Why is the celebration of Passover so important?
Simply put, the Passover celebration commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt over 3,300 years ago. It serves to remind the participants of their redemption history, and God’s grace and power in delivering them from slavery.
The PJEFC pastoral team conducted 3 classes, covering the Passover celebration in the Old and New Testament, and finally drawing parallels between the Passover and the Last Supper. The classes culminated in the celebration of the Passover Feast by all the participants. This feast was presided over by none other than our very own Reverend Lim Kar Yong.
The Original Passover
The original Passover is where the LORD spared the Israelites from the plague that resulted in the death of the firstborns – the firstborn son of every Egyptian family and the firstborn male of all livestock. Three (3) elements were significant in this Passover:
|The blood sacrifice of the lamb without defect (i.e. not liable to death)|
Subsequent Passovers were to be observed perpetually as a lasting ordinance, and celebrated as festival unto the LORD based on the description and instructions given in Exodus 12. It is to be:
- A combined festival comprising the Passover (celebrated at twilight on the 14th sday), and the Feast of Unleavened Bread for the next 7 days (from the 15th to the 21st)
- A period of worship and reflection
- A festive and communal affair
- Covenantal in nature
- A ritual with a didactic purpose, to remind the Israelites of their redemption history – God sparing the firstborn, their deliverance from slavery in Egypt and making them His people.
Passover in the New Testament
It was central to the Jewish religious practices during the time of Jesus and observed by the early Church. During the inter-testament period from the Old to the New Testament, additional elements 4-7 were added:
|1. Lamb (Pesach)|
|2. Unleavened bread (Matzoh)|
|3. Bitter herbs (Maror)|
|4. Salt water|
|7. Seder Meal|
Note: Elements 1-3 were observed in the Old Testament. Elements
The Significance of the Passover Meal by Jesus before His Crucifixion
- The reinterpretation of the elements of the Passover Meal, especially the unleavened bread and the cup
- After drinking the 3rd Cup of Blessing / Redemption, Jesus mentioned that he will not drink of the cup until the day of the kingdom
- After singing a hymn, Jesus and his disciples left to the Mount of Olives. Jesus did not drink the 4th Cup, He will only drink it again with us
- Jesus as the Passover Lamb who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29)
Parallels between the Passover and the Last Supper
|The Passover||The Last Supper|
|God remembered his covenant with Abraham||A new covenant is enacted|
|Slavery in Egypt||Slavery to sin|
|Deliverance from Egypt||Forgiveness of sins|
|Blood of the Passover Lamb||Blood of Christ, the Lamb of God|
|Interpretation of elements of Passover||Interpretation of elements of the Lord’s Supper|
|Call for continual celebration||Call for continual celebration|