Jesus Christ – The New Passover Sacrifice

The Jewish Passover has been celebrated since the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. It commemorates the story from the book of Exodus and their birth as a nation under the leadership of Moses. The Passover sacrifice, is the sacrifice that the Torah mandates to be brought on the eve of Passover. “The blood of this sacrifice sprinkled on the door-posts of the Israelites was to be a sign to God, when passing through the land to slay the first-born of the Egyptians that night, that he should pass by the houses of the Israelites (Exodus 12:1-28). This is called in the Mishnah the “Passover of Egypt” (Pesaḥ Miẓrayim in M.Pesach ix. 5). It was ordained, furthermore (Exodus 12:24-27), that this observance should be repeated annually for all time once the Israelites entered into their promised land.” (Wikipedia / passover sacrifice)

Jewish Passover Meal:

During the Jewish Passover Meal (Seder Meal), there is an obligation to drink four cups of wine. Each cup is connected to a different part of the Seder and represents the four expressions of deliverance promised by God:
Exodus 6:6-7; “Therefore, say to the Israelites: I am the LORD. I will free you from the forced labor of the Egyptians and will deliver you from their slavery. I will rescue you by my outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and you shall have me as your God. You will know that I, the LORD, am your God when I free you from the labor of the Egyptians.”

The Passover Meal: 1. Festival Blessing – Drink from 1st cup of wine 2. Passover Narrative and Little Hallel (Psalm 113) – Drink from 2nd cup of wine 3. Main Meal: Eat the roasted lamb, unleavened bread, and the bitter herbs and spices – Drink from the 3rd cup of wine (Cup of Blessing) 4. The Passover is completed with the singing of the Great Hallel (PSALMS 114-118), the drinking of the 4th cup of wine, and closed when the presiding priest or host says the phrase, “TEL TELESTI” which is interpreted as “IT IS FINISHED” or “IT IS CONSUMATED”.

At the Last Supper, Jesus instituted a new covenant. This covenant fulfilled a prophecy from Jeremiah; “The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; for they broke my covenant and I had to show myself their master, says the LORD. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people (Jeremiah 31:31-33).”

thCAJ0DBIAAt the Last Supper, Jesus offered himself as the New Passover Lamb. In the passover meal in the upper room, Jesus and the Apostles did not consume the 4th cup of the meal as was prescribed. Jesus took the 4th cup while on the cross. Let us now look at the events leading to this 4th cup.

Preparations for the Passover Meal:
“When the day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread arrived, the day for sacrificing the Passover lamb, he sent out Peter and John, instructing them, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover (Luke 22:7-8).”

The Lord’s Supper:
“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father.” Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives (Matt. 26:26-30).”

Garden of Gethsemane:
“Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress. Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me.” He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will (Matt. 26:36-39).”
“Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again, ‘My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!’ Then he returned once more and found them asleep, for they could not keep their eyes open. He left them and withdrew again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing again (Matt. 26:42-44).”

Jesus is Condemned to Death:
“Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned, deeply regretted what he had done. He returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, ‘I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.’ they said, ‘What is that to us? Look to it yourself’ (Matt. 27:3-4).”

Jesus Refuses the Wine:
“They brought him to the place of Golgotha (which is translated Place of the Skull). They gave him wine drugged with myrrh, but he did not take it. Then they crucified him and divided his garments by casting lots for them to see what each should take (Mark 15:22-24).”

The Crucifixion:
“After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I thirst.’ There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit (John 19:28-30).”

Jesus is the Innocent Lamb:
John the Baptist identifies Jesus, “…Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).”
Peter says, “handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold 19 but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb (1 Peter 1:18-19).”
Isaiah says, “We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; But the LORD laid upon him the guilt of us all. Though he was harshly treated, he submitted and opened not his mouth; Like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers, he was silent and opened not his mouth (Isaiah 53:6-7).”

Jesus Dies on the Cross:
And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me (Matt. 27:46)?”

Psalm 22:
The Prayer for an Innocent Person “…A psalm of David. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why so far from my call for help, from my cries of anguish? My God, I call by day, but you do not answer; by night, but I have no relief (Ps. 22:1-3).”

The New Covenant:
“But this is the covenant I will establish with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds and I will write them upon their hearts. I will be their God, and they shall be my people (Hebrews 8:10).”

Until next time, God bless.

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