Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 1 Corinthians 5:7
The festival of the Passover has been celebrated by Jews for thousands of years. It is the retelling of the great story of how God redeemed the Jewish nation from enslavement in Egypt. The original celebration centered around the Passover lamb, which was sacrificed and its blood put over the doorposts as a sign of faith, so that the Lord passed over the houses of the Jews during the last plague poured out on the Egyptians – the killing of every firstborn. Passover (Leviticus 23:5) – Pointed to the Messiah as our Passover lamb. (1 Corinthians 5:7) whose blood would be shed for our sins. Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover at the same hour that the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover meal that evening .(John 19:14).
God’s Word is so full of prophecy and symbolism. Every single word is God inspired and penned for purpose. The magnitude of symbolism between Jesus’ last Passover and His crucifixion pierces my heart with awe, wonder and gratitude beyond comprehension. When I think of what it must have been like for Jesus, knowing His fate…knowing each and every detail down to the minutia and still choosing to save us. My heart almost can’t bear the weight of His love. I sometimes ask myself….how can I ever repay Jesus for His sacrifice? How can I ever thank Him enough? God only asks that we love others as He loves us. (1 John 4:19, 1 Corinthians 13:13)
At this time in history, the Jewish people were under Roman rule and in desperate need of a King….a savior. Jesus came into the city of Jerusalem five days before the lamb was killed in the temple as the Passover sacrifice for the sins of the people of Israel. Five days before the lamb was to be sacrificed, it was chosen. Therefore, Jesus entered Jerusalem on lamb selection day as the lamb of God. Jesus came in on a donkey, which represented peace. He did not ride in on a war horse as many Kings would do in that day. Even Jesus’ entry had symbolic meaning. His entry told everyone what type of King He would be. The people greeted Him shouting “Hosanna” which means “save us, save now”. They laid palm leaves down, symbolizing blessing. Jesus Himself is the blessing; His atoning work of redemption, victory and freedom is our blessing!
The passover lamb was killed at 9:00 a.m. by the cutting of his throat. Also at 9:00 a.m. Jesus was nailed to the cross. At 3:00 p.m. the Passover lamb was placed in a stone oven for roasting. At 3:00 p.m. Jesus died. He was put in a stone tomb.
Christian symbolism in the Passover occurs early in the Seder (the Passover dinner). Three matzahs (bread) are put together (representing the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). The middle matzah is broken, wrapped in a white cloth, and hidden, representing the death and burial of Jesus. The matzah itself is designed to represent Jesus, since it is striped and pierced, which was prophesized by Isaiah (Isaiah 53:5), David (Psalm 22:16), and Zechariah (Zechariah 12:10). Following the Seder meal, the “buried” matzah is “resurrected,” which was foretold in the prophecies of David.
At the very time that the Passover lambs were being killed, Jesus was being crucified (Matthew 27:46-50; Mark 15:34-37; Luke 23:44). While all of Jerusalem was busy preparing the Passover meal with the lambs that were being sacrificed, Jesus was uttering His last words, “It is finished” (John 19:30). What was finished was God’s plan for the salvation of all people through the death of His Son. All that the Passover represents had been fulfilled in Christ (1 Corinthians 5:7).
Just as the blood of the Passover lamb saved the Israelites from the judgments of God and redeemed them from slavery, so does the blood of Christ save all who believe from the judgment of God and redeem them from slavery to sin (1 Peter 1:18-20). The blood of the Lamb cleanses us, gives us a brand new start and frees us from a guilty conscience. (Hebrews 10:22).
This Easter lets celebrate Passover by settling in our hearts that we will purpose to gain for the lamb the reward of His sacrifice. ~ Tracey
Your Turn: Have you received the blessing of God’s finished work on the cross? Do you want more of the victory God secured for you? Do you desire to live a life that gains for the lamb the reward of His sacrifice? We invite you to share an Easter service with us at Church of the Highlands. – Breath on Paper
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