As Christians we are so blessed as to be able to participate in a ceremony that has been in existence for 3,500 years. This Sunday we celebrate the event pointed to by this ancient ceremony. The ancient ceremony is the eating of unleavened bread and drinking of wine, or the “fruit of the vine.” The wonderful event foreshadowed by this ceremony is the Sacrifice of Jesus, and His amazing Resurrection.
It all started on the tenth day of Nisan, 3,500 years ago. This was the day the Children of Israel were instructed to choose a lamb for the Passover meal. The tenth of Nisan probably corresponds to what we now call Palm Sunday, when the Jews honored Jesus as He entered Jerusalem and desired that He would take His place as Messiah and King of Israel at that time. (John 12:12-13)
Jesus was the Lamb of God, so proclaimed by John the Baptist. (John 1:29) There is evidence that Jesus was born where the Temple sacrificial lambs at Bethlehem were birthed. And on Palm Sunday, thirty-three years later, He was chosen by the people of Judah to be their earthly king and savior from Roman rule, when actually He was being chosen as their Passover lamb to save them eternally.
The parallels between the Passover lamb and Jesus are too evident to ignore. The lamb was chosen on Nisan 10. On the evening of Nisan 14 the lamb was killed and prepared for the Passover meal. On each house, the blood of the lamb was placed on the lintel (the overhead) of the door, and upon the door posts. Undoubtedly, some of the blood also fell on the door threshold. Picture the blood on both sides of the door, and on the overhead and threshold of the door. This foreshadows the Cross upon which Jesus, the Lamb of God, died.
The unleavened bread baked by the Israelites was called the “bread of haste” by Cecil B. DeMille, but it fits. The Children of Israel were told to eat the Passover meal in a state of preparedness, ready to go.
More importantly, the unleavened bread is a representative of the sinlessness of Jesus. In the Bible, leavening is frequently equated to sin. Jesus was without sin. He was “unleavened” and He died on the Cross at the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Passover is part of this week-long Feast.
Our sinless Lord died at Passover. When Jesus was being led to Calvary, the Temple priests were sacrificing the Passover lamb. Jesus was our Passover lamb. But soon He will reign as King of all kings when He comes the second time.
Jesus was raised from the dead on the following Sunday. The Lord appointed this day to be the Day of Firstfruits! (Leviticus 23:11) Jesus was the Firstfruits of the grave! (First Corinthians 15:20) We celebrate this day as Resurrection Sunday.
It is not possible for us praise our Heavenly Father enough, either in quantity or quality, for the Salvation and Hope that we have because of Jesus. Perhaps in Eternity we can. Praise the Lord!