Digging Deeper Devotional Week of March 18th

March 17, 2024   /   First Baptist Church Elgin

Day 1:

Read: Exodus 11

Background:

This chapter takes place just before the tenth and final plague that God will send upon Egypt. The Lord tells Moses that after this plague, Pharaoh will let the Israelites go. God also instructs the Israelites to ask their Egyptian neighbors for silver and gold, which they will receive as a sign of God’s favor.

Key words/ideas:

  – Plague (nega`, H5061): a blow, a wound, a stroke, a beating, a defeat, a slaughter

  – Firstborn (bekowr, H1060): firstborn, eldest son, eldest

  – Favor (chen, H2580): favor, grace, charm, elegance

Key theological ideas:

  – God is sovereign over all nations and rulers, and He will execute judgment on those who oppress His people (Grudem, p. 217; Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 127).

  – The plagues demonstrate God’s power and His determination to deliver the Israelites from slavery (Expositors Bible Commentary, V2, p. 371).

  – The favor shown to the Israelites by the Egyptians is a sign of God’s blessing and provision for His people (Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 128).

Questions for reflection:

  1. How does this chapter demonstrate God’s power and His concern for His people?

  2. In what ways have you experienced God’s favor and provision in your own life?

  3. How can you trust in God’s sovereignty and justice even when faced with difficult circumstances?

Apply it:

Take time to reflect on God’s power and His faithfulness to His promises. Ask Him to give you a greater sense of trust in His sovereignty and provision, even in the midst of challenges or uncertainties.

Day 2:

Read: Exodus 12:1-28

Background:

In this passage, God instructs Moses and Aaron about the Passover, which will become a lasting ordinance for the Israelites. Each household is to take a lamb without blemish, slaughter it at twilight, and apply its blood to the doorposts and lintel of their houses. They are to eat the lamb roasted with fire, along with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

Key words/ideas:

  – Lamb (seh, H7716): one of the flock, a lamb, a sheep, a goat

  – Without blemish (tamiym, H8549): complete, whole, entire, sound, healthful, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity

  – Passover (pecach, H6453): a pretermission, i.e., exemption; used only technically of the Jewish Passover (the festival or the victim)

Key theological ideas:

  – The Passover lamb is a type of Christ, the ultimate sacrificial Lamb who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29; Grudem, p. 575; Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 129).

  – Just as the blood of the Passover lamb protected the Israelites from the judgment of God, so the blood of Christ saves believers from eternal judgment (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, V2, p. 376).

  – The unblemished nature of the lamb points to Christ’s sinless perfection (Grudem, p. 570; Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 129).

Questions for reflection:

  1. How does the Passover lamb foreshadow the work of Jesus Christ on the cross?

  2. In what ways have you experienced the protecting and saving power of Christ’s blood in your life?

  3. How can you cultivate a deeper appreciation for the significance of Christ’s sacrifice as the ultimate Passover Lamb?

Apply it:

Consider how you can share this truth with others who need to know about the saving power of Christ’s blood. Pray specifically for God to give you the names of 3 people to invite to church and/or Easter Sunday. Then in faith, invite them.

Day 3:

Read: Exodus 12:29-51

Background:

This passage describes the tenth and final plague that God sends upon Egypt: the death of the firstborn. At midnight, the Lord strikes down all the firstborn in Egypt, from Pharaoh’s household to the captives in the dungeon. Pharaoh summons Moses and Aaron and urges the Israelites to leave Egypt immediately.

Key words/ideas:

  – Firstborn (bekowr, H1060): firstborn, eldest son, eldest

  – Struck (nakah, H5221): to strike, smite, hit, beat, slay, kill

  – Urged (chazaq, H2388): to strengthen, prevail, harden, be strong, become strong, be courageous, be firm, grow firm, be resolute

Key theological ideas:

  – God’s judgment on Egypt demonstrates His power over all earthly authorities and His commitment to delivering His people (Grudem, p. 217; Expositor’s Bible Commentary, V2, p. 378).

  – The death of the firstborn is a powerful reminder of the consequences of sin and the need for a savior (Bible Knowledge Commentary p. 130).

