God has painted a beautiful picture of our redemption in the scriptures. Sometimes I shake my head in awe and wonder at how events from thousands of years before foreshadowed the ministry of Jesus Christ. One such set of events are the commemorative feasts of the LORD that celebrate God’s redemption of the past and foreshadow the ministry of redemption of Jesus Christ. In Exodus 12 the Israelites were told that all the firstborn in Egypt would die on a certain night. But there was a way to escape death. An innocent lamb could be provided as a substitute for the firstborn. The lamb was to be killed and his blood placed upon the doorposts of the house. When God saw the blood of the lamb on the door, He would “pass over” that house. All inside would be spared from death. The results of that night in Egypt led to the redemption of the Israelites from slavery. That day would be celebrated as a memorial every year called the Passover.
Along with the Feast of Pentecost (a.k.a. Weeks) and the Feast of Tabernacles (a.k.a Booths), the Passover was one of three special pilgrimage feasts where all Israel was to gather at Jerusalem. Such was the case when Christ became our Passover lamb.
Jesus… said to his disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.” (Matt. 26:1–2, ESV)
Like the Passover lamb, Jesus was examined for blemishes, yet no fault was found in Him. Still the Jewish council accused Jesus of blasphemy (Matt. 26.63-66). The Roman court convicted Him of treason (John 19:14–15).
Jesus was innocent of those crimes. But we are not. We have blasphemed God by living self-centered lives. We have committed treason against God by refusing His will, making ourselves kings. We deserve death. But God has provided a substitute. Paul tells us: “Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” (1 Cor. 5:7b, ESV) In the church we celebrate God’s provision of Jesus for our sins on Good Friday.
When a person places their faith in Christ, God sees the blood of Christ and passes over them: not giving them what they deserve, but instead redeeming them from their sins.
God’s redemption of Israel from Egypt foreshadowed His redemption of us from our sins through our faith in Christ, our Passover lamb.
Further reading: Exodus 13; Matt. 26.1-5; 17-29; Rom. 3.21-26
David Harris is the Senior Pastor at Faith Baptist Church. A former programmer, in his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife Kim and trying his hand at the illusive craft of smoking meat.