Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed.

~ 1 Corinthians 5:7

Passover – the Feast fulfilled

Jesus Christ died at the Jewish feast of Passover. Jesus was a Jew. Jesus observed the Passover meal with His disciples before He was crucified. Jesus death was a fulfillment of the types and shadows in the Passover meal. God had been pointing to the sacrifice for sin that would be made by the Messiah. Jesus was that Messiah and the Passover proved that.

When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden they, and their descendants, became separated from God.

God’s plan of redemption came through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the children of Israel. The Bible tells how God rescued the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. Although they saw miracles they complained, and showed their unbelief, as they journeyed through the wilderness to the Promised Land. So God imposed the Law, through Moses. Israel accepted the new conditions of blessings for obedience and curses for failure.

The story is instructive because it shows that they, and all people, are unable to measure up in their own strength.

The Law, which was added [Galatians 3:19] to God’s unconditional promises because of their transgressions, and which was a curse on Israel [Galatians 3:10], included moral and ceremonial requirements.

Galatians 3:10

All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law”.

Galatians 3:19

What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come ...

God knew that Israel would not be able to keep the Law. Nevertheless, He gave the Law for these reasons:

  1. To show His standard of righteousness [Psalms 19:7];
    Psalms 19:7

    The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

  2. To show that nobody measures up. He gave the Law to make sin obvious [Romans 3:20];
    Romans 3:20

    Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

  3. To show that we are unable to achieve righteousness by our own efforts. We need a saviour [Hebrews 8:7-8];
    Hebrews 8:7-8

    For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said:
    “The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.”

  4. To point to that Saviour. The Law pointed to Jesus, the Messiah [Romans 10:4]
    Romans 10:4

    Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

    .

The Bible says that the Law was ‘only a shadow of the good things that were to come’ (Hebrews 10:1). The Old Testament has many types and shadows that pointed to the Messiah. The Feast of Passover was one of the ceremonial requirements of the Law.

Passover events that foreshadowed the Messiah and that were fulfilled in Christ

Israel had to take a lamb:

“Tell the whole community of Israel that each man is to take a lamb ...”

~ Exodus 12:3

Jesus is the Lamb:

John saw Jesus coming toward him and said: “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

~ John 1:29

Israel had to take a lamb without defect:

“The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect.”

~ Exodus 12:5

Jesus was sinlessly perfect:

He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.

~ 1 Peter 2:22 and Isaiah 53:9

Israel had to put blood on the sides and top of the doorframes of their houses:

Doorway with blood applied to top and sides

“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

Jesus shed His blood to cover our sins:

Cross superimposed over doorway

God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood.

~ Romans 3:25

The Israelites would be spared from death when they were under the blood:

“The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you ...”

~ Exodus 12:13

Jesus’ blood covers our sins, so that we shall not be condemned:

We have been justified by His blood.

~ Romans 5:9

In Him we have redemption through His blood.

~ Ephesians 1:7

The Israelites had to stay in the house until morning:

“Not one of you shall go out of his house until morning.”

~ Exodus 12:22

Faith in Jesus must be enduring:

He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation – if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel ...

~ Colossians 1:22-23

Israel was delivered out of slavery in Egypt:

On that very day the Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt.

~ Exodus 12:51

Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, because the Lord brought you out of it with a mighty hand. Eat nothing containing yeast.

Exodus 13:3

Jesus gives spiritual deliverance from slavery to sin and the fear of death:

... He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

~ Hebrews 2:14-15

We were in slavery under the basic principles of the world.

Galatians 4:3

Passover was linked to the Feast of Unleavened Bread:

The Lord’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. On the fifteenth day of that month the Lord’s Feast of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast.

~ Leviticus 23:5-6

Leaven is yeast. It causes bread to rise; to get puffed up. It is a picture of sin, through pride and selfishness. Israel had to eat bread without yeast.

Christians are called to humility:

Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast – as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.

~ 1 Corinthians 5:6-8

We can also see pointers to Jesus, and the community of believers that He would birth, in the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Jesus said: “I am the Bread of Life.”

~ John 6:48

The Bible says that believers are one with Jesus – one body [Colossians 1:18].

Colossians 1:18

“He is the head of the body, the church ...”

To Jews, each day starts at sunset. The Sabbath is the last day of the week – a Saturday. It starts on Friday evening and ends on Saturday evening. Sunday follows the Sabbath. It is the first day of the week. It was the day that Jesus rose from the grave.

When Jesus rose from the dead, the church was born. The disciples became the firstfruits of the harvest – the first grain unto God. They saw the resurrected Lord on Sunday – the first day of the week by Jewish reckoning.

Israel had to bring a grain offering on the day after the Sabbath

The Lord’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. On the fifteenth day of that month the Lord’s Feast of Unleavened Bread begins ...

~ Leviticus 23:5-6

“When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. He is to wave the sheaf before the Lord so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath

~ Leviticus 23:9-11

Passover has been fulfilled. Jesus has accomplished redemption for all who believe in Him.

Now read ... What can we learn from the Passover meal?

Jewish Passover in Spain ca1350
Passover – Spain ca1350
Jews have kept the biblical feasts for more than 3,500 years. The story of the Exodus has been told at Passover wherever they have been scattered.
God had said: “This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.”
(Leviticus 23:14)

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