Skip to main content

Christ Our Passover

For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.
(1 Corinthians 5:7)


Passover

God promised to make a great nation of Abraham. Genesis records God's faithfulness in beginning to fulfill these promises through the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As Genesis ends we see that God has orchestrated events in order to bring the sons of Israel (Jacob) into Egypt.

When they entered into Egypt there were about 70 persons in all. Over the next four hundred and thirty years the people multiplied greatly. God brought them out of the land of Egypt with powerful plagues in order to make them a holy nation, set apart for His great name.

The series of plagues drew a distinction between the sons of Israel and the Egyptians. The final plague was the harshest and was a foreshadowing of the coming Christ. The Apostle Paul makes it plain that Christ is the fulfillment of the Passover.

Distinguishing The People of God

God declared the purpose of the plagues from the beginning.
"But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where My people are living, so that no swarms of insects will be there, in order that you may know that I, the LORD, am in the midst of the land. I will put a division between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign will occur."' (Exodus 8:22-23)
Distinction
God intended to draw a distinction between His people and the people of Egypt. He intended to demonstrate that He was in the midst of the land. God wanted all to come to the same conclusion.
"For this time I will send all My plagues on you and your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is no one like Me in all the earth. For if by now I had put forth My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, you would then have been cut off from the earth. But, indeed, for this reason I have allowed you to remain, in order to show you My power and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth." (Exodus 9:14-16, underline added)
If you simply read through the account of the plagues in Exodus 7-11 you will see the repeated theme. The distinction between God's people and the Egyptians. How God's power and name are magnified in His judgments upon Egypt while protecting His own people in the land of Goshen.

All of the plagues were intended to culminate in the final demonstration.

The Passover and Death of the Firstborn

God had a very specific purpose with the final plague. Moses had fled from Egypt to the land of Midian. Moses remained in Midian for forty years before God appeared to him in the burning bush. Before Moses returned to Egypt to confront Pharaoh, God told Moses the ultimate purpose.
The LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD, "Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I said to you, 'Let My son go that he may serve Me'; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn."'" (Exodus 4:21-23, underline added)
The final plague of the death of the firstborn was to serve as a major sign of the coming Messiah. To maintain the distinction and deliver His people from the judgment upon the firstborn, God instructed His people to participate in the Passover.
'For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments-- I am the LORD. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.' (Exodus 12:12-13)
Blood
The blood of the lamb on their house would literally cause the judgment of God to pass over them and fall upon every house that was not covered with the blood of a lamb. Moses made it clear that God's instructions must be obeyed perfectly and that to remain safe the sons of Israel must remain inside their dwelling after applying the blood to their homes.
Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go and take for yourselves lambs according to your families, and slay the Passover lamb. You shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you." (Exodus 12:21-23)
After both of these instructions Moses made it clear that this major event was to be celebrated annually to remember God's deliverance of His people and the formation of the nation by bringing them out of Egypt with a mighty display of power. As they remembered the original Passover, they were also to redeem every firstborn of their own in every generation.

Fulfilled In Christ

The imagery of judgment passing over individuals and households is the essence of the gospel and salvation in Christ. When the sons of Israel heard of the coming judgment and the means of deliverance, all who heard and acted accordingly were saved. Likewise, the gospel declares that a Day of Judgment is coming and all who take refuge in Christ will be saved from judgment. The message of Christianity is essentially a declaration of what God has provided for judgment to pass over guilty sinners. Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed. All who hope to be saved from the penalty for their own sin must have His blood deliver them from judgment.

The inclusion of the firstborn being killed in Egypt and the ongoing redemption of all the firstborn in the sons of Israel likewise pointed to the only begotten Son of God who would come and lay down His own life willingly as the Lamb of God.

Lamb of God
Finally, the very specific aspect that the lamb to be slain on the first Passover was not to have any bone broken (Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12) was perfectly fulfilled in the suffering of Christ on the cross. Written 1400 years before the birth and crucifixion of Jesus, this prophecy was dramatically fulfilled when Jesus was the only man of the three crucified that day whose legs were not broken.
So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, "NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BE BROKEN." (John 19:32-36)

Conclusion

God's purpose in the judgments leading up to the Passover and exodus of the sons of Israel from Egypt were to point to the salvation that was to be perfectly achieved in and through Christ. These events were to be remembered and celebrated each year to continually point to the coming Messiah.

