Opening Questions and Prayer:
Tell a brief story about a time you didn’t clean something and as a result something went wrong. (Moldy leftovers in the fridge, potatoes growing those weird vines in the back of your pantry, the car stalled because you didn’t maintain it properly, etc.)
In our lives, why is it important to look at specific areas in our life to make sure we are spiritually clean?
What does it look like to be spiritually clean?
Pray and ask God to guide your time as you study His Word and look at the areas in your life that may need some touching up or deep cleaning.
Read Exodus 12:14-16
Exodus 12:14-16 (All verses are from the NLT unless otherwise noted)
14 “This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to the Lord. This is a law for all time. 15 For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast. On the first day of the festival, remove every trace of yeast from your homes. Anyone who eats bread made with yeast during the seven days of the festival will be cut off from the community of Israel. 16 On the first day of the festival and again on the seventh day, all the people must observe an official day for holy assembly. No work of any kind may be done on these days except in the preparation of food.
What was the significance of the Israelites cleaning the yeast out of their homes?
How was God showing them a spiritual truth through a physical house cleaning?
Why is it important to clean things out of our lives?
What do you need to sweep out of your life this week?
Read Exodus 12:17-20
17 “Celebrate this Festival of Unleavened Bread, for it will remind you that I brought your forces out of the land of Egypt on this very day. This festival will be a permanent law for you; celebrate this day from generation to generation. 18 The bread you eat must be made without yeast from the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day of that month. 19 During those seven days, there must be no trace of yeast in your homes. Anyone who eats anything made with yeast during this week will be cut off from the community of Israel. These regulations apply both to the foreigners living among you and to the native-born Israelites. 20 During those days you must not eat anything made with yeast. Wherever you live, eat only bread made without yeast.”
What was the Festival of Unleavened Bread supposed to help the Israelites to remember?
How would this festival have been an example to the non-Israelite people living in their land?
What are some practices in your own life that you do consistently to remind yourself of the wonderful things the Lord has done in your life?
What could you do this week to be more intentional about setting specific reminders about how much the Lord loves and cares for you?
Read Matthew 16:5-12
5 Later, after they crossed to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6 “Watch out!” Jesus warned them. “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
7 At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread. 8 Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “You have so little faith! Why are you arguing with each other about having no bread? 9 Don’t you understand even yet? Don’t you remember the 5,000 I fed with five loaves, and the baskets of leftovers you picked up? 10 Or the 4,000 I fed with seven loaves, and the large baskets of leftovers you picked up? 11 Why can’t you understand that I’m not talking about bread? So again I say, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’”
12 Then at last they understood that he wasn’t speaking about the yeast in bread, but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
When Jesus spoke of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees, what was He talking about?
What are some properties of yeast that make it a good representation of sin and false teaching?
What are some ways sin sneaks into someone’s life and slowly takes over?
How can you be more aware of certain sneaky teachings that go against God’s truth?
What is one thing you can do this week to watch for the tricks of the enemy?
Read Exodus 12:21-27
21 Then Moses called all the elders of Israel together and said to them, “Go, pick out a lamb or young goat for each of your families, and slaughter the Passover animal. 22 Drain the blood into a basin. Then take a bundle of hyssop branches and dip it into the blood. Brush the hyssop across the top and sides of the doorframes of your houses. And no one may go out through the door until morning. 23 For the Lord will pass through the land to strike down the Egyptians. But when he sees the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe, the Lord will pass over your home. He will not permit his death angel to enter your house and strike you down.
24 “Remember, these instructions are a permanent law that you and your descendants must observe forever. 25 When you enter the land the Lord has promised to give you, you will continue to observe this ceremony. 26 Then your children will ask, ‘What does this ceremony mean?’ 27 And you will reply, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, for he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt. And though he struck the Egyptians, he spared our families.’” When Moses had finished speaking, all the people bowed down to the ground and worshiped.
Even after the Israelites had cleared out all the yeast (sin) as best they could, why did they still need a blood sacrifice to protect them from death?
Even if we are able to have good behavior and not sin for a little while, why do we still need the sacrifice of Jesus to cover over the death we deserve?
How was the Passover ceremony a teaching moment for the future generations of the Israelites?
What are you doing in your life to pass on the message of Jesus to the next generation?
How can you do this more intentionally?
What happens if you rely on others to pass on the good news of Jesus?
Read Exodus 12:28-30
28 So the people of Israel did just as the Lord had commanded through Moses and Aaron. 29 And that night at midnight, the Lord struck down all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on his throne, to the firstborn son of the prisoner in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed. 30 Pharaoh and all his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night, and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died.
What ways did God give Pharaoh chance after chance to repent and follow Him?
How had Pharaoh allowed the yeast (sin) to take over his life?
What happened as a result?
How are you refusing to obey God?
What are you doing that you know doesn’t please God?
How can you turn those things over to the Lord?
Who will help you with this?
6 “Watch out!” Jesus warned them. “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
Closing thoughts and prayer
When it comes to sin in our own life, sometimes it’s very hard to see it. We can easily point it out in other people’s lives, but we sometimes have blinders when it comes to our own shortcomings. We let little things slide, and eventually they become big things and take over our lives, like yeast in bread. God puts things in our lives to remind us of Him and to point others to Him. Make sure you take time this week to do some self cleaning using God’s Word as your guide. Pray that the Lord would show you those little things you’re allowing to slide. Talk to your accountability partner about how you can start cleaning house of those little things that could turn big. Pray that the Lord would give you opportunities to pass on His Good News to someone this week. Finally end your time praying for our church leaders, our nation, and the leaders.