Children’s Bible Program – Level 3: Lesson 24 “The Wave Sheaf—First of the Firstfruits”

Read Together: Unleavened Bread always occurred during the barley harvest which was the first of the grain harvests in Israel. God told the Israelites to perform the “wave sheaf” offering each year during the Days of Unleavened Bread. The priests went to the fields as the Sabbath during Unleavened Bread was ending. As the sun was setting, they cut a sheaf of barley and saved it for the ceremony the next day. On the first day of the week, after the Sabbath at about 9:00 am, the priests waved the sheaf of barley as an offering before God. The day when the Wave Sheaf was offered is not a holy day, but it is a ceremony packed full of meaning for Christians. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, was crucified on Passover in 31CE, which was a Wednesday. He was resurrected from the dead exactly three days and three nights later, which was at the end of the Sabbath during the Days of Unleavened Bread, the same time that the grain was cut. The next day, as the priests waved the sheaf before God, Christ ascended to His Father in heaven to offer Himself as the true Wave Sheaf offering. Jesus Christ fulfilled the meaning pictured by the wave sheaf; He became the first of God’s spiritual harvest, the “First of the firstfruits”. He is the firstborn of many brethren. Christ has the preeminence in all things. He is proof that we too can be firstfruits and be born into God’s family as His very own children.

Read Together: Leviticus 23:9–14; Matthew 12:40; John 20:1, 9, 15–17; 1 Corinthians 15:20–23; Romans 8:29–30.

Discuss:

  • Discuss what the Bible says about the “wave sheaf” in Lev 23.
  • Help your child to create a time chart of the events during the Days of Unleavened Bread in 31 CE. Start with Jesus and the disciples keeping the Passover the Tuesday evening before the crucifixion and ending with His ascension to the Father on Sunday. Count three days and three nights. Christ was in the grave during this time. The chart will help show that He could not have been crucified on Friday and resurrected on Sunday at sunrise as most professing Christians believe. Note that Christ was not in the tomb when Mary Magdalene got there while it was still dark (the sun had not risen).
  • Explain to your child in words he/she can understand that a Christian’s hope is in the resurrection. Our destiny, his/her destiny, is to be born as a spirit being into God’s family.

Review Memorization.

Romans 5:10  “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

Children’s Bible Program – Level 2: Lesson 24 “Eating Unleavened Bread—Putting on Righteousness”

Read Together: God told ancient Israel that they were to put out all leavening from their homes, and He also instructed them to eat unleavened bread for seven days. The first and seventh days were to be holy convocations.God’s people continue to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread by eating unleavened bread for seven days and celebrating the first and seventh days as Holy Days. These days have important meanings in God’s plan for mankind. Passover commemorates Christ’s sacrifice in payment of our sins. The Days of Unleavened Bread picture our effort to put sin out of our lives and replace it with living according to God’s ways. We don’t just avoid doing bad things. We must fill our lives wit good actions, just like our elder brother Jesus Christ.

Read Together:  Exodus 12:14–17; Leviticus 23:6–8; Ephesians 4:22–24; John 6:47–51; Galatians 2:20; 2 Timothy 3:16–17; Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 12:2

  • Discuss with your child the biblical meaning of righteousness. Read and discuss Psalm 119:172 together.
  • Remind your child that the Feast of Unleavened Bread is the only one that has two Holy Days and that Passover is a separate feast but it is not a Sabbath.
  • Ask your child to summarize the meaning of the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread, the first two steps in God’s plan of salvation.

Discuss:

Review Memorization.

1 Corinthians 5:7  “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.”

Children’s Bible Program – Level 1: Lesson 24 “The Exodus and the Days of Unleavened Bread”

