Jesus - the Passover lamb
What does that mean, and how does it change my life?
Pictures of Jesus
The more I study the Bible the more I realise that everything points to Jesus. In the Old Testament there are prophecies that point to Jesus' life, death and resurrection. Sometimes these prophecies are a bit like “pictures” that give a preview of Jesus and his death and resurrection.
One "picture" of Jesus in the Old Testament can be found in Numbers 21. The people sinned against God and so God punished them by sending poisonous snakes to bite them. When the people started dying they repented and God told Moses to nail a bronze snake to a pole. If the people would look at the snake after they were bitten, they would not die. Jesus makes references to this in John 3:14, saying that he also must be "lifted up". However I think the best “Jesus Picture” found in the Old Testament is in the Passover.
What is the Passover?
In the book of Exodus, God tells his servant Moses that he would use him to set his people free. Moses was then sent to Egypt to tell Pharaoh to let his people go. Pharaoh wouldn’t do it, so God sent 10 plagues to Egypt.
The 10th plague was that every first born male of those in the land of Egypt would die. However, God told Moses that the Israelites were to slaughter a firstborn male lamb, with no blemishes. They were to eat the meat and spread the blood on their doorposts. For the those who had blood on the doorposts, God would "pass over", and the first-borns would be saved.
How does the Passover relate to Jesus?
Jesus was the final Passover Lamb; he was the final sacrifice for our sins. Look at Romans 3:21-26:
“But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus".
God presented him as a "propitiation" - in the biblical sense this word means to remove God’s divine wrath. We are sinners who all have rejected God, and because of this we deserve eternal condemnation. However God presented Christ as a propitiation that if we have faith in Him, God will “Pass over” us. Do you see how Jesus is THE Passover lamb?
How does all of this affect you and me?
In Hebrews 10:19-22 Paul explains the great consequences for us, now that Jesus has removed God's wrath. He writes:
“Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way He has opened for us through the curtain (that is, His flesh), and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled [clean] from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.”
Give thanks that Jesus died for you, and live for him!