Christ Our Passover Lamb
Baptized members of the Church of God participate in the Passover service, examining their lives, fruits of their calling and their spiritual growth over the past year (and in the time that has elapsed after their baptism) before participating in the service. This topical reading is a study aid in preparation for Passover. It would also be helpful to read “The Passover: Why Did Jesus Christ Have to Die?” from our booklet God’s Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind. For those who are baptized, it is important that you do some serious personal Bible study in spiritually examining yourself before you partake of the Passover (1 Corinthians 11:28 1 Corinthians 11:28But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
American King James Version×; 2 Corinthians 13:5 2 Corinthians 13:5Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you be reprobates?
American King James Version×). Even if you are not yet a baptized member, you would still do well to focus on the profound meaning of this event and on your need to eventually participate in it. As we approach the Passover, let’s recall the zeal and joy with which Hezekiah and the people of Judah observed it, as recorded in 2 Chronicles 30. Below are selected scriptures from the Old and New Testament that focus on Passover and the meaning for us today.
|Christ foreshadowed the Passover||
Exodus 12:1-14 Exodus 12:1-14  And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying,
 This month shall be to you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
 Speak you to all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:
 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.
 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: you shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:
 And you shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.
 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.
 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.
 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the entrails thereof.
 And you shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remains of it until the morning you shall burn with fire.
 And thus shall you eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’s passover.
 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.
 And the blood shall be to you for a token on the houses where you are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
 And this day shall be to you for a memorial; and you shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.
American King James Version×, Exodus 12:21-36 Exodus 12:21-36  Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said to them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover.  And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.  For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he sees the blood on the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you.  And you shall observe this thing for an ordinance to you and to your sons for ever.  And it shall come to pass, when you be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he has promised, that you shall keep this service.  And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say to you, What mean you by this service?  That you shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD’s passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.  And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.  And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.  And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.  And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both you and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as you have said.  Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also.  And the Egyptians were urgent on the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.  And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes on their shoulders.  And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment:  And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent to them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.
American King James Version×, Exodus 12:43-49 Exodus 12:43-49  And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof:  But every man’s servant that is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof.  A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof.  In one house shall it be eaten; you shall not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall you break a bone thereof.  All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.  And when a stranger shall sojourn with you, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.  One law shall be to him that is home born, and to the stranger that sojournes among you.
American King James Version×; Isaiah 52:13-15 Isaiah 52:13-15  Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.  As many were astonished at you; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:  So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
American King James Version×, Isaiah 53:1-12 Isaiah 53:1-12  Who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?  For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he has no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was on him; and with his stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opens not his mouth.  He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.  And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.  Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief: when you shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.  He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.  Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he has poured out his soul to death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
American King James Version×
|Christ institutes the new Passover and dies later that day||
John 13:1-17 John 13:1-17  Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them to the end.
 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him;
 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
 He rises from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
 After that he pours water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded.
 Then comes he to Simon Peter: and Peter said to him, Lord, do you wash my feet?
 Jesus answered and said to him, What I do you know not now; but you shall know hereafter.
 Peter said to him, You shall never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash you not, you have no part with me.
 Simon Peter said to him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
 Jesus said to him, He that is washed needs not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and you are clean, but not all.
 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, You are not all clean.
 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said to them, Know you what I have done to you?
 You call me Master and Lord: and you say well; for so I am.
 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
 Truly, truly, I say to you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
 If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.
American King James Version×; Matthew 26:26-30 Matthew 26:26-30  And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.  And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink you all of it;  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.  But I say to you, I will not drink from now on of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.  And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.
American King James Version×; Matthew 27:27-50 Matthew 27:27-50  Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered to him the whole band of soldiers.  And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.  And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it on his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!  And they spit on him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.  And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.  And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.  And when they were come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,  They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.  And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and on my clothing did they cast lots.  And sitting down they watched him there;  And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.  Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.  And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,  And saying, You that destroy the temple, and build it in three days, save yourself. If you be the Son of God, come down from the cross.  Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,  He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.  He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.  The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.  Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land to the ninth hour.  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?  Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calls for Elias.  And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.  The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.  Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
American King James Version×; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 1 Corinthians 11:17-34  Now in this that I declare to you I praise you not, that you come together not for the better, but for the worse.  For first of all, when you come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.  For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.  When you come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.  For in eating every one takes before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.  What? have you not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise you the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered to you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:  And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do you, as oft as you drink it, in remembrance of me.  For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death till he come.  Why whoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.  Why, my brothers, when you come together to eat, tarry one for another.  And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that you come not together to condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.
American King James Version×
John 6:4 John 6:4And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was near.
American King James Version×, John 6:22-71 John 6:22-71  The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one into where his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone;  (However, there came other boats from Tiberias near to the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:)  When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.  And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, Rabbi, when came you here?  Jesus answered them and said, Truly, truly, I say to you, You seek me, not because you saw the miracles, but because you did eat of the loaves, and were filled.  Labor not for the meat which perishes, but for that meat which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give to you: for him has God the Father sealed.  Then said they to him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he has sent.  They said therefore to him, What sign show you then, that we may see, and believe you? what do you work?  Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.  Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is he which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.  Then said they to him, Lord, ever more give us this bread.  And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst.  But I said to you, That you also have seen me, and believe not.  All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out.  For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.  And this is the Father’s will which has sent me, that of all which he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which sees the Son, and believes on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.  The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.  And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he said, I came down from heaven?  Jesus therefore answered and said to them, Murmur not among yourselves.  No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.  It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father, comes to me.  Not that any man has seen the Father, save he which is of God, he has seen the Father.  Truly, truly, I say to you, He that believes on me has everlasting life.  I am that bread of life.  Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.  This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.  I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.  The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?  Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you.  Whoever eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.  For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.  He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him.  As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eats me, even he shall live by me.  This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eats of this bread shall live for ever.  These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.  Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?  When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said to them, Does this offend you?  What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?  It is the spirit that vivifies; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.  But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.  And he said, Therefore said I to you, that no man can come to me, except it were given to him of my Father.  From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.  Then said Jesus to the twelve, Will you also go away?  Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? you have the words of eternal life.  And we believe and are sure that you are that Christ, the Son of the living God.  Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?  He spoke of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.
American King James Version×; 1 Corinthians 10:14-22 1 Corinthians 10:14-22  Why, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.  I speak as to wise men; judge you what I say.  The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?  For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.  Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?  What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?  But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that you should have fellowship with devils.  You cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: you cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.  Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?
American King James Version×