Exodus 12 – The Passover


This is one of the most famous scenes in the world: Jesus’ last supper, reinterpreted through Renaissance eyes. (For a start, in the original they would have been lying down on their sides, and in a much smaller room!) What’s the story behind this scene? Why is Jesus celebrating this ritual meal? And for us – how did we get our communion service out of it?

The Lord’s Supper has a long history. It traces its roots back to the Passover, recorded in Exodus chapter 12. Yet as Christians we do not, now, simply celebrate a Passover meal. It was redefined – decisively – by Jesus just before his death. So what we’re doing today is looking at the Passover meal in Exodus 12, I and then a little later next week we’ll look at its transformation by Jesus as recorded in Matthew’s gospel. (We begin a pre-Easter series in Matt 26-28 next week.) But we must start with…

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Exodus 5-11 – The Plagues (part 2)

You need to read yesterday’s post first, as we’re taking a two-part look at the plagues, and what they tell us about God. His actions + scriptural interpretation = revelation.

God ‘undoing’ creation

The second piece of interpretation we find in the story of the plagues comes through the “creation language” used by the biblical author. In fact, the plagues can be thought of as God undoing creation just a little bit. For example: when God created the world, one of the first things he put in it was water. Before he even said “let there be light,” there was water. In Genesis chapter 2, before God formed Adam, he caused streams to come up from the earth and water the ground. The Garden of Eden had a river to water it, which split into four streams, one of which perhaps significantly flowed to Egypt. Water is presented in Genesis as one of the fundamental ingredients of life, which God provided for us.

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Exodus 5-11 – The Plagues (part 1)

We’ve seen this week how God answered Moses’ question what is your name by saying, effectively, watch this space. In the chapters which follow, God now proceeds to reveal something of himself through the ten plagues visited on Egypt – plagues designed to force Pharaoh to let God’s people go.

But why ten? I mean, if you gave God only one shot at this, I think he’d get it on the first go. Like David’s first stone killing Goliath. Why draw it all out? Why all the big, showy miracles?

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Exodus 3 – Watch this space

Yesterday we read of how Moses asked God for his name – he wanted a name for this God who was going to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt. More than a label, Moses wanted to know the character of God, and whether he could be trusted. God’s answer was enigmatic:

14- God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” 

Rather than being evasive, the whole “I am who I am” answer tells Moses and Israel to “watch this space.” You’ll see what kind of god I am by what I’m about to do.

Now we’ll have to read the rest of Exodus – and indeed, the rest of the Bible – if we want to know it all. But already in chapter 3 we get some previews of how God is going to reveal himself in the near future. Here’s a lightning-quick summary (courtesy of Alan Cole’s commentary on Exodus):

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Exodus 3 – What’s in a Name?

This week we’re looking at some highlights from the story of the Exodus, focussing on the Passover feast, as a way of setting the scene for our Easter series in Matthew the following week. We pick up the story in Exodus chapter 3.

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a name? Is it just a label to distinguish us from the person next to us, or does it have a deeper significance, a deeper meaning about who we are?

I don’t think people these days place too much significance on the meaning of the names they give to their children – more on how it sounds with the surname. At least I think that’s how my parents approached the task of choosing names. Because mine means “honouring to God,” whereas my sister’s means “prophetess of doom ignored by men.” Either that or they were just mean.

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