By Luke Johnson | November 22, 2016
Take some time to see how everyone is doing, and to pray for each other.
Have you ever been part of a secret club?
Or part of a group that had secret traditions or special cheers or handshakes?
Or part of a team or group that has special ways of identifying each other?
(jerseys, uniforms, badges, nicknames, etc.)
What did you enjoy about being part of a group like that?
Exodus 11:1-12:31 (picking up after the first 9 plagues)
What stood out to you? Anything weird / surprising / gross / cool / encouraging?
(Anything you hadn’t noticed before?)
Think back for a moment to the plagues and gods we looked at a few weeks ago:
What are some of the plagues and gods you can remember?
What has been Pharaoh’s response to Moses up to this point? (How has he responded when Moses over and over again demands, “Let my people go!”?)
What do you think God was communicating by attacking Egypt with the plagues?
The big question of Exodus is, “Who is Israel’s master?” God is mocking Pharaoh, and toying with the gods. He’s showing everyone how useless Pharaoh and the gods are compared to himself.
In our reading today, God is striking Pharaoh with the deathblow. Mighty Pharaoh finally falls down in the face of Yahweh.
Remember back to the burning bush -- How did God tell Moses this plan would unfold?
(Look at Exod 4:21-23)
Why do you think God includes the death of firstborn sons in the plagues against Egypt?
(Any idea why ‘firstborns’ are targeted?)
Do you remember anywhere else in Exodus where sons are sentenced to death? (Exod 1:15-16)
Look at Exodus 4:21-23 again -- What does God call Israel in 4:22?
From what we see in Exodus, why does God finish his attack on Egypt with the death of the firstborn?
God named Israel his firstborn son. Pharaoh enslaved God’s firstborn, and even ordered Israel’s sons to be killed. This isn’t just mean -- it’s an act of war. By ordering Israel’s sons to be killed, Pharaoh is saying, “It’s my right to decide what to do with them. They are my property.”
God responds to show Pharaoh he’s wrong, and sends the ‘destroyer’ to kill Egyptian sons (and Pharaoh’s own son) as punishment for Pharaoh’s mistreatment of God’s son Israel.
What instructions did God give to Israel to keep them safe when the destroyer would “pass over”? (Exod 12:7, 12-13)
WHERE IS JESUS?
The story of the Passover and the Exodus is the biggest, most important story in the Bible.
Even the story of Jesus in the gospels is built on top of it.
Do you see anything in the Passover story that reminds you of Jesus’ story?
If we layer the story of Jesus on top of Exodus, what roles would Jesus play?
the lamb whose blood is used in the Passover… (Eucharist!)
God’s “firstborn son” Israel…
What about Pharaoh? Can you imagine how Jesus might play the role of Pharaoh, God’s enemy?
When Jesus took on all the world’s sin on the cross, Jesus voluntarily took on the role of God’s enemy -- the focus for all of God’s wrath.
Pharaoh was finally defeated in the death of the firstborn. And in the death of God’s own Son, God defeated the power of evil, sin, and death. The death of the firstborn paved the way for God’s people to go free -- free from slavery to Pharaoh and free from slavery to sin and death.
Jesus is the lamb whose blood saves God’s people; Jesus is Pharaoh who is crushed by God;
and Jesus, in his resurrection, is ‘firstborn Israel’ who is rescued and given new life.
As Christians, we talk about “being saved” by God. In your own words, how might you explain
“being saved by God” according to the story of Exodus?