Truth, Understanding, Insight

Passover and Messiah

12th March 2008, gh


1) Passover

Why was the Passover specifically chosen by God as the time of Christ’s (Messiah's) death and resurrection?

In Genesis 15 God had promised Abraham a son and offspring as innumerable as the stars. He was also told that his offspring would sojourn as servants in a land that was not theirs for 400 years. They would be afflicted and then they would come out with great possessions after judgement (Genesis 15:13-14). In effect, Abraham was told about the future Passover.

Exodus chapter One relates how 400 years later the Hebrews were servants in Egypt and oppressed. In irony, Moses’ life is preserved by the daughter of Pharaoh and 80 years later he is the one chosen by God to lead Israel out of Egypt. As with the birth of Isaac and Christ, the exodus from Egypt was no accident, but designed to show God’s power (Exodus 3, Romans 9:17) at a specific point in time.

Strong links can be drawn between the Passover lamb and Jesus Christ. A male lamb was chosen by God to be the Passover meal (Exodus 12:3-13). (In contrast the lamb for a sacrifice for sin under the Law of Moses was a female – Leviticus 4:32). Christ is referred to as a lamb a number of times (Isaiah 53:7, John 1:29, Acts 8:32, Revelation 7:17, 22:3). The apostle Paul refers to Christ as the Passover lamb in 1 Corinthians 5:7, and Christ appreciated that it was at that particular time he was to be crucified (Matthew 26:38-56, John 19:14) and that it would fulfil the Scriptures.

Links between the Passover in Egypt and the role of Christ can be taken from the promises to Abraham in Genesis 15.
The promises made in Genesis 15 are listed below with their (1.) direct fulfilment and (2.) later fulfilment

Abraham is promised a son
1. Isaac and 2. Christ
Abraham is promised offspring
1. Israel and 2. Followers of Christ
Offspring are afflicted servants
1. Israel in Egypt and 2. Effect of sin & death
Deliverance by judgement
1. Death of firstborn in Egypt and 2. Death of Jesus Christ (Son of God)
Blood of the lamb
1. Israel saved and 2.Christ’s followers saved
Great possessions
1. Jewellery and gifts and 2.Eternal life
Promised land
1. Israel and 2.Kingdom of God

There are many “cameos” or “types” within the Bible. The Passover was a reminder to the nation of Israel that by the blood of a lamb the angel of God passed over them in Egypt, bringing judgment to their enemies and entrance to life in the promised land. This is a “type” of the death and resurrection of Jesus, and how his blood gave remission of sins to his followers and hope of eternal life in God’s Kingdom.