The Passover Feast
Passover is an ancient feast, one that spans some 35 centuries of human existence. It is set in the time of Egypt's Great Pyramids.
The Passover story is impassioned by fiery accounts of a death sentence for Jewish infants – a baby floating in a river – Jewish slaves – a burning bush – Egyptian sorcerers – tense confrontations with Pharaoh – divine plagues – a pursuing army – a parting of the sea – the birth of a nation – at the foot of a thundering wilderness mountain.
Passover carries a powerful message for today.
This holiday forms the primary background for understanding the events of the Upper Room and the symbolism of the Lord's Table and Communion, and the meaning of the Messiah's death.
I. The Biblical Observance.
For 400 years the Jewish people had lived in Egypt, and now God's time for their deliverance had come.
In Exodus Chapter 12, God outlined explicit steps to be taken by those who trusted in Him.
• They were to select a year-old male lamb in its prime.
• It was to be a perfect lamb, without flaw or defect.
• It was to be taken out of the flock on the tenth day of the first month of the year called Nisan and kept until the 14th day of that month.
• This would allow time for each family to observe the lamb and confirm that it was fit and to become personally attached to that lamb, so it would not be just a lamb (Exodus 12:3) – but their lamb (Exodus 12:5).
• This would impress upon them the costly nature of a sacrifice – for this innocent one to die in their place.
• On the evening of the 14th, as the warm afternoon sun was setting, the lambs were publicly killed by the whole assembly.
• All the people were to be responsible for the deaths of the lambs, yet in contrast each family was to individually apply the blood of the lamb to the doorposts of their own house as a visible sign of faith in their Lord.
• At that moment the innocent lamb bec ...
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