Behind the scenes in the Bible’s greatest stories
WEEK 1 - Moses & Passover
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs. Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover. On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD—a lasting ordinance.” …“Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.” …Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning. When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down. Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, `It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” Then the people bowed down and worshiped. The Israelites did just what the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron. [Exodus 12:1-14, 17, 21-28]
Experiencing the Salvation of the Passover Story Involves:
Recognizing Jesus in the Passover
“Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.” [Exodus 12:3-6]
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” …And he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” [John 1:29, 36]
Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed. [1st Corinthians 5:7]
Remembering what Jesus has done for us
“Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.”[Exodus 12:7]
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. …Jesus said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” … And Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”[Luke 22:7, 15, 19]
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” [Matthew 26:26-28]
Responding with faith and obedience
“Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. And when your children ask you, `What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, `It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” Then the people bowed down and worshiped. The Israelites did just what the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron. [Exodus 12:24-28]
Week 2 - Jonah, the Angry Prophet
The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai:“Get up! Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it because their evil has come up before me.” Jonah got up to flee to Tarshish from the Lord’s presence. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. He paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the Lord’s presence. But the Lord threw a great wind onto the sea, and such a great storm arose on the sea that the ship threatened to break apart. The sailors were afraid, and each cried out to his god. They threw the ship’s cargo into the sea to lighten the load. Meanwhile, Jonah had gone down to the lowest part of the vessel and had stretched out and fallen into a deep sleep. The captain approached him and said, “What are you doing sound asleep? Get up! Call to your god. Maybe this god will consider us, and we won’t perish.” “Come on! ” the sailors said to each other. “Let’s cast lots. Then we’ll know who is to blame for this trouble we’re in.” So they cast lots, and the lot singled out Jonah. Then they said to him, “Tell us who is to blame for this trouble we’re in. What is your business, and where are you from? What is your country, and what people are you from? ” He answered them, “I’m a Hebrew. I worship the Lord, the God of the heavens, who made the sea and the dry land.” Then the men were seized by a great fear and said to him, “What is this you’ve done? ” The men knew he was fleeing from the Lord’s presence because he had told them. So they said to him, “What should we do to you so that the sea will calm down for us? ” For the sea was getting worse and worse. He answered them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea so that it will calm down for you, for I know that I’m to blame for this great storm that is against you.” (Jonah 1:1-12 CSB)
The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Get up! Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach the message that I tell you.” Jonah got up and went to Nineveh according to the Lord’s command. Now Nineveh was an extremely great city, a three-day walk. Jonah set out on the first day of his walk in the city and proclaimed, “In forty days Nineveh will be demolished! ” (Jonah 3:1-4 CSB)
What can we learn from Jonah?
We can’t Run Away from God.
Where can I go to escape your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I live at the eastern horizon or settle at the western limits, even there your hand will lead me; your right hand will hold on to me. (Ps 139:7-10 CSB)
God will find a way to Accomplish His plan.
The Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. (Jonah 1:17 CSB)
Then the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. (Jonah 2:10 CSB)
We need to check our Motives
Jonah was greatly displeased and became furious. He prayed to the Lord: “Please, Lord, isn’t this what I thought while I was still in my own country? That’s why I fled toward Tarshish in the first place. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger, abounding in faithful love, and one who relents from sending disaster. And now, Lord, take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” The Lord asked, “Is it right for you to be angry? ” Jonah left the city and found a place east of it. He made himself a shelter there and sat in its shade to see what would happen to the city. (Jonah 4:1-5 CSB)
So the Lord said, “You cared about the plant, which you did not labor over and did not grow. It appeared in a night and perished in a night. But may I not care about the great city of Nineveh, which has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot distinguish between their right and their left, as well as many animals? ” (Jonah 4:10-11 CSB)
What New Testament Story has a lot of parallels with the Book of Jonah?
Parable of the Prodigal Son
Week 3 - Make Christianity Great Again: Recovering a Jesus-centered Faith
Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. (1 Corinthians 15:1-8)
Smart People who follow Jesus have made a specific decision that objective truth does exist, that God has revealed Himself, that the Bible is God’s Written revelation, and that Jesus is God revealing Himself in human form. Those beliefs have consequences.
