Summary: The words of the Lord to Israel concerning the Passover should be precious to us, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” We are all offered the gift of being “passed over” – salvation through faith in the shed blood of Jesus, our Passover Lamb.
1 Corinthians 5:7 - Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
Paul writes this letter to the Corinthians believers who were most likely familiar with the Exodus event of the Passover
To understand why Christ was referred to as the Passover by Paul, we need to understand the Exodus event better
Introduction to Passover:
The Passover, as you may be aware, has been celebrated by the Jews since their Exodus from Egypt.
Egypt was devastated by a series of nine plagues. But there was still one last plague, the most severe of all. With all (or at least most) of the previous plagues, Israel was exempted. Their cattle did not die (Ex. 9:6). Their crops were unharmed (Ex. 9:26). Even the was no continuous darkness in their land (Ex. 10:23). Not because they did something to avoid these other plagues, it was God who kept those plagues away from them.
The final plague was different. God announced that He was going to kill every firstborn son in Egypt (includes the land of Goshen where the Israelites lived) - from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, to the firstborn son of the slave girl, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. Exo 12:12. So this plague included everyone.
You may won why the firstborn of the Israelites were included?
Ezekiel 20:4–10 – Israelites worshipped the false gods of Egypt! God can’t simply ignore that sin.
Romans 3:10-12 - “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable
But the Israelites had a provision to escape final plague
Exo 12:13 - Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
Here’s where the Passover comes in. God instructed the Israelites to slaughter an unblemished lamb and make a meal of it. They were to eat in a hurry, ready to get up and go, because the Lord was about to call them to move out of Egypt.
The Passover lamb and the celebrations were the shadow of Christ substitutional death for us. That was to show that Jesus would die one day as our Passover lamb.
Let’s see the instructions of the Passover:
1. 12:1 – 3 - Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.
The lamb was the animal chosen. Unlike other sacrifices where bulls and pigeons were allowed, for Passover, it was only the lamb.
It was symbolic of Jesus who would be the lamb slain for the sins of mankind
John 1:29 - The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world
2. 12:5 - Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year.
- It was to be a male lamb without blemish
This represents Jesus who remained spotless and sinless
- 1 Peter 1:19 - But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot
3. 12:6 - now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month.
The Passover lamb was to be chosen and set apart on the 10th day of the first month of Nissan.
Fulfillment: On the 10th day of Nissan, Jesus rode into Jerusalem where he was going to be arrested and crucified
The lamb was to be inspected for four days until the 14th day of the month for any spot or blemish that might disqualify it as the sacrificial lamb.
Fulfillment: Jesus openly taught in the synagogue until the 14th day of the month and they could find no no fault in Him.
At the appointed time, the Passover lambs were slain by the whole congregation of Israel.
Fulfillment: On the day of the Passover, Jesus was crucified just as the Passover lambs were being slaughtered.
4. Exodus 12:46 - None of its bones must be broken. This was also symbolic that none of Jesus’ bones were broken.
John 19:31-34 tells us that when the soldiers wanted to break His legs to hasten his death, they found that He was already dead, so a soldier pierced His side with a spear but did not break His legs.