Thursday, March 28, 2013
Passover and Jesus: God's Story of Redemption
One thing I love about God is how He reveals His story to us time and time again. I am including a passage from Chuck Pierce, one that I love to read during Easter week. He outlines the ways in which Passover and Easter week are interlocking pieces of God's redemption story.
Author Chuck Pierce wrote the following--
The Timetable of Passover
It's interesting to compare the timetable of Jesus' crucifixion with the Passover celebration. According to the Torah, at the time of Passover a number of events had to take place in a specific order, and at very specific times.
1. The Passover Lamb had to be selected on a specific day. Exodus 12 instructs that the Passover lamb be chosen on the 10th day of 1st month. By the time of Jesus, only lambs from Bethlehem were considered eligible to serve as Passover lambs. So the lamb born in Bethlehem was chosen and brought into Jerusalem from the east (down the Mount of Olives) and entered the city through the sheep gate. On the 10th day of 1st month Jesus, the Lamb born in Bethlehem, came down the Mount of Olives and entered Jerusalem through the sheep gate. (This is called His "triumphal entry.") As He entered, the people waved palm branches and shouted "Blessed is he that comes in the name of the LORD! Save us, Son of David!" By mass acclamation Jesus is designated as Israel's Messiah! The crowds had chosen their Passover Lamb!
2. The Lamb then had to be examined. The Torah instructed that once the lamb was chosen, it had to be carefully examined for blemishes. Only a perfect, spotless and unblemished lamb would suffice for the Passover. After arriving in Jerusalem, Jesus went to the Temple to teach. While there, He was approached by the Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians and the teachers of the Law. Each group posed difficult questions, trying to trap him. Essentially, they were looking for any blemish which might disqualify Him as Messiah. But no one could find fault with Him. He was without blemish.
3. The Leaven (impurity) must be cast out. Torah instructs that before the feast, all leaven (impurity) must be cast out of every Israelite home. Each mother took a candle and searched out impurity, removing it from her house. This regulation is still observed today. Passover is a time to cleanse every house. Every observant Jewish family carefully cleans their house before Passover. Every trace of impurity is removed. After Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, He entered the Temple and cast out the moneychangers. He was following the Biblical instruction to prepare for Passover by cleansing His Father's house.
4. The Lamb is taken to the altar for public display. On the morning of the 14th day of the 1st month, when all has been set in order, the lamb was led out to the altar. At 9 a.m. that morning, the lamb was bound to the altar and put on public display for all to see. On the morning of the 14th day of the 1st month, when all had been fulfilled, Jesus was led out to Calvary. At 9 a.m. that morning, just as the lamb was being bound to the altar, Jesus was nailed to the Cross and put on public display at Calvary.
5. The Lamb was slain at a specific time. At exactly 3 p.m. the high priest ascended the altar. As another priest blew a shofar on the temple wall, the high priest cuts the throat of the sacrificial Lamb, and declared, "IT IS FINISHED!" At 3 p.m. on that high holy day, at the moment the Passover lamb was killed, Jesus cried with a loud voice, "IT IS FINISHED," and gave up His spirit. In Greek, "It is finished" is tetelistai! It means, "The debt has been paid in full!" The Celebration of Jesus!