It’s safe to say sacrificing lambs and painting blood across door frames of our houses are not common practices in our modern lives. So, to call Jesus the Passover Lamb? It’s not as straight-forward to us as it was to those living throughout the Old and New Testament.
God sent plagues to Egypt until Pharaoh released God’s people from slavery. The last one finally got Pharaoh’s attention. Every firstborn would die—unless they killed a spotless lamb as a sacrifice, made sure no bones were broken in the process, and coated the blood around their doorframe. Anyone who heeded God’s warning, He would “pass over” their home (thus, the name)!
Are you picking up on the symbolism? Here’s a few to name:
- Jesus is the spotless Lamb, without defect, blemish, or sin.
- Jesus was crucified during this 8-day Passover Feast. He became the ultimate sacrifice, the Lamb that was slain. None of his bones were broken!
- Anyone who takes faith in Christ, God’s judgment “passes over” us, and we escape eternal death.
- The Hebrews were freed from slavery, and Christ-followers are now free from the slavery of sin.
Christ, as the Passover Lamb, is nourishment for our souls, and when we trust in His sacrifice for freedom from our sins, we can throw aside wickedness and evil—and celebrate with sincerity and truth.
- What Passover symbolism stands out most to you in today’s passages?
- May this be our prayer: “Thank you, Lord, for your warning and protection. I trust in the sacrifice of your blood, and I’m forever grateful you took the punishment for my sins so I don’t have to. Thank you, Jesus, for now ‘passing over’ my sins and counting me righteous!”
Exodus 12:21-28, 46
21 Then Moses called all the elders of Israel together and said to them, “Go, pick out a lamb or young goat for each of your families, and slaughter the Passover animal. 22 Drain the blood into a basin. Then take a bundle of hyssop branches and dip it into the blood. Brush the hyssop across the top and sides of the doorframes of your houses. And no one may go out through the door until morning. 23 For the Lord will pass through the land to strike down the Egyptians. But when he sees the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe, the Lord will pass over your home. He will not permit his death angel to enter your house and strike you down.
24 “Remember, these instructions are a permanent law that you and your descendants must observe forever. 25 When you enter the land the Lord has promised to give you, you will continue to observe this ceremony. 26 Then your children will ask, ‘What does this ceremony mean?’ 27 And you will reply, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, for he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt. And though he struck the Egyptians, he spared our families.’” When Moses had finished speaking, all the people bowed down to the ground and worshiped.
28 So the people of Israel did just as the Lord had commanded through Moses and Aaron.
46 Each Passover lamb must be eaten in one house. Do not carry any of its meat outside, and do not break any of its bones.
1 Corinthians 5:6-8
6 Your boasting about this is terrible. Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. 8 So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth.
31 It was the day of preparation, and the Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath, because it was Passover week). So they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. 33 But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. 34 One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. 35 (This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also may continue to believe.) 36 These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37 and “They will look on the one they pierced.”