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Why was Jesus Christ so concerned about keeping the Passover just before He was crucified? Is there a connection and symbolism between the Passover and Christ’s death that is overlooked?
In ancient Israel the first Passover was a time of deliverance, the rescuing of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. The blood of the Passover lamb was smeared on the doorposts of those Israelites who put their trust in God, and He promised to deliver them from harm (Exodus 12:13, Exodus 12:23). The Israelites were spared, while the firstborn of the Egyptians were slain.
Many years later, during His final Passover with His disciples, Jesus Christ introduced new symbols, which commemorate Him as “our Passover, [who] was sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7). The observance of the New Testament Passover was revealed as the first step toward salvation. It reminds Christians not only of how God delivered ancient Israel out of Egypt, but of our deliverance out of sin today.
God’s way of redeeming humanity from the death penalty without compromising His perfect law is for the penalty to be paid in our place by the Son of God. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). We also read that the wages of sin is death, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23, King James Version).
The Bible makes it clear that all who will follow Christ should observe this New Testament Passover annually, as He did, in remembrance of His love and sacrifice for our sins and as a reminder of our commitment to Him for what God has done in our lives.
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The Good News magazine