In order for us to fully appreciate and comprehend Jesus dying on the cross, it is important to know the meaning of Passover. The purpose of Christ’s sacrifice is revealed by understanding a critical time in the life of the nation of Israel when they were slaves in Egypt.
How did the sons of Jacob go from being highly regarded in Egypt because of their brother Joseph to being slaves? Remember that Jacob ~ whose name was changed by God to Israel ~ and his entire family had left Canaan and moved to Egypt. This dramatic relocation was due to a widespread famine that is recorded in the life of Joseph through extraordinary circumstances.
While in Egypt for 400 years, the nation of Israel flourished and grew to more than 2 million people. The Bible records that the new rulers of Egypt made them their slaves. But what happened next?
Exodus chapters 1, 11-14 skim read Exodus 2-10
Exodus 12:7, 11-13 The first Passover lamb was slain and its blood was put on the sides and top of the door. God gave these instructions with a promise: “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.”
John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
I Corinthians 5:7
“For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.”
- What does the word “exodus” mean?
- Each time Pharoah refused to let the people of Israel leave Egypt to return to Canaan, what happened?
- What was the final judgment that God brought upon Egypt for their refusal to let the people of Israel go?
- Why were the people of Israel instructed to kill a lamb and put the blood on the door posts of their house?
- How would you explain the meaning of the word “Passover”?
- How was the first Passover lamb preparing the way for Jesus?
I encourage you to think more and more about the mission of Christ to be our Savior and Lord ~ he died and shed his blood for our sins that we might live an abundant life here and eternally with God. I couldn’t agree more with these words written in 1855 by a great minister named Charles Spurgeon.
By Charles Spurgeon
THE more you read the Bible, and the more you meditate upon it, the more you will be astonished with it. He who is but a casual reader of the Bible, does not know the height, the depth, the length and breadth of the mighty meanings contained in its pages. There are certain times when I discover a new vein of thought, and I put my hand to my head and say in astonishment, “Oh, it is wonderful I never saw this before in the Scriptures.” You will find the Scriptures enlarge as you enter them; the more you study them the less you will appear to know of them, for they widen out as we approach them. One of the most interesting points of the Scriptures is their constant tendency to display Christ; and perhaps one of the most beautiful figures under which Jesus Christ is ever exhibited in sacred writ, is the Passover Paschal Lamb.
Israel was in Egypt, in extreme bondage; the severity of their slavery had continually increased till it was so oppressive that their incessant groans went up to heaven. God who avenges his own elect, though they cry day and night to him, at last, determined that he would direct a fearful blow against Egypt’s king and Egypt’s nation, and deliver his own people. We can picture the anxieties and the anticipations of Israel, but we can scarcely sympathize with them, unless we as Christians have had the same deliverance from spiritual Egypt. Let us, brethren, go back to the day in our experience, when we abode in the land of Egypt, working in the brick-kilns of sin, toiling to make ourselves better, and finding it to be of no avail; let us recall that memorable night, the beginning of months, the commencement of a new life in our spirit, and the beginning of an altogether new era in our soul. The Word of God struck the blow at our sin; he gave us Jesus Christ our sacrifice; and in that night we went out of Egypt.
God, the first Passover and many others were observed by the Jews to celebrate their deliverance from Egypt. Then the final Passover Lamb is slain as you ordained it. Jesus is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world ~ my sins. Thank you, God, that even if I had been the only sinner, Jesus would have died for me.