This Friday evening, April 6th, is Passover, the first of the three Spring Feasts God commanded Israel to keep annually. Passover has been celebrated for 3500 years and provides the Jewish roots for our remembrance of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and the celebration of His resurrection.
I Cor. 5:7-8: “Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
Jesus perfectly fulfilled the prophetic actions Jewish homes re-enact in the Passover Seder. He is the Passover Lamb slain on the very day the priests were sacrificing the lamb to commemorate God’s deliverance from the slavery of Egypt. Four cups of wine are served in the Seder, based on the four declarations God made to Israel in Ex. 6:6, 7. God told Moses to tell the people: “I am the Lord, and I will bring you out (Cup of Sanctification)....I will deliver you (Cup of Deliverance)….I will also redeem you (Cup of Redemption)…..Then I will take you for My people (Cup of Marriage).”
Jesus also is the sinless Bread of Life pictured in the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Jewish homes will thoroughly clean their homes from top to bottom this week in preparation for the week long celebration of Unleavened Bread. This is a wonderful picture of the work each of us should do daily in separating ourselves from sin. “Be holy, for I am holy.”
Jesus also fulfilled the third Feast, First Fruits, by rising from the dead—the first fruits hope for resurrection that we all, as believers in Jesus, hold as our own glorious hope. Because He defeated death we too have the hope of resurrection. Paul sums it up clearly in I Cor. 15: “…if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins…But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” We proclaim to the world the Good News. He died and took away your sins. But the grave is empty! He is Risen! Hallelujah!