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Day to Remember

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A DAY TO REMEMBER 

Scripture: Exodus 12:5–23, 21–27; Matthew 26:26–29; 1 Corinthians 22:23-29

Memory verse: 1 Corinthians 11:26
"For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes."

Lead—In

Begin the class session by asking the students to name some special days many people remember. Probably responses will include birthdays, Christmas, Easter, and anniversaries. Ask why people make a point to remember those days. Stress that these days are set aside to remember something that happened in the past. By celebrating special events, people are reminding themselves of something important that has had an impact on their lives. Christmas is celebrated to remember the day Jesus was born. Birthdays are remembered because people important to us were born then. Couples celebrate anniversaries by remembering the day they were married.

Tell the students in this study they will learn that Jesus told us to remember His death. Although we usually do not want to think about dying, Jesus’ death is the reason we can have eternal life rather than eternal punishment.

Hearing God’s Word

(Open your Bible to the main passage for today in Matthew 26:26–29 as you begin your presentation.)

One evening Jesus and His disciples were having dinner together to celebrate their Jewish Independence Day, celebrating the day in the Old Testament when God’s people were set free from the Egyptians. Their Independence Day was the 14th of the month of Nisan on the Jewish calendar.

The First Passover

Ask: “Does anyone know what this holiday was called?” (Allow responses.)

Ask: “Why was it called the Passover?” (Allow responses.)

God’s people had been slaves to the Egyptians for many years. They had been forced to work very hard and were treated cruelly day after day.

Then God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses warned the ruler, Pharaoh, of many plagues or punishments God would send upon the Egyptians if His people were not set free.

Ask: “Who can name some of the plagues God sent?” (Allow responses.)

Pharaoh did not listen to Moses. He continued to be cruel to the Israelites. But God had one final way to cause Pharaoh to let the Israelites go free.

God’s people were told ahead of time what would happen. About midnight on the 14th day of the month, death would come to the firstborn (oldest) child in every family and the firstborn of all animals. Is anyone here the oldest child in your family? It would be very frightening to know ahead of time that this was going to happen, would it not?

God did not leave His people helpless. He had a plan that would save them from death if the people would listen and obey; only the Egyptian families would be affected by the plague of death. Each Israelite family was to choose a lamb from their flocks and prepare it for a meal. The lamb had to be perfect, without any scratches or disease. The family was to put the blood of the lamb on the two side frames of the door and on the panel above the door of their house.

That night everyone was to eat roast lamb with bitter herbs and bread made without leavening or yeast. Did you ever watch anyone make bread? When bread is made, something is added to the dough to make it rise and be fluffy. But God had instructed the people to get rid of all their leavening several days before. They were to eat unleavened bread the night of the Passover.

The Meaning of Passover

This meal was called the “Passover” supper for a good reason. God said He would go through the land of Egypt that night and kill all of the firstborn people and firstborn animals. However, the blood on the doorposts would be proof that the people had obeyed His instructions. God would pass over any house that had blood on the sides and top of the doorposts. The firstborn of the families who had obeyed would not be killed. If you had been there, would you not want to obey God’s instructions? I am sure you would want to do everything just exactly the way God commanded.

God told the people the Passover celebration was to become an ordinance or law to be celebrated every year. Many years later, when small children asked why they were celebrating the Passover, they could tell them how God had passed over the houses where the blood was put on the doorposts. This would be a time to worship God and thank Him for giving them a way to escape being killed, and for freeing them from the Egyptians.

Jesus Observes the Passover

Hundreds of years later when Jesus was on the earth, the Jews still celebrated the Passover, just as God had instructed. Jesus kept this law also.

One evening just before He died on the cross, Jesus and His disciples ate the Passover meal together. After Jesus and His disciples had been eating for a while Jesus picked up some bread, prayed over it, and broke it into pieces. Jesus gave one of the pieces to each of His disciples and asked them to eat it. He told them the bread represented His body that was to be broken for them for the forgiveness of sins.

Then Jesus took a cup, prayed over it, and passed it to each disciple. They all drank from it. Jesus told the disciples the cup represented His blood that was a new agreement with the people. Now, instead of killing and eating a lamb each year to remember the Passover, Jesus instructed His followers to remember a different event. He said to remember His death on the cross by eating the bread and drinking the cup.

