Pass it on

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What traditions are passed on in your family? The Passover meal for Jewish families includes questions for children to ask so the story of God’s rescue plan can be passed on. How is your faith in Jesus being passed on?

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Bible passage Exodus 12:14-30

 14 "This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD -a lasting ordinance. 15 For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel. 16 On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat—that is all you may do.

 17 "Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. 18 In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day. 19 For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And whoever eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel, whether he is an alien or native-born. 20 Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread."

 21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22 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 doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. 23 When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.

 24 "Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. 25 When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. 26 And when your children ask you, 'What does this ceremony mean to you?' 27 then tell them, 'It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.' " Then the people bowed down and worshiped. 28 The Israelites did just what the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron.

 29 At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. 30 Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead.

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Audio Bible passage

The audio version of the passage is taken from the Contemporary English Version (CEV).

Explore the Bible

Continue to remember
This story of deliverance is told throughout the Bible as both Old and New Testament characters retell what God has done for their ancestors. The yeast symbolised sin and had to be removed from their homes. The blood showed that a sacrifice had been made to save them from death.

The Israelites acted in obedience and faith, doing exactly as Moses told them, because they trusted that God was going to act on their behalf.

Looking for freedom
The people had been crying out to God to deliver them. Nine plagues had brought Pharaoh to the point of releasing them, only for him to change his mind at the last minute. This tenth plague was the worst of all and affected everyone, but finally led to their deliverance from slavery.

We might be slaves to bad habits, perhaps living trapped to an addiction. God, who set his people free from Egypt, is able to set us free today too if we ask him. And, as Christians, we have all been set free from the consequences of sin. We all have a story to pass on.


When we pray the Lord’s Prayer we ask for forgiveness. God hears and responds. Have you a story of forgiveness or deliverance to tell? Ask God for the opportunity to share your story with the next generation.

Catherine Butcher

Deeper Bible study

There’s a huge emphasis on unleavened bread in this chapter. Verse 39 explains this as the haste with which the Israelites left Egypt: there would not have been time for the yeast to work. Yes, but there must be more to it than this. After all, there had been time to roast and eat the lamb. Of various ideas put forward, perhaps a useful one is the idea of newness. They are starting afresh. They are making a complete break with the past, burning their boats, going on with God, not hankering after the past. Jesus said that anyone who, having put his hand to the plough, looks back, is not fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:62). Is there something in your life which is acting like old leaven? Something you need to let go of, to follow God’s leading trustfully?

Meanwhile the Israelites are to act on instructions to brush the lintel and doorposts with the blood from the Passover lamb and to stay inside, within its protection (v 22). To leave would be to put themselves in grave danger. They are to remember this night, regularly celebrating it in order to remember how God had saved them (vs 14,24–27). Remember, remember… (‘Commemorate’, v 14 NIV). The verb ‘to remember’ occurs well over 200 times in the Old Testament1. Christians, like Israel, are called to remember the central truths of our own salvation. Peter stresses this; even when facing death his chief concern was that his readers should ‘remember’ what he has taught them about Jesus (2 Peter 1:12–15). In our communion services we remember the cross on which the Passover Lamb himself died (Luke 22:19) and we must stay within the protection of his blood.

This was indeed the turning point. God acted, Pharaoh reacted. The scene was set for departure and freedom.

Vivien Whitfield


1 A Motyer, The Message of Exodus, IVP, 2005, p144

Bible in a year

Read the Bible in a year.

Deuteronomy 27,28

Romans 7


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Worthy is the lamb
Jamie Pearson and Kate Cooke
© 2010 Vineyard Records (UK/Eire)

Amazing Grace (My chains are gone)
John Newton (1725-1807)
John P Rees (1828- 1900)
Edwin O Excell (1851-1921)
Arr. & add. chorus Chris Tomlin & Louie Giglio
Copyright © 2006 Songs/sixsteps Music/
Buy this and other great worship songs at

  • Rachael Hampton | Monday, 27 March 2017

    In 1 Cor 5 Paul speaks about removing a blatantly immoral person from their fellowship. V5-7 Do you not know that a little leaven will ferment the whole lump of dough? Purge the old leaven that you may be fresh (new) dough, still uncontaminated, for Christ our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of vice, malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of purity, sincerity and truth.

  • Rachael Hampton | Monday, 27 March 2017

    Thank you for your perceptive and helpful comments my friends. DEREK, your hymns are ways good reminders of the truths of God and set our hearts singing if we know the oldies. Wish I could experience such a celebration RUTH. Loved the Lamentations quote ADAM. GILVIN your posts bless me so much. Prayers and joy to all

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Tuesday, 28 March 2017

    I heard Sunday of a chap whose lorry broke down carrying load of sheep. By time he fixed the problem and reached the abattoir his hands were jet black. There was a bucket of blood close by and he was told to wash his hands in it. They came out spotless.

