Christ Our Passover

Growing up in the North Shore of Chicago suburbia, I could’t help but notice that once a year the organization of the food displays in grocery stores shifts dramatically so that as you walk into the store you are immediately surrounded by food labeled ‘Kosher for Passover.’ For some, that’s the most we interact with and the most thought that we have in regard to passover. But it is no coincidence that the ‘Last Supper’ occurred during the celebration of passover. Jesus uses this meal, this celebration of the history of Israel to teach the disciples the profound reality that Christ, himself is our passover lamb.

During passover, the jewish people remember the beginning of Israel’s deliverance from slavery, when the Lord brought judgment by killing the firstborn in every Egyptian house but passed over the Israelite houses where the blood of the Passover lamb had been applied (Ex. 12:7, 12–13, 22–28). Those who celebrate the Passover not only look back to God’s grace in deliverance, they continue to look forward to the ultimate liberation yet to come. From now on, Jesus’ blood will protect from judgment those who take refuge in him (1 Cor. 5:7).

In life, just about everything we consume will expire or will become yesterday’s trend. In the time of Mosaic Law, this was even the case for the atonement of sin. At the beginning of each new year of the Hebrew calendar, Israelites would gather into the Temple for Yom Kippur, the day in which the high priest would offer an animal sacrifice to symbolize the payment for the sins of the people. At the dawning of each new year, the sacrifice had in essence expired, leaving the people once again with the need for a sacrificial payment for their sin. Holiness cannot be obtained through the law because of the expiring sacrifice. Something needed to change.

The author of Hebrews tells us that God grants sanctification through the one time, sacrificial death of Christ on the cross (Hebrews 10: 8-10). This sacrifice does not take away our sinfulness, but instead, it takes away the need for humanity to make the payment necessary for atonement. Instead of looking back on a year of sin, needing to renew an expired payment, we may look to Christ for the full forgiveness of sins, for sanctification; for providing us with a sacrifice that will never expire.

Alleluia, thanks be to God!

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