Why Do Christians Need to Know About Passover? (4/7/22)
Like so many things in the Old Testament, Passover foreshadows Christ. The Jews were delivered from slavery in Egypt around 1440 B.C. They had been abused and Pharaoh refused to let them go with Moses. There were ten plagues, culminating in the death of Egypt’s firstborn. We need to remember that Egypt had put Israel’s firstborn males to death eighty years earlier.
God told the Israelites to put the blood of a lamb on their doorposts, and the death angel would pass over. That’s what happened. Ever since, the Jews have celebrated Passover to remember that great deliverance. They celebrate at a special meal called the Seder. Unfortunately, for centuries most of them did not see Christ as the final sacrifice lamb, the fulfillment of the Feast. Let me mention just a couple symbols from the typical Passover Seder, or meal. First the shank bone of a lamb. This recalls the slaying of lambs so that the death angel would pass over their homes. (There is also the reminder of all ten plagues in the Passover meal). When Jesus came, he was announced by John as the “lamb of God to take away the sins of the world.”
During the meal, unleavened bread is used to remind them that they had to flee in haste, without time for yeast to rise in their bread. That’s why the Jews still celebrate with matzah bread. It’s also why Christians adopted the unleavened bread as the symbol of Christ’s sacrifice.
That takes us to Jesus’ last supper—it was a Passover meal. He said that the bread was his body that was to be broken for all believers. During the meal there are four cups of wine. They stand for Sanctification, Judgment, Redemption and Praise. The meal and ceremony last almost two hours. Jesus used the cup after supper, the cup of Redemption, to signify that his blood would cleanse us from sin and begin a new covenant. The Cross and Communion are signs that are still with us.
These are fascinating prophecies in the midst of the Jewish Passover celebration, and I’ve only mentioned a few of them. For now, let us remember Christ’s death on the cross for us. God promised the Lamb, Jesus came as the Lamb, and today we still celebrate the Lamb. We celebrate all that He is for all people on the earth.
Thank you Lord that Jesus came as the Lamb of God to take away our sins. We thank you for his sacrifice so that the ultimate angel of death passes over us and we have the promise of eternal life. Thank you Lord for the Sanctification of setting us apart by your Holy Spirit. Thank you for Judgment on the enemies of faith and that Jesus took our sins upon himself. Thank you for Redemption that we are bought back from sin. And thank you for Praise that fills and strengthens our lives today. Lord, let us dedicate ourselves to remembering this special time over the next week, as we prepare for Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday.
Thank you for the cross Lord, thank you for the price you paid
Bearing all my sin and shame, in love you came and gave amazing grace
Thank you for this love, Lord, Thank you for the nail pierced hand.
Wash me in your cleansing flow, now all I know, is your forgiveness and embrace
Worthy is the Lamb, Seated on the throne
I crown you now with many crowns, you reign victorious
High and lifted up, Jesus son of God
The darling of heaven crucified, Worthy is the Lamb….worthy is the Lamb