  • Colin Anderson | Tuesday, 28 March 2017

    "The yeast symbolises sin" was a helpful comment. Being ruthless in removing it in this passage reminded me of Jesus' similar teaching about "removing eyes or cutting off hands" if they cause me to sin. No compromise allowed.

  • Enyobi Chukwunonso | Tuesday, 28 March 2017

    In verse 14: "This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD -a lasting ordinance" — it was on the day of Passover and preparation were made for the Passover, but instead of the passover, Christ introduced the Eucharist. The Passover is continued in the Eucharist (1Corinthians 5:7-8); and the Easter celebration, corresponds in time to the Paschal ceremony, and takes its place. In this way the Passover may be regarded as still continuing under Christianity. To save the Israelites from Egypt, they have a role to play; they were to remain inside their house throughout the night even when the Egyptians started wailing at that night, they were to put some of the blood on the top and both side of the doorframe, and they were to follow the instructions of the preparation of the lamb diligently. For your salvation, you don't just fold your hand and watch; at least pray diligently.

  • Thelma Edwards | Tuesday, 28 March 2017

    This week I am part of a team bringing the Easter Experience to 10 groups of year5/6 children from local primary schools. The church has six 'stations' telling the story from Palm Sunday through to resurrection. The children are divided into groups of 5 or 6 and make a journey round the church where the story is retold and the children are encouraged to take part in an activity and reflection. Yesterday I took about 100 children through the 'Remember Me' station focussing on the Last Supper. Today I will return for another group. Great opportunity to 'tell the next generation' and also make new memories for them to reflect on afterwards.

  • Adam Julians | Tuesday, 28 March 2017

    Pretty gruesome stuff - the Lord striking down dead first borns with there being wailing throughout the country. And with anyone eating something with yeast in it being cut off from the community. How am I to engage with today's question about faith in Jesus being passed on in the light of that? Well, again Jesus said beware the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Ok so by implication that is surely a mandate to distinguish when those in religious power are teaching falsely or have impure motives just as Jesus criticised Pharisees for being motivated by being greeted in the market place and given high places. Then to be cognisant of what he said about pure religion being about caring for widows and orphans and to keep from being polluted by the world. So the imperative there must be to care for the most vulnerable in society and to stay pure when all around is conspiring to have you compromise your faith. The Lord striking people down and cutting people off from the community? That one is perhaps more difficult. What about loved ones, family etc. who don't have faith in Jesus? What when you are mistreated because of your affiliation with Christ? What when someone in the Christian community acts in ways that are less than Christ like? Well, it seems does it not that there is the precedent of preferring Christ to family when Jesus (rhetorically) says that if you don't hate your family then you are of no use to him. And of the disciples when not welcomed to warn people of the consequences of rejecting the kingdom and to shake dust of the sandals as a testimony against people. And the apostle Paul saying to Timothy about those who have a form of godliness but are arrogant and lacking in power to have nothing to do with them. And that we hold every thought captive, and we demolish pretences and arguments that hold themselves up against the knowledge of God. It seems, does it not, that by way of application of this scripture we read today that much about it is not "nice".

  • Angela Munday | Tuesday, 28 March 2017

    So sad! - God gave warning after warning to the unbelieving nation and their leaders and then His punishment struck; so devastating in the loss of many much-loved children. How could I celebrate this year after year? I really don't have an answer and thank God that He has not asked this of me. I am comforted that God will lovingly protect His own......."The righteous are guided and protected by the LORD" (Psalm 1:6 ).

  • Derek Forster | Tuesday, 28 March 2017

    Alas and did my Savior bleed And did my Sov’reign die? Would he devote that sacred head for sinners such as I? Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity, grace unknown, And love beyond degree! Well might the sun in darkness hide, And shut His glories in, When Christ the mighty Maker died For man, the creature’s sin. But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of love I owe; Here, Lord I give myself away, ’Tis all that I can do.

  • Angela Munday | Tuesday, 28 March 2017

    ADAM - as you say "Pretty gruesome stuff" and "not nice" at all. Lord help me in my understanding of all You seek to teach me. Amen.

  • Barbara Sabin | Tuesday, 28 March 2017

    I had difficulty yesterday in getting word live on my PC but thank you it is back as normal today. I shared Christ in the Passover on yesterday's comment but will also share it today. .

  • Thelma Edwards | Tuesday, 28 March 2017

    Thinking about "and when your children ask you..." I have to confess I was a little taken aback this morning by a question asked by a 10 year old boy. I was helping out at the Garden of Gethsemane station at Easter Experience at church and we were thinking about what it felt like being alone and afraid. One of the boys asked me "if Jesus knew he was going to die did he also know he was going to rise again". This came from one of the pupils of the school where I am a Governor and am known to be a Christian so presumably I am expected to have all the answers! It was a great question and illustrated the impact of the years of encouraging spirituality and reflection in the children. However, it left me floundering for an answer for a bit and it has left me meditating a lot on the humanity of Jesus. It is so easy for us to know the story so well over the years that sometimes we need a jolt to get really thinking about it afresh and with an enquiring mind.

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