Approximately two thousand and eighteen years ago, the Passover lamb, which had been chosen as perfect from among all the possible lambs and set aside for four days, was killed.This lamb's blood was not painted on the doorposts of any houses, as this Passover was in commemoration of that first occasion when, by the command of God, the Israelites had set aside a lamb, killed it, painted the blood on the doorposts of their houses and remained inside, eating the lamb and unleavened bread, dressed ready to flee Egypt.
In homes all over the land of Judah and in the homes of Jews who had left that land for countries farther away, the exact same commemoration was taking place. At twilight the lamb was killed and roasted, it was eaten in celebration of the freedom God had brought to the Jewish people who were slaves in the 'house of bondage'. This night, 2,018 years ago was little different, except for one small way, a difference which more or less went unnoticed......while the people were offering up their lambs, God was offering up his own.
At the moment when the lambs were to be killed, the Lamb of God died on a cross, so that his blood could be painted on the doorposts of the heart. The physical Israelites were saved from bondage to slavery by the physical blood of an animal. Spiritual Israel is saved from bondage to the slavery of sin by the blood of God's own son. This was the fulfilment of Passover in the spiritual. But Passover is not a stand alone holy day, it is part of a three day, holy day, so Jesus had more to do then just died.
In Luke 11:29 & 30 Jesus spoke to, " the crowds (who) were thickly gathered together, He began to say, “This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation".
He drew a clear parallel between Himself, as the Son of Man and Jonah. What happened to Jonah will happen to Jesus (in a manner of speaking) So what happened to Jonah? Jonah 1:15- 17 tells us.
"So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice to the LORD and took vows. Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights."
The 'sign of Jonah' was that Jesus would be in the grave for "three days and three nights".
Next, Mark 16:9 tells us, "Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons."
So, when we put our information together we have this picture. This is the Feast of Passover. The Passover lamb was to be take on the 10th day of Nisan and set aside (this was the day Jesus entered Jerusalem). On the 14th day of Nisan the lamb is to be slaughtered at "twilight" and the blood placed upon the door posts. This was the moment of Jesus Crucifixion. John 16:14 tells us, "Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”". The lambs were to be killed at the ninth hour and that was when Jesus died.
The church, which has, more or less totally, rejected its Jewish roots, usually teaches that this was the day of preparation for the Sabbath, but it was not, it was the Day of Preparation for Passover. This was the day on which all leaven had to be removed from the house, as instructed in Exodus 12:15. Leaven, as we see from many of the things Jesus said, represents sin.
Passover is the second Feast of the Lord and is, in fact, three Feasts rolled into one. On the 14th you have Passover proper, as soon as it is deemed the change of days, at sundown, (like we would deem midnight) it becomes the Feast of Unleaven Bread, which is a 7 day long feast running until the 21st Nisan. On the 16th Nisan is the Feast of First Fruits, when the first fruit of the wheat harvest was taken to the Temple and offered to God.
So we have Passover, Unleaven Bread and First Fruits on three consecutive days.
Jesus was the Passover lamb, killed at twilight on the 14th. He had to be in the grave before sunset, as that would then be the 15th which was a Holy Day, an extra Shabbat and on which no one could handle the dead. The next day (16th) was Shabbat and early on the morning of the 17th, the first day of the week Mary went to the garden. Jesus was in the grave on the days of the 14th, 15th and 16th and on the nights of the 14th, 15th and 16th; three days and three nights. As Shabbat is Saturday we have, a Crucifixion on Thursday (14th) and Resurrection on Sunday (17th).
If we have the Crucifixion on Friday and the Resurrection on Sunday we COULD have him in the grave for three days but no creative arithmetic could make it three nights.
Today the whole period is referred to as either Passover or Unleavened Bread, but it really contains three separate events all of which had to be fulfilled by the Lamb of God. He had to died as the provider of sanctuary for those who followed God; he had to remove leaven from the lives of those who had been saved from death and he had to rise, as the first fruits from the dead. All of which he did on that Passover around 2, 018 years ago.
As you munch on your chocolate Easter eggs and decorate your homes with painted eggs and rabbits, remember that it is not Ishtar, the pagan goddess of fertility whom we worship, but יהוה, the Almighty God, the God of Abraham (the father of faith), Isaac and Jacob, the God who saved the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, in the physical and who saves us from the slavery of sin, in the spiritual. ~ For Freedom Alone.
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