  – Pharaoh’s change of heart after the final plague showcases God’s ability to soften even the hardest of hearts (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, V2, p. 379).

Questions for reflection:

  1. How does this passage illustrate the severity of God’s judgment against sin?

  2. In what ways have you experienced God’s deliverance in your own life, whether from physical or spiritual bondage?

  3. How can you trust in God’s power to change even the most stubborn hearts and situations?

Apply it:

Reflect on areas of your life where you may be resisting God’s will or authority. Ask God to soften your heart and give you the courage to obey Him fully, trusting in His power to deliver you from sin and its consequences.

Day 4:

Read: Matthew 26:17, 1 Corinthians 5:7, and 1 Peter 1:18-19

Background:

These passages from the New Testament connect Jesus Christ to the Passover lamb. In Matthew, Jesus directs His disciples to prepare for the Passover meal, which becomes the setting for the Last Supper. Paul, in 1 Corinthians, explicitly states that Christ is our Passover lamb. Peter emphasizes that believers are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, likening Him to a spotless lamb.

Key words/ideas:

  – Passover (pascha, G3957): the feast of Passover, the Paschal sacrifice, the Paschal lamb, the Paschal supper

  – Sacrificed (thyō, G2380): to sacrifice, immolate, slay, kill

  – Redeemed (lytroō, G3084): to release on receipt of ransom, to redeem, to liberate by payment of ransom

Key theological ideas:

  – The New Testament writers clearly identify Jesus Christ as the ultimate fulfillment of the Passover lamb (Grudem, p. 118; Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 467).

  – His sacrificial death on the cross serves as the atoning sacrifice for the sins of humanity, redeeming believers from the bondage of sin (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, V8, p. 345; Grudem, p. 579).

  – Just as the Passover lamb’s blood saved the Israelites from judgment, Christ’s blood saves believers from eternal condemnation (Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 737; Grudem, p. 575).

Questions for reflection:

  1. How do these New Testament passages deepen your understanding of the connection between the Passover lamb and Jesus Christ?

  2. In what ways have you experienced the redemptive power of Christ’s sacrificial death in your own life?

  3. How can you express gratitude for the price Jesus paid to redeem you from sin and death?

Apply it:

As you reflect on Jesus Christ as the ultimate Passover lamb,  pray and look for opportunities to demonstrate your faith in Jesus by intentionally doing a random act of kindness for the 3 people you invited to church and be prepared to share your faith in Jesus when asked why you did what you did.

Day 5:

Read: John 8:31-36

Background:

In this passage, Jesus is speaking to Jews who had believed in Him. He emphasizes that true disciples abide in His word and know the truth, which sets them free. The Jews question this, claiming they have never been slaves. Jesus clarifies that everyone who sins is a slave to sin, but the Son can set them free.

Key words/ideas:

  – Abide (menō, G3306): to remain, abide, stay, wait; with reference to state or condition, to remain as one, not to become another or different

  – Truth (alētheia, G225): objectively, truth as the reality lying at the basis of an appearance; the manifested, veritable essence of a matter

  – Free (eleutheroō, G1659): to make free, set at liberty, to exempt (from liability)

Key theological ideas:

  – True disciples of Jesus Christ are characterized by abiding in His word and being transformed by the truth (Grudem, p. 756; Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 309).

  – Despite the Jews’ claim to freedom, Jesus reveals that all who sin are slaves to sin (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, V9, p. 100; Grudem, p. 210).

  – Only through the Son, Jesus Christ, can one be set free from this bondage (Grudem, p. 724; Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 309). This freedom is not a mere removal of external constraints but a fundamental change in one’s nature and relationship with God (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, V9, p. 101).

Questions for reflection:

  1. What does it mean to truly abide in Jesus’ word, and how can you cultivate this habit in your life?

  2. In what ways have you experienced the liberating power of the truth found in Christ?

  3. How can you help others understand the nature of sin’s enslavement and the freedom available through Jesus?

Apply it:

Examine your life for areas where you may be enslaved to sin or not fully walking in the freedom Christ has provided. Prayerfully commit to abiding in His word and allowing the truth to transform you from the inside out. As you experience this freedom, look for opportunities to share it with others who may still be in bondage.

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