THE RELIGIOUS LIFE OF THE ANCIENT JEW AS PRESENTED IN THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS
The Offerings and the Feasts
Part 8 – The Feast Of The Passover
Leviticus 23:5-14, Exodus 13:1-16, Deuteronomy 16:1-8
The five feasts, which the children of Israel observed under Moses, typify our relationship with Christ. The chief picture from the Passover is our Redemption Through Christ. This feast was instituted on the night when the children of Israel escaped from Egypt and was thereafter celebrated as an
everlasting memorial to their deliverance from the house of bondage.
1: The Elements In The Feast Of The Passover
i. The Lamb Slain
¨ Christ is often called a lamb; Isaiah 53:7, John 1:29, 1 Peter 1:19 and Revelation 5:6.
¨ He was taken from his brethren as the lamb was taken from the flock; Acts 3:22-23.
¨ The lamb was a male of the first year (Exodus 12:5) representing strength and energy. Christ died at the peak of manhood, being 33 years of age.
¨ The lamb was without blemish; 1 Peter 1:19, Hebrews 7:26.
¨ The lamb was eventually slain; Revelation 5:9.
¨ As the lamb died in the evening (v5) so Christ was sacrificed in the darkness; Luke 23:44-46.
¨ As the blood of the lamb provided a covering shelter from the death angel so “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”; 1 John 1:7.
ii. The Unleavened Bread
The Passover is otherwise called the Feast Of Unleavened Bread because the eating of the lamb was followed by 7 days of abstaining from leaven. The leaven represents corruption in scripture, Luke 12:1. When the children of Israel left Egypt they departed in a hurry and were commanded to leave the leaven behind, Exodus 12:34. Therefore the leaven represented old Egypt; which they separated from on the night of their redemption. Redemption not only signifies forgiveness of sin but it also delivers us from the old life. As those who have received the benefits of the slain lamb let us abstain from the leaven of the world; 1 Peter1:18, 1 Corinthians 5:6-7.
iii. The Sheaf Of The First Fruits
¨ On the day after the Sabbath during the Feast of the Passover the first fruits of the barley harvest were presented before the Lord.
¨ This typifies the resurrection of Christ; 1 Corinthians 15:23.
¨ This was offered when Israel entered Canaan, the land of victory; Joshua 5:10-11. We are promised victory on the ground of Christ’s resurrection.
¨ As the first fruits promised further yield so Christ’s resurrection guarantees that our bodies will rise again; 1 Corinthians 15:20.
2: The Observance Of The Feast Of The Passover
There is much we can learn here concerning our attitude to the Lord, his worship and his work:
i. Humility; Exodus 13:9.
ii. Gladness; Exodus 13:3.
ii. Consecration; Exodus 13:2,12,13. There is a strong emphasis upon the parents teaching their children the meaning of the feast in order that they might be set apart for future service; Exodus 12:24-27, 13:8,14.
3: The Prospect From The Feast Of The Passover
The feast of the Passover was a specific foreshadowing of the Lord’s Supper in this New Testament age.
¨ The Communion Feast was instituted by Christ at the feast of the Passover; Matthew26:26-30, Luke 22:17-20.
¨ Like the Passover the Lord’s Table is a commemorative feast where we remember the cross work with humility and gratitude.
¨ As the Passover provided food for the body so the Lord’s Table supplies food for the soul.
Westminster Confession Of Faith on the Lord’s Supper:
“1: Our Lord Jesus, in the night wherein He was betrayed, instituted the sacrament of His body and blood, called the Lord’s Supper, to be observed
in His Church, unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of Himself in His death; the sealing all benefits thereof unto
true believers, their spiritual nourishment and growth in Him, their further engagement in and to all duties which they owe unto Him; and, to be a
bond and pledge of their communion with Him, and with each other, as members of His mystical body.”
“7: Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements, in this sacrament, do then also, inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not
carnally and corporally but spiritually, receive and feed upon, Christ crucified, and all benefits of His death: the body and blood of Christ being
then, not corporally or carnally, in, with, or under the bread and wine; yet, as really, but spiritually, present to the faith of believers in that ordinance,
as the elements themselves are to their outward senses.”
The Larger Catechism:
Q 171 “How are they that receive the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper to prepare themselves before they come to it?
A. …examining themselves of their being in Christ, of their sins and wants, of the truth and measure of their knowledge, faith, repentance, love to God and the brethren, charity to all men, forgiving those that have done them wrong, of their desires after Christ, and of their new obedience, and by renewing the exercise of these graces, by serious meditation and fervent prayer”
In case such a statement would hinder one of weaker faith from coming to the table out of fear the divines in A 172 sought to encourage those who doubt their salvation to attend the Lord’s Table with these words, “…he is to bewail his unbelief, and labour to have his doubts resolved, and so doing, he may and ought to come to the Lord’s supper, that he may be further strengthened.”
¨ The children of Israel ate the Passover lamb with bitter herbs, Exodus 12:8. There ought to be a shame and humiliation experienced by each believer at the communion feast; to think that the prince of glory should die for us.
¨ As the Passover looked forward to the death and resurrection of Christ the Lord’s Table also is prospective. By partaking we anticipate the Second Coming of our Lord and the feast which will never end, The Marriage Supper Of The Lamb; 1 Corinthians 11:26.