There are three dimensions of meaning to the Passover (Pesach) story:
- Exodus from Egypt
- Gospel of Yeshua
- End Times Paradigm
The story of the Passover and Exodus from Egypt plays a dominant role in the Law and Prophets. The God of creation intervenes in human history to rescue an oppressed people, to bring about social justice, to establish universal moral law and to create a group of “chosen people” from amidst the nations of the world (that people was made up even then of both Jews and Gentiles).
God showed Himself to be YHVH, a God of holiness,compassion and covenant. He defined the priesthood to offer atonement by blood sacrifice. The Exodus happened at the fullness of its time in history, some 400 years after the patriarchs. The covenant people of God started as just one family with Abraham and had grown to a nation of over 2 million at the time of Moses.
God chose the season of Passover – the first full moon at the beginning of Spring – as the setting, like a stage, to reveal His redemption.
The Israelites were delivered from the Angel of Death in Egypt by faith in the blood of the lamb they placed on the door posts. With the lamb’s blood they had redemption; without it they had none. Life and death hinged on the blood of the lamb. When they received the Torah at Sinai, God instituted a system of blood sacrifices offered every day. Every aspect of the faith of ancient Israel was based on covenant sealed by blood.
Obviously the animal sacrifices were symbolic. The real blood atonement for mankind had to come from a man, a perfect man. That perfect Man, the one symbolized by the paschal lamb and all the animal sacrifices, was revealed to Israel and to all mankind in the Gospel. He is MessiahYeshua, the son of God and the son of David.
Just as ancient Israel was symbolically redeemed by the blood of the lamb, so is all mankind eternally redeemed by the blood of The Lamb. The central importance of the blood sacrifice did not change; it was revealed in its fullness through the Gospel.. Yeshua’s sacrifice gives us atonement for sin; His resurrection gives us eternal life. There is no other candidate, even potentially, for anyone who can give atonement or resurrection.
III. End Times
There is another dimension of meaning of the Passover. The Rabbis say, “The last redemption will be like the first redemption.” This means that the coming of the Messiah in glory to set up the kingdom on earth will be similar to the Exodus from Egypt. Dan Juster has written of this parallel pattern in his book, “Revelation: the Passover Key.”
The Pharaoh then was a figure of the Antichrist yet to come. The demonic oppression will be similar. The plagues will come upon the world as judgment against evil and to urge people to repent of their wickedness. The true believers during the tribulation will be protected like Israelites in Goshen, and thus be witnesses of God’s power and grace. The prophetic word will be delivered by two witnesses similar to Moses and Aaron. At the end there will be a sudden and tremendous deliverance like the victory at the Red Sea.
During this season, let us purify and prepare our hearts for all the prophetic purposes that God has for us in this generation.
This article originally appeared on Revive Israel, April 14, 2016.