Summary: Today's Message looks at the Feast of Passover through one of its names, "A Festival of Freedom." Here we will learn about God’s true freedom and rest through God's Passover, the Messiah Jesus as the Lamb of God.
Passover: A Festival of Freedom
As I was putting together this message, I became somewhat confused, and for all of you who know me, you know that this is a constant state that I find myself in. Yet, this was somewhat more than that, because I kept going back and forth between doing several different messages on the Passover.
And there was a moment where I seriously considered casting lots, which is the biblical definition for rolling the dice, flipping a coin, or saying “enie, mine, mini, mo.” And then I thought about praying, which is quite an innovative concept. And then I realize that the Lord was giving me just one message, that had these various aspects as a part of it.
And it all came when I was looking at one of the names given to the Passover feast, and that is, “A Festival of Freedom.” What this means is that Passover is a time of celebration and of great joy as the Jewish people gather to remember how God delivered them from their Egyptian bondage.
Now, this word, “remember,” is a key to our understanding, and I’ll get to this in a bit, but for now, the Passover is that time when the children of Israel, the Jews, are to remember what God did for them as He set them free.
And so, my question is, “Did the Jews experience real freedom?” We’re they truly free? Are the Jews a free people today? Or for that matter, is there anyone who is truly free?
So, before we delve further, I want to go and look at what the Lord said about the Passover.
“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 day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man's need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. … (and) you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord's Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. 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. 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.’” (Exodus 12:1-14 NKJV)
Up to this point, the Jewish people had been in Egypt for about 400 years. They came to Egypt when Jacob brought the whole family there to escape the great drought. Now, the Lord prepared the way by sending Jacob’s son, Joseph, before them, who became the 2nd most powerful man in the world. But, after Joseph’s death there was a Pharaoh who didn’t know Joseph, or better, never respected his legacy. And because the Jewish people became too numerous, the Egyptians forced them into slavery.
To free them from slavery, God raised up a deliverer. No, it wasn’t Charleston Heston, but Moses. Moses was born to the tribe of Levi, but through God’s intervention was raised as the son of Pharaoh’s sister. But seeing the injustice done to the Jews, he stepped in and killed an Egyptian. Fearing for his life, he fled into the wilderness eventually ending up in the land of Midian, where he married the daughter of Jethro, a priest of Midian.