As a Jew, I grew up celebrating Passover most years, and since I have become a Christ-follower, I celebrate Easter. (Side note: I am still Jewish, of course, even though I am also a Christian. Believing that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah does not stop me from being Jewish).
A couple of years after I became a follower of Jesus, while I was still in college, I started studying the Passover from a Christian perspective. My mind was blown! It suddenly seemed so obvious that Jesus was the fulfillment of this ancient holy feast.
To help you learn this, and to help you teach your kids, here are four days worth of scripture readings. For each day, you will see the context of the Old Testament Passover and the fulfillment in the New Testament. I hope you can use this over the next week, to help you draw near to God and know Him even more intimately.
Day 1: The Perfect Lamb Is Chosen
- In Exodus 12, Israel was commanded to choose a lamb on the 10th day of the first month (v. 3). This lamb needed to be unblemished (v. 5).
- In Matthew 21, Jesus entered Jerusalem on the this day, which we now call Palm Sunday. Note that instead of a lamb being picked, Jesus chose Himself to be our sacrifice. And He is without blemish or defect (I Peter 1:19), particularly since He never sinned.
Day 2: Death and Judgment
- The Passover lamb (in the Old Testament) was killed on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month. And the blood of the lamb was spread on the doorposts of the house. In Exodus 12:6-13, judgment came to those did not obey these instructions in faith.
- Jesus the Lamb was crucified on what we call Good Friday. Our sins deserve death (Romans 6:23). We need to "apply" Jesus's blood to our lives, by having faith in His life, death, and resurrection.
Day 3: God's Purpose and Redemption
- God didn't just want a judgment for the Egyptians that enslaved the Hebrews. His ultimate purpose was to rescue and redeem His people, so that they would know God and dwell intimately with Him (Exodus 6:2-8).
- Jesus didn't come to live and die for nothing. He didn't do it to set a good example or be a good moral teacher. Jesus died because we need to be saved from the penalty of our sins. Through faith, we are saved from our sins and can have eternal life (John 3:16).
Day 4: Remembrance
- Passover was intended not as a one-time event, but as a memorial throughout all generations (Exodus 12:14-20). Parents needed to keep telling their children the story of God's great redemption.
- Likewise, Jesus gave a new meaning to the Passover, a meaning that we are to continually remember. Jesus took the unleavened bread and wine and said, "Do this in remembrance of me." (Luke 22).When we celebrate Communion (or, the Lord's Supper), that is what we are doing -- remembering His body that was broken and His blood that was spilled.
Did you know that what many call "The Last Supper" was actually a Passover celebration? It was no coincidence that Jesus made this meal his last one with the disciples before His death. Jesus was declaring to the disciples (and to us), "I am the Passover Lamb."
And it's also no coincidence that in the book of Revalation, Jesus is called "The Lamb" more than any other name (including Lord, King, etc). Truly,
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:12)
- Celebrating Passover as a Messianic Jew
- Passover and Easter Ideas
- What's the Origin of the Passover Afikomen?
- Easter: The Crux of the Matter
**image courtesy of kckellner via sxc.hu