Passover: Proof that Jesus is the Messiah
Without a historical understanding of Passover, you can regard the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as a dramatic event on a random day. Just a day in history when the people and leaders decided to crucify Him who was without sin. Jesus, being the victim of human misunderstanding. An event like this could easily have taken place a week later or earlier. But not on God’s Calendar! For precisely this reason the Old Testament Feast of Pesach – through both timing and rituals – is the ultimate and powerful proof that Jesus was the promised Messiah.
The Jews are celebrating Passover each year, as they are remembering their liberation out of Egypt and out of slavery. Death passed them by through the blood of the Passover lamb that was applied to the doorposts. The Christians are celebrating Passover each year as well, while commemorating their salvation and the release of the power of sin through the substitutionary death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Paul connects the two by saying that Jesus is our Passover Lamb. This wasn’t just Paul’s theological opinion, since the Bible provides convincing evidence for this to be true. Paul explains that the Passover feast was an historical event in Egypt, but also a foreshadow of a future reality. The events in Egypt were foreshadowing the deliverance by the Messiah. Paul isn’t just making a correlation but shows that Jesus was the promised Messiah. Jesus revealed the deeper meaning of Passover.
When Jesus entered Jerusalem four days before Passover, the annual patterns of the Passover feast began to coincide with the Eternal Plan of God and the reality in Jesus Christ. When Jesus died on the day of Passover and even on the exact hour when the Passover lamb was slain for the nation in the temple – it became abundantly clear.
But how many people were on that day in Jerusalem solely occupied with their own pesach lamb, and not at all in tune with the Reality of God’s Plan which became visible outside the city wall on Golgotha’s hill?
It is not a coincident that the Bible tells us that His bones were not broken, just as the bones of the Passover lamb were not to be broken according to Biblical instruction. Neither is it a coincidence that Jesus rose from death on the exact calendar date of the Feast of First Fruits, as the First-Fruit of those who had died. That was the convincing evidence that He was the Passover Lamb of God for us.
The pattern of Passover was completed in Christ. This could not have been programmed by human planning. Almost 1500 years earlier, God had decided on this annual calendar. Now – on Pesach – God showed in detail the reality of Christ. And it was all done with awesome precision.