Today we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. We know Jesus was crucified during the Passover feast, so the timing is not far off. In fact, the week of Passover overlaps with Easter this year and begins at sundown on Wednesday, April 5, 2023. At the same time, Easter is on Sunday, April 9th, right in the middle of Passover week.
The Passover is a sacred Jewish feast that commemorates the Lord protecting the Israelites from the 10th plague that struck Egypt—the death of all firstborns. A "destroyer" angel passed through Egypt at midnight and killed all the firstborns in the land, from Pharoah's house, to the dungeon, and down to the livestock (Exodus 12:29). There was not a house of the Egyptians where there was not someone dead.
God gave Moses instructions on how the Israelites were to protect themselves from the coming plague, and it was by the Passover lamb. Each family was to take a lamb without blemish or spot, kill it, and apply its blood to the doorposts and door header of their house. Then the angel of death would "pass over" that house and not harm the people living there.
Up until then, the plagues had directly targeted the Egyptians and spared the Israelites, but now it was based on participation. The blood on the doorposts was what caused the family inside to be protected. As far as I can tell, it would have worked for the Egyptians if they would have applied it to their houses, and the Israelites would have died if they had not. It reads: "When I see the blood, I will pass over you." It was no longer who you were born as but depended on you faithfully applying the blood to your house.
(Exodus 12:13 NKJV) Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
Blood was a very big part of the Old Covenant. There was a lot of sin, and without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin.
(Hebrews 9:22 ESV) Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
During the Passover feast at Jerusalem, a drain was constructed from the temple down to the Kidron Valley to dispose of all the blood from the animal sacrifices. They sacrificed over 200,000 lambs during the Passover season. It was gory. All the blood drained into the Kidron Valley, so it was red with sacrificial blood. Jesus and the disciples passed through there on the way to the Garden on the night of the Last Supper (John 18:1 NKJV).
Jesus Christ became our Passover lamb. He was a perfect Lamb without spot, wrinkle, or blemish. He was born in Bethlehem, where the temple lambs are raised, and He was killed during the feast of Passover at Jerusalem when it was sacrificed.
(John 1:29 NKJV) The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
(1 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV) ...For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
(Revelation 5:9 NKJV) And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood...
(Revelation 5:12 NKJV) ..."Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!"
Everything in Passover is a picture of Jesus, and every element points to Jesus. God went to great lengths to connect the crucifixion of Jesus with the Passover feast. Jesus could have died at any time during the year, but God arranged it to happen on the day of Passover, exactly as the law of Moses required. There are amazing similarities when you compare the Passover and the Passion of Christ. Here are a few:
- The Israelites in Egypt were to spread the blood on their doorposts with a hyssop branch. While He was on the cross, a Roman soldier offered Jesus vinegar on a hyssop branch.
- By the time of Jesus, only lambs born in Bethlehem, the city of David, the city of shepherds, were considered eligible to be a Passover lamb. Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem and laid in a manger—the perfect Lamb of God.
- The Passover lamb had to be chosen on a certain day, the 10th day of the first month. A lamb born in Bethlehem was chosen and brought into Jerusalem from the east, down the Mount of Olives. The lamb entered the city through the sheep gate. On the 10th day of the first month, Jesus, the Lamb born in Bethlehem, came down the Mount of Olives and entered Jerusalem through the sheep gate. As He entered, the people waved palm branches and shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!" The people chose Him on Palm Sunday.
- The lamb had to be carefully examined to be sure that it was without defect. Jesus was closely examined and tested by the most educated teachers in Israel. The strictest religious leaders there tried to trap Jesus in His words, but they could find nothing wrong or anything that they could charge Him with. He was without blemish. Pontious Pilot said: "I find no fault in this man."
- On the morning of the fourteenth day of the first month, the Passover lamb was led out to the altar. At 9 AM that morning, it was bound to the altar and put on public display for all to see. On the morning of the fourteenth day of the first month, when all prophecy had been fulfilled, Jesus was led out to Calvary, and at 9 AM that morning, just as the Passover lamb was being bound to the altar, Jesus was nailed to the cross and put on public display at Calvary, for all to see.
- At exactly 3 PM, the high priest ascended the altar and sacrificed the Passover lamb. Then he declared, "It is finished!" At 3 PM on that day, at the same moment the Passover lamb was being killed, Jesus cried with a loud voice, "It is finished!" and gave up His spirit (John 19:30).
- In Greek, the words translated "It is finished" is an accounting term and means, "The debt has been paid in full!" The debt of sin has been paid in full.
Jesus is our Passover Lamb, and all of heaven recognizes it. Some of the benefits for those that accept Him are these:
* Judgment passes over those under the blood.
* The power of the enemy is completely broken.
* We are released from bondage and oppression.
* We are set free to enter into God's promise.
It is the Blood of the Lamb of God that sets us free from the power of the enemy. I cannot emphasize strongly enough how much the enemy hates the Blood of Christ, even hearing about it.
Sylvia and I once attended a Christian conference with Mahesh Chavda when he came to Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. He observes 40-day water fasts as Jesus did. He led the congregation in reciting the Apostle's Creed. When he got to part about the "Blood of Jesus," a stately elderly lady sitting behind us and to our right let out a blood-curdling scream of "Noooooooooo!!!"
She screamed until she ran out of breath, and her voice trailed off eerily as if something was leaving and growing distant. Then fell to the floor and began writhing like a snake in the isle until some ushers helped her to the back for prayer. That evil spirit within her could sit in church all day, but it couldn't stand hearing about the Blood of Jesus Christ.
(Revelation 12:11 NKJV) And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
Jesus is our Passover Lamb. The Passover feast and the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus run parallel. His blood seals, protects, and sets us free from our enemy. The saints in Revelation have their robes washed in the blood of the Lamb, for without blood, there is no remission of sins. Jesus provided all that we needed that day at Calvary.
The simple exchange that took place at the cross is that Jesus took on our sin, and we take on His righteousness. It is an intentional act, and it requires our active participation. The Israelite's had to apply the blood of the lamb to their doorposts, or they would be visited by the destroyer. In order to be saved, their faith had to be strong enough that they took action on it. If they did not believe and take action, then they perished right along with the Egyptians.
Here we are today. Washing in the blood of Jesus means letting Him change your life from the inside out. It still requires faith to work with Him on that day by day, and it is clear that not everyone will be saved. The hyssop branch today is your tongue. With it, you apply what Jesus did to your life. Paul wrote:
Romans 10:9–10 (NKJV) — that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
You can pray this with me if you like:
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I accept the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for me. I am redeemed by the blood of the Lamb out of the hand of the enemy! Wash me, cleanse me, and set me free from the things that bind me. Please help me get in tune with You. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!Read more at: www.refreshinghope.org