Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Passover and The Passion- A Youth Bible Study

The Passover and The Passion
A Youth Bible Study

Happy Holy Week!

This week at school, we are diving into Holy Week, exploring the depths and meaning of each day as we prepare to celebrate Easter Sunday.

One thing that we have done was created these Resurrection Eggs as a class, learned the story behind each symbol, and read the relating scripture.  Then, each 5th grader was paired with a 2nd grader, and they told them the story of the Triduum in their own words using the objects as story telling guides.  I always am amazed at how well the kids can relate their knowledge to their younger peers.  I also love when I catch them using their "teacher voice" while answering a question or telling the other student something. :)

Another project that we are working on is preparing us for watching this movie on Holy Thursday:
Check out The Prince of Egypt: Dreamworks Studios' first animated film, gorgeous music, creative story design, pretty accurate Biblical portrayal.  It's of my favorites :)

To get ready to watch the movie, we did an in class Bible Study of the story of the Passover...and then looked at how Christ's Passion fulfills the Passover.

While reading Exodus 11-12 and discussing Moses, the plagues, the Passover, and God's plans for His people,  one of my students said "Wow, I really like this Bible thing.  We should do this more often."

Point taken.  Very often we TELL kids the story, but it is important to actually get them INTO the story.  It can be done with kids of all ages- there are lots of great age appropriate Bibles out there.

As we began our discussion, I first asked the kids what they already knew about the Passover.  This is what they brainstormed:
  • The Israelites (God’s chosen people)
  • Slaves in Egypt- God said let my people go
  • The first born son of the Egyptians died
  • Story of Moses
  • Lamb sacrificed- blood on the door
  • Angel of death
  • 10 Plagues

We then came up with a list of questions that the kids wanted to find out:
(Many of these we answered as we read the story...and some of them are going to take some further research.  I bet you can pick those questions out of our list.)

  • What was the angel of death?  Was it a certain angel?  Do we know its name?
  • What if a family didn’t have a first born?  Did it kill girls too?  What about babies in the womb?
  • Why a lamb?  Any random lamb?  What did they do with the lamb?  Living lamb or dead?  Could it be an older sheep instead?
  • How did the people know what to do?
  • What did they do with the blood?  Why were they passed over? 
  • Did the blood go on both the top and the sides of the door?
  • Did the plague affect the adults too?
  • Weren’t the people slaves?  Where did they get the lambs then?
  • Were the plagues one day after another or spread out?
We then took notes on the key facts about the Passover as we read the story in Scripture.  You could use one of the graphic organizers below as a guide.  

The next day, we reviewed the Passover, and then jumped into Holy Week.  We read Matthew 26-27 this time, looking for specific connections to the Passover that was being celebrated.  Look at what we found:

One of the kids said that they should have plugged their ears because Their.Minds.Were.Blown.

I love it.  It is awesome to find connections between the Old and New Testaments, and this is a perfect time of year to show students how Jesus is the Paschal Lamb.

I was able to do this with my 5th graders, but I think that it easy could be used to guide a discussion in a middle school classroom, or even a youth group.

Click here for a blank graphic organizer to fill in:

Click here for a version of the study with the Passover side filled in and a blank left column for the Passion connections:

 Click here for the filled in version to use as a guide:

Then watch the movie and see the connections come to life!


  1. Thank you for all these terrific ideas!!!

  2. Thank you for all these terrific ideas!!!

  3. Katie: I met you in Illinois two years ago at St. Mary's workshop, Thank you for the resources. I am looking for the video that is on your lent page. It does not work please let me know where I can find it. Thank you, Katy

    1. Hi Katy! Do you mean the video mentioned above? Or a video from another post? Can you tell me the name of it, and hopefully I can find you the link?

  4. Wow, thank you so much! I am a middle school Bible teacher and this is exactly what I was looking for!