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  • Writer's pictureWilson Lim

The Purpose Of Passover Lamb (Part 2)


Many Christians may be familiar with the concept of Jesus as our Passover Lamb, who sacrificed Himself in order to save us from God’s wrath towards our sins. Yet many are unfamiliar with the extent of the prophetic details involved in the Passover Feasts. In this series of articles, we unpack a wealth of hidden significance in the instructions that God gave in Exodus 12. In Part 1 we examined Exodus 12:1-5 and in Part 2 we continue to v13 to unveil further truths that apply to us today.


PASSOVER LAMB SPECIFICALLY SACRIFICED

Specific instructions were given by God about when the lamb was to be killed and by whom. What was the significance?


By the whole community

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.


Just as the Passover lamb was slaughtered by the whole nation, it foretold how Jesus was rejected and sacrificed by the Jewish leadership and community at large.

Just as the Passover lamb was slaughtered by the whole nation, it foretold how Jesus was rejected and sacrificed by the Jewish leadership and community at large. They handed Jesus to Pontius Pilate, the roman governor (or prefect) over Judea to be crucified. Pontius was reluctant to crucify Jesus because he could not find a crime serious enough to warrant crucifixion and because his wife had a dream that Jesus was innocent. Mark 15:12-15 (NIV) 12 “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them. 13 “Crucify him!” they shouted. 14 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” 15 Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.


The Jewish crowd was easily stirred, persuaded and perhaps partially bribed to reject Jesus. Are we easily swayed as well to be critical of others? Swayed by the writings of others without thinking carefully about issues? Unfortunately, even Christians are easily swayed by some well-known Christian leaders and authors who very strongly criticise others. Be careful about following such people without analysing the issue carefully. We should not accept everything we read in books and internet.


At a specific time

Exodus 12:6 (NIV) Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month … slaughter them at twilight.


At the 14th of Nisan the lamb was to be slaughtered at twilight. The Jewish clock is different from our modern clock. The day starts at sunset and ends at the next sunset. Thus, their day usually runs from about 6pm to 6pm. Twilight to them is our afternoon. Twilight is from 12 noon to 6pm. It is more complex than that in winter and summer.


On the Passover Day 14th Nisan Jesus died at about 3pm, twilight according to Jewish time. In fact, it coincides with the time of the evening sacrifice which occurs between 2:30 to 3pm every day. The last week of Jesus demonstrated the fulfilment of prophecies and typology of Passover lamb.


According to my study, Jesus must have died on Thursday afternoon around 3pm.

I believe that Jesus had His Last Supper earlier on Wed night. How did I reach such a conclusion? According to my study, Jesus must have died on Thursday afternoon around 3pm. Why not Easter Friday? Because Jesus proclaimed in Matt 12:39-40 (NIV) 39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.


How many of us know that Friday afternoon to Sunday morning does not fulfil 3 days and 3 nights? Thursday afternoon does. We have Thur night, Fri night, Sat night. We have Friday morning, Sat morning and Sun morning when Jesus arose from the dead! But Scriptures speak of Jesus dying just before Sabbath commence. This is the reason why most Christians believe Jesus died on Friday afternoon. Because it is assumed the Sabbath starts at sunset Friday.


Most people do not realise that during the Feast of the Unleavened Bread, there actually occurs 2 Sabbaths in that week.

Most people do not realise that during the Feast of the Unleavened Bread, there actually occurs 2 Sabbaths in that week. Ex 12:16 (NIV) On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat—that is all you may do.


The first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, on 15th Nisan, it is a rest day, a Sabbath day. The Scriptures speak of other special days in the Feast of Atonement as a Sabbath day. Lev 23:31-32 (NIV) 31 You shall do no work at all. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. 32 It is a sabbath of rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your sabbath.”


This is not about the weekly Sabbath, but Feast Sabbaths. So when Jesus was crucified, it was hours from the Unleavened Bread Feast Sabbath. It was followed by the weekly Sabbath. And the day after, which was Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead!


God had everything planned out. Isn't God amazing? Consider this. Thousands of years before Jesus was born, God gave a specific prophetic Word about the exact timing and circumstances of Jesus death! Anybody who think “planning” isn’t spiritual and isn’t something that pleases God ought to read more of their Bible! Let’s thank God right now that He’s got all the tiny details right down pat. If you ever feel that things are out of control, remember that here even amid the greatest sacrifice of all time, God was completely in control! God is always sovereign.


PASSOVER LAMB SPECIFICALLY APPLIED

We discover in this passage that the Passover was applied in a specific way. Why is this significant?


Applied blood

Exodus 12:7 (NIV) Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.


It is not sufficient to know about Christ's sacrifice. By faith, we apply Christ's blood upon our lives when we accept Him as our personal Saviour.