Read Together:  The Lord told Israel to be prepared to leave when they ate the Passover. He knew that Pharaoh would tell the Israelites to get out of Egypt after the death of their firstborn children. The Egyptians also wanted the Israelites to go away.  Before leaving, the Israelites asked the Egyptians for gold, clothing, and things of value, and the Egyptians gave it to them. To prepare for the journey, the people were organized according to their families and tribes, and their armies. Other non-Israelites who had believed Moses and escaped the tenth plague joined with Israel to leave and serve the true God. God also at this time established the Days of Unleavened Bread to commemorate His deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt. For seven days, Israel was commanded to eat unleavened bread and not have any leavened food in their homes. The night they left Egypt was to be remembered forever as a night of solemn observance. They had to leave so quickly that they did not have time to let their bread rise, so they only had unleavened bread to eat which was in keeping with God’s command. God’s people continue to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Night to Be Observed as ordained by God. Israel left Egypt with their flocks and their herds, with their silver, gold, and clothing; they left with a high hand. However, God had one more judgment to pass on Egypt. Pharaoh’s heart was hardened  and he sent his army to capture Israel and bring them back. With the army coming, mountains on both sides, and the Red Sea at their backs, Israel thought they were trapped, but God opened a path on dry land through the sea for Israel to escape. When Pharaoh’s army attempted to follow the Israelites through the Red Sea, God caused the waters to come over them, and they drowned. God’s judgment was complete just as He had promised Abraham long ago.

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Read Together: Exodus 12–14

Discuss:

  • Ask your child how it would feel to walk on dry ground with walls of water as tall as skyscrapers on either side.
  • Help your child to understand that it was God who delivered Israel.
  • Help your child think about the miracles God worked to free Israel. God destroyed their economy, devastated their military, and reduced their status as a nation.  Egypt has never recovered to the status they had before God’s judgment on them.
  • Ask your child what he knows about keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread.

Review Memorization:

The Ten Plagues: (1) Waters turned to blood, (2) Frogs, (3) Lice, (4) Flies, (5) Pestilence on the Livestock, (6) Boils, (7) Hail, (8) Locusts, (9) Darkness in the land, (10) Death of the Firstborn

Children’s Bible Program – Level 3: Lesson 23 “The Days of Unleavened Bread”

Read Together: The Days of Unleavened Bread begin immediately after the Passover, on the fifteenth day of the first month. For seven days, all of Israel was to have no leaven in their homes and to eat unleavened bread. The first and last Days of Unleavened Bread are Holy Days to the Eternal. During the Days of Unleavened Bread, leavening agents picture sin which causes people to be puffed up with pride and vanity. Putting leavening out of our homes reminds us that we are to put sin out of our lives. When Peter told the Jews that they had crucified the Son of God, they asked what they should do. Because every person has sinned, each of us is responsible for the death of Christ. He had to die to pay the penalty for our sins. When we acknowledge this fact, we face the same question of what to do. Peter’s replied that they must “repent”. We repent of sinning, which is the transgression of God’s law. Repentance means to turn from the way of life that leads to death and to follow God’s way leading to eternal life. Eating unleavened bread for seven days pictures feeding on Christ, the true unleavened bread, in whom dwelt no sin. We feed on Christ by studying His word which transforms our minds. As we do, we begin to be more like Christ. As Dr. Roderick C. Meredith often said, we will begin to think like God thinks, want what God wants, and do what God would do. If we feed on Christ, God will give us eternal life, because He is the “bread of life.”

Read Together:  Exodus 23:14–17; Leviticus 23:4, 6–8; Acts 2:36–38; I John 3:4; 1 Corinthians 15:3; John 6:35, 47–51; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:11–16; John 6:57–58.

Discuss:

  • Talk with your child about sin. Explain that the Ten Commandments are the foundation for all of God’s laws. We are to obey all of the Commandments, even those we may feel are the least important (Matthew 5:19).
  • Talk with your child about repentance. Explain that repentance is more than being sorry. It means that with God’s help, we stop committing the offense.
  • Ask your student what is his/her favorite thing about the Days of Unleavened Bread. Is it getting together with friends on the Holy Days or perhaps a special treat that is only baked at that time? Share what you enjoy about that time.

Review Memorization:

Romans 5:10 “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

Children’s Bible Program – Level 2: Lesson 23 “Putting Sin Out”

Read Together: When God delivered ancient Israel from Egypt, they left in a hurry. They left so quickly that they were unable to let their dough rise, so their bread was unleavened. God told Israel they were to remember the day that He brought them out of Egypt by observing the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days. The first and last days of the feast were to be Holy Days or annual Sabbaths. As they prepared for these days they were to remove all the leavening from their homes. God commanded the Israelites to do this and instruct their children to pass on this command to the next generation. But we understand that the command applies to us as members of the church of God also. You have probably helped your parents clean the leavening from your home before the Days of Unleavened Bread each year. It can take a lot of time and hard work! But, why is it important? Here’s the answer.

