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  • Writer's pictureWilson Lim

The Purpose Of Passover Lamb (Part 1)


Why did God introduce the Feast of Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread? Both were introduced together in Exodus 12. Indeed, the Festival of Unleavened Bread commences the day of the Passover. The purpose of the Festival is clearly expressed in Exodus 12:17 (NIV) “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.” The Festival was to remind the Israelites of God’s deliverance from Egyptian slavery.


The Passover, however, is to serve a different purpose. Exodus 12:26–27 (NIV) 26 And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ 27 then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’ ” To remind of the day that the angel of judgment passed over the Israelites homes and spared their lives while decimating every firstborn amongst the Egyptians.


The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were types, a prophetic shadow of realities that were to come.

Yet it served a greater purpose. As a prophetic declaration of what God was ultimately going to do through the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were types, a prophetic shadow of realities that were to come. Each key element of the ceremony contained seeds of prophetic truth pointing to what would occur with Jesus. It reveals to us how God has planned in amazing detail for your Saviour to be sacrificed for you.


In these series of articles, we will examine some major truths about the Passover Lamb.


PASSOVER LAMB SPECIFICALLY PREPARED

God gave very specific instructions for the Israelites to prepare a sacrificial lamb in Exodus 12. What was the significance of the preparation?


Prophetic of a specific time

Exodus 12:1–3 (NIV) 1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.


In v2, God instructed the Israelites to make that month the first month of their year. Previously, the Israelites had their civil calendar. God instituted a new calendar which became their religious calendar. In this new calendar, the first month is what is now known as the month of Nisan. On the 10th of Nisan, a sacrificial lamb or goat is kept aside. This lamb was to be slaughtered after 4 days, at twilight at the end of 14th of Nisan. Exodus 12:6 (NIV) “Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.” In other words, the Passover meal is eaten on the 15th evening of Nisan because the Jewish day starts at twilight.


How did this relate to Jesus? On the 10th Nisan, Jesus enters Jerusalem publicly on donkey. How do we know this? John 12:1 (NIV) Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. John 12:12–13 (NIV) 12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!”


Jesus was with Lazarus 6 days before Passover, that is the 9th Nisan since Passover occurred on the 15th Nisan. When Jesus entered Jerusalem it was the next day, the 10th of Nisan. Matching exactly the day which the Israelites are to take a sacrificial lamb and reserve it for Passover.


Many of the populace saw Jesus as the prophet of God at His arrival to Jerusalem. However, God saw Jesus as the Lamb who was being kept aside for sacrifice. The Lamb was brought into the slaughterhouse of Jerusalem, yet not touched for 4 days. So the Passover lamb preparation typified what would happen to Jesus, particularly in the last week. God always has His perfect timing. Even in the sacrifice of Jesus. Gal 4:4-5 (NIV) 4 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5 to redeem those under law...


In the perfect climax of time, God sacrificed Jesus to save us from our sins.

In the perfect climax of time, God sacrificed Jesus to save us from our sins. In man's time it was 4 days being set aside. In eternity, the Lamb of God was set aside before the earth was formed. 1 Pet 1:19-20 (NIV) 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.


Moses had not yet even given the Law. But God is already giving a detailed account of how the Israelites would be forgiven for breaking the Law!

Consider this. Moses had not yet even given the Law. But God is already giving a detailed account of how the Israelites would be forgiven for breaking the Law! How amazing is our God? God also has His perfect timing for our lives. We have to be patient and learn to discern what God is doing. The foolish rush ahead of God and make a mess. We have to be patient and discern what God is doing. If God has given you promises, it will come to pass in His time. God has planned it out in detail.


A prophetic word was given to one of the senior leaders in our church when she was still a university student. In the prophecy, she was seen ministering to a whole bunch of young children. She was taken aback as she had no interest in children. More than 20 years later, after she had returned to her home country, she participated in a mission trip. During the trip she was given responsibility to minister to a group of children. While the children were running around her, it suddenly occurred to her that this was fulfilment of the prophecy given her over 20 years ago!


Sometimes God’s promises may be fulfilled many years later. Sometimes God's promises to you may have conditions, it will come to pass if you fulfil the conditions.


Prophetic of a specific criteria

Exodus 12:5 (NIV) The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats.


God set specific criteria of the sacrificial lamb. It was to be firstborn male and without defect. Again this pointed to Jesus.

God set specific criteria of the sacrificial lamb. It was to be firstborn male and without defect. Again this pointed to Jesus. Jesus, the Bible explains to us is the Second and Greater Adam. Adam was the head of humanity and representative of the entire human race. When he fell into sin, sin entered the entire human race. Rom 5:12 (NIV) Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—


Every human being was in Adam in seed form. When Adam sinned, we all sinned with him.

From this comes the theological concept of original sin. Every human being was in Adam in seed form. When Adam sinned, we all sinned with him. We are all guilty of sin. Hence no baby is born innocent of sin, even though the baby did not personally commit a sin yet. Some hold to Pelagian's view, or are Semi-Pelagians who either hold to the view that there man is not fundamentally sinful or reject the concept of original sin. Some Arminians hold to this concept. That is not Scriptural.


Jesus represents the second and spiritual Adam who brings life.

Jesus represents the second and spiritual Adam who brings life. Rom 5:17 (NIV) For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.


Jesus is the second and spiritual Adam who represents all who fulfil God's holy requirements. 1 Cor 15:45-47 (NIV) 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life–giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven.


Passover lamb had to be male. It also had to be without defect to typify the sinlessness of the coming Saviour.

That is why the Passover lamb had to be male. It also had to be without defect to typify the sinlessness of the coming Saviour. 1 John 3:5 (NIV) …he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.


The Saviour had to be sinless because all sinners have to die for their sins. Only a sinless man need not die for his sins and therefore could die in our place. As no human is sinless, the Son of God had to come and become a human. This is known theologically as the incarnation. So Jesus fulfilled fully the typology of the Passover Lamb.


Thus, it may be concluded that preparations of the Passover Lamb was prophetic in its timing and criteria to points towards the sacrifice of Jesus as the Lamb of God. In Part 2 we will examine further the prophetic significance of the Passover as it relates to Jesus the Passover Lamb.


 

Copyright©️2023 by Wilson Lim. All rights reserved. Materials are free to be distributed in whole or part as long as proper acknowledgement is given to the author and not sold for profit.


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