Celebrate Christ
Now that Christ has come and has been sacrificed we must heed the call to repent and trust in Him alone. There is salvation found in no one else and no other means to escape the coming judgment.

While we should celebrate our salvation in Christ we should also heed the Apostle's instruction to those who have taken refuge in Christ:
Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5:7-8)
God used the original Passover to bring His people out of Egypt so they could be a holy people unto Himself. Likewise, Christians are called to be a holy people unto God in Christ. The language of cleaning out the old leaven is a reference to ridding ourselves of the old, sinful way of life from which we were redeemed. The blessing of salvation is not just an escaping of judgment but a call to a new life - a celebration of sincerity and truth.




Comments

Popular Posts

Prayer vs. Petition

Q: What's the difference between prayer and petition? Phil 4:6 for example.

A: An excellent word study question! When attempting to study words from the text it is necessary to analyze the word being studied in the original language (in this case Greek) as attempting to look up the words in English will often produce erroneous results.

For example, in English the word petition has within its range of meanings things that are certainly not within the scope of meanings for the Greek word (i.e. “a sheet that is signed to demonstrate agreement with some principle or desire for some social action to be taken” is part of the range of “petition” but not of the Greek deesis from which “petition” is translated).

The word most commonly translated as “prayer” in our English Bibles is proseuche, which appears 36 times in the New Testament (NT) in one form or another (for the purposes of this study, we are only examining the usage of these words as nouns – the verbal forms will not be included…

10 Things An Evangelist Is Not

You've probably heard the term Evangelist before. Most people have. The term most likely brings something to mind. Sometimes positive. Often negative.

Does your idea match what other people think of when they hear the term evangelist?

More importantly, do any of these ideas match what the Bible tells us an evangelist is?
The truth is that most of the popular ideas about what an evangelist is and does are based on the culture, not the Bible. This is a problem.

The cultural idea of an evangelist is so popular that it is beginning to be used by companies. If you go to popular job sites and put the term evangelist into the search bar you will find many non-church jobs looking for evangelists. Many of these positions include the duties of spreading knowledge about a particular company, product, service, or idea.
The Bible tells us that Jesus gave some Evangelists for His church.And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers

5 Keys To Effective Witness

Content is important. But it's not the only thing. Some evangelistic methods are presented as if they are the perfect witnessing method. Some think memorizing a method and mechanically delivering the content means you have effectively witnessed.

Witness throughout the New Testament demonstrates this is not accurate. There is not a cookie-cutter approach that is applied the same way every time.
Content is extremely important. Without the right content our witness cannot be effective. Messing with the content of the gospel voids its power. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void. (1 Corinthians 1:17) Focusing only on content fails to recognize that we are not preaching to the air. We are preaching to persons.
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel,…

Lift Up The Son, Part 2

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
(Romans 15:4)

(If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.)

The Apostle Paul quoted a verse from Psalm 69 before making his comment in Romans 15:4. When he speaks of whatever was written before he means what we have recorded in the Old Testament. He simply called them the Scriptures.

God inspired the Hebrew Scriptures, our Old Testament. Paul said they were written for the instruction of New Testament believers. Through perseverance and encouragement in the Scriptures we can have hope. The Old Testament is not supposed to be ignored by Christians.

As we apply this to our task of lifting up the Son, that in and through Christ our Father may be glorified, we encounter a word of caution.

It is easy to agree on the surface that the church ought to talk about Jesus. That's a given. But are we aware that not everyone means th…

Fullness By Design

My wife and I are expecting our 8th child this year. I want my children to grow to full maturity. That's not to say that I want to skip the fun things that accompany young kids. I don't want to skip any of it. As each day passes I realize how quickly these moments are gone.

The march toward adulthood is inevitable. Every day, we all get older. I must be aware that my children are growing up, whether I like it or not.

But maturity is not the same as age. It is possible to get older while never really growing up.

When I say that I want my children to grow to full maturity what I mean is: I desire my children to realize their potential. I want them to grow into responsible adults.

I don't want my three sons to live in my house indefinitely. They shouldn't be expecting their mother to cook and clean for them into their thirties. Part of my responsibility as a father is to steward the children God has so graciously given us. We are to raise them so that they can be delivere…