Remember, God brought ancient Israel out of slavery in Egypt. For the Israelites, Egypt represented the years of slavery they had endured. Today, God calls each member of His church and frees them from slavery also. But our slavery is not to the kingdom of Egypt. Our slavery is to sin. Even though we don’t want to, we sometimes break God’s law out of rebelliousness and selfishness. That is like being a slave of sin. For us, God uses leaven to represent our slavery.  What is leaven? Leaven is the yeast that is added to bread to make it rise, which makes it more enjoyable to eat. Without that leaven, bread is hard and flat. Just like the yeast that makes bread rise, sin causes us to grow in pride, vanity and selfishness. And as we remove leavening or any bread that has been made with leavening from our homes, we are practicing an exercise that reminds us of removing sin from our life!

Read Together:  Exodus 12:15–17, 33–34, 39; 13:3–10; Leviticus 23:6–8; John 6:44; Matthew 16:6; 1 Corinthians 13:4; 5:6–8; Romans 6:12–14

Discuss:

  • Help your child name some leavened products that you are to throw out and avoid during the Days of Unleavened Bread.
  • Discuss with your child what sin is and have them read 1 John 3:4 (KJV). Help your child recognize that just as we are to carefully stay away from leavening during the Days of Unleavened Bread, we are to be especially diligent to keep sin out of our lives.
  • Try to think of a humorous event that happened to your family during the Days of Unleavened Bread. What was the oddest place that you found leavening? Were you ever in a situation where you temporarily forgot it was the Days of Unleavened Bread? What do you do when these things happen? Help your child to understand that when we repent of sin, God is quick to forgive us. This is how we remain unleavened.

Review Memorization:

1 Corinthians 5:7  “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.”

Children’s Bible Program – Level 1: Lesson 23 “The Passover and the Death of the Firstborn”

Read Together: After God sent the first nine plagues on the Egyptians, the crops had been destroyed, most of the livestock was dead, and Egypt was suffering. But Pharaoh would still not let the Israelites go free. God decided to bring one more plague on Egypt. This plague would be so great that Pharaoh would demand that Israel leave Egypt. God was going to put to death the firstborn of man and beast in all of the land of Egypt. However, God planned a way to save the Israelites. God told Moses to have each Israelite family select a perfect lamb from their herd. Four days later, just after sunset, they were commanded to kill the lamb, placing its blood on the doorposts of their home. Then, they were commanded to roast and eat it. Every home that had blood on the doorway of their home was protected from the last plague. The Egyptian homes, with no blood on their doorways, would suffer the death of their firstborn as the death angel passed over their house.

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This was a dramatic and terrifying night. Throughout Egypt, many people died. But the Israelites were kept safe by the protection of God, and the blood of the lamb. And they were released from their Egyptian taskmasters, as the Pharaoh commanded the Israelites to leave Egypt.  

God commanded Israel to remember what had happened in Egypt, how He had protected the children of Israel, and to keep it as a memorial forever. That is why the name of this memorial is Passover. The Passover lamb pictured the sacrifice that Jesus Christ would make by shedding His blood for the salvation of all mankind. The Church of God still observes the Passover every year as God commanded, but with bread and wine instead of a Passover Lamb.

Read Together: Exodus 11:1; 12:1–14, 24–30; John 1:29; Mark 14:14, 22–24

Discuss:

  • Help your child to understand that every household in Egypt was affected by the tenth plague. Help them identify all the people in their family who are firstborn.
  • Ask what would happen if an Israelite family did not obey Moses’ instructions.
  • Ask your child to explain why this memorial is called Passover.
  • Discuss what it might be like to have a lamb living in in your house for four days. Explain that the sacrifice of the lamb was symbolic of Jesus Christ’s future sacrifice.
  • Explain to your child that the Church of God still keeps the Passover, but with different symbols which Christ taught. Help them understand what the new symbols(wine and bread) represent.

