary as Roman soldiers, having mocked, beat, and spat upon him, then crucified him, nailing his wrists and ankles to the cross. Isaiah 53:5,7-8 describe his affliction. Because he was afflicted, suffering for our sins in our place, we can be quickly set free from our bondage to sin (1Peter 2:24).

Today the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread with its new significance is remembered as believers gather together for a Communion service. It is a picture of Jesus' sacrifice. The cup of grape juice or wine represents the blood of Christ, and the unleavened bread, matzah, or crackers represent the body of the Lord, which he suffered for us on the cross. We should participate in the Communion service on a regular basis so that we and our children will remember how God powerfully and quickly delivers us from our sins through his Son, Jesus Christ.

Another memorial was the offering of the firstborn. The firstborn livestock were sacrificed as a burnt offering to the LORD. The firstborn children, however, were offered to the LORD in a different way: lambs were offered as a substitute for their lives. These offerings were for the Israelites to remember how the LORD spared their lives when God killed all of the firstborn livestock and children in Egypt. This is a beautiful picture of what God did for us; He sent his firstborn Son to our world and offered him up as a perfect substitute lamb for our sins so that we would not have to be destroyed like those who have not trusted in God. We and our children, today, should be dedicated to the LORD as living sacrifices for him (Romans 12:1).

Memorials help us remember what God has done, and they give us faith in what he can do. What memorials do you have that you can share?

Lessons to live by:

  • Share Bible stories and other stories of faith with your children and grandchildren so they can come to know God and have faith in him.
  • The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread picture the death of Christ for us - how we might be powerfully and quickly delivered from our bondage to sin. Accept this sacrifice of Christ for you so you can be forgiven and not condemned (more...).
  • Participate in the Communion service on a regular basis so you and your children (if you have any) will remember how God delivers us from our sins through his Son, Jesus.
  • We and our children, today, should be dedicated to the LORD as living sacrifices for him.

Today’s Bible memory verses:

1Corinthians 11:24-25

And when he [Jesus] had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” (NIV)

praying girl Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

Please send your comments to mtbiblestudies@gmail.com

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