Passover is known as the “The Season of our Freedom.”
It always begins on the evening of the 14th day of Aviv (also known as Nisan) on the Hebraic calendar, (which is Friday, April 19, this year on the Gregorian calendar). “The Lord’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month.” (Leviticus 23:5)
It commemorates the time when God raised up Moses as a deliverer, and the Children of Israel were delivered from their bondage in Egypt and were set free to go to the Promised Land.
What many don’t know is that Passover is when the Children of Israel arrived in Israel exactly 40 years later!
On the 10th of Aviv, just over a month after Moses died, Joshua led the people in crossing the Jordan River on their way to the Holy Land. The dream of eight generations was finally being fulfilled. On the 14th of Aviv, they celebrated Passover in the Promised Land!
Prior to Passover, on the 11th of Aviv, God commanded Joshua to personally circumcise all the Jewish males at Gilgal because they hadn’t been circumcised in the desert. After this had been accomplished, God said “Today, I’ve rolled away the disgrace of Egypt from you.” They were told to stay there until everyone was healed.
Passover is one of the most commonly observed Jewish holidays, even by otherwise non-religious Jews. Each year the Jewish people celebrate the first night of this holiday with a Seder meal. The word Seder means “set order” as there are 15 steps to the meal that follow a specific order. A traditional Seder can take four or five hours.
Everything in the Passover Seder points to Jesus, who celebrated the Seder with His disciples the evening before His crucifixion, which is commonly called “The Last Supper.”
For 1,500 years before Messiah’s First Coming, the ritual of slaying lambs at Passover was conducted. Jesus fulfilled every detail of the mo’ed (appointment) as He was our Passover lamb.
He was crucified on the EXACT day, month, and hour that the High Priest would slay the lamb in the Temple.
Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things…but with the precious blood of Jesus, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (1 Peter 1:18-19)
After the Temple was built, Jews traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover as they were commanded. Jesus’ parents traveled to Jerusalem yearly to celebrate Passover. When Jesus was 12, He amazed the religious teachers with His understanding at this festival. (Luke 2:41-50)
Every household was to inspect the lamb for four days before Passover to make sure it was perfect in every way. Jesus entered Jerusalem four days before His crucifixion and was examined before the religious leaders who could not find a flaw in Him. (John 19:4)
In the temple, at 9:00 am on the 14th day of Aviv, a lamb was tied to the horns of the altar. This was the day and the hour that Jesus was nailed to the cross. (Mark 15:25)
At 3:00 pm, the High Priest would slit the lamb’s throat and say, “It is finished!” This is the same time that Jesus died with His last words being “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
In preparing the lamb for the Passover meal, the book of Exodus commanded that the bones of the lamb could not be broken. Jesus’ legs were not broken to hasten death as was the custom at crucifixion. (John 19:33)
In each home, they were instructed to roast the lambs on a wooden spit. The intestines were to be taken out and put around the lamb’s head. They called the lamb a crowned sacrifice.(The wooden spit resembled the cross that Jesus was crucified on while wearing a crown of thorns. This was hundreds of years before the Romans introduced crucifixion.)
At the Seder meal, they set a place for Elijah. John the Baptist was born at Passover and Jesus said, “And if you are willing to accept it, he (John) is the Elijah who was to come.” (Matthew 11:14)
Coincidence? I don’t think so!
Jesus died as the Passover lamb to purchase our freedom. He was the Lamb that was, the Lamb that is, and the Lamb that is to come!
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)