Below are some preliminary questions to assist in the study of this passage. For a comprehensive study of the passage, download the Study Guide (PDF download).
Note: For more information relevant to this present passage of Exodus twelve and thirteen, see the accompanying Appendices (PDF download) that provides the complete Scripture text of Exodus 11:1-13:16 as well as the Personal Testimony of Terry Zeamer.
1. What instructions does the Lord give concerning the selection and sacrifice of the Passover lamb in Exodus 12:3,6,9 (printed below?)
Speak to the whole congregation of Israel and tell them, On the tenth day of this month every man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household…(6) You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to slaughter their animals at twilight…(9) Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roast it over the fire—roast its head and its legs together with its entrails. (Exodus 12:3,6,9)
The lamb was to be selected on the tenth day of the month and slain on the fourteenth day—enough time for the family to become attached to the cute and cuddly little creature, enough time for the lamb to become precious to them. On the fourteenth day of the month that precious little lamb was slain, its blood poured out, and its body roasted over the fire—for the salvation of God’s people. By means of these instructions we come to have some understanding and appreciation of what it cost God to redeem His people (note John 3:16).
2. According to Exodus 12:5 (printed below), what kind of lamb was required and what is significant about this?
Your animal must be a year-old male without defect; you may choose it from the sheep or the goats. (Exodus 12:5)
According to Exodus 12:5, what the Lord required was the selection and the sacrifice a lamb “without defect.” This symbolized the need for a perfect substitute to be offered in the place of sinful people. What we need to save us from the judgment of hell is a sinless substitute to take God’s righteous judgment upon Himself, and that Substitute is Jesus. The apostle Peter tells us, “Christ … died for sins once for all, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones, so that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18a).
3. With regard to the Passover lamb, what further instructions do the Israelites receive in Exodus 12:7-8 (printed below?) See also Exodus 12:22-23 (printed below)
They are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and top of the door frames of the houses in which they will eat the lambs. (8) That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire; they are to eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. (Exodus 12:7-8)
Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the door frame. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. (23) When Jehovah goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the door frame and will pass over the doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down. (Exodus 12:22-23)
The lamb’s blood needed to be applied to the doorpost of each individual Israelite home and to be spared from the judgment each individual Israelite must stay in the house covered with the blood of the lamb. Furthermore, each of the Israelites had to eat the roasted flesh of the lamb. All this was symbolizing the need for personal identification with the sacrificial lamb. For our salvation God requires us to have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ: to receive Him as our Savior and entrust our lives into His hands.
4. According to Exodus 12:11 (printed below), how were the Israelites to eat the Passover lamb? What do you think is the significance of this?
This is how you are to eat it: With your cloak tucked into your belt, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You must eat it in haste—it is Jehovah’s Passover (Exodus 12:11)
The Lord required that His people eat the sacrificial lamb in travelers’ dress: their coats on and their walking staff in hand. By means of the Passover lamb the Lord was redeeming His people from Egypt in order to bring them into the Promised Land. They would now leave Egypt behind and begin their journey to that place prepared for them by the Lord their God. Likewise, our relationship with Christ means we now have a new and different relationship to the world: we do not belong to the world anymore; we are now on a spiritual journey to the kingdom of heaven.
5. What instructions do the people receive in Exodus 13:3-5,8-10 (printed below?)
Moses said to the people, Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, because Jehovah brought you out of this place by the strength of his hand. In commemorating this day, no leavened bread shall be eaten. (4) Today, in the month Abib, you go forth. (5) When Jehovah brings you into the land of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Hivite and the Jebusite—the land he swore to your forefathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey—you are to observe this rite in this month…(8) On that day you shall tell your son, I do this because of what Jehovah did for me when I came out of Egypt. (9) This rite will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that the law of Jehovah must be on your lips; for with a mighty hand Jehovah brought you out of Egypt. (10) Therefore, you shall observe this rite at the appointed time from year to year. (Exodus 13:3-5,8-10)
The Passover was to be remembered as a yearly memorial, a perpetual reminder of the Lord’s great work of salvation. The great redemption accomplished by the Lord was to be re-told to the succeeding generations so that they, too, might know of His work of salvation and put their trust in Him. Just as the children of Israel were commanded to commemorate the Passover, in the same way we as Christians must always remember Calvary. For our sake, and for His glory, the Lord would have us to ever remember Calvary, because of the great salvation accomplished there by Christ the Savior.