The Last Supper eaten by Jesus and His disciples the night before He went to the cross was the Passover meal (Pesach in Hebrew) in remembrance of the night Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. It is one of the most sacred and widely observed Jewish holidays. The Jews were instructed to mark the top and sides of their doorposts with the blood of an unblemished sacrifice lamb. When the death angel saw the blood, he passed over that house and did not kill the first born child in the house. First born animals were also protected by the blood. Death of the first born throughout the land of Egypt was the tenth and final plague sent by God against Pharaoh and Egypt. As a result of this plague, Pharaoh finally permitted the Hebrew slaves to leave. They took all their possessions and also Egyptian goods as spoils of war. Pharaoh later, however, changed his mind and pursued them with horses, chariots and soldiers. Pharaoh and his army perished when the walls of the Red Sea collapsed, drowning them.
God commanded that the Passover be observed annually as a permanent reminder of His deliverance of His people from slavery in Egypt. The Passover Seder is a ritual celebration and re-telling of Passover. (The word Seder means order or arrangement.) The unblemished lambs sacrificed at Passover and the shedding of their blood in atonement for sin is a picture of Jesus’ death on the cross. Jesus was the perfect and ultimate sacrifice lamb. No further sacrifices need be made. Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished.” As the perfect Lamb of God he fully paid the price for sin-- something that no other lamb could do. Animal sacrifices were temporary solutions and had to be done every year. The perfect Lamb of God cleansed rather than just covered sin for all who receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The gift of salvation is available for all but must be chosen and received individually.
Traditionally Jewish people observe Passover every year and do not know their long awaited Messiah has already come. They do not know that Jesus, the Lamb of God, was the final sacrifice for sin. Yet, Messianic Jews and many Christians celebrate Messianic Passover Seders with the full understanding that Christ is the sacrifice Lamb that was slain as the final sin sacrifice.
John the Baptist identified Jesus early in His ministry as the Lamb of God: “.... Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) “I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:34)
Passover is one of the Jewish religion's most sacred and widely observed holidays. It is comparable in significance to Christmas and Easter for Christians. I believe the comparison is striking. Christmas celebrates the birth of the Lamb of God and Easter celebrates the atoning death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, the Lamb of God. Judaism and Christianity, in the Old and New Testaments, tell the whole Gospel story of God’s redemption and grace.
Easter Blessings, He is Risen!!