Jesus is the Passover Lamb!

Filed under on May 3rd, 2012 by Christine Colbert

Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves.” John 6:53

 

Israel’s exodus from Egypt, as celebrated in the Passover Seder, was a foreshadowing of a much larger escape to freedom.

A Seder is a celebratory meal. Much could be said about the ways that each item on the Seder plate reminds us of Israel’s bondage in and flight from Egypt. We might touch on precious details like having a young boy sing a song that sets forth “the four questions,” for the purpose of emphasizing the unique historical tradition of Passover.

We won’t try to cover all the details and tradition here, but will instead touch on just a few of the most meaningful aspects.

The blood of a lamb that was applied to the doorposts and lintels of all the Hebrew people’s homes — to protect them from the angel of death that would strike down the first-born of all people, and even animals, living in Egypt — would have approximately suggested a cross. As one pictures the blood being applied to each side post and to the lintel over the top, this image or connection becomes clear. The Jewish people were told to eat the lamb before they fled from Egypt.

During the celebratory Passover dinner each year, three pieces of matzoh, or unleavened bread, would be placed into a white cloth with three separate pockets. The middle matzoh, or afikomen, would be removed from the cloth late in the Seder, broken, and the pieces would then be eaten by all who were present. Jewish people had for some 1250 years — and in the last two millennia many still have — practiced this Seder without understanding its larger meaning.

Many of us are really only now coming to realize that Jesus’ “Last Supper” with His disciples was a Passover Seder!

For more than a thousand years, until that “Last Supper” Passover that Jesus shared with His “brethren,” the prayer “Blessed art Thou, King of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth” had been offered as the afikomen, or the matzoh from the central pocket of the white cloth, was broken and then consumed by all.

But this second-person kind of prayer was brought into the first person as Yeshua dined with His disciples that night. Taking the cup of wine, He said, “This is my blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many.” (Matthew 26:28) Then “He took bread, said, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ ” (Luke 22:19)

This is also the origination of the Eucharist or Communion, as practiced in Christian churches.

We remember that when Jesus had earlier in His ministry told His disciples and others that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood, many found the teaching so appalling and incomprehensible that they departed from Him! He was speaking figuratively of the vital importance of our recognizing and coming to Him — of understanding what the long Passover tradition had been foretelling.

The placement of the afikomen in the center pocket revealed that it would be the body of the Son — among three — Father, Son (in the middle), and Holy Spirit — that would be broken. The matzoh in the central pocket represents the One in the central position in the Trinity.

Jesus was crucified on Passover, died on Unleavened Bread, and was resurrected on First Fruits. As one person put it, “Probably not a coincidence.”

The matzoh in the Passover tradition, in addition to representing the sinless Messiah — since leaven had long been a symbol for sin in the Jewish culture — also reminded the Jewish people of their hasty flight from Egypt. They had been instructed to make the bread without leaven so they wouldn’t have to wait for it to rise.

The First Fruits tradition holds great meaning. Each harvest season, the “first and best” of the grain harvest would be offered to God. Its acceptance would guarantee the acceptability to God and the security of the rest of the harvest.

Yeshua, clearly the first and best in His sinlessness and voluntary sacrifice, provides and ensures the rest of the harvest of souls. He is described in Scripture as “the first fruits of those who sleep.”

The blood of the spotless lamb that was applied to the doorposts in Egypt protected the Hebrew people from death and signaled their freedom from bondage, the beginning of their exodus. The blood of the Lamb of God, our Lord Jesus Christ — His giving Himself that we might renounce sin, recognize Him, and live — protects us from spiritual death and “makes us free.”

Israel’s feasts were called, in Hebrew, “moedim,” or “appointed times”; they were considered “rehearsals.”

The “rehearsal” idea suggests their preparing us for future events. Many people perceive that the annual timing of these feasts that Yahweh characterized as being “for all time” will parallel the timing of major “last days” events.

Who can adequately express the value of beginning to glimpse the uniting theme running through this vast history — that it is Jesus Christ (Yeshua), hailed by John the Baptist (Yohannan the Immerser) as “the Lamb of God,” who fulfills the Passover!

For all the contentiousness, cruelty, and false dichotomy that have existed down the centuries between spokespeople for the Jewish roots and for the Christian branches of the one tree that is the tree of Life — it is Jesus who is the Passover Lamb.