Summary: 1 Corinthians 5:1-8
Jesus died for our sins
He was buried and raised on the 3rd day.
He appeared to the apostles, and to over 500. (Acts 1:3…tekmerion/convincing proofs)
A Biblical View of Jesus
Jesus is God incarnate (in the flesh). John 1:14
Jesus is God’s perfect substitute sin offering. 1 John 3:5, 1 Peter 2:22
Jesus is the only mediator between God and mankind. John 14:6, 1 Timothy 2:3-6a
Jesus offers life to those who believe. 1 John 5:11-12
Jesus gave us His Holy Spirit to empower us to live for the glory of God. John 16:12-15, Romans 8:9-11
Jesus commanded us to witness to the world and be salt and light. Matthew 5:13-16, Matthew 28:19-20
Jesus announced and revealed the Kingdom of God which is our first citizenship. Luke 11:20, 19:11; I Peter 2:9-17
4 Cornerstone Biblical Principles for Effective Witness in a Hostile Environment
Make a beeline for Jesus. Jesus said, “…when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself” (John 12:32).
Let your light shine so that God gets the glory. Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.”
Be a grace-filled person. “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:6-7).
Be bold and gentle. “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:16).
week 4 - The Story of joseph
What can we learn from Joseph?
Hardship happens even when you are Obedient
[Genesis 37:18-28; 39:1-20]
We need to Forgive
God can use seemingly Bad situations for Good
[Genesis 45:1-8, 50:19-20]
Now Israel loved Joseph more than his other sons because Joseph was a son born to him in his old age, and he made a robe of many colors for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not bring themselves to speak peaceably to him. (Gen 37:3-4 CSB)
They saw him in the distance, and before he had reached them, they plotted to kill him. They said to one another, “Oh, look, here comes that dream expert! So now, come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of the pits. We can say that a vicious animal ate him. Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams! ”
When Reuben heard this, he tried to save him from them. He said, “Let’s not take his life.” Reuben also said to them, “Don’t shed blood. Throw him into this pit in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him” — intending to rescue him from them and return him to his father.
When Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped off Joseph’s robe, the robe of many colors that he had on. Then they took him and threw him into the pit. The pit was empty, without water.
They sat down to eat a meal, and when they looked up, there was a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were carrying aromatic gum, balsam, and resin, going down to Egypt.
Judah said to his brothers, “What do we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come on, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay a hand on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh,” and his brothers agreed. When Midianite traders passed by, his brothers pulled Joseph out of the pit and sold him for twenty pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took Joseph to Egypt. (Genesis 37:18-28 CSB)
The sons of Israel were among those who came to buy grain, for the famine was in the land of Canaan. Joseph was in charge of the country; he sold grain to all its people. His brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the ground. When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke harshly to them.
“Where do you come from? ” he asked.
“From the land of Canaan to buy food,” they replied.
Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. (Genesis 42:5-8 CSB)
Joseph could no longer keep his composure in front of all his attendants, so he called out, “Send everyone away from me! ” No one was with him when he revealed his identity to his brothers. But he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and also Pharaoh’s household heard it. Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living? ” But they could not answer him because they were terrified in his presence.
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Please, come near me,” and they came near. “I am Joseph, your brother,” he said, “the one you sold into Egypt. And now don’t be grieved or angry with yourselves for selling me here, because God sent me ahead of you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there will be five more years without plowing or harvesting. God sent me ahead of you to establish you as a remnant within the land and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Therefore it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt. (Genesis 45:1-8 )
But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result — the survival of many people. (Genesis 50:19-20)
Week 6 - Daniel, Shadrach Meshach and Abednego
Nebuchadnezzar represents the world.
Daniel, Shadrach Meshach and Abednego represent the best of Us.
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king's palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate, and of the wine that he drank. They were to be educated for three years, and at the end of that time they were to stand before the king. Among these were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah. And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego. (Daniel 1:1-7)
The world will:
Invade your life
Extract you from the place that God wants you
The world won’t hesitate to invade our lives.
But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king's food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. (Daniel 1:8)
just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.” (Daniel 2:45)
The world is the world.
Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:15-18)