Enjoying Christ as the Passover
The Beginning of Months
Enjoying Christ as the Passover Lamb is the beginning of the Christian life. There were seven feasts that the people of Israel celebrated each year (Lev 23). Each one speaks to us in the New Testament age as an experience of our wonderful Savior, Christ Jesus our Lord.
God’s people were in bondage in Egypt, under the slavery of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. So were we. Paul writes:
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.”(Ephesians 2:1-3)
The Hebrew word for Passover is “pecach,” which basically means “you were spared!” You should have died for your sins, but another died in your place. You should have been judged, but another was judged in your place. The Jewish New Year begins here. “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.” (Exodus 12:2) It was spring, when all is fresh and new after a long winter.
Jesus the Lamb
How do we experience Christ? Let’s read Exodus 12:
“On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household.”(v 3)
God’s unit of salvation is not an individual, but a household (Acts 11:14; 16:15, 33; 18:8). Yes, it is up to the individual to personally receive Christ as the Lamb of God, but God’s desire is that the whole family be saved. There are few things as tragic as a household divided by different faith (Matt 10:34-36).
“Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.“(v 5)
Jesus was the only sinless, holy, spotless man that ever lived. Only He can save us. We cannot save ourselves. Religion is about trying to improve yourself. Christ is about Him saving us. He is different than every other religion on earth.
“You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.”(v 6)
Jesus, the sinless one, was crucified on the Passover, a perfect fulfillment of the scriptures. Notice that the lamb was taken on the tenth of the month, and killed on the fourteenth day. Christ fulfilled this also. The lamb had to be inspected carefully for four days before being sacrificed. Christ entered into Jerusalem triumphantly as the King at the beginning of the week (people now call it Palm Sunday), and the next four days He was examined by religious leaders, like the Pharisees, Sadducees, and even the Jewish court, the Sanhedrin. Finally, He was inspected by the Roman government through Pontius Pilate (Matt 21-27). He was found to be without sin. The only valid claim they could put on Him is that He claimed to be the Son of God (Matt 26:62-66). This was true---He was.
Enjoying The Blood of Christ
- Hymn: God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all
Christian hymns and spiritual songs with wonderful truths and music.}
Religion is about trying to improve yourself. Christ is about Him saving us. He is different than every other religion on earth.
Two Ways to Experience Christ
“Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it”(v 7)
There are two ways we can experience Christ as our Passover. First, the blood of the lamb frees us from the judgment and guilt of sin. We can enjoy Christ’s blood every morning by confessing our sins to Him:
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."(1 John 1:9)
Second, we can eat the Lamb. This is the subjective partaking of Christ in our spirit. If we only confess our sins, we just enjoy the blood. We also need to eat the lamb. To partake of Jesus in this way means we enjoy His Person, not just His work on the cross. We love Him, and are nourished inwardly by His love for us. Read more of Exodus 12:
“They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire. Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste—it is the Lord’s Passover.”(v 8-11)
Notice this delicious nourishing meal was to get them ready to leave Egypt. Egypt was full of bitterness, and this meal includes that flavor as a reminder. The roasted meat was full of energizing nutrients to equip them to leave. They were to have loins girded, sandals on and a staff in their hand. God’s goal was for them to leave the place of judgment—Egypt, and become a new people, Israel, the kingdom of God. What is this for us? We are called to spiritually leave the world, and enter into a new culture---the Body of Christ. Jesus does not call us to physically leave the world. He wants us to be in the world, but not of the world. God wants us to be a blessing to the world: our jobs, our neighborhood, our city, even our planet (see Jeremiah 29:4-7), while we are filled with His word:
“I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”(John 17:15-17)
To be “of” the world speaks concerning where our heart is, what we love. John makes it clear what the world is:
“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”(1 John 2:15-17)
Thus it is quite possible, and sorry to say, very common, for a believer to take the blood, and not eat the lamb. In other words, believers may like the blood of Christ, as it takes away their feeling of guilt. But then they may have no intention of being separated in their heart from the world to become the sanctified Body of Christ. They do not want to eat the Lamb with sandals on and a staff in their hand, which means they are ready to go. Instead they want to stay in the bondage of Egypt under Pharaoh.
To be baptized means I am renouncing my attachment to the world, and becoming joined to the Body of Christ. I do not consider myself to be an American. I am a member of the Body. We are truly citizens of the heavenly kingdom on earth
Baptized to Enjoy Christ as the Body
Baptism is the real experience of changing citizenship (Acts 2:37-42). When people come to the United States, they often have the dream to become a citizen. The ceremony of finally taking the oath can be quite moving for some. But if they love their former country more, and just want to come to the US to visit, they would not do this. How about us? Do we just visit the Body of Christ, or are we citizens? To be baptized means I am renouncing my attachment to the world, and becoming joined to the Body of Christ. I do not consider myself to be an American. I am a member of the Body. We are truly citizens of the heavenly kingdom on earth (Philip 3:20).
An example of taking the blood but not eating the lamb can be found in 1 Corinthians 5. Here is the case of a brother in Christ who is living a life in sin. The church, rather than judging this sin and helping the brother out of it, actually boasted in it. This was a result of the Corinthian culture, the Greco-Roman world with its degraded morality, infiltrating the Body of Christ. What was Paul’s solution?
“Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”(v 6-8)
I encourage you to enjoy Christ every morning as your Passover. He is the beginning of our new life. We can enjoy the Blood by confessing our sins, and we can enjoy the cooked Lamb by confessing our love for Him. He will strengthen us inwardly by His love. His nourishing, strengthening love will be our daily motivation to live a life that is in the world, but not of the world. Praise Him!
Next: Enjoying Christ as the Unleavened Bread
- Enjoying Christ as the Unleavened Bread
God is good for food! This is the primary revelation of the Bible. God in Christ as the Spirit can flow into us as spiritual food with the goal of transforming us to be His many sons. Leviticus 23 shows us 7 feasts, all of which portray Christ. Here