NT Connect: 1 Corinthians 5:7
Weekly Reading: Exodus 11-15
Christ Our Passover Lamb
Imagine, just for a moment, that you are a Jewish child living in the time of Jesus. Now, borrowing on your own personal experiences as a child, imagine putting together Christmas, Easter, Independence Day – and celebrating them all at once in one great celebration. If you can do that, you’ll have some idea of what the celebration of Passover meant in a Jewish family.
The celebration of every Passover was rich in symbolism given by the Lord in the Book of Exodus. At the heart of the event was the lamb. As we examine the events of that first Passover, we discover four things about the lamb.
1. The lamb was chosen according to specific requirements (Exodus 12:3, 5)
2. The lamb was killed (Exodus 12:6).
3. The blood of the lamb was applied (Exodus 12:7).
4. The lamb was eaten (Exodus 12:8).
It was no accident that some 15 centuries later, Jesus instructed his disciples to make preparations to eat and celebrate the Passover together in what would become known as “the Lord’s Supper.” This was the Passover feast that Jesus and his disciples were observing together in the upper room. Only Jesus was about to take the familiar symbols, especially the symbol of the Lamb, and invest it with new meaning, symbolizing a new act of deliverance by God on behalf of his people.
On several occasions in the Gospels, the Scripture says that Jesus did or did not do certain things because, “His time had not yet come.” But now his time has come. And it is no accident that this time was during the Passover. Jesus died on Passover. And Paul draws out the significance of this timing in 1 Corinthians 5:7: “For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (NIV).
Let’s consider how Jesus fulfilled the symbolic significance of the Passover lamb.
1. The Lamb was chosen according to specific requirements. Jesus as the Lamb of God met this same criterion (1 Peter 1:18-20).
2. The Lamb was slain. The angel of death, eternal death, is coming on all because of sin. We need deliverance and deliverance is at hand (Romans 6:23).
3. The blood of the Lamb must be applied. It requires faith for the blood of the Lamb to be applied to our lives. We must acknowledge our sins and place our trust in Christ (Hebrews 11:28; Ephesians 2:8). Have you applied the blood of Christ to the doorposts of your life by faith?
4. As members of the community of faith, we are invited to eat the Lamb. As the spotless Lamb of God, Jesus’ death was a sufficient sacrifice once and for all. No longer do we need to slaughter a lamb. Jesus gave us two symbols of remembrance (Luke 22:19, 20).
We are invited to eat and drink together in remembrance of the sacrifice of our Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ, who gave his body for us, and who shed his blood for the forgiveness of our sins.