The Feast of Passover
Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 1 Corinthians 5:7. The Passover is one of God’s Feast days mentioned in the Bible. Want to learn more about God’s Feast Days? Click Here to download our free e-book “Celebrating God’s Feasts.”
The first annual feast that God commanded was Passover. It is the fourteenth day of the first month of the Hebrew calendar, which occurs in either March or April on the Gregorian calendar. While it is a feast day, it is not a holy day where God said not to work. Customary work can be done on Passover. It is an important and necessary preparation day for the seven-day feast that follows it. Historically, Passover was a very significant day for the Israelites. They had been held in slavery in Egypt for 400 years. When Moses was sent to free them, God did many mighty signs, pouring out plagues on the Egyptians to show that He is God. The ten plagues culminated with the most severe plague of all, the death of the firstborn in every household of Egypt. God told the Israelites that He would pass through Egypt at midnight on Passover and strike all the firstborn, but when He saw blood applied to a house, He would pass over that house, and no death would come to its firstborn inhabitants. The Israelites were to take an innocent lamb into their homes on the tenth day of the first month, and on the fourteenth day, the lamb was slain, its blood was applied to the doorposts, and the lamb was eaten in haste (Exodus 12).
Once God passed through the land, bringing death to all who didn’t apply the blood of the lamb and giving life to every household that did, the Egyptians let the Israelites go free. In fact, not only did the Passover signal a day of freedom and redemption for a nation, but the Israelites were given many valuables by the Egyptians, including gold, silver and livestock to take with them as they left. Not only did God free them, He blessed them with possessions on the way out. For Christians today, this historical type has tremendous meaning for us. 1 Corinthians 5:7 says, “For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.” In Passover, we as Christians celebrate the reality that Jesus died for us; He willingly paid the price for our sins to give us the hope of eternal life.
In the book of Romans, God tells us how He redeems us from slavery to sin and death by the blood of Jesus Christ. Romans 3:23-26 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Just as God passed over the houses in Egypt, so does He pass over our sins, and the death we deserve as a result of those sins, when we have faith in Jesus Christ. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.” For an Israelite to be saved in Egypt, he needed to believe that applying the blood of the Passover lamb to his house would make the difference. In the same way, it is by believing in the blood of Jesus, and applying it to our lives, that we are set free from sin and death.
God promises that when we believe in Him and the work He accomplishes through Jesus, we pass from death to life. John 5:24 says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” Just as God did not judge those who applied the Passover lamb’s blood in Egypt, so will God not apply judgment for sin to you when you believe in Jesus Christ and apply His blood to your life in faith. Romans 6:20-23 says, “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” While we may not have grown up as physical slaves in this world, we were all born into slavery to sin and death (John 8:31-36). As we read in Romans 3:23, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” However, God determined that even though we sinned against Him, He would save us from the ultimate effect of sin… death. God does not want us to die; He wants us to have eternal life. God did not send His Son to condemn the world, but to save it (John 3:17).
Passover is such a tremendous and sobering celebration because Jesus Christ gave His life as a ransom to set us free. He was perfect, without sin, the spotless Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 1:19). God’s love is so readily available to us. The question is, do we accept His love for us? Do we receive it and know that His sacrifice was more than enough to make us holy and give us life? Jesus died to free us, and the benefit He receives is only fulfilled when we believe that His sacrifice makes us righteous in the eyes of God. By faith, we are perfectly free from sin and death and found holy and accepted in the Beloved, Jesus (Ephesians 1:3-7). We leave slavery not only being washed from sin, but carrying out with us the riches of Christ, His perfect righteousness imputed to us. While the work of the cross was finished when Jesus died, the final fulfillment is yet to come. Jesus said, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God” (Luke 22:15-16). When Jesus said this, He instituted the bread as His body and the wine as His blood, the Lord’s Supper, telling us to eat and drink in remembrance of Him. Matthew 26:26-29 says, “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’ Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you.
For Celebrate the Feasts of the Lord 15 this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.’” Each Passover we take of the Lord’s Supper, humbling ourselves and washing one another’s feet as Jesus did (John 13:1- 17). We do this knowing that the ultimate fulfillment of His sacrifice is found when we all eat and drink with Him in His kingdom. We have tremendous promises, not only of life with Jesus, but of heavenly riches that we will inherit when we are resurrected and we see Him face to face (Ephesians 1:17-18; 1 John 3:2). Passover is a celebration of the redemption we find in Christ Jesus. Do we accept Jesus as our Passover? Do we believe His sacrifice and shed blood is enough to free us from this world, to give us liberty from sin and death? God our Father wants us to know and believe that He has provided us freedom from sin and life everlasting through His Son, Jesus. When we each individually, by faith, apply the blood of His sacrifice to our lives, we receive the benefits of His blessing and grace, for ourselves and to share with others. Just as He did with the Israelites, God sends us out today with the riches of His grace, with a new, abundant life in Christ Jesus. In the age to come, we shall be raised in newness of life. The covenant that was founded in His shed blood will be fulfilled when we rise up to live with Him forever.