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Topic: The Feast of Passover

The Lamb

by Darrel Cline

Jesus Christ is identified in 1 Corinthians 5:7 as "Christ, our Passover". (035) This means that Jesus is the fulfillment of the significance of the Jewish feast known as Passover. This is important because Christianity has always made its claims to Truth based upon historical validation and rational integrity. Rational integrity means that the logic behind Christian truth is consistent and reasonable. Historical validation means that truth-claims can be subjected to historical inquiry and, by the laws of evidence, validated as truth or error.

Now, to be the fulfillment of Passover, Jesus had to fulfill the truth that the Passover pictured. God used the feasts of Israel to present a prophetic picture of the Messiah to come, and Jesus claimed to be that Messiah. For His claim to be truth, He had to fit the picture. In the past few articles, we have been dealing with one aspect of that picture which was first given in Exodus 12. That aspect was God's decision to change the calendar by which Israel lived. This was important because of the associations with religious truth which Israel made with the months of their calendar.

When Israel was living in Egypt before the Exodus, she was surrounded by the Egyptian system of religion which was attached to the months of the calendar. By the time of the Exodus, the Egyptian world functioned by a calendar in which the first month was associated with a religious doctrine of salvation by human effort and good works. But God wanted to establish for Israel a contrary doctrine of salvation by divine grace as it was mixed with human faith and divorced from human effort and good deeds. This He did by changing the calendar to begin it with a month in which the concept of a sacrificed lamb (or Ram) was primary. For the astronomically literate Israelites, who would understand such a calendar shift, this signified that God wanted them to begin their year, every year, with a reminder that they had been saved out of Egypt by the blood of a lamb (the Passover Lamb). They had not been saved because of any good deeds they had done. They had not been saved because they were particularly pure in their faith. They had not been saved because they had earned God's favor. They had been saved because God wanted to save them and offered to do so if they would simply kill a lamb and put its blood on their doorposts and the headers over the doors. They didn't have to be good. They didn't have to straighten up their lives. They didn't have to commit to some religious association. They didn't have to submit to some ritual. They simply had to believe God would save them by the blood of the lamb strongly enough to kill the animal and put its blood on the doors.

When Jesus came, He was identified as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and His message correlated exactly with the one given in Egypt so long ago. Faith in the blood of a sacrificed lamb would save. Good behavior wouldn't.

Have you put your faith in the Lamb? Or are you still trusting in your religious behavior?

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This is article #036.
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