Summary: Although the Passover is filled with meaning, it’s primary emphasis is Redemption. The New Testament truth that “Christ died for our sins” is demonstrated well in the Passover.
The Feast of Passover (Pesach) Revealed
1. People are not as smart as they used to be.
2. Published Saturday, January 29, 2005
Crusade Against Eating Meat Turns Religious
By ABBY WEINGARTEN
New York Times Regional Newspapers
Meat and religious ceremony share a long history, a link so sacred that severing it may seem blasphemous to some.
Then there are others who assert that following an omnivorous diet is a sin all its own.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, has launched an advertising campaign with a bite -- one that suggests good Christians steer clear of flesh consumption, and that Jesus would have agreed with such advice.
3. Of course the absurdity of saying Jesus endorsed vegetarianism is absurd. As a faithful Jew who fully obeyed the Law of God, He had animal sacrifices offered and celebrated the Passover annually, and the Passover involved slaughtering and eating lamb.
4. I usually joke when a man in our church grows a beard. I say, “Great. You are becoming more like Jesus.” I guess I could say the same thing when you eat a lamb dinner!
5. Of course, when we refer to being Christ-like, we are talking about character, not imitating the life of Jesus.
6. But when it comes to the subject of food, we need to accept the reality that food is one interest we all have in common. There is a little bit of Emeril in all of us. God made us that way. As a result, different types of food play a major role in the Religious Festivals of Israel.
7. Just as we associate turkey and cranberries with Thanksgiving, so the ancient Jews associated Lamb and Matzoh – unleavened bread/crackers, with Passover.
8. But the Passover celebration was much more than a meal. It was an intensely religious event with a rich symbolism that foreshadowed the redemptive work of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
MAIN IDEA: Although the Passover is filled with meaning, it’s primary emphasis is Redemption. The New Testament truth that “Christ died for our sins” is demonstrated well in the Passover.
I. Passover Defined in the TORAH (Leviticus 23:4-5)
• What is the Torah? (instruction, esp. the Books of Moses)
1. Based on the DELIVERANCE of Israel from Egypt, out of bondage into freedom
2. This is defined for us in Exodus 12:3-14 passim
“Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household…The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.
“Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast…
“This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover….On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn-both men and animals-and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD .
“The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD -a lasting ordinance.”
3. The concept seen here: a PURE lamb is sacrificed, its blood shed and applied so that God’s wrath will “pass over” us.
• As we shall see, that is exactly how we are saved, forgiven, and that is how we are passed over when it comes to wrath time!
• Modern Jews do not typically eat Lamb anymore for Passover to grieve that the Jerusalem Temple is gone; they typically eat chicken, thus losing the symbolism;
But they include a lamb shank bone in their ritual to remind them of the lamb
• Non-Messianic Jews (the vast majority) view Passover merely as a celebration of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. Messianic Jews enter into the richness of its two fold meaing….looking back to Egypt and forward (from Moses’ time) to the Messiah.
II. Jewish Traditions That REVEAL Messiah
1. Whether these go back to the time of Moses or not is a matter of debate, but their meaning seems beyond coincidence. They were in PRACTICE at the time of Jesus.