THE PASSOVER AND YOU
What does this ancient Jewish
sacrificial custom have to do with you?
In remembrance of me,” were the words Jesus spoke that established the Christian ritual of the Lord’s Supper on Passover eve before His crucifixion. As instructed we partake of wine and unleavened bread symbolizing the blood and body of Christ our redeemer. Do we understand its full significance, its history, where it all started and why it is so important to you as a Christian?
It transcends our physical world:
Perhaps we should start by stepping outside the box of our little three-dimensional world into a world of multi-dimensions. Consider the one Jesus spoke of in John 3, a heavenly world of spiritual beings that moved like the wind, unfettered by space and time, full of mysteries, and astounding events. A world where we could see that plans of gargantuan proportions are being laid and set in motion. By the way, you are included in those plans.
John was privileged to have a rare glimpse of such a world as described in Revelations 4. He tells us about thrones, flashes of lightning, peals of thunder and strange living creatures, all very active. Why, it makes Star Wars look like a Sunday-school picnic. Then in chapter 5 John describes an outcome of events that involves us all. The subject is the book of life, a life that was lost and then regained. Warned of in Genesis 2:17; lost in Genesis 3:1-7; regained at the cross of the Passover on Nisan 14, the very day and the hour of the slaying of the Passover Lambs in Jerusalem.
And I saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who was sitting on the throne, a scroll with writing on the inside and on the back, and sealed with seven seals. A mighty angel with a loud voice was shouting out this question: "Who is worthy to break the seals on this scroll and to unroll it?" But no one in all heaven or earth or from among the dead was permitted to open and read it.
Then I wept with bitter disappointment because no one anywhere was worthy; no one could tell us what it said. But one of the twenty-four Elders said to me, "Stop crying, for look! The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, (Christ) has conquered, and proved himself worthy to open the scroll and to break its seven seals."
God’s Lamb at the throne:
I looked and saw a Lamb standing there before the twenty-four Elders, in front of the throne and the Living Beings, and on the Lamb were wounds that once had caused his death. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which represent the seven-fold Spirit of God, sent out into every part of the world. He stepped forward and took the scroll from the right hand of the one sitting upon the throne. And as he took the scroll, the twenty-four Elders fell down before the Lamb, each with a harp and golden vials filled with incense-the prayers of God's people!
The only one worthy:
They were singing him a new song with these words: "You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it; for you were slain, and your blood has bought people from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation as gifts for God. And you have gathered them into a kingdom and made them priests of our God; they shall reign upon the earth" (Rev 5:1-10 NLB).
Here then, is the whole story in capsule form. A lost world redeemed. But we can play it out in its full glory by starting with the gripping story of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22; a chilling account of obedience, sacrifice and a prophecy. Consider Abraham’s prophetic answer to Isaac’s question; “My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” And thus, Isaac was passed over.
From there we move forward in time to the ancient land of Egypt where we meet a slave nation that also is to be passed over. At this time the procedures of the Passover are explained in meticulous detail, and because they obeyed, an entire nation was passed over. Read the whole exciting story in Exodus 12. Later, the Lord gave Israel the 14th day of the first month, identified as His Passover, as a remembrance of their deliverance from bondage (Lev 23:4-5).
God’s Lamb on earth:
Moving forward about 2000 years, we see Abraham’s Prophecy fulfilled in its antitype. The Lion of the tribe of Judah has come in the form of man to be delivered as, “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world”. And all in the world who believe in Him will be passed over at His end-time judgment. For it is He who has redeemed us from the second death described in Revelation 20:6 and 14.
Then in Matthew 27:51 we read, “And, behold, the veil of the temple (secluding the holiest place in the temple, God’s throne) was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; (from God to man) and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.”
Bit by bit, through such tragedy, we begin to see the beauty and perfection of God’s long-range plan for man. Matthew 13:35 takes on a whole new meaning when we read, “I will utter things that have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.”
Suddenly, our eyes are opened to an astounding revelation as we read in Ephesians 1:4b “He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” Can you believe it? He chose you and me even before the earth was formed; furthermore our sins and iniquities will He remember no more (Heb. 10:17).
Our God given right:
We read in Hebrews 10:19-22, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. [Permission has now been granted you and me to enter where no man has entered before, save the priest and then only a once a year earthly semblance at that]. By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; [No longer is there a need for an earthly Priest, to mediate between man and God. We now have a direct link to the Father through the only mediator recognized and authorized by God, Jesus Christ, 1 Tim 2:5]. Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
Again we are encouraged to approach God boldly. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16). The way has now been opened for us to go directly to God through Christ. For Christ has replaced the Levitical Priesthood and become our High Priest, the only advocate needed between God and man. Study the book of Hebrews prayerfully and reap a wonderful understanding of man’s access to God the Father through Christ.
Can you grasp this? You have a personal invitation to enter the most Holy of Holies, the very throne of God’s grace. A personal God means that you go directly to Him with the very Son of God as your advocate? That is why we must come to God individually, one by one. Not by birth, race or denomination, but as an individual. No religious organization, priest, minister, or Satan himself can stand between you and God unless you let them. For the Son of man has come to save that which was lost (Matt 18:11), our personal Passover has come (1 Cor. 5:7).
Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows (Luke 12:6-8).
For He has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. You are mine; I created you. It was I that formed you in your mother’s womb. I loved you then, I love you now, for I have created you in my image. I have great plans for you, wonders that will leave you wide-eyed and breathless for the thrill of it all. For as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which I have prepared for you.
The life I have given you comes with a promise. I promise that I will see you through every hardship, disappointment, and pain. You are my handiwork and I will raise you up on that last day and set you in a seat of honor at the marriage supper of the Lamb. You did not choose me, I chose you, and in no way will I cast you out (1 Cor 2:9, Heb. 13:5, Ps 139:13-16, John 6:44).
Now hear this:
"What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!' I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:4-7).
Can we not conclude therefore, that if you were the only one that ever sinned, that fell and missed the mark, Jesus would have gone to the cross just for you? “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
The penalty for sin is the second death, from which there is no resurrection (Rev 20:6; 21:8), but the penalty has been paid for you. Rejoice! You have been passed over because the sinless Lamb of God was not passed over. Keep this in mind as you partake of His blood and flesh, on each 14th of Nisan in remembrance of Him, the one who delivered us from the bondage of sin. Truly God has provided Himself a Lamb.
Perhaps now we can better understand John 6:48-58.
48 "I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.
52 Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, ‘How can this man give us His flesh to eat?’ 53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever." NASU
So to answer the question, what does the Passover have to do with you?
It’s about you being passed over by the second death.
It’s about you being given the opportunity for eternal life.
It’s about the Father’s love for you.
It’s about what Christ did for you.
IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU!
Now it’s up to you.
Will you accept the invitation from the King and hear those wonderful words mentioned in Matthew 25:34?
"Then the King will say to you, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’”
Delmar Leger, Pastor, Christian Church Of God, Grand Junction, Co. (970) 249-6857, 4/3/04, email@example.com.