By faith the Israelites were to apply the blood on the lintels of the house in a triune fashion. Note none were applied at door threshold so no one walks over Christ's blood. Notice it was not sufficient to simply agree to the blood’s application. It must be applied to the lintels of the door. When the angelic destroyer came that night, he will see the blood and pass over the household and not kill the firstborn. In the same way, it is not sufficient to know about Christ's sacrifice. By faith, we apply Christ's blood upon our lives when we accept Him as our personal Saviour.


Heb 9:14 (NIV) How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!


Since Calvary, God sees Christ's blood and His judgment will pass over us.

Since Calvary, God sees Christ's blood and His judgment will pass over us.


Consumed body

Exodus 12:8–10 (NIV) 8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs. 10 Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it.


So when we go through bitter experiences, consider Jesus. God brought good out of it, and He can bring good out of our painful experiences as well.

The lamb was eaten with bitter herbs to signify bitter experience. For what Jesus went through was truly a painful experience. So when we go through bitter experiences, consider Jesus. God brought good out of it, and He can bring good out of our painful experiences as well.


Rom 8:28 (NIV) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.


It was also eaten with unleavened bread to signify purity. It was bread without yeast. For yeast was considered a corrupting influence.


1 Cor 5:6-8 (NIV) 6 …Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.


The lamb is to be fully consumed. Leftovers to be totally burned. What a waste! What is the significance? It symbolises that the lamb is available for a season only. After that it is judgment. There will be no more grace available. The salvation value of lamb is more than enough for all who would believe. In fact, there will be leftovers. As Jesus, the Son of God died for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2 (NIV) He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.


The atoning sacrifice of Jesus is more than sufficient for the whole world.But it is effective only for those who believe in Christ.

The atoning sacrifice of Jesus is more than sufficient for the whole world. But it is effective only for those who believe in Christ. Just as a Christmas gift can be set aside for me, but it is only truly mine when I accept it. So we do not teach Universalism which thinks that all sin of the entire human race has been dealt with at the sacrifice. The atoning sacrifice is only effective for those who accept and trust in what Christ did. This is known as unlimited atonement because the provision of atonement is to every human being.


Most Calvinist theologians believe in a limited atonement, where Jesus died only specifically for believers. Because they cannot accept that the blood of Christ was wasted in any way. But this contradicts Scripture that teaches Christ died for all, and there are many supporting Scriptures, and also the typology here.


His grace for us is often wasted!He provides for us the grace to grow to the fullest potential in Christ. Yet few Christians reach their fullest potential in Christ, because they do not appropriate all of God's provision.

And when you think about it, why would God not be willing to allow for His divine provision to be wasted? After all His grace for us is often wasted! He provides for us the grace to grow to the fullest potential in Christ. Yet few Christians reach their fullest potential in Christ, because they do not appropriate all of God's provision. God loves us so much, He lavishes His love upon us, but many times His love is wasted upon us. In the sense that is not always appreciated or reciprocated.


That is why I don’t want God's grace to me to be wasted! How about you?


PASSOVER LAMB SPECIFICALLY SIGNIFICANT

Exodus 12 was to be the first Passover. In fact, many Jews still celebrate it today.


A memorial

Exodus 12:11 (NIV) This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover.


Passover was a memorial to the Jews about God's deliverance from Egypt but also an indicator pointing towards the coming Messiah's sacrifice. For Christians this has been replaced with communion which carries many elements of the same symbolic significance. But instead of blood we have wine. Instead of meat we have bread.


We take communion as a memorial to remember Jesus the REAL Passover Lamb, who has already died for us and paid the price of our sins.

When we take communion, it is not to remember the “Passover” when God’s judgement passed over Egypt, sparing the Israelites. We take communion as a memorial to remember Jesus the REAL Passover Lamb, who has already died for us and paid the price of our sins. That God’s judgement will also Passover us!


Signifies God's holy judgment

Exodus 12:12 (NIV) “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD.


On that night, God judged the Egyptians because they did not believe God’s warnings. In the New Testament, God judges all who do not believe in God's Lamb. Woe to those who reject the Lamb of God, because the only the wrath of a Holy God remains. John 3:18 (NIV) Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.


Signifies God's holy mercy

Exodus 12:13 (NIV) The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.


The Passover Lamb was God's merciful provision to save the Israelites who believed. God in His holiness must deal with sin. Yet God in His mercy provided a way of salvation to those who choose to trust in God. God's mercy is always evident. In fact, God could have wiped out all the Egyptians from day one. But He did not! After 10 warnings, God could be justified in wiping the entire nation out. Yet He did not. He only wiped out the firstborn.


God’s mercy has been provided through Jesus Christ to all who would believe. His mercy has been extended even to the Gentiles. Therefore, we should be thankful to God. And we should never try to take advantage of God's mercy.


CONCLUSION

The Feast of Passover was not simply a memorial celebration for the Jews. It spoke prophetically of what Jesus the true Passover Lamb would do. God is a holy God who will judge unbelievers. Yet God in His loving mercy has provided the Passover Lamb in order that His wrath will pass over those who have faith in Christ Jesus.

 

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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