Passover Compared to Easter, It’s just as Personal
Have you ever wondered what’s the point? Passover is a Jewish ordinance. Why do we read so much about Passover in scripture? Is it relevant?
This the greatest rescue story of all time. OUR rescue story, which isn’t a story at all – it’s reality. Passover is personal
Join me in this study as we look to see how the Passover points to the last week of Jesus’ life, His work on the cross, our Easter celebration and what it means to us today.
Wrapping up our last study before Easter which really is a celebration of the Resurrection. During this study we’ve been dialing into some of the details of the last week of Jesus’ life. This week is known by many as Holy Week. Looking at what this week looked like so many years ago is so helpful to get us away from check boxing our way through Easter, and helping us focus to what this season is truly all about.
Today we’re going to focus on the details of Passover, and how the last week of Jesus life correlates in a lock step manner to what God laid out for the Israelites to follow 1500 years prior to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
The Israelites had many different ordinances they followed, but none of them are as prominent as Passover.
And none of them are mentioned as many times in the New Testament.
I’ve heard several Christians in my life mention to me that they focus on the New Testament. They don’t spend time digging into the Old Testament, because they feel as thought it was irrelevant, and no longer matters. I strongly disagree with this statement. All of God’s Word is important. Every jot and tittle matters – or in other words not the least stroke of a pen will disappear from the law until everything is accomplished.
The Old Testament is absolutely necessary, and when you take time to dig, you find Jesus all over it – and it takes what we find in the New Testament and it stretches those roots, the depth of what we find there, the profoundness of the revelations we receive – are increased substantially. It brings in to focus, and sharpens the image of what we learn in the New Testament. Here – we see this on grand display.
Let’s dive in and learn how the Passover is personal, but before we do, go grab a pen, a notebook, a cup of coffee, a device to take notes – whatever you need do, we’re about to get started.
The Passover is personal.
We already said this is found in the Old Testament – but where? It’s in the Exodus. Exodus is a beautiful book that covers the story of Israel exiting Egypt. They’re being freed from bondage. That in and of it’s self is directly applicable to us.
Egypt is a type of the world. It’s a picture, it’s an image, directly relevant and applicable to us. It represents our worldly culture. We all have an Egypt the Lord desires to free us from.
What we find in the Exodus is Egypt. Egypt was under control of Pharaoh. Much the same for us, so the world is under the power of Satan. Looking further we see Pharaoh and he’s not wanting to let go of the Israelites who have been kept in bondage for 430 years. Relating this to our own lives we know all too well the struggle.
We all have our own personal Egypt we need freed of; drugs, alcohol, financial struggle, depression, anxiety, toxic relationships, poor decision making, whatever it is – a worldly idea, lifestyle, that we are stuck in and just can’t seem to break free from.
Just as we see of Pharaoh, our enemy doesn’t want to let go of us either.
Looking to our study today we see God provides a way out for the Israelites – which is exactly the same for us. And getting that freedom points us to the Passover and we find it in Exodus 12:1-12.
What is the Passover?
The Passover is a Jewish ordinance made up of three parts.
- The killing and eating of the paschal lamb.
- The sprinkling of the blood upon the door-posts.
- The feast of unleavened bread for seven days following.
We’re going to approach this study a little bit differently by taking these 12 verses and examining their parallel to Holy Week and what Easter means as we read.
Here we find God changes their calendar. Still to this day, Jews have two calendars. A civil, and a spiritual. In making this change, God was saying to them, “This is the beginning.” When we consider He was marking the beginning of the year with Spring – the beauty of this is increased. In Spring all things are coming alive. When we consider that the Lord uses that natural to explain the Spiritual and our discussion earlier in this series about the death of a seed leading to a new creation – and new life, we see God showing us Everything begins at this moment, which points us to Holy Week – and how everything truly begins with the Gospel.
In this verse we learn this applies to the entire community, and the lamb is to be selected on the 10th day. When we map this over to Holy Week we see Jesus is presented to Israel on the 10th day. We just celebrated it with Palm Sunday, His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.
They were to observe this within their families. Faith is built in our homes – and the importance of this and family can be seen here.
Jesus is our Passover Lamb (1 Co. 5:7)
We find in Exodus the following requirements for the lamb:
1.) It was to be a lamb; and Christ is the Lamb of God.
2.) It was to be a male of the first year. Mature enough to be full-grown at the peak of their days. Comparing this to Jesus, He offered himself in the midst of his days. He was with us for 33 years, and that was it.
3.) It was to be without blemish. This points to the purity of Jesus. He was the Lamb without spot, We talked previously, Pilate stated multiple times – I find no fault in him. He was innocent of the crime Barabbas was guilty of. The same crime we’re all guilty of.
