Saturday, June 8, 2024

Jesus and Passover

Video: Passover and what it means concerning Jesus

What is Passover? 

Every year, Israel has a week-long celebration called Pesach or as most of us know it: Passover. Israel is commanded to observe this holiday for all time.

And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. And you shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall you observe this day in your generations by an ordinance forever. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. (Exodus 12:16-18 AKJV)

God freed Israel from the slavery of Egypt and He wanted them to remember this for all time. What happened in Egypt is a foreshadowing of what Jesus would accomplish. Though the celebration of Passover did remind them of what happened, they failed to make the connection to Jesus. Let’s look at the correlation between Passover and Jesus which begins with the state of God’s people when the first Passover happened.

God’s people lived in Egypt where other gods were worshiped and ruled over by sinful leaders (Exodus 1-2). When Jesus came, Israel was ruled over by Rome who worshiped other gods and even the Jewish leaders were corrupt!

God promised Joseph that His people would only remain in Egypt for 400 years. When the time came for them to be delivered, God sent a prophet, Moses, to pronounce plagues upon Egypt so Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, would let God’s people go. During the first nine plagues, Pharoah’s heart was hardened, then Moses declared the tenth and final plague:

And Moses said, Thus said the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the middle of Egypt: And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first born of Pharaoh that sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. (Exodus 11:4-5 AKJV)

God told Moses what He would do and Moses declared it to Pharaoh, but Pharaoh didn’t believe him. The plague would affect all of Egypt, but God had a way to protect His people. What they did is a perfect foreshadowing of the life and death of Jesus.

Speak you to all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house. (Exodus 12:3 AKJV)

A lamb was set apart on a specific day or a specific purpose.

Who truly was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you… (1 Peter 1:20 AKJV)

Jesus was foreordained before the foundations of the world. He was chosen for a purpose at a specific time. 

Your lamb shall be without blemish…  (Exodus 12:5 AKJV)

The lamb had to be perfect with no defects in order to be a suitable sacrifice. 

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (1 Peter 1:19 AKJV)

Sin is that which is not perfect before God. Jesus was without sin, without a spot or blemish. The rest of verse five gives additional details:

…a male of the first year: you shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats. (Exodus 12:5 AKJV) 

The animal had to be newly born and it had to be a male. 

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. (1 John 4:9 AKJV)

The words “only begotten” are derived from a single greek word, monogen─ôs (mon-og-en-ace') meaning the only one of its kind. Jesus was the only one God created with literally part of Himself. He was the only one suitable to be the sacrifice needed to bring humanity back into a relationship with God.

Speak you to all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house…  And you shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. (Exodus 12:3,6 AKJV) 

The lamb would be inside the house with God’s people for three days. On the fourth day it would be killed in the evening.

And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli… (Luke 3:23 AKJV)

Jesus was thirty years old when He began His ministry. Most believe that He was crucified in His thirty-third year. Jesus was part of Israel, in the House of God, ministering for three years and in the fourth year we was killed before the congregation of Israel. 

And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it…and you shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. (Exodus 12:7,22)

The blood of the slain animal was placed on the door frame with a hyssop branch. 

After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it on hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (John 19:28-30 AKJV)

Jesus was obedient unto His last breath. He asked for something to drink so the correlation of His blood could be clearly seen. As He was bleeding on the cross, a hyssop branch was used to offer Him sour wine. This was the very last foreshadowing from Passover for His life, however, the foreshadowing continued even in His death. 

For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he sees the blood on the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you. (Exodus 12:23 AKJV)

That night, around midnight, the angel of death came through Egypt. All the firstborn were killed, except where the blood protected the house. This is the purpose of the life and the death of our Lord. 

That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation. (Romans 10:9-10 AKJV)

And He took a 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 new covenant, which [ratifies the agreement and] is being poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:27-28 AMPC)

Israel had to kill an animal every year to remember how God saved them with the blood of a sacrifice. Jesus is the eternal Lamb of God. He gave Himself, once for all time so that we could have a covenant with God. The word covenant means testament and agreement. The Old Testament shows us what God expects of us, it is the old agreement. The New Testament is the new agreement we have with God. It had to be ratified with the blood of a sacrifice as Paul reminds his fellow Israelites. 