Review Memorization:

The Ten Plagues:  (1) Waters turned to blood, (2) Frogs, (3) Lice, (4) Flies, (5)Animals die, (6) Boils, (7) Hail, (8) Locusts, (9) Darkness, (10) Death of the Firstborn

Children’s Bible Program – Level 3: Lesson 22 “The Passover – Justified by His Blood”

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Read Together: God gave ancient Israel instructions concerning Passover observance. On the tenth day in the first month of the year, each family was told to select a special,  Passover lamb. This lamb was to be perfect, without any blemishes at all. Four days later, as the 14th day of the first month was just beginning at sunset, they were required to kill the lamb, cook it, and eat it as part of a special Passover meal, putting some of the blood of the lamb on their doorway. Those who did this would be protected from the death angel, who would kill all the firstborn in the land, except those in houses with the blood of the lamb on their doorway. Every year after that, the Israelites were commanded to eat a Passover meal on this same night and remember how God had spared them from the death of the firstborn in their home. But this Passover lamb also symbolized something more. All humans are under the threat of death because we all have sinned, and death is the penalty for sinning against God. We may not have the death angel passing over us, but we still are subject to death for our sins. Instead of a Passover lamb, however, we have Jesus Christ. Christ was the perfect sacrifice who was willing to become a human being and then die for our sins, protecting us from death, just as the blood of the lamb on the doorway protected the Israelites. Before Christ died, He taught His disciples that they should think of the Passover as a yearly reminder of His sacrifice for them, and to drink a small cup of wine and eat a small piece of unleavened bread instead of cooking a lamb. These new symbols were taught to the church by the disciples. Since that time, the faithful people of God through history have continued to remember Christ’s sacrifice every year at the Passover, just as the Israelites remembered the Passover every year. They were released from their Egyptian taskmasters, while we are released from the grasp of Satan and sin.

Read Together:  Exodus 12:3–8, 43–47; Leviticus 23:4–5; Romans 3:23; 6:23; Hebrews 10:4; John 1:1–3; Luke 1:35; Matthew 1:23; Philippians 2:5–8; John 10:17–18; 3:16; 1:29.

Discuss:

  • Ask your child why they think the lamb selected for Passover had to be without any blemishes. How does this relate to Jesus Christ?
  • People often question why Christ had to die. Discuss this with your child. Be sure to relate that God will not compromise with sin and that there could be no pardon of sins without shedding blood (Hebrews 9:22). Christ had to die to atone for mankind’s sins, giving you, your child, and every human being who has ever lived a chance for salvation and eternal life in God’s family.
  • Discuss with your child how awful sin is and why God hates it. Choose one of the Ten Commandments and talk about how breaking it causes misery, pain, and suffering. How different would the world be if that commandment were kept? Remind your student that it is because of sin that Christ had to die.
  • Explain to your child that the blood of Christ is represented by the wine, and the bread represents His body that was beaten for us.  

Review Memorization:

1 Corinthians 5:7  “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.”

Children’s Bible Program – Level 2: Lesson 22 “Passover and the Sacrificial Lamb”

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Read Together: God gave ancient Israel instructions concerning Passover observance. On the tenth day in the first month of the year, each family was told to select a special, Passover lamb. This lamb was to be perfect, without any blemishes at all. Four days later, as the 14th day of the first month was just beginning at sunset, they were required to kill the lamb, cook it, and eat it as part of a special Passover meal, putting some of the blood of the lamb on their doorway. Those who did this would be protected from the death angel, who would kill all the firstborn in the land, except those in houses with the blood of the lamb on their doorway. Every year after that, the Israelites were commanded to eat a Passover meal on this same night and remember how God had spared them from the death of the firstborn in their home.  

But this Passover lamb also symbolized something more. All humans are under the threat of death because we all have sinned, and death is the penalty for sinning against God. We may not have the death angel passing over us, but we still are subject to death for our sins. Instead of a Passover lamb, however, we have Jesus Christ. Christ was the perfect sacrifice who was willing to become a human being and then die for our sins, protecting us from death, just as the blood of the lamb on the doorway protected the Israelites.

Read Together:  Exodus 12:3–8, 43–47; Leviticus 23:4–5; Romans 3:23; 6:23; Hebrews 10:4; John 1:1–3; Luke 1:35; Matthew 1:23; Philippians 2:5–8; John 10:17–18; 3:16; 1:29.

Discuss:

  • Ask your child why they think the lamb selected for Passover had to be without any blemishes. How does this relate to Jesus Christ?
  • People often question why Christ had to die. Discuss this with your child. Be sure to relate that God will not compromise with sin and that there could be no pardon of sins without shedding blood (Hebrews 9:22). Christ had to die to atone for mankind’s sins, giving you, your child, and every human being who has ever lived a chance for salvation and eternal life in God’s family.
  • Discuss with your child how awful sin is and why God hates it. Choose one of the Ten Commandments and talk about how breaking it causes misery, pain, and suffering. How different would the world be if that commandment was kept? Remind your student that it is because of sin that Christ had to die.

