“Then they shall eat the flesh (lamb) on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.” Exodus 12:8
Did you ever have folks over for dinner and couldn’t decide what to prepare for them? Well, at the first Passover, God told the Israelites to prepare a special meal that would not only nourish them, but will also save the first-born in the home. It was the last meal they would eat as slaves in Egypt. On the plate, that evening, were 3 specific things. Each item had a historical, prophetic and Messianic picture. Did the picture become clear during the life and passion of Jesus in the 1st Century?
Historically: This was a sacrifice each family had to make. The first-born in each house was under the judgment of death. The lamb’s life was substituted for the first-born. The blood of the lamb had to be splashed on the 2 doorposts and on the upper mantle of the door. When the angel of death saw the blood, he passed over the house and left the first-born unharmed. Any home that did not have this sacrifice resulted in death for the first born of that house.
Prophetically: This gave a picture of what the Messiah would be…”A SACRIFICE LAMB” (Isaiah 53:6)
Messianically: It was the role of the priests to select the lambs to be offered to God. A Priest by the name of Johanann Ben Zechariah (John the Baptizer) said, as he saw Jesus coming to him to be baptized, ”…Behold! The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
Historically: The people were redeemed from Egypt by the swift hand of God. They had to be ready to leave quickly. They didn’t have time for the bread dough to rise. Furthermore, leaven is a picture of the effects of sin in the Bible.
Prophetically: It is a picture of what Messiah would be like… “A SINLESS LAMB.”
Messianically: It was also the role of the priests to inspect all the lambs for sacrifice. The Chief Priests challenged Jesus’ Authority; the Pharisees & the Herodians questioned his Allegiance, the Sadducees tested his Doctrine and an expert in religious law questioned his Devotion (Matthew 21 & 22). Little did they realize, that in their pursuit to have Jesus incriminate himself, they actually inspected THE LAMB and … found no fault in him.
Historically: Life under Egyptian slavery was very bitter, with much suffering and very harsh treatment.
Prophetically: This is a picture of what the Messiah would become… “A SUFFERING LAMB.”
Messianically: It was the role of the priests and the people to slaughter their lambs.
Jesus was crucified at 9 am. While on the cross, at 12 noon, he hears the shofar blown, signaling the start to slaughter the lambs at the Temple. He also hears the people and the priests sing Psalms 113 through 118. At 3 pm the last line of the Psalms was song, “for his mercy endureth forever.” (Psalm 118:29) Jesus cries out, “It is finished!” (John 19:30) and dies. He is quickly buried in the tomb. Three days later, He is resurrected!
This special menu has a much deeper significance when it’s seasoned with the Life of Christ. The picture becomes focused. It fits together! Jesus was the sinless, sacrificial, suffering Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. We all have sinned and are under the judgment of death. The sacrifice has been made for you. Have you accepted Jesus to be YOUR “LAMB”?
Note: I used a portion from a handout sheet called, “Passover in the upper room with Yeshua” by Peter Colon for the main points.