Toward a Better Understanding of Passover
Part 10 - Christ and the New Covenant
by: Jim Rector
As we approach the time of the Messiah’s death, we know that it transpired at the Passover season. This is made clear from the New Testament. The historical evidence we have just covered will now help us to better understand some of the language with respect to the events at this crucial period of time.
For nearly 1500 years, first Israel as a whole, and then the Jews only, were faithful in observing the Passover at the appropriate time each year. Few of them ever realized that the slaying of the lambs and the subsequent commemorative meal itself were actually typical of the coming sacrifice of our Savior and the memorializing of His death. Did the Messiah come and change or do away with that which God had given to Israel in the first place? Not at all. Every indication in Scripture defends the contention that He was scrupulous in His obedience to all the Law. He plainly stated that He had not come to destroy the Law, that not even a jot or tittle would be altered.
Coupled with this is the fact that Yahshua (Jesus) clearly recognized who He was and what was going to happen to Him. He tried to tell His disciples, but they could not receive it at the time. He knew that He was the Lamb of God, as John the Baptist called Him. He knew that He was to be the ultimate Lamb without spot or blemish, as the apostle Peter stated. He knew that He was the Lamb that was slain, as Revelation 5:12 states. He was THE PASSOVER!! No special period of time, regardless of how holy it was, could be more important than the Messiah Himself. No animal, no sacrifice, no festival, no custom, could surpass the significance of the true Passover Himself.
Sometimes I think that we tend to forget the most important things. Which was greater, the fact that Christ ate a final meal with His disciples before His death, or the crucifixion of the Lamb Himself? It is the death of the Savior that is paramount. Even though it is true that He spoke of the New Covenant at His Last Supper, we are told explicitly in the New Testament:
“For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the DEATH OF THE TESTATOR. For a testament is of force AFTER men are dead: otherwise it is of NO STRENGTH at all while the testator lives . . . So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Heb. 9:16-17, 28).
Once again, we are brought face to face with the fact that it is the death of the Savior that is the crux of the issue.