To believers in Messiah, the Passover feast has a special meaning. Though we are not slaves, as God’s people in Egypt, we were slaves to our sin, our own wants and desires.
Sin was our master until Jesus, the Passover Lamb, delivered us from our Egypt. The lamb slain during Passover is a foreshadow of the redemption we find in Jesus, the Messiah, our Passover lamb.
The principle of redemption is the concept of bondage to the slavery of sin and freedom from its domination (John 8:31-36). To be “redeemed” means to be purchased from slavery. Jesus Christ purchased our freedom with His blood as the payment for the redemption (Ps. 34:22; 1 Peter 1:18,19; Gal. 3:13; Eph. 1:7; 1 John 1:7).
Jesus ate the Passover meal with eleven of His disciples . Just as the priest was to teach, pray, and offer sacrifice, Christ, the High Priest, taught, prayed, and then offered Himself as our sacrifice.
The story does not end with the death of Jesus. His body was placed in a new tomb that belonged to a man named Joseph of Arimathea . The greatest event that separates Jesus from all others is the fact that He overcame death. In three days He rose again and lives today. He arose from the grave on the Feasts of Firstfruits!
Events Occurring on Firstfruits
Other than Passover, no other day has as many biblical events recorded than Firstfruits (*see below*).
On Nisan 17, when Israel emerged from the Red Sea, this emergence was a shadow of the fulfillment of the day of Firstfruits (Lev. 23:9-14). This was the first of God’s people to emerge from sin (Egypt). It was fulfilled 1,478 years later on Nisan 17, 30 A.D. when Jesus was resurrected and ascended to heaven as our high priest, the Firstfruit of the resurrected (John 20:17).
An Everlasting Covenant
Numerous New Testament examples show where people were intending to keep the Feasts, were keeping them, and would keep them again the in Kingdom. Those passages include: Luke 2:42; John 5:1; 7:2, 10, 14; 12:20; Matthew 26:2, 17, 29; Acts 18:21; and 1Corinthians 5:8.
So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.
Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’
Jesus promised to keep the Passover in the future Kingdom with His disciples, Matthew 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18, 30.
Some believe these verses are for Israel not us. But Galatians says, “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to promise” (Gal. 3:6-9, 29).
So we who believe Jesus is the Christ are to continue the remembrance of what God has done for His people. How better do do that than with a Passover service?
Baruch ata Adonai, elohanu melech ha olam!
Blessed art Thou Lord God, King of the universe!
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* Listed below:
Nissan 17, Noah’s Ark safely rested on Mt. Ararat (Gen 8:4). Note that the seventh month was later designated as the first month at the time of the Exodus (Ex. 12:2).
Nissan 17, Hebrews entered Egypt (Ex. 12:40-41) 430 years before deliverance.
Nissan 17, Moses led the Hebrews through the parting of the Red Sea (Ex. 3:18, 5:3).
Nissan 17, Israel entered and ate the first fruit of the Promised Land (Joshua 5:10-12).
Nissan 17, The cleansing of the Temple by Hezekiah (eight hundred years after entering the promised land. (2 Chronicles 29:1-28).
Nissan 17, Queen Esther saved the Jews from Elimination (Esther 3:12, 5:1).
Nissan 17, The Resurrection of Messiah (think about it).
The odds of just two of these events both happening accidentally on the same day of the Hebrew year (360 days) are one in 129,000.
The odds of these events all happening coincidentally on the same day of the Hebrew year are one in 783 quadrillion, 864 trillion, 876 billion, 960 million (783,864,876,960,000,000). Yeah.