Summary: It shall come to pass, 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, and deli
A Night to Be Remembered
Text: "It shall come to pass, 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, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped" (Ex. 12:26-27).
Scripture Reading: Exodus 12:1-27
Clarence Macartney, a famous American preacher; wrote a book enti-tled The Great Nights of the Bible. In the work he discussed some nights of the Bible in which great events occurred. In Egypt the Hebrews experienced one of the most meaningful nights in their history-the night of the Passover feast, when the death angel destroyed the firstborn of the Egyptians.
The Israelites left Egypt at midnight by the light of a full moon, the full moon of the spring equinox, the night of the fourteenth of Abib, which cor-responds to March or April in our calendar. The Passover has been celebrated by Jewish people for thirty-two hundred years as a memorial to the Israelites’ deliverance out of Egypt. The Passover feast has lessons for us today.
I. It causes us to reflect.
A. The human tendency to forget: Human beings possess the unusual tendency to forget. Some of the greatest events of life are soon forgotten. God knew that the farther the Israelites moved from the memorial night of the Passover the less they would remember of this great event. There-fore, he gave instructions for an annual observance of the Passover:
"This day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordi-nance for ever" (Ex. 12:14).
B. The subject of rejection. God gave the Passover to reflect upon him and his great acts. "It is the LORD’S passover" (Ex. 12:11) instituted by him to keep his nature and his action before the people continuously.
Christians observe the Lord’s Supper. It causes us to reflect upon Jesus Christ and our relationship to him.
II. It causes us to celebrate.
A. Worship as celebration. The Israelites engaged in the Passover as a cele-bration. "And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt" (Ex. 12:17). From the beginning the Passover had a festival atmosphere.
Modern worship should have the atmosphere of a celebration. Weekly worship should not be a dull, meaningless religious routine. It should be festive.
B. The celebration of victory. Times of victory call for celebrations. God gave Israel a special night when he defeated the Egyptians and delivered the Israelites from the land. That called for a victory celebration.
Each Lord’s Day is a victory celebration. It is a day we celebrate the victory of Jesus over sin and death. It is a day we celebrate his presence.
Ill. It aids us in instruction.
A. An effective teaching method. God instructed Israel to continue the Passover feast. "And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the Lord will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service" (Ex. 12:25). The observance of the Passover would elicit ques-tions from children in future generations: "What mean ye by this ser-vice?" (Ex. 12:26). There is not a greater teaching than to answer accord-ing to God’s revelation the queries of an inquisitive child.
B. The subject of instructions. Questions from Jewish children gave an oppor-tunity to share God’s revelation. "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, and delivered our houses" (Ex. 12:27). The chil-dren could be taught the theological significance of Israel’s history.
Nothing is more beneficial to children than to instruct them in the ways of the Lord.
The Passover was a memorial night in Israel’s history. It tells us about a God who delivered a nation from an enemy and sent the people to a new land. That same God delivers you from sin and gives you a new life.