Does Passover Proclaim Jesus?
Why did God command His children to observe the Passover every year? Did the sacrifice of the Passover lamb temporarily cover their sins? No!
“It is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” Hebrews 10:4
Then why did God’s people keep the Passover? It is true that it recounted God’s deliverance of His people from slavery in Egypt. God had commanded those who believed in Him to take a lamb, kill it, and eat it on the fourteenth day of the first month (Nisan). They were to take the blood of that lamb and sprinkle it on the sides and above their doorposts. When the death angel passed through Egypt that night he would pass over the houses that had the blood onthe doorposts. If a house did not have the blood, the death angel would visit that house and take the life of the firstborn male of every animal and even the first son of the family. The next day God delivered His people from their bondage in Egypt.
God commanded His people to observe this feast every year so that when their children asked, “why are we doing this?’ they could tell their children the story of God delivering His people out of bondage in Egypt. God specifically told them to tell their children, “This is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover” (Exodus 12:27). Why did God want His children to recount the story of the Passover? It taught them about the Messiah who was coming to deliver them from their bondage to sin. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Passover lamb!
“For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” I Corinthians 5:7
When Jesus ate the Passover meal with His disciples the evening before He was crucified, He told them “this do in remembrance of Me.” No longer would the Passover meal foreshadow the coming of the perfect lamb of God who would shed His blood to deliver His people from the bondage of sin, it would look back to the Messiah shedding His blood to redeem His people from sin. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross fulfilled the pictures of the Passover. How?
1. The Passover sacrifice had to be a lamb. When John the Baptist saw Jesus he said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sins of the world.” (John 1:29)
2. The Passover lamb had to be a male without blemish. Jesus never sinned (I Peter 1:19, 2:22).
3. The Blood of the Passover lamb delivered them from death. When it was sprinkled on the doorposts, the death angel passed over the house. Jesus shed His blood for us so that when we apply it to our lives we are delivered from eternal death. (Isaiah 53:1-10).
4. The unleavened bread symbolized freedom from sin (leaven). Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God died so we can be free from sin. (Hebrews 2:14-15).
Jesus is the perfect, ultimate, once for all Passover lamb sacrificed for us. Those who place the sacrificial blood of the Messiah over the doorposts of their hearts are freed from the bondage of sin. Will the Temple be rebuilt and sacrifices again be offered? Yes. Daniel 9:27 is very clear on the matter. Will the Passover lamb sacrifice take place? I don’t know but if it does it will be used to point to the finished work of Christ on the cross. We should embrace the Passover feast because Jesus the Messiah has fulfilled the pictures of the Passover.
©Dr. Steven L Smith 2017