By Not Known
2019 marks the fourth time this 20th century that the Jewish Passover (20 Apr) and Easter (21 Apr) coincide on the same weekend, according to Western Christianity following the Gregorian calendar. Even as we explore the events of the Exodus, we see that it foreshadows the culmination of God’s sovereign plans, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In John 1:29 (and later repeated the next day in v. 36), John the Baptist proclaims, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
The Hebrew word pesach (from pasah, to pass over) corresponds with the Greek pascha (29 occurrences in the Greek New Testament, mostly in the Gospels referring to the Passover feast or lamb). Paul uses it to describe Jesus in 1 Cor. 5:7b, “For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” The connections are clear—John quotes Ex. 12:46 when he observes, “Not one of his bones will be broken” (John 19:36). In the Mosaic Law, the paschal lamb was not a sin offering; instead, it was a special sacrifice tied to Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian slavery.
The blood of the lamb marked the doorposts of the Israelite houses, so that the angel of the Lord would spare those families from the dreadful tenth plague which was visited on Egypt on the night of Passover. In Isaiah, the motif of the Suffering Servant further reinforces this link, when he declares, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth” (Isa. 53:7). Peter in his epistle writes, “For you know … that you were redeemed … with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
As we wrap up the season of Lent and Easter, and look towards Ascension and Pentecost in the liturgical calendar, let us remember all that God recorded in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, finds its fulfilment in the person and work of Jesus Christ, some 2000 years ago, but also one day in the final judgment and second coming of our Lord and Saviour. May it be our heart’s desire to exalt Jesus in our lives and ministry, our Redeemer and Lord, our worthy Lamb of God.