The Meaning of Communion

Jesus wants all His followers to observe this ordinance or practice. This is what we call the Lord’s Supper or Communion. When we partake of Communion, we are following Jesus’ example. With the Passover meal He remembered how God freed the Jews from slavery. With Communion we are remembering Jesus’ suffering to free us from sin. Jesus wants us to remember that His body was broken for us and that His blood was shed so we would not have to receive punishment for our sins. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we do not have to be separated from God.

The Israelites killed the Passover lamb and put its blood on their doorposts so they would not have to die. Now, Jesus’ death and His shed blood keep us from having to die spiritually. We can have eternal life if we accept Jesus as our Saviour. Jesus wants us to remember He died for us and has told us to remember His death by observing the Lord’s Supper.

Another name for the Lord’s Supper is Communion. The word Communion means, “sharing.” We are sharing in the benefit of Jesus’ sacrifice for us when we take Communion. We are also sharing our faith in Jesus with other believers. Our memory verse tells us the reason we take Communion. (Repeat the verse together several times.)

Each time we take Communion, we are remembering that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. But we are also looking forward to the time when Jesus will come again. Jesus has promised that He will eat the Lord’s Supper with us in heaven. The Bible tells us to keep taking Communion until that time.

Partaking With a Pure Heart

Sometimes people take Communion with the wrong attitude. They do not really care about what the bread and cup represent. Or they have not repented of some sins. God’s Word says we need to “examine ourselves” or give attention to our attitude when we take Communion. We should always be thankful for Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins and be sure we are living as Jesus wants us to live.

Think about the Communion services you have seen in church. Usually there is music, Scripture reading, and prayer before the pastor asks the congregation to actually eat the bread and drink the cup.

The music played at the beginning of the Communion service helps us to begin thinking about Jesus and remembering what He did for us. The Scripture reading tells us exactly what the Communion emblems mean. The prayer time is a time in which we can ask forgiveness for sins we need to repent of and continue to thank Jesus for dying for these sins.

The music, Scripture reading, and prayer prepare us so we can take Communion with a pure heart. When we understand the meaning of the Communion service, we will remember Jesus’ death and eat the bread and drink the cup with thankfulness and a heart free of sin. Because of Jesus’ death, we can look forward to being with Him in heaven.

Accepting God’s Word

Talk about how great Jesus’ love is that He would go through so much suffering to make a way for us to return to God. Mention the hours of prayer before the Crucifixion, the trial, Peter’s denial of Him, and the beating, the mocking, and the terrible pain of being nailed to the cross for our sins. Explain the plan of salvation and ask if anyone would like to accept Jesus as Saviour. Pray individually with each student who desires to receive Him.

Islamic Society 

The Rashaida also maintain much of their Arab culture and customs. They tend to keep themselves isolated from other tribes, though they may occasionally live among or intermarry with the Tigre people.

Islam is central to the Rashaida, not only religiously, but culturally as well. Islamic practices govern their worship as well as many aspects of their everyday and societal life. Because of their nomadic lifestyle and mobile tents, they generally worship in family prayer houses, rather than mosques. Rashaida women also keep their faces veiled, a practice that begins in childhood so as to ensure that their faces are never seen by men.

REMEMBER TO PRAY
Pray for Cultural Presentations of the Gospel to the Rashaida

1. Jesus introduced in the Rashaida language,
2. The Bible understood as God's revelation of truth,
3. Salvation viewed as deliverance from sin, but to be lived out within the Rashaida culture.

Prayer Promise

"Call unto me and I will answer you" (Jeremiah 33:3).
 

Remember: A DAY TO REMEMBER  

Memory verse: 1 Corinthians 11:26
"For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes."

1. Communion is a celebration of Jesus Christ's covenant with His followers.
2. The bread reminds us of the pain Jesus suffered in purchasing our salvation.
3. The drink reminds us of Jesus' blood that He shed to pay for the forgiveness of our sins.

Pray for Cultural Presentations of the Gospel to the Rashaida.

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Study 9 | Jesus Says Go/We Believe | africaatts.org/go-teach

 

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