As we remember this final week of Jesus’ life on earth, it is a wonderful time to see how everything in the Bible ties together. Let us start with Passover (God’s appointed time), the story of how God’s tenth and final plague upon Egypt broke Pharaoh’s resolve not to let His people go and worship Him.
By applying the blood of innocent lambs to their doorposts and lintels at God’s instruction, the death angel “passed over” the Israelites’ homes, after which they were quickly released from Egypt. This pivotal event became God’s “appointed time” for Israel to remember throughout their generations (see Exod. 12:1–39). Prophetically, Passover is an Old Covenant symbol of what Christ has done for you, for me, and for every believer through His finished work on the cross.
God’s Appointed Time
Now, take your time. Take this in. Because Passover (which many see as being the final days of Lent that include Passion Week) culminates with Firstfruits (also known as Resurrection or Easter Sunday). Any way you shake it, we are currently in a significant appointed time of God. Just as the Israelites were liberated into a brand-new life, when we accept Christ, we are delivered out of the enemy’s hands into a new beginning—by the power of His blood.
Passover reminds us that God is willing and able to forgive, heal, and restore us when we call upon Him. It demonstrates that He can always give us a fresh start. Yet we also need to understand there is something special about responding to the Lord at His appointed time. Think of it this way. People can treat you well all year long, but when they remember and celebrate you on your birthday, it’s special. If you are married, you and your spouse express love to one another every day, but on your anniversary, you do special things for each other in ways that stand out from all the others. During this historic season, no matter what may be happening in our lives, our expectations in God should be high!
The History and Fulfillment of Passover
God’s appointed time of Passover is one of three special times on the Hebrew calendar when the men of Israel were commanded to go to the place of God’s choosing to meet with Him (which would ultimately be the Temple in Jerusalem): The Feast of Unleavened Bread/Passover (spring), the Feast of Weeks/Pentecost (summer), and the Feast of Booths/Tabernacles (fall). (See Deut. 16:16, AMP).
In ancient Egypt, God instructed the Israelite families to sacrifice a lamb on the 14th day of Nisan; to eat the Passover meal that same night (Nisan 15, since Hebraically, each new day begins in the evening), and that they were to eat unleavened bread for seven days. So, this ancient event took place from Nisan 14–21 (see Exod. 12:14–20). The Feast of Firstfruits would later take place the next day, the day after the Sabbath (see Lev. 23:4–11, AMP).
God’s Appointed Time: The Lamb
On the Western (Roman) calendar, Passover began this year on the evening of Saturday, March 27 (Nisan 14) and runs through sundown on Saturday, April 3 (Nisan 21). Then Firstfruits (Nisan 22) begins that evening and runs through sundown on Sunday, April 4—the day we celebrate Christ’s resurrection.
Now, let us look at the events of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. In fulfillment of God’s Old Covenant plan, Jesus, our “Passover Lamb” (1 Cor. 5:7), was crucified on the first day (Nisan 14); on the second day (the Sabbath, Nisan 15), His body rested in the tomb (Jn. 19:14, 31 & 42, AMP). Then He rose again on the third day (Nisan 16) as “…the firstfruits…of those that have fallen asleep [in death]” (Jn. 20:1–18; 1 Cor. 15:20–21, AMP; see also 1 Cor. 15:22–23). Jesus, the fulfillment of the innocent lamb portrayed in the first Passover, also fulfilled His own words that if they destroyed “this temple” (His body), in three days He would “raise it up” (Jn. 2:19, AMP).
The Enduring HOPE of Passover Season
It is important to know WHY we believe WHAT we believe—to understand how everything in the Bible ties together. This is what assures us by the Spirit that Passover is a symbol of spiritual renewal. The events of the first Passover, as well as the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, demonstrate this, giving us hope in this appointed time of God. Even the arrival of Spring during this time every year confirms we are in a special season of new beginnings.
For this reason, now more than ever, let us remember our spiritual history: in particular, the events that took place on the final night the Israelites were in Egypt and their fulfillment in Christ. Let us come to God this week with even greater hope and expectation for the future, remembering ALL He has established and EVERYTHING Jesus has done for us! The Power of His Blood has given us NEW LIFE in a New Covenant of grace.
So, let us thank God for new beginnings. I pray the Lord would allow this truth to resonate in our spirit and soul as we experience His appointed time for us. Amen.
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