Chapter 12, The First Passover. This is one of my favorite events in all of scripture. It is a complete story of Jesus' death! It is a picture of the future day when the spotless Lamb would be sacrificed on a cross so that the death angel would "pass over" all who were covered "in the blood." We are going to follow the Hebrew calendar for this event, because it will be significant in our reading in a couple days. Nisan is the first month on the Hebrew calendar, and it starts in early spring (late March). And Passover happened on the 14th of Nisan each year, so the day would be different each year.
- Nisan 10, the lamb without a defect is selected and kept for four days (vs. 3)
- Nisan 14 evening, lamb is slaughtered (vs. 6)
- Lamb's blood smeared across doorframe in the shape of a cross (vs. 7)
- Entire lamb is roasted over the fire (9)
- Lamb is eaten with bitter herbs and unleavened bread (without yeast (vs. 8)
- None of the lamb's bones may be broken (12:46- tomorrow's reading)
Here is how Passover was traditionally celebrated/observed by Jewish people before the destruction of the Temple in AD 70:
- Nisan 10 selection of the lamb
- 10-14 Four days the lamb was carefully inspected for any blemishes or imperfections
- Nisan 14: At 9:00 a.m. the lambs were brought into the Temple and bound to the altar
- At 3:00 the High Priest slaughtered the lamb, splashed blood on the top and sides of the altar, and declared, "It is finished"
- The lamb was placed on a pole and secured with a cross pole to prepare for roasting
- The lamb was consumed with no bones broken, per the Exodus instructions
12:13 But the blood on your doorposts will serve as a sign, marking the houses where you are staying. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt. This is the miracle of the Passover.
Can you see Jesus in that piece of His-story? We will make even more amazing connections in a couple days! And it's important to note, the lamb was sacrificed, the people were passed over by the death angel, and now they have been set free from the control of Pharaoh, ready to get on their way to the Promised Land!
20:22 But Jesus answered by saying to them, "You don't know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink?" Here is a clue from the Passover. "Bitter cup." Do you see a connection to anything in our picture?
Questions for personal reflection:
- Why is the account of the Passover significant for you? Have you ever thought about Jesus being your Passover Lamb?
- So far in Genesis and now Exodus, we've seen a story being told. What is that story? How does seeing all the pieces come together, thousands of years before Christ, impact your faith?