Using Exodus 12 (the “Passover”) as your text, write an eight-page paper interpreting this passage using the three-step method of interpretation consistently employed by Dr. Pratt in the video lectures: 1) determine and explain the literary structure of the passage; 2) determine and explain the original meaning of the passage. This step includes both a discussion of the passage’s meaning within its immediate context, and a consideration of how Moses’s inclusion/arrangement of the material was intended to function for his original audience, the Israelites redeemed from Egypt and headed to the promised land; and 3) a discussion of modern application. This final step should follow Dr. Pratt’s specific approach to modern application closely, namely, identifying the ways in which the New Testament writers used themes/ideas/motifs, etc., in the Pentateuch to explain the significance of the inauguration, continuation, and consummation of Christ’s kingdom. See video lesson 2 (“A Perfect World”) for a detailed discussion and application of this threefold approach to interpretation.


Sample Answer

Sample Answer


Title: The Passover: A Three-Step Interpretation of Exodus 12

Exodus 12 recounts the significant event of the Passover, a pivotal moment in the history of Israel. This paper will employ Dr. Pratt’s three-step method of interpretation to analyze Exodus 12. Firstly, it will determine and explain the literary structure of the passage. Secondly, it will explore the original meaning and intended function within the context of the Israelites’ journey from Egypt to the promised land. Lastly, it will discuss the modern application of the passage, specifically focusing on how the New Testament writers used the themes and motifs from Exodus 12 to highlight the inauguration, continuation, and consummation of Christ’s kingdom.

Step 1: Literary Structure
The literary structure of Exodus 12 can be divided into several sections:

Instructions for the Passover (Exodus 12:1-13)
The Institution of the Passover (Exodus 12:14-20)
The Plague on Egypt and Israel’s Exodus (Exodus 12:21-28)
The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Exodus 12:29-32)
The Israelites Depart from Egypt (Exodus 12:33-42)
Additional Passover Regulations (Exodus 12:43-51)

Step 2: Original Meaning and Intended Function
Within its immediate context, Exodus 12 serves several purposes for the Israelites:

Establishing the Passover as a perpetual commemoration (Exodus 12:14)
Demonstrating God’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 12:17)
Instituting the Feast of Unleavened Bread as a reminder of their haste in leaving Egypt (Exodus 12:18-20)
Prescribing specific instructions for the Israelites’ preparation and participation in the Passover (Exodus 12:1-13)

The inclusion and arrangement of these materials were intended to function as a reminder of God’s faithfulness, a call to obedience, and an affirmation of their identity as God’s chosen people.

Step 3: Modern Application
The New Testament writers draw upon themes and motifs from Exodus 12 to illuminate the significance of Christ’s kingdom:

Inauguration of Christ’s Kingdom:

Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper, connecting it to the Passover meal (Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-26; Luke 22:7-23).
Just as the Passover lamb provided redemption and deliverance for Israel, Jesus becomes the sacrificial Lamb who brings salvation to all who believe in him (1 Corinthians 5:7; John 1:29).

Continuation of Christ’s Kingdom:

The concept of redemption from slavery is expanded to include freedom from sin and spiritual bondage through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:13-14).
Believers are called to live a holy and unleavened life, symbolizing their separation from sin and conformity to Christ’s image (1 Corinthians 5:8).

Consummation of Christ’s Kingdom:

The ultimate fulfillment of the Passover is seen in Revelation, where the Lamb’s redemption is celebrated by a multitude (Revelation 5:9-10; Revelation 7:9-17).
The Passover imagery emphasizes the final victory over sin and death, as believers partake in the eternal feast with Christ in his kingdom (Revelation 19:6-9).

Through the three-step method of interpretation, we have gained a deeper understanding of Exodus 12. The passage not only provides historical context for the Israelites but also serves as a significant foreshadowing of Christ’s redemptive work. The New Testament writers draw upon the themes and motifs from Exodus 12 to illustrate the inauguration, continuation, and consummation of Christ’s kingdom. As believers today, we are called to remember God’s faithfulness, embrace our identity as His chosen people, and participate in the ongoing celebration of our salvation through Jesus Christ, our Passover Lamb.

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