Disciple Hour: Exodus 13:17–14:14

1.  God Always Leads His People

17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” 18 But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle. 19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones with you from here.” 20 And they moved on from Succoth and encamped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness. 21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. 22 The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people. 


Notice with me that God always leads His people the right way.  The right way is not necessarily the quickest way or the easy way.  We think the right way is the quickest.  If God were using Google Maps to find the route it would show the two options, then it would show a third which is God’s way.  

If you wanted a direct route to Canaan, you would have gone the well-known route by the sea.  This straight route would have gotten them to the Promised Land in less than 2 weeks.  God had a different route in mind because He was not concerned with the quickest route but the best route.

God knew if they went the way by the sea God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.”

Canaan was to the north but God led them south into the wilderness. 

The ESV says they were equipped for battle but the original says they left in formation.  They were not ready to engage in war yet.  In fact, even about a year later when they saw the enemy they wanted to go back to Egypt.

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Sermon: The Great Sorrow and Intense Anguish of Becoming Sin Matthew 26:36-46

Truth Taught- Jesus prays for God’s will to be done and for the strength to endure it.

Introduction

In the passage before us today, we see a dual focus that Matthew has for us.  He focuses primarily on Jesus, His deep emotions and His prayers and then secondly, his focus is on the disciples and their inability to perceive what is going on and their weariness in the late hour.  The time is at hand and they are taking a nap.  The same disciples that promised they would never forsake Jesus and even die with Him cannot sit with Him and pray during His time of deepest need.

As we look to this passage, Matthew has set it up so that we can make a clear comparison and contrast between Jesus and His disciples.  The three-fold prayer of Jesus to the Father and the three-fold testing and three-fold failure of the disciples.

We are also very blessed and further equipped to pray as we watch the sequence of Jesus’ prayers.  He moves with great emotion from the removal of this cup, if possible, to the acceptance that it may not be possible to the third prayer which is let Your will be done.  This is a very good example of how we should pray to the Father.  

Jesus exhibits tremendous courage and loyalty to the Father as He prays these three prayers then accepts the will of God and continues His mission.  He never argues with God or complains He simply asks if another way is possible.  Once Jesus understands that another way is not possible, He, in great courage, moves forward completely accepting the will of God and embraces His destiny.

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Sermon: Jesus Celebrates the Last Passover with His Disciples Matthew 26:17-30

Matthew 26:17-30

Truth Taught- Jesus establishes the Lord’s Supper to be taken by His followers and finished at His second coming

Introduction

The Passover Meal is the highlight of the holy week in Israel.  Passover commemorates the events in Exodus 12.  The original Passover was when the Passover lamb was sacrificed on the 14th day of Nissan, which as we learned in Exodus is now Israel’s first month of their year.  

There are differing views as to the timeline of this last Passover meal Jesus would share with His disciples.  There are many different opinions as to exactly when Jesus and the twelve ate their Passover Meal together.


The timeline is probably something like this…


Exodus tells us that the lambs would be killed on the 14th day of the month at twilight.  Jews in Jesus’ day took their lambs to the priest who killed them and sprinkled blood of the lamb on the alter and this was traditionally done between 3pm and 5pm on 14th of Nissan.  This is also why in Jesus’ day; the sacrifice and the meal took place in greater Jerusalem which gave them access to the temple and to the alter.  With the sacrifice of the lamb on the 14th of Nissan between 3-5pm, the actual Passover meal would be celebrated the next day which is that evening of Nissan 15 which by Jewish reckoning is just a few hours later because, remember, their days begin in the evening at 6pm.  

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Disciple Hour: Exodus 12:29–50

Exodus 12:29–50

That night there was a visitor to the Land of Egypt.  He was sent by God with one mission and it was a deadly mission.  He was the destroyer, the angel of death.  This visitor was looking for something.  Every house he went to he stopped for a brief second and looked at the door of the house.  If he saw blood, he passed over that house and went on to the next one.  As the destroyer that night made his way up and down the Nile River, he entered into the houses whose people were not covered by the blood of the Lamb and killed the firstborn. 
As he traveled to all the different cities of Egypt, he would come across entire settlements where not a single house had been marked by the sign of salvation; not a single house had sacrificed the substitute lamb but each bore the brunt of God’s judgement themselves.  

29 At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock. 30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead.

1.  No One Was Exempt

31 Then he summoned Moses and Aaron by night and said, “Up, go out from among my people, both you and the people of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as you have said. 32 Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone, and bless me also!” 


While this event was unlike anything the world has seen or ever will see again.  Yet, God was declaring the basis on which people would be saved from His wrath against sin.  Salvation is directly connected to the blood of the Lamb.  The death of a substitute has always been the plan and it goes back as far as Cain and Abel…

Genesis 4:3–5 (ESV) 

In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 


One of the main themes throughout the Bible is substitutionary atonement…the death of a substitute to pay for my sin.  We see in Genesis now let’s jump to the end of the Bible and see those entering into heaven are doing so by the blood of the Lamb…

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Sermon: Jesus Celebrates the Last Passover with His Disciples Matthew 26:17-30

Truth Taught- Jesus establishes the Lord’s Supper to be taken by His followers and finished at His second coming

Introduction

The Passover Meal is the highlight of the holy week in Israel.  Passover commemorates the events in Exodus 12.  The original Passover was when the Passover lamb was sacrificed on the 14th day of Nissan, which as we learned in Exodus is now Israel’s first month of their year.  

There are differing views as to the timeline of this last Passover meal Jesus would share with His disciples.  There are many different opinions as to exactly when Jesus and the twelve ate their Passover Meal together.
The timeline is probably something like this…
Exodus tells us that the lambs would be killed on the 14th day of the month at twilight.  Jews in Jesus’ day took their lambs to the priest who killed them and sprinkled blood of the lamb on the alter and this was traditionally done between 3pm and 5pm on 14th of Nissan.  This is also why in Jesus’ day; the sacrifice and the meal took place in greater Jerusalem which gave them access to the temple and to the alter.  With the sacrifice of the lamb on the 14th of Nissan between 3-5pm, the actual Passover meal would be celebrated the next day which is that evening of Nissan 15 which by Jewish reckoning is just a few hours later because, remember, their days begin in the evening at 6pm.  

So, Jesus and His disciples eat their Passover Meal the day before in the evening which began the 14th Nissan…the first day of Unleavened Bread as Matthew reports.  The reason for this is because Jesus knew He would not be available on the actual Passover day.  He would be on the cross dying as God’s Passover Lamb.

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