Feast of Passover as a Picture of the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Messiah)

Basic Jewish Observance of Passover

At the initial observance of Passover in Egypt by the people of Israel the Passover continued to be observed each year on the 14th day of the first month (the Jewish month Abib or Nisan). It commemorated the sacrifice by Jewish people of lambs at the first passover to protect them from God's wrath against the firstborn son in Egypt. God took this action in order to force the Egyptians to let Israel go out of slavery to their own land in Canaan or what we now know as the land of Israel or the Holy Land. In the continuing observance of Passover the Jews were to take a lamb or animal of their herd and offer it in the place God appointed them and not in their own homes. The place God appointed them turned out to be first the Tabernacle in the wilderness, then the Tabernacle in Shiloh then the Temple in Jerusalem. Since God specified that the Passover animal was to be sacrificed only at a place He appointed and not at their own homes, this might be a main reason why Bible believing Jews like the Temple Mount Faithful want to build a Jewish Temple again in Jerusalem as soon as possible. The Passover was also to be sacrificed at evening at sundown since that was when the original Jewish Passover lambs were sacrificed in Egypt. The Passover was also to be roasted as the means of preparing it for their sacrifice and for the Jews to eat it. A scripture passage giving some of this background about the observance of Passover can be found in Deuteronomy 16:

Observance of the Passover According to Deuteronomy 16

Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the LOTD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night. Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto the LORD thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD shall choose to place his name there. ... Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee: But at the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt. And thou shalt roast and eat it in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: and thou shalt turn in the morning, and go unto thy tents. Dueteronomy 16:1-2, 5-7.

Time of Passover Observance According to Leviticus 23

In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD's passover. Leviticus 23:5.

Further Background of Original Passover

In the full historical account of the original Passover in Exodus 12 further details about the Passover are given. These include that the Passover lamb or goat was to be without blemish and that its blood was to be pasted on the top and sides of the door of the houses of the people of Israel so the destroying angel would know that they were God's people that had exercised faith in God by sacrificing a lamb or goat and applying the blood to their doors according to His commandment. This would differentiate them from the Egyptians who God was judging for their belief in idols or false gods as well as for not letting Israel go back to their promised land in Canaan or the Holy land of Israel. God also instructed the Israelites to eat the Passover in haste or to eat it and be ready to flee Egypt right away for the Promised Land. The historical record of Passover in Exodus 12 is as follows:

Historical Account of 1st Passover in Egypt According to Exodus 12

And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye(you) unto 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 an house: And if the household be too little for an lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye 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. 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 they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs shall they eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden(boiled) at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance(inner organs) thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD's passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. Exodus 12:1-13

Introduction and Key Verse of Application of Passover Lamb to Death of Jesus Christ(Messiah) For our Sins

The most explicit verse in the New Testament linking the passover lamb and the passover in general to the Lord Jesus Christ(the Messiah) and His death on the cross is found in 1 Corinthians 5:7. In that verse Jesus Christ is called our (believers in God through Him) Passover. This verse also says that He has been sacrificed which took place about 30 AD when the Lord Jesus Christ the Messiah and Saviour of the world died for the sins of everyone in the human race. However we must apply His blood to the "door" of our hearts by personally confessing our sins to God in Jesus' name and asking Jesus to come into our lives as our personal Lord and Saviour for us to be spared from God's (eventual) wrath or smiting people of the world who die in their sins and so we instead join in God's deliverance from this ungodly world. (Egypt throughout the Bible is a symbol of this present world system that is defined by the philosophy and activity of Satan, demons and (so far)ungodly, unbelieving or unrepentent human beings.) By applying Jesus' blood to our hearts and lives in this way we get God's eternal salvation, deliverance, grace and love instead of His wrath and judgment. The reference to the Lord Jesus Christ(Messiah) as the Passover Lamb in 1 Corinthians 5 is as follows:

The Lord Jesus Christ (Messiah) Called the Passover Lamb in 1 Corinthians 5:7

Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ (Messiah) our passover is sacrificed for us. 1 Corinthians 5:7

The Original Lord's Supper a New Covenant Passover Supper

In the Gospels in the New Testament (New Covenant) the Lord Jesus Christ observed the Passover supper with His disciples. This is quite understandable since they were all of Jewish background including the Lord Jesus according to the flesh. This passover supper was partaken of on the Thursday evening before the Passover sabbath (Saturday). In the Lord's Supper/Passover Supper the Lord Jesus Christ gave new meaning to some of the elements of the Passover and Passover Supper.

The Cup at the Passover Supper/Lord's Supper

Specifically the cup that he took to drink of with His disciples was and is still called by Jewish people at Passover the cup of redemption. For the Jews they would think of God's redemption(buying back) of their people from the slavery of Egypt and Pharoah. For the Christian we have a similiar meaning with Jesus saying the cup was His blood shed for the remission (forgiveness) of (our) sins. In God's Word - the Holy Bible blood always has the meaning of the life giving or sustaining element of humans or animals. Our sins keep us in bondage to the world and the devil or other demons. In the Bible Egypt is symbolic of the world and Pharoah is symbolic of Satan - the devil.

The Bread in the Passover/Lord's Supper

In the Old Testament the Passover lamb or other sacrificial animal had to be healthy and without blemish. The Lord Jesus fulfilled this also in a spiritual sense with His sinless life and nature and because He was giving Himself as God in the flesh or in a human nature as a sacrifice for our sins. At the Passover Supper (unleavened) bread was also broken and eaten. This was also the case for the Lord Jesus Christ(Messiah) and His disciples. Throughout the Bible unleavened bread is symbolic of something untainted by sin or evil while leaven (yeast) is always a symbol of sin. Therefore Jesus breaking the bread and distributing it to His disciples in the Passover Supper would originally mean taking and eating food untainted by sin. In the New Testament application the Lord Jesus said that the bread represented His body broken for His disciples or all the people of the world especially those who trust in Him. This was speaking of the suffering He went through in His body with the nails that held him to the cross and the strain of hanging on the cross. The account of the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) observing the Passover Supper and giving it the New Covenant (New Testament) significance in His then imminent death on the cross is found in the Gospel of Matthew 26 as follows:

The Lord Jesus Christ Observing Passover Supper and Giving it New Covenant Significance as the Lord's Supper

Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee(you) to eat the passover? And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy(your) house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. ... And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and gave to his disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament(new covenant), which is shed for many for the remission(forgiveness) of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth(any more) of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. And when they had sung a hymn(probably from Psalm 113-118 called the Grand Hallel and sung by Jews at Passover), they went out into the Mount of Olives. Gospel of Matthew 26:17-20, 26-30.

The Lord Jesus Christ(Messiah) Called the Lamb of God

John the Baptist - the forerunner to the Messiah when he announced Jesus Christ to the people of Israel called Jesus the Lamb of God. The people of Israel would understand that the lamb of God refers in part to the passover lamb which Jesus fulfilled on the cross. This is mentioned in the Bible in the Gospel of John 1.

Jesus Christ called the Lamb of God in Gospel of John 1

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. Gospel of John 1:29

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