Where does the feast of Passover come from?
The Jewish people were in slavery in Egypt, in terrible suffering under the Pharaoh. God called Moses and told him to go to Egypt and bring his people out of slavery. But …Pharaoh refused to let them go, and each time he refused, terrible judgments fell upon Egypt. Finally, in the last judgment, the death of the firstborn in all the Egyptian homes including Pharaoh’s, he relented and allowed them to leave.
God had told Moses to tell the Jewish people to kill a lamb as a sacrifice, and to put its blood on the doorway, some on the top lintel, then some on each side. Then when the angel of death came to bring death to the firstborns, any house that had the blood of the lamb on its doorway – was PASSED OVER.
In the Bible’s book of Exodus, chapter 12, God told the Jewish people to celebrate every year throughout their generations the fact that they were PASSED OVER when the angel brought death to every other house.
But that wasn’t the end of the miracles. Moses led the children of Israel out towards the promised land. But Pharaoh changed his mind and sent his armies after them to destroy them.
They had made it as far as the Red Sea, but then came Pharaoh’s army and they were caught between the approaching armies on one side, and the sea on the other.
Just as they were about to despair, Moses raised his rod and the Sea parted. The Jews went across on dry land and as the armies followed them, the water came back onto the armies and drowned them.
No one knew at that time that this whole story is what is called a “type.” A type is a story in the Old Testament which portrays Christ in the New. Let’s start from the beginning.
This story is a picture of the Lamb God provided in order to save his people from eternal destruction. Indeed, John the Baptist saw Jesus coming one day and said to the people: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
The Passover Lamb
Unfolding the revelation…
The beginning of the story takes place in Eden where our first parents, Adam and Eve were placed. After they sinned against the warning of God, they hid themselves and sewed together leaves to cover themselves.
But the Lord rejected those coverings and clothed them with animal skins, showing that atonement must be in the blood of a lamb.
A lamb for a man.
When God liberated the Jews from Egypt, they were to take the blood of a lamb and put it on their doorposts, so that when the scourge of death went through the land they would be passed over. He told them they must celebrate the Passover throughout their generations.
A lamb for a household.
A lamb for a household
Fast-forward to the period when the Temple was built. The high priest was to take the blood of the sacrificed lamb into the Holy of Holies and offer it as atonement for the sins of God’s people. Then he took the blood and sprinkled them with it and their sins were forgiven.
A lamb for a nation
John the Baptist was sent by God to prepare the way for the Messiah. One day when he saw Jesus coming, he said to all, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
A lamb for the world