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  • Hanrie Marais

THE PASSOVER LAMB

Updated: Apr 28

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"

Ever read the Old Testament and saw words like “Passover, atonement, sacrifice, covenant”, and never understood what they meant? Well, you’re not the only one, it has happened to a lot of us. To get an understanding of these words, we need to know that the Old Testament is a shadow of the New Testament. For example, if you saw a shadow of your best friend, you’ll recognize the shadow, but seeing your best friend in person is way better than just looking at the shadow. The Old Testament is like the shadow of your friend and the New Testament is your friend in person, they can not be separated from each other and they both tell a story about the same person. Therefore to understand the Bible, we need to take a look at both the Old and New Testament in order to see what God’s plan was from the beginning. One of these words that has such a beautiful meaning in both the Old and New Testament is the celebration of the Passover. Let us take a trip down memory lane...


At the beginning of Exodus 1, the Israelites started to multiply and grow abundantly, almost like the church in Acts (Acts 2:38-47), where people were being added to the church daily. The Israelites became mightier than ever, and they filled the land. When Pharoah saw what was happening, he got so afraid of the might and power of the Israelites that he decided to take matters into his own hands, by declaring that all the firstborn sons should be killed (Exodus 1:8-22).


A certain daughter of Levi bore a son during this tragic time, and when she could no longer hide him, she placed him in a little basket and then set it afloat on the Nile river. The daughter of Pharaoh found the baby and called him Moses (Exodus 2:1-10). Moses grew up, killed an Egyptian, fled Egypt, had an encounter with God, and went back to Egypt to set God’s people free from Pharaoh (Exodus 2:11 until the end of Exodus 6). God saw that Pharaoh’s heart had hardened and so the ten plagues began (Exodus 7:14 until end of Exodus 12)


Nine out of the ten plagues had fallen on Egypt, Moses had pleaded with Pharaoh to let God’s people go, but still, Pharaoh's heart remained hard towards God (Exodus 11). Before the tenth and final plague, God instructed Moses to speak to the nation of Israel and guide them into the Passover meal. The Passover shall identify the first month of the first year for the Israelites (which is during March/April as we know it today). During the Passover, they had to slaughter the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:5, Exodus 12:21), and place the blood on the doorposts of their house (Exodus 12:13). When they did that, God gave them a promise that He will not allow the destroyer to enter and strike their families (Exodus 12:23). God also told the Israelites to celebrate Passover every year, as a memorial reminding them of how He has set them free from the slavery in Egypt (Exodus 12:14).


And just like that, God sends the tenth and final plague, and all the firstborn children of the Egyptians die (Exodus 12:30). Pharaoh has been defeated, defeated to such an extent, that the Egyptians begged the Israelites to leave them and the Egyptians gave them everything and anything they wanted including gold articles, silver, clothing, and livestock (Exodus 12:36).


And that is how the celebration of Passover started in the Old Testament, and it continued to be a celebration feast, serving as a memorial of how God set the Israelites free from captivity. It continued until the day it was time for Jesus Christ to be crucified. Jesus invited the disciples to celebrate the Passover meal with Him moments before His crucifixion (Matthew 26:17-20). As they sat down Jesus took the bread, gave thanks, broke it, and said “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). He took the cup of wine and said: This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:20). Moments after that Jesus was taken captive, mocked, beaten, and brought before Pilate, with which Pilate responded: “I find no fault in this Man” (Luke 23:4). Making Jesus Christ the ultimate Passover Lamb, without blemish (Exodus 12:5, John 1:29, 1 Corinthians 5:7), as God planned perfectly from the beginning.


Jesus’s crucifixion was the fulfillment of the shadow of the Passover in the book of Exodus. He became the Passover Lamb, whose blood is smeared on the doorposts of our hearts, setting us free from slavery to sin and oppression by the enemy. He took the sin of the world (John 1:29), becoming sin himself (2 Corinthians 5:21) so that we can be righteous and delivered from the power of darkness (Colossians 1:13).


Today we partake in the new covenant, and as we celebrate with communion, we do it with the remembrance of the Passover Lamb, who stood in our place, causing sickness, plagues, disease, oppression to pass over us, just like it passed over the Israelites in the Book of Exodus.



Every Nation Music Video portraying the beauty of Jesus Christ as the Passover Lamb who takes our sins away (John 1:29).

Spoken Word that will help you to understand the Passover even more:


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