“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians (Ex 6:6-7 NIV)
The mighty arm of God redeemed Israel from slavery and Egyptian bondage through the death of the first born and the blood of a lamb on the door post of the Israeli homes. Exodus 12:1-14 describes how the redemptive events would take place.
1. God was going to send a death angel throughout the land of Egypt. The first born of all animals and humans would be killed.
2. The Israelite families were to search through their flocks and find a one year old male lamb that was without blemish.
3. On the fourteenth day of Abib the lamb was to be slaughtered at twilight and the blood of the lamb painted on the door post of the house.
4. The lamb was to be roasted and eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
5. They were to eat the meal dressed ready for travel.
6. When the death angel came through the land he would Passover all who had painted their door posts with the blood of the lamb.
“So this day shall be to you a memorial: and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance” (Ex. 12:14). Jesus kept this memorial feast. “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God” (Luke 22:15-16).
Jesus had celebrated Passover all of his earthly life, why was this Passover so special?
The full meaning and purpose of Passover would be fulfilled in the events that were about to follow.
1. Jesus, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” was born in the fields where the Passover lambs were raised.
2. The birth of Jesus was first viewed by the shepherds who cared for the Passover lambs.
3. Jesus was crucified during Passover as the lamb who would deliver all of mankind from the slavery of sin and the one who had the power of death (Eph. 1:7; Heb. 2:14).
4. Every portion of the Passover meal holds the symbol of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for mankind.
- Jesus was examined his final days before he was crucified as the lamb was to be examined.
- The Passover meal has a cloth with three compartments each containing a loaf of unleavened bread. The Jewish families believe it represents Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The center loaf is removed and broken. Half is returned to the cloth the other portion is hidden and later searched for by children who receive a prize when they find it. Jesus took this portion of the unleavened bread and broke it and said, “This is my body which is broken for you.” The cloth with the three loaves did not represent Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Rather, it represented the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
- Jesus took the “cup of redemption” and said, “This cup is the new covenant in blood.” Jesus blood would be the blood of redemption, not the blood of an animal (Hebrews 9:11-15).
- After the meal the children search for the hidden piece of unleavened bread. When it is found a prize is given to the child who found it. The morning of the third the women came and found the body of Jesus gone. They told the disciples who went searching and his body was not there. Later Jesus appeared to all the disciples and to as many as five hundred at one time. All who find Jesus receive the wonderful gift of eternal life.
This is only a small portion of the way Passover reveals a beautiful picture of Jesus Christ. Each of the feasts of Israel brings a greater revelation of Jesus Christ and His redemption of mankind.
You have just read a guest post by my father Dr. F Dean Hackett. He is the author of F. Dean Hackett – Foundational and Sr Pastor of Living Faith Church in Hermiston, OR. He has been in full-time ministry for over 30 years, during which time he has both successfully pastored many churches as well as planted many others. But most importantly, he is my dad! You can read his other guest posts here and here