Sunday, March 21, 2010

Passover Coming

Passover is coming up in about a week; March 30.

Exodus 12:1-7 "And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever."

This "Passover" as it is called, is indeed kept by the Jewish people to this day. For the most part, Passover is kept as a memorial of the time when they were rescued from being slaves in Egypt.

In Jesus day, the Passover was celebrated by the nation of Israel. We find this in Luke twenty two.

Luke 22:7-20 "Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."

That first Lord’s Supper, or Communion, as we often call it now, was actually part of the Passover meal that Jesus and his disciples participated in.

The very first Passover which God instituted through Moses focused on a lamb. That lamb had to be perfect, without blemish, because it was to be a symbol of Jesus Christ the sinless lamb of God. The blood that the Israelites were to sprinkle on their door posts was a symbol of the blood that Jesus would shed on the cross. Just as God would pass over those houses that had the blood on the door posts exempting them from the judgment that came upon Egypt, so also when God sees that Jesus blood has been applied to us spiritually, we will be passed over for the judgment that we deserve.

Romans 6:14-18 "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness."

It is interesting that Jewish people today consider Passover as primarily a memorial of when they escaped slavery in Egypt. As Christians, every time that we commemorate Christ’s death as the Passover sacrifice, whether it is at Easter, or whether it is by participating in communion, it should remind us that we have also been set free from slavery. Christ’s blood has set us free from the bondage of sin. As Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans, sin no longer has power over us.

Just as the children of Israel were delivered from being slaves to Egypt, and into being God's servants, Christians have been delivered from being slaves to sin and into being servants of the most high God. Both were accomplished by being passed over from judgement; both because of the blood of a lamb. On judgement day, will God pass over you because he sees that the blood of the lamb has been applied?

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