Review Memorization:

1 Corinthians 5:7  “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.”

Children’s Bible Program – Level 1: Lesson 22 “Moses Encounters Pharaoh and Pharaoh Encounters God”

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Read Together: As the Israelites suffered as slaves in Egypt, Moses spent 40 years tending his father-in-law’s sheep. But God was not finished with Moses. As Moses passed by Mount Horeb, he was amazed to see a bush furiously burning – but not being burned up! This was God’s way of getting Moses’ attention, and it worked. As Moses approached the bush, He heard God speak plainly to him. God told Moses that it was time for him to lead the children of Israel out of bondage. At first, Moses was not happy with God’s command. He gave one excuse after another about why he was not the man for the job. In the end, Moses humbled himself and obeyed God’s instructions, leaving for his old home in Egypt. Moses and his brother Aaron went to Pharaoh and announced to him that he must let the children of Israel go to worship God in the wilderness. What do you think Pharaoh said? He basically said, “No way!”

Here are his exact words. “Who [is] the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go.” (Exodus 5:2)

But Pharaoh would come to regret his disrespect and disregard of the true God. God sent one plague after another upon Egypt–each one attacking one of their gods. In the first plague, their sacred river was turned to blood. But Pharaoh would not let the people go. In the second plague, frogs appeared everywhere. Still, Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let the people go. Nine times, in plague after plague, Pharaoh started to soften, then hardened his heart toward Israel and the true God. Finally, after the 10th and last plague, Pharaoh let Israel go.

Read Together: Exodus 3-10

Discuss:

  • Help your child to understand that God gave Moses specific instructions on what to do. Moses was not deciding what to do on his own.
  • Ask your child how the Israelites might have felt when they were not delivered after Moses’ first meeting with Pharaoh.Instead of being set free they were made to work harder.
  • Help your child identify each of the plagues as you read about them and discuss what each might have been like for the Egyptians.
  • Explain that God brought these things about to show Egyptians and Israelites that He is God and there is no other.

Review Memorization:

The Ten Plagues: (1) Waters turned to blood, (2) Frogs, (3) Lice, (4) Flies, (5)Animals die, (6) Boils, (7) Hail, (8) Locusts, (9) Darkness (10) Death of the Firstborn

Children’s Bible Program – Level 1: Lesson 21 “Moses – Up from Egypt”

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Read Together: The descendants of Abraham, now called the children of Israel, were living as slaves in the land of Egypt just as God had foretold. Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, commanded that all infant boys be killed, but Amram and Jochebed wanted to save their newborn son. Jochebed placed her son in a basket of reeds and put him in the river to be protected from the Pharaoh’s order. The Pharaoh’s daughter found the basket among the reeds in the river and was moved to rescue the baby inside. The thought came to her to raise him as her own son! She named him Moses, and brought him into Pharaoh’s palace. The name “Moses” was perfect since it means “to draw or bring out of the water”. He grew up in the palace, as if he were a prince of Egypt, but he knew that he was really an Israelite. Then one day, Moses went out to see how his brethren were doing. When he saw an Egyptian beating a fellow Israelite, he lost his temper and killed the Egyptian. When the Pharaoh found out he was very angry, so Moses decided to run away. He escaped to the land of Midian, and eventually married a woman named Zipporah. Meanwhile, the children of Israel continued to suffer in slavery. Little did they know that God was planning to use Moses, the prince of Egypt, to free them from the Pharaoh.

Read Together: Genesis 15:1314; Exodus 1:817; 2:125

Discuss:

  • Explain to your child in a way they can understand that Pharaoh had absolute power over life and death of everyone under his authority.
  • Help your child to see the bravery that the midwives, and Moses’ mother, father, and sister showed in hiding Moses from Pharaoh.
  • Ask your child what they think it might have been like to grow up in Pharaoh’s palace with servants and riches.
  • Help your child to understand that the Israelites were powerless to free themselves from Egypt. Only God could set them free!

Review Memorization:

The Ten Plagues: (1) Waters turned to blood, (2) Frogs, (3) Lice, (4) Flies, (5) Animals die, (6) Boils, (7) Hail, (8) Locusts, (9) Darkness , (10) Death of the Firstborn