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Understanding Passover

Flower of Spring
Flower of Spring
Oster Family Photos

God instituted the Passover to provide a way for the nation of Israel to commemorate deliverance from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. The Passover also pictures future deliverance from the bondage of sin through Christ. On the original Passover night, the people of Israel were to take the blood of the Passover lamb and, "strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it”, (Exodus 12:7). The blood of the slain lambs brushed onto the doorposts represents the shed blood of Christ that covered the Cross the Jesus on Mount Calvary.

At midnight, the death angel would pass through the land, and kill the firstborn of every family that did not have the blood of a lamb on the doorposts of the house. Since the Egyptians did not follow the instructions from God, there was a great cry of anguish throughout the nation of Egypt over the children who died that night. God used this great plague to bring deliverance to the people of Israel. In like manner, every individual who has received Jesus as their Savior has the blood of Christ applied to the doorposts of their heart.

The lambs slain for the Passover meal were a shadow of the Lamb slain on the Cross of Calvary. The Passover lamb was to be without blemish, as the Lamb slain on the Cross of Calvary was without sin. The Hebrew people were to eat the Passover lamb with bitter herbs, which is a picture of our sin. Each family was to consume the entire lamb, which teaches us that we must accept the Lord Jesus Christ into our heart without any reservation. It is not possible to straddle the fence between the Lord and the world for very long. The Lord wants us to turn our lives over to Him by faith in the blood shed on the cross of Calvary.

In much the same manner as the Hebrew children participated in the Passover, members of the New Testament Church participate in the Lord's Supper. There are many parallels between the two meals. When the Lord instituted the Lord's Supper, He used the words, "this do in remembrance of me”, (1 Corinthians 11:24), just as the Passover is observed by the Jewish people in remembrance of their deliverance from the Egyptians. Shortly after the Lord supped with His disciples, He shed His blood on the Cross of Calvary as the, "Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world”, (John 1:29).

People of the Jewish faith and people of the Christian faith have a shared Biblical heritage in the Old Testament. The difference between the two faiths being that Christians find authority for their faith in the New Testament, yet having respect for the truths found in the Old Testament. The shared heritage of these two faiths should be a bridge that leads to a mutual respect and understanding.

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