Of the many symbols of redemption throughout Scripture, Passover is perhaps one of the most sacred and focal of them all. Commemorating God’s deliverance of His people out of Egypt, in which he broke the will of Pharaoh by striking down all the firstborn of Egypt while“passing over” the households of the Israelites, who had sacrificed a spotless lamb, marking their doorposts in its blood and consuming it in a meal. Thus became the first Passover meal, observed by Jews to this very day.
But over 2,000 years ago, John the Baptist looked upon a simple man of humble origins and cried out “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” Truer words have never been spoken. Although the Passover Lamb was a sacrifice, offered up to deliver the people of Israel out of Egypt, in truth this Old Covenant sign pointed to a New Covenant fulfillment.
Our need for a lamb stems from the death promised through the fall. A sacrifice was the only means to atone for Adam’s transgression. The Passover Lamb was a continual reminder of this fact. But its sacrifice could not truly save God’s people, for it was a mere creature, a creation of God. All the things of this world could be sacrificed to God, yet this could not atone for our sin. But God shows His mercy, His grace, His love in the fact that He provides us with a sacrifice worthy of securing our redemption: His divine Son.
While the Old Covenant Passover Lamb resulted in God passing over the Israelite households, sparing their firstborn from the wrath of God, Christ our Passover Lamb resulted inGod passing over our sins, sparing us from our deserved punishment.
While the Old Covenant Passover Lamb is tied to the physical freedom of Israel from the slavery of Egypt, Christ our Passover Lamb is tied to our spiritual freedom from the slavery of sin (a spiritual Egypt).
A key aspect of the Old Covenant Passover Lamb is nourishment. Israelite families roasted the lamb and were nourished by partaking in the Passover Meal. Christ our Passover Lamb spiritually nourishes us through His Word (the Bible) and His Table (the Lord’s Supper).
As you reflect on these truths this Advent season, remember God’s faithfulness to His people in Egypt, rest in Christ’s spiritual nourishment, and eagerly await the day in which our triumphant Lamb will come again to redeem this broken and lost world.