For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, “This is the blood of the testament which God has enjoined to you.” Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. (Hebrews 9:19-24 AKJV)

Hyssop continues to be used in connection with the sprinkling of blood for redemption from sin and dedication to God, which is why Jesus asked for something to drink. It was necessary for Jesus to give His blood and His life for us so that we could be redeemed unto God. 

Israel continues to honor this sacred day. The instructions Moses gave Israel about how to keep the Passover feast is also a foreshadowing of the life and death of Jesus. 

In one house shall it be eaten; you shall not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall you break a bone thereof. (Exodus 12:46 AKJV)

In the years to come, when Israel remembered what God had done, they were not to break any bones of the lamb to be sacrificed. 

The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) sought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and broke the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that He was dead already, they broke not His legs… (John 19:31-33 AKJV)

We may never know if the Jewish leaders knew about the prophecy concerning no bones of the Messiah would be broken, or if were they worried about Jesus escaping. Whatever the case, the bones of the Lord were not broken, providing yet another completed foreshadowing of the Passover lamb. God told Israel to remember the day the angel of death passed over the houses of the firstborn, yet they failed to apply what they saw. 

Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, Where will You that we prepare for You to eat the passover? And He said, Go into the city to such a man, and say to him, The Master said, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at your house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. (Matthew 26:17-19 AKJV)

It was after Jesus and the disciples ate Passover dinner that the Lord prayed in the garden all night until He was betrayed. 

And this day shall be to you for a memorial; and you shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. (Exodus 12:14 AKJV)

Even though Israel was enacting the symbolic steps of the life and death of Jesus, they failed to recognize the Messiah when He appeared. Israel will begin sacrificing animals again when another temple is built in Jerusalem, but we know that God has sent the final sacrifice, His Son, the Lamb of God.

Jesus paid the price, once and all, for our sins. We don’t have to sacrifice animals anymore. All we have to do is accept what God has done. If we believe in our hearts that Jesus is the Son of God and raised to from death on the third day, then we confess that He is Lord, according to Romans 10:9. 

The word Lord means owner. A landlord is a landowner. If you are willing to belong to the Lord and accept the price He paid, the blood He shed as payment for your sins, that is where your new life begins! 

After confessing that He is Lord, begin learning about Jesus, He is kind and good, but He does expect you to begin learning His ways. 

How Should Christians Celebrate Passover?

Passover is for Israel, those born from those who were freed from slavery in Egypt. However, God gave us the greatest gift during Passover. Jesus died and was raised to life during the Passover Celebration. If you want to remember Jesus and the foreshadowing of Passover, His Life and Resurrection during the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Passover week is a good time to set aside for focusing specifically on the sacrifice of Jesus. 

How exactly you celebrate it is between you and Jesus. We are not Jewish so we don’t have to follow the traditions that our Lord fulfilled. Jesus gave His followers instructions on how to celebrate His death and Resurrection: 

For I received from the Lord Himself that which I passed on to you [it was given to me personally], that the Lord Jesus on the night when He was treacherously delivered up and while His betrayal was in progress took bread, And when He had given thanks, He broke [it] and said, Take, eat. This is My body, which is broken for you. Do this to call Me [affectionately] to remembrance.

Similarly when supper was ended, He took the cup also, saying, This cup is the new covenant [ratified and established] in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink [it], to call Me [affectionately] to remembrance. For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are representing and signifying and proclaiming the fact of the Lord’s death until He comes [again]. So then whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in a way that is unworthy [of Him] will be guilty of [profaning and sinning against] the body and blood of the Lord.

Let a man [thoroughly] examine himself, and [only when he has done] so should he eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discriminating and recognizing with due appreciation that [it is Christ’s] body, eats and drinks a sentence (a verdict of judgment) upon himself.

That [careless and unworthy participation] is the reason many of you are weak and sickly, and quite enough of you have fallen into the sleep of death. For if we searchingly examined ourselves [detecting our shortcomings and recognizing our own condition], we should not be judged and penalty decreed [by the divine judgment]. But when we [fall short and] are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined and chastened, so that we may not [finally] be condemned [to eternal punishment along] with the world.

So then, my brothers, when you gather together to eat [the Lord’s Supper], wait for one another. If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together to bring judgment [on yourselves]... (1 Corinthians 11:23-34 AMPC)

This is how we celebrate what our Lord has done. It should be done often. We do it at every Sabbath Service. We hope you will join us for our live meeting and receive communion, celebrating what our Lord has done! 

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