Spread the Word:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Mixx
  • Technorati
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter

Tags: , , , , , , ,


Possibly Related Posts:

7 comments
Leave a comment »

  1. “Yeshua, clearly the first and best in His sinlessness and voluntary sacrifice, provides and ensures the rest of the harvest of souls. He is described in Scripture as ‘the first fruits of those who sleep’.” The term, ‘first fruits’ claimed all the harvest of that planted in the settled promised Land as given by God, with initial ripening results of planting, and tending given to Him as first offering by gratitude of provision. This result likens the Life of Christ to so many such fruits coming from His Life planting and tending His Word to connect His people to Him. They would come to offer of Him: faith, hope, love He has blessed with growth.

    This suffering servant Lamb we are to replicate. The Son of the Father sent to this world, we are to alike so serve in areas of gifts and talents. Our adoption and family business was established through His blood sacrifice and gift of His Spirit. It seems too that this historic action, which joined heaven’s adoptiove intentions also made us redemptive agents of a promised New Earth’s possibilities. He first coming down from heaven to those in need had something to do not only with passing over those who by Torah standards deserved punishment for sin and sins, but too underscored the essence of the Golden Rule, the provision of care and service extended beyond the ritual standards and requirements demanded of those in relationship to God, and their Nation. This action came before Pentecost’s gathering, as its foundation.

    When rising from the dead He is also spoken of as a first fruit, telling the Promise of also rising again.

  2. Pentecost fast approaching (in the calendar); then the summer lull; then my favorite, the Feast of Tabernacles, where even Gentiles were traditionally encouraged to celebrate!
    I am eternally grateful for the Sacrifice; but suffering anticipates Heaven; it’s all about the cross; but even more so about the Resurrection.
    In Him, Ron M.

  3. Absolutely, Ron. What would this life — this world — be without the Resurrection? “In this world you will have tribulation — but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.”

    People from “the nations” still flock to Israel for Tabernacles. It has a special place in future observation, as well, as I recall from OT prophecy. In ancient Jewish writings Tabernacles (Sukkot) was somewhat-enigmatically known as “the time that He will choose.”

    What about Yom Teruah — the Feast of Trumpets (or “Trumpeting”), in early fall? “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God . . .”

    It is anticipated, based on Yeshua’s having been crucified on Passover, dying on Unleavened Bread, resurrecting on First Fruits, and the Holy Spirit’s having come on Pentecost (Shavuot), that Jesus will return to the sound of the shofar at Trumpets, in the fall. That Israel will then experience a time with Him like the time that Joseph’s brothers shared privately with him in Egypt — *once they had recognized him* — at the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur); and that the newer life (“Behold, I make all things new.”) will be celebrated and go forward at Tabernacles.

    We are among the millions who treasure His appearing.

  4. Returning for multiple reasons, by the Trumpet, and with the shout of the appointed Angel. Yet too much is appointed prior, we indeed are still blessed by all the first fruits actions Yeshua accomplished. What is yet to be accomplished (Acts 3:21)?

  5. George MacDonald, whom C.S. Lewis considered “my master,” expressed it: “He waits as long as He can.” The perception was God’s extending every moment, every second that could be extended for reconciliation and restoration of each soul. Every lamb. The Good Shepherd.

    As was so often the case with MacDonald, this lines up closely with Scripture.

    It was interesting to learn in a recent message, Jabez, that you have a son studying in Belfast. My family emigrated from Belfast.

  6. AN ADMONITION for us from the REVELATION: for alliance and realignment with the will of the Father [for revival], once knowing His frank assessment of our fellowships’ and related faiths’ state of being, and as sobered by the contexts He gave churches toward the end of the First Century, we need His clarifications of our state of being, and our need of devotional religious life corrections. Six of the seven churches He addressed as vital to maintaining the Commission in the Revelation were in danger of extinction, and were completely not able to be self correcting without the revelations of rebuke given each one. In spite of all we have experienced and known, why should we assume we are superior in self assessment and guidance over His direct approach?

    Never has the Call been needed more to hear Him, and respond to His remedies in each location of practices as assume at least a labeled regard of the chosen Name. Recall that the lampstands of each church were of a connected witness to He who is the true and chosen witness of the eternal Kingdom of God, in the Messiah.
    In the Revelation to John, it was not the seven churches which detached for self correction from their own relative and deceptive religious assumptions revealed as sinful relational realities practiced among the people of each assembly. To self assess adequately to next work to plan well to re-achieve realigned godly connections with Jesus, in each case any absorbed deceit of self indulgence would have to become inactive in the mix of their religiously operating mindset. Though the Name of Jesus was being used in their gatherings and practices, as was stemming from their originally planted connection, much else had crept into assumptions, beliefs, relationships, and practices going on which had Jesus ready to pull their plug of past connection with Him.