4.) It was to be set apart four days. The Triumphal Entry (Palm Sunday) happens 4 days before the crucifixion. This is the same day that the paschal lamb was selected.
Twilight was between 3-5pm. They were to care for the lamb until the 14th. inspecting, caring for it, examining it to be sure it was without blemish. When we look to the last week of Jesus’ life we find he died on the 14th at 3pm. We know it happened and at the the exact moment, the veil was torn. The veil was torn at the exact moment the Paschal lamb was being killed. Can you imagine what the Priests thought? Did he realize what had just happened?
This verse says, it was to be killed by the whole congregation. Jesus suffered by the hand of the Jews, the whole multitude of them (Lu. 23:18).
At the time of the evening sacrifice for Passover. The high pries would go to the altar, cut the throat of the lamb with a knife and said the words ‘it is finished.’ The same last words we know Jesus said right before He died on the cross.
Jesus died for everyone, but not everyone applies him to their life. When we look here we see it wasn’t enough that the blood of the lamb was slain, but that it was applied. We must receive him.
In Exodus 12:22 we learn they were to use a bunch of Hyssop, dip it in the blood in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two door posts.
This was a public profession of their faith and trust in the Lord.
It required faith which Hebrews 11:28 tells us,
Through faith Moses kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
The hyssop branch
When we look to it we can liken it to our application of faith – our trust in His word. Hyssop is used for cleansing. It represents God’s compassion. Used in purification. The same is true in the application of our faith, and we find the purification symbol again when we look to the Cross.
Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:28–30)
John is the only gospel writer that calls out this tiny detail.
I’m part of a small group. It’s one of my favorite things – gathering together with others and talking about the word of God. One thing that I love so much about these times together is the different perspective we all have. Hearing your take, sharing mine. We all have a different perspective and different details stand out to us. It reminds me somewhat of the Gospel writers. I was listening to a podcast earlier this week and it was talking about the value of the different perspectives the Gospel writers had. There were different details that stood out to each of them, and all of those details are needful and important. John is the one that draws out this important little nugget – and in doing so it’s sharpening some of the details the others bring into view.
Psalm 51:7 Purge me with Hyssop and I will be clean.
This is a cleanse from our worldly nature and desires. It symbolizes the cleansing of our mind. The cross marks the beginning of our cleanse. There’s more that we can pull out of the Hyssop and the cross, but what I want us to take at this moment is that reminder that Hyssop is symbolic of cleansing, and purification. It’s by no mistake that John is calling the type of stalk out specifically.
The lamb was eaten the same night – just as God’s judgement poured out on Jesus in the same day. The Passover lamb was to be eaten with bitter herbs to remind them where they came from. The unleavened bread is a reminder of his sinlessness – there was no leaven in him. It reminds us of our need to keep moving forward in our faith. To continue on with this process of sanctification. Leaven is a metaphor for false doctrine. It cuts us off from the people of God.
It had to be roasted on fire. NOT boiled in water. Anything left had to be burned. This points directly to Jesus work on the Cross. At Easter we celebrate, when Jesus was crucified nothing was left undone. But this also points us to the God being our provider. He is our daily bread, and He will show them this over and over again with manna in the wilderness.
But not just slain but consumed. We are to feast on what Jesus has done for us – He is our daily bread. As long as we live we are to feast on this daily bread, making mention of Him and glorifying Him for what He has done.
We can’t stay where we are. Friends, we must always be ready. Fact, we don’t know when our Lord will return.
35 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;
36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.
40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.
God shows us here the way of escape. On the cross, He shows us our way of escape. Here we see it reinforced, when times of chaos come God is our wall, our shield, our place of refuge, our strong tower.
The angel wasn’t looking for good people. He was looking for the blood. He wasn’t looking at personal worthiness because only the Lamb is worthy – the same is true for us.
This is a lasting ordinance to keep pointing them to Jesus. To teach their children, to propel the message of the Passover forward.
It is this lasting ordinance that we remember this time of year. It is this lasting ordinance, these correlations that we as mothers, and spiritual mothers need to take time to impart on our children.
To remember for ourselves.
The Passover directly applies and is personal to us. It’s a reminder to us of the powerful redemptive work of the Blood. The necessary work of the Blood in our own life.
Let’s not be so busy this week checking boxes preparing the outfits, the meal, packing the eggs, filling the baskets that we forget what this is all about. Let’s remember to take time to linger in His word – and remember this isn’t just a tradition we’re adhering to.
This the greatest rescue story of all time. OUR rescue story, which isn’t a story at all – it’s reality. A reality that we all will face as one day we stand face to face with the One who died and is looking us over to see has the blood been applied?
Let’s be reminded it’s not about our good works, our good nature – it’s about our Good Father – and His precious Blood, and the power of His Blood, and our faith and trust to apply it and make it personal.