As Christians we are very prone to file Holy Days like Passover in the ďChrist did away with all of thatĒ circular file and never give it another thought. Letís have a little fun with it this year and see if we can learn something.
Passover was ordained by God to celebrate and memorialize Israelís exodus from Egypt. It was to be celebrated forever, (Exodus 12 and Leviticus 23: 4-8). We think of it simply as a Jewish tradition, however, it is rich in Christian meaning and significance. At the time of Exodus, innocent and sinless lambs were sacrificed. Their blood brushed on the door posts of Israelite homes to separate them from the Egyptians and thereby save them from the fate of the first born of Egypt, which was death. The first Passover was a shadow of the events to follow and change humanity. The death penalty was meted out for the practice of iniquity, and Israel was separated and redeemed by innocent blood, (Ezekiel 30:15).
Fulfillment of this incident came centuries later when Jesus voluntarily sacrificed His sinless life to reconcile man with God. Paying the death penalty for sin Himself was the only way to buy us back from the penalty of the law, (Romans 6:23).
It is no coincidence Jesus was whipped, scourged and crucified at the same time priests were slaughtering sacrificial lambs at the Temple in preparation for Passover, (John 19:31). Incidentally, Jesus had taken Passover for Himself prior to His arrest, which should tell you how seriously He considered it, (Luke 22:15).
As Israel was redeemed by the blood of the lamb, so are we redeemed by the blood of Christ. As Israel was lead out of sin, (Egypt), so we are led from a life of sin. As Israel had to travel 40 years in the wilderness, so must we shed our slave mentality, learn Godís way, and spend a life of overcoming our sinful nature. As God set aside a land of promise for the children of Israel, so Christ has set a place for us in the Kingdom of God, (John 14:2).
Passover represents the sacrifice of Christ as the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world, (John 1:29 and 36; Revelation 7:17 and 15:3). Christ is and always has been the point of Passover. We should keep it as a yearly reminder of what Christ has done for us and we too are still sojourners and strangers in a world not ours, (Galations 3:29). What has all of this got to do with colored eggs, bunnies, hot cross buns, orchids, yellow chicks and sunrise services? Not much I can figure out.
Carl R. Dillenback, Milton