Jesus in the Torah (Exodus): Passover

There are many references to Jesus in the Old Testament as we have been learning. We have gone through the scroll of Genesis seeking Jesus throughout that scroll. Now, we will start in the book of Exodus learning about Jesus in this wild story. 

Before Moses led the people out of slavery from Egypt, crossed the Red Sea and into the wilderness, there was a certain command that saved the Israelites. It was a command to spread the blood of a slain lamb over every doorpost so that when the angel came through the Isralite community, none of the firstborn would die. Here is the passage from Exodus 13: 

Take special care of this chosen animal until the evening of the fourteenth day of this first month. Then the whole assembly of the community of Israel must slaughter their lamb or young goat at twilight. 7 They are to take some of the blood and smear it on the sides and top of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the animal. 8 That same night they must roast the meat over a fire and eat it along with bitter salad greens and bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat any of the meat raw or boiled in water. The whole animal—including the head, legs, and internal organs—must be roasted over a fire. 10 Do not leave any of it until the next morning. Burn whatever is not eaten before morning.

11 “These are your instructions for eating this meal: Be fully dressed, wear your sandals, and carry your walking stick in your hand. Eat the meal with urgency, for this is the Lord’s Passover. 12 On that night I will pass through the land of Egypt and strike down every firstborn son and firstborn male animal in the land of Egypt. I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt, for I am the Lord! 13 But the blood on your doorposts will serve as a sign, marking the houses where you are staying. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt.

As we see in this passage, the lamb was to be slaughtered and its blood smeared. This blood is what saved the firstborn in the household from sudden death. Every year since then, Israelites celebrate what is known as Passover to commemorate this miraculous event. The night when God passed over the Israelites and spared them because of the slain lamb’s blood. 

In the New Testament, we find Jesus, a lamb of God, who was slain for the sins of all people everywhere who call on him. The Passover was a foreshadow of the ultimate deliverance God would bring through Jesus Christ. We know this is true because Paul calls Jesus our passover lamb in 1 Corinthians 5:7, Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us.” Jesus fulfills the role of the passover lamb and does what it could never do, take away our sins. 

Jesus also institutes this new concept on the night of Passover creating what we call the Lord’s Supper. It was on this night that Jesus foretold he was going to become the passover lamb and that when we eat bread and drink the cup, we remember his sacrifice. Jesus wanted us to understand he was the passover lamb and he did so on the night of the celebration of Passover. 

Jesus is also a fulfillment of the tabernacle. The tabernacle was a place given to Moses to build in Exodus 25. This tabernacle would be a place of the symbolism of heaven and it would be the place where sins were atoned for. There was a special place in this tent, called the Holy of Holies. Only once a year, the high priest enters to make atonement for sins. In Hebrews 9:11-12, the writer explains, “He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.” This means that Jesus is our High Priest who entered the Holy Place (died on the cross and ascended) once and for all to forgive us of our sins. The tabernacle was a temporary setup to make atonement. Jesus did all of it for good on the cross. 

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