The students will be able to relate that just as the blood of the lamb applied to the doorposts of the houses protected the Children of Israel from physical death, so the Blood of Jesus applied to our hearts protects us from spiritual death.
The Passover was the first of three annual festivals of the Israelites, celebrated in the month of Nisan (March-April). The feast was instituted by God to commemorate the deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, making them free people owing allegiance to no one but God. On the tenth day of the month, the head of each family was to select from the flock either a lamb or a kid, male of the first year, without blemish. On the fourteenth day, he was to kill the lamb while the sun was setting, and using a sprig of hyssop dipped in a basin of the lamb’s blood, sprinkle the lintel and two side posts of the door of the house. The lamb was to be thoroughly roasted whole, not to be boiled or have any bones broken. It was to be eaten with unleavened bread (bread which does not rise) and bitter herbs, and it would seem that it was to be eaten standing. All of the edible parts of the lamb were to be eaten, and any parts which could not be eaten were to be burned in the morning.
Hyssop is a bushy herb of the mint family, having thick hairy leaves, and is native to Egypt and Palestine. It was mixed with vinegar to relieve pain.
There is some doubt as to who the Pharaoh was at the time of the Exodus. However, since the firstborn of all the Egyptians, including the Pharaoh’s son, died during the Passover, Amenhotep II and Merneptah are two Pharaohs who are considered the likely possibilities. Neither of their successors were their firstborn. So, whichever the Pharaoh, the Biblical story is confirmed.
The forefathers of the Children of Israel had offered sacrifices from the beginning of sacred history. When bringing judgment on the people of Egypt, God once more revealed to the Israelites the importance of the blood of sacrifices when applied as He required. Today we must have the Blood of Jesus applied to our hearts if we expect to escape the consequences of sin.
Give each student a paper sign which gives instructions for protection or a warning. For example: Stop, Railroad Crossing, Beware of Dog, Poison, Fasten Seat Belts, Restricted Area. Ask your students what the signs have in common. Let each one describe a situation where his sign might be seen, and possible consequences if the sign is ignored. Then hold up a Bible and explain that it contains our “warning sign,” and the importance of heeding that warning.
Needed: paper heart for each student, pencils, matches, sealing wax. Inside his paper heart, have each student write his name and the date he was saved. Let the students use sealing wax to seal the hearts as an illustration of the application of Christ’s Blood to the spiritual heart. Make the point that only the individual can separate himself from God’s salvation, or break the seal.
Put one or two packages of yeast, warm water, and sugar in a thermos. (The thermos is to keep the water warm.) When these are combined and start to “work,” they represent leavened bread—impure and spreading like sin. When yeast, or other leavening is not used as an ingredient in bread-making the bread is unleavened. Purchase or make some unleavened bread for students to taste.
Have your students pretend that they are Hebrew children eating their final meal before leaving Egypt. Have them write or tell “I was there” stories, describing what it was like. To guide them, use such questions as, What happened? What were you wearing? What did you eat? How did you feel? Why was the meal so important?
Using notebook paper or cardboard, draw a house with doorposts and lintels. Use a bush (for hyssop) and paint the door frame red (red food coloring mixed with a small amount of water). Show pictures of the cross and Jesus to students. Tell them that in the next few lessons we will learn how these play an important part in people’s lives.