Brothers and sisters rejoice, for Yeshua Hamashiach, the Passover Lamb and Son of God, is Risen!
As Passover (April 14-20) and Easter (April 20) are celebrated this year, the two events have much more in common than many people realize.
They are cojoined by a common bond: Jesus is the Passover Lamb.
For our Jewish brothers and sisters, Passover commemorates God freeing the Hebrew people from bondage in the land of Egypt. For Christians, Easter celebrates the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
(Calvary Chapel will once again have its Sunrise Service at 6 a.m. April 20 at the StubHub Center’s Tennis Stadium in Carson).
The Lamb of God Was Slain for You
This Easter Sunrise service, when the sun’s rays bask the area in their early morning warmth, remember it is God reaching out to you – be you Jew or gentile – embracing each and every one of you to say, “Your sins are forgiven through the blood of my Son, Jesus. The Passover Lamb was slain for you. Rejoice, for He is risen!”
Just as the Angel of Death “passed over” the homes of the Hebrews who placed sacrificed lamb’s blood on their doorposts, so today God “passes over” our sins through the blood of His sacrificed lamb, Jesus.
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)
You are no doubt familiar with the Passover story, of how God led the oppressed Israelites out of the land of Egypt, convincing Pharaoh to release his captives after a series of devastating plagues.
But are you also aware that Jesus is the Passover Lamb that was slain?
The similarities between the blood sacrifice of Passover and the Crucifixion of Jesus are striking.
The blood of the Lamb is the catalyst for our freedom from bondage, then and now. Compare these two verses from the Old Testament and New Testament.
“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” (Leviticus 17:11)
“Indeed, according to the Law almost everything is purified by blood, and sins are forgiven only if blood is poured out.” (Hebrews 9:22)
The Passover Story of Exodus
First, the backdrop: God heard the cry of his Hebrew people who were being oppressed and tormented by Pharaoh. (Read more in Exodus 1:11-14)
He instructed and entrusted Moses and Aaron to lead the people out. (Read more in Exodus 12:1-29)
Pharaoh didn’t think it a good idea to lose all that free labor. In response, God hit Egypt with plagues, the final one being the death of every first-born child and animal.
To protect the Israelites from this deadly plague, God ordered that each household sacrifice a lamb, and apply its blood on its doorway so that the Destroyer that God sent to kill the first-born would “pass over” that house.
(To read the fascinating full Exodus story, go to Exodus 7-12)
It is interesting how God refers to the sacrifice of thousands of lambs that Passover night in the singular.
Exodus 12:6 says regarding Passover, “’You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.”
References to Jesus as the Lamb of God
There are various biblical references to Jesus as the Lamb, both in the Old and New Testaments.
The Hebrew prophet Isaiah prophesied:
“He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7)
Jeremiah, the “weeping prophet,” foreshadows the sacrifice of Jesus with God’s planned new covenant with the Hebrew people (see Jeremiah 30:31-34), whereby God says, “For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
God Passes over Our Sins through the Blood of Jesus
Our sins were forgiven the day Jesus, the sacrificial lamb, was crucified and His blood covered all mankind.
Read the wonderful verses in the New Testament:
“Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.” (1 Peter 1:18-20).
“Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch — as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. (1 Corinthians 5:7)
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
“In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Revelations 5:12)
The link between the Passover lamb and Jesus continues:
The lamb had to be a male in its prime and without blemish (Exodus 12:5). Jesus was in His prime when He was slain, and He was without blemish.
Many relate the word “unblemished,” in this instance, to only mean “sinless.” But it can be physical as well as sinless.
Not only was Jesus without sin (without blemish) but as the Son of God unblemished physically.
I read a commentary where a rabbi argued that because Jesus was beaten severely prior to His Crucifixion that this made Him blemished, negating His role as a sacrificial lamb.
That argument doesn’t hold water, however, because Jesus was unblemished when He was chosen as the sacrificial lamb. The severe beatings at the hands of the Romans were part of his Crucifixion.
This is in line with 1 Peter 1:19, describing Jesus as “a lamb without blemish or defect.”
The Significance of the Passover Seder and Jesus
Even the Jewish celebration of the Passover through the Seder meal offers great similarities to Jesus’ sacrifice.
There is purpose in everything that God does. For a detailed explanation of the Passover Seder, watch this enlightening video from Jews for Jesus, “Christ in the Passover” by David Brickner. (The video).
It wonderfully explains the significance of each item used in the Passover Seder, how Passover is conducted in a Jewish home, and how these items relate to Jesus as the Passover Lamb.
Through His sacrifice, Yeshua Hamashiach, the Son of God, brings both Jew and gentile redemption, salvation, forgiveness of sins and fellowship with the Father.
And the blood of the Lamb has defeated Satan (see Revelations 12:9-11).
Just as the blood of the lamb on their doorposts saved the Hebrews from death in Egypt, so the blood of the Lamb today gives us a way to exchange bondage and death for eternal life.
All we need do is apply the blood of Jesus on the doorposts of our lives.
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