Jesus our Passover Lamb and his blood
Christians have been celebrating the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ…well… for about 2,000 years. So where did this all start? It started in the Garden of Eden when mankind sinned against a Holy God and were banned from entering the garden ever again. If the Creator had allowed them to stay, it would have been possible for them to eat from the correct tree of life which would have locked them into an eternally damned state. This is why Scripture depicts Cherubim guarding the way back into the garden in Genesis 3:22-24 with a flaming sword. Then moving to the next step of the God-ordained plan of salvation for mankind is in Genesis 12, with God giving to Abraham the command to leave his country and that God would show him the land that he would possess.
We find the first recorded Passover feast in preparation for their departure from Egypt in Exodus 12:5-28. They were to kill the Passover lamb without blemish, they were to eat it while standing and to do it in a hurry. They were commanded to strike the lintel and door posts with the blood of the lamb so that God would ‘pass over’ and not kill their first-born. So did they perform this feast year after year until the time was fulfilled that the final Passover Lamb was readied to be offered.
The prophecies in Isaiah 53 are a stunning foretelling of the Messiah, also known as the suffering servant. Even in the New King James version, the intent of the passage shows the poetry, it is almost like a song.
Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. 3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. 9 And they made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.
The suffering servant would be rejected, bruised, afflicted, stricken, offered, slaughtered like a dumb lamb, He carried our iniquities, He was numbered as a transgressor and He was buried with the wicked, and thus He became our eternal intercessor.
With the coming of the Messiah, the Lord sent His prophet ahead of Him, namely John the Baptist who publicly acknowledged the Lord Jesus Christ as such:
Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.
The proclamation by John the Baptist that Jesus was the Lamb of God ushered in the ministry of the Lord Jesus and this He did for approximately three years until it was time for Him to offer himself up as the final atonement.
So we find then that the record of the ministry of the Lord Jesus which culminated in his trial, death and resurrection is to be found in the following synopsis of the Gospel of:
Matthew 27:22, 35-37, 50
Pilate said unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all said unto him, Let him be crucified. And they crucified Him and parted His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: “They parted My garments among them, and upon My vesture did they cast lots.” And sitting down, they watched Him there, and set up over His head His accusation, written: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Jesus, when He had cried out again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
It is interesting to note that as an integral part of the ritual of the first Passover, the participants were to eat the lamb while they were standing, and they were to eat it in a hurry. When the full account in Matthew 27 is read, we find those that were participating in the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, the final Passover Lamb (though the participants knew it not at that time), were standing there reviling the Lord. They also saw to it that the Roman soldiers were to crucify Him quickly because the Passover feast was drawing nigh, which is why they were breaking the legs of those that were crucified along with Jesus in order to hurry up their deaths. They did not of course physically consume the body of the Lord Jesus, but they most certainly drank in and ate up the entire scene of the sacrificial Lamb of God at that moment. Another note: the first participants also performed this ritual outside of the Promised Land, and the final participants also crucified the Lord Jesus outside of the city gates of Jerusalem, in the Promised Land.
The climax of the Passion week is found in:
Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He Is Risen….
For the Christian, these are the three greatest words ever recorded in the annals of history. This was the final sacrifice for sins, transgressions and iniquities forever more. Jesus the Christ, the Messiah of the world, who is our eternal hope and confidence. This year, we will celebrate His resurrection and subsequently ours as well in every church, not just in the greater metro area of Chicago, but this celebration will take place tomorrow in every church, every home, even in every field across this nation and the entire world. Every Christian will joyfully utter these words, not just on tomorrow, but every time that the remembrance of the Lord Jesus Christ, who shed His atoning blood at Calvary is remembered by saying:
He Is Risen! Hallelujah!