    As Head of his witnessing Body then set in Asia of the Gentile nations all but one church were stated to be unwittingly apostate. Are our assumptions, beliefs, relationships, and practices alike leading us away from a witness of integrity and life maintained in Jesus Christ? Is the price of our present loyalties to these devotions equally as vulnerable to falling away from our relationship with Christ?

    Yikes, where are we today? What influences our mindset beliefs, assumptions, relationships, and practices? What then has captured our hearts and attention? Do we long for truth, grace, and connection to Jesus, or is something else desired as foremost in our assembling together where we do so? Such churches were ‘blind, deaf, and dumb’, while saying ‘we see’, are we? It stands out in these two chapters of admonition that it took Jesus to assess accurately, it took Jesus to call these mindset practices to task, and Jesus to state their dark price if they continued as they were. Already the handwriting was on the wall for these once glowing fellowships of Christ. To pass over their sin, it needed to know his remedy.

    Although a good commentary can discuss the issues in each church case in these chapters of the Revelation, can we assume these may have been and may be typical churches still found among the Nations? Why would this end times letter be given us for posterity where the second and third chapter focus primarily on seven churches in the Mediterranean sphere of the Nations’ First Century churches? Have we moved on from their problems? Is the solution with us? Will He pass us over while bringing judgment to the world?

    Noticed right away are the churches reflections of the societies in which they were located having taken over devotional priority and purity, and the reflection of those cultures mitigating against the integrity of abiding in Christ. Jesus was ready to pull the plug of His witness lampstand glow of heaven’s light and spirit among them. This is sobering of the lens offered in each case where His Name and nature would be removed unless true repentance and realignment with the Head of the Body was practiced. He had not yet given up, but it was getting to be impossible for His Spirit to stay where He was not given actual devotion. All but one of these churches were found apostate.

    Over and above Jesus’ identified reports of dubious character and indulgence leading each of six churches astray, to get on fresh with the Head of the Body it was the Lord Himself who called them aside to warn, admonish, and state the price of following false expectations for achieving authentic relationship with Him. Associated religious church members had not kept themselves from idols of selfish desire, from false instruction and assumption, and then so aligned conceptual and literal life mission. Having a religious gathering phenomena cake and eating it too was not part and parcel to the Way and Call of the Commission given them, where Jesus soberly told what would happen if current directions were not abandoned for quest of a direct connection priority of pursuit of He Himself in the matters addressed in the most transparent spiritual Revelation given His Body on earth. The Word came from heaven’s efficient personnel to those disregarding heaven’s associated Call to holiness.

    1) It can be said that these churches were reflections of the world around them.
    2) It can be said that they had left their first devotion to Jesus Christ and represented something else altogether.
    3) They were asleep, lulled into their own assumptions, false beliefs, relational confusion, sensuality and desires.
    4) Jesus, not they themselves, was able to discern in each instance what was leading them away from Him. They were not seeking such information or clarification. It came to them first from the Throne, then via a suffering servant Apostle’s communication.
    5) Lampstands’ glowing life associated with the family of God founded in Christ’s work was in jeopardy. Apostasy meant disconnection, vanity, sin and deception was replacing what was needful for life.
    6) False expectations set up each fellowship for a fall, which Jesus did not want to see come to pass, yet in each case the will to fall was freely orchestrated. The liberty of the Sons of God was not in focus, of regard, or being pursued—other reality was in play in the milieu of these fellowships.
    7) Christ, and He alone, acted to communicate redemptive intention, hope, and the steps needed for repentance, consecration, for realigment with the Commission and Kingdom. Words given the Revelation thereafter showed that this was most serious business for His People.
    8) Life in the Spirit, of devotion to Christ, and related single eye service needed to come to the forefront of the attention of each and every soul found in these churches or things suffered in the Revelation would become their experience.

    Christ in us, Christ being formed in us. The love of God shed abroad in our hearts. Looking up from what was transfigured in the interchange of covenants parties seen traversing time and space before them, Disciples saw only Jesus. This was the vital discovery of all past and future covenants of God. One thing greater than all our personal discoveries sought and not has come among us.

    Now is the day of salvation and adoption. In seeking a No. American Call to Consecration through repentance, beginning this year we must first counsel to agree to let He Himself address the changes we need to make to be ready for His reengagement, renewal, and return. Let us agree together that we need His voice, intervention and corrections to make it so. So, Lord Jesus, do not pass us over for any reason other than to administer death. Save us from the second death, Lord.

  7. This is a great post, thanks!

Leave Comment