“By faith [Moses] kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them” (Hebrews 11:28; word in brackets added).
The Israelites were in bondage as Pharaoh’s slaves. (Read Exodus 1:1-14.) But God delivered them on a night called Passover.
Did you know that Easter and Passover are linked?
Passover: the Prophecy
The Passover lamb in Exodus 12 prophesied Christ, God’s lamb.
“Your lamb shall be without blemish…” (Exodus 12:5a). That pictured the sinless Son of God. (See 1 Peter 1:19.) Each family took its Passover lamb on April 10th and kept it three days, to examine every inch of its skin for any scab or malformation.
“Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight” (Exodus 12:6b). God was already teaching us that “without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22b).
“They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. …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” (Exodus 12:7,13b).
A spotless, live lamb would have done no good. Salvation is receiving life from the death of Christ.
“Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it” (Exodus 12:8; emphasis added).
The lamb was to be roasted, because the fires of God’s wrath would burn themselves out on Christ. The bitter herbs speak of brokenness over sin. And leaven is yeast—it works quietly, in lukewarm conditions. It is an illustration of sin. Passover was to be unleavened.
Calvary: the Fulfillment
A special group of shepherds bred perfect Passover lambs in the fields of Bethlehem, where Christ was born. Come Passover week, the shepherds brought these lambs to Jerusalem. There, the priests examined the lambs.
At the same, Jesus was coming to the Temple Mount too. For His last three days, the priests and civil authorities tried to find some fault in Jesus. But Pilate said, “I find no fault in this Man” (Luke 23:4b).
“Go prepare the Passover feast,” Jesus said to His disciples. “And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me’” (Luke 22:19).
Jesus was nailed on the cross at 3:00. At sundown, the same time the Levites were killing those Passover lambs, the Son of God bowed His head and said, “It is finished.” (Read Exodus 12:6, Mark 15:34,37.)
Levites, priests, and Passover shepherds are not needed anymore—that was all anticipation. Calvary was the consummation.
The Lord’s Supper: the Celebration
Christians still keep the Passover, every time we come to the Lord’s Table.
Leaven represents sin. There was to be no leaven in the house when God’s people took the Passover. (See Exodus 12:15.) When we come to the Lord’s Table, we must come with clean hearts—no unconfessed sin.
The Lord Jesus…took bread; “and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’…He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:24-26).