Easter is quickly coming up, so I want to focus on an Old Testament connection to Easter.

You may have read that Jesus went to Jerusalem, knowing what would happen to him there, to celebrate the Passover. Passover is a Jewish holiday to celebrate when the Lord passed over the Israelite people, killing all the first born sons of Egypt. This marked the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and from slavery. The story takes place in Exodus 12, and is well worth the read.

God gave Moses and Aaron very important instructions. He told them that He is going to kill the firstborn of every family in Egypt on what the Israelites were to consider the 14th day of the 1st month of the year. However the angel of death would pass over any house that put the blood of a 1 year old male spotless lamb on the frames of their door. Inside the house, the family was to supposed to slaughter the lamb themselves, eat the meat of the lamb, eat bread made without yeast, and have their cloak and staff at the ready — they wouldn’t have time to even let the yeast in their bread rise.

Just as God promised, he came on the 14th day of the first month, he killed the firstborn from every house of the Egyptians, and he passed over the houses that had the lamb’s blood on the door frame (This was the 10th plague if you’ve ever read about the 10 plagues in Egypt). So Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron before him and told the Israelite people to leave quickly. To remember this event, God commanded as lasting ordinance to celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread… the Passover. For the most part (we’ll just ignore some of Old Testament history) from that time on, the Jewish nation has celebrated the Passover on the 14th day of the 1st month.

So why is this story so important 1400 years later, when Jesus is spending his last night before being crucified? We’ve all heard the story that Jesus and his disciples took the ‘Lord’s Supper,’ Jesus’ last meal before being executed, in the upper room. He was trying to give his disciples a message. He’s explaining a tradition of old and trying to get them to understand what was about to happen to him, why, and how things would change.

Jesus took the bread made without yeast and told his disciples that the bread was his body, broken for them. It has no yeast, representing sin. He told them to eat the bread and remember him. He then took the wine and told his disciples that the wine was his blood, poured out for them. He told them to drink the wine and remember him. This is like what Jesus said in John 6:53-59.

So what does this mean? It means that it is Jesus’ blood that will prevent the people from absorbing the wrath of God, death. So Jesus is screaming to his disciples, “I AM THE PASSOVER LAMB!” From the very first Passover, to the night of the Lord’s Supper, to this Easter, Jesus has always and will always be the Passover Lamb. John the Baptist called him the lamb that takes away the sins of the world. He’s the battered lamb in Revelation that is worthy to open the seals of judgment. He is saying that he was every lamb sacrificed according to laws in Exodus 29. It has always been Jesus. It has always been about the next day when he would be sacrificed. The wrath of God was never satisfied by the blood of a lamb, it was satisfied by the blood of THE lamb.

Sacrificing animals was a symbol, pointing to the death of Jesus. The Passover was a symbol, pointing to Jesus. The Old Testament is filled with stories and prophesies pointing to Jesus, pointing to THAT moment in history.  The message of the entire Old Testament was coming to fruition over the next 3 days. The entire New Testament was written because of what was about to happen. The entire Israelite nation was formed because of this man and this moment. Jesus was telling his disciples that everything about their lives, their culture, and their history was going to be fulfilled over the course of the next 3 days.

This is why I think everyone should know the Old Testament. If you skip it, you miss so much of the story!

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