The Meaning of Passover
Every year Jewish people in Israel and in many other countries around the world celebrate the Passover, the feast that serves as a remembrance of Israel’s deliverance from captivity and bondage to its oppressors. It is a memorial marked by delicious food, candles, recitation and of course a time of reflection on all that God has done for His people. Like many holidays, however, it can quickly devolve into mere tradition and ritual without a true understanding of its deeper spiritual purpose. For those who are believers in Yeshua however, the meaning of Passover is clear as it is a true picture and type of the spiritual deliverance that God has wrought for His people.
On the night that God prepared to judge the nation of Egypt for oppressing Israel, He gave specific instructions to His people on preparing the Passover meal. God told the people of Israel to prepare a lamb without blemish and apply its blood to the lintel and the doorposts of their houses. This speaks of Yeshua, our “Lamb” without blemish or sin. (1. Pet 1:19) Then as the destroying Angel goes forth throughout the land, God says “When I see the blood, I will pass over you…” (Ex. 12:13) Similarly when God looks at us, He sees us through the blood of Yeshua applied to our lives and it is that blood which delivers us from judgment and provides complete redemption! (Ephesians 1:7)
Another interesting insight about the meaning of Passover comes from the use of the word “pass over” in the passage in Exodus 12. Some commentators point out that it doesn’t suggest God merely “skipping over” a house, as if He was the destroyer. Rather, it suggests that God Himself is providing protection from the destroyer—God and the “destroyer” are two different individuals, not one and the same. Consider for example this passage in Exodus 12:23: “When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.” In this passage, God is said to “pass over that doorway” and not “permit the destroyer” to come in! God is not the destroyer—He protects against him!
Yeshua made it clear that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (Jn. 10:10) As God “passes over” His people in this manner, He is providing His sheltering presence, made possible only through the blood. Remember that when Yeshua was crucified the Bible says that the veil of the temple in the Holy of Holies was ripped in two, signifying that the way into God’s presence was now made available by the blood of the Lamb! (Mt. 27:51; Heb. 9) Ultimately, this is what the meaning of Passover is all about!
The elements of the Passover celebration are merely types and shadows, but the substance is Christ. This article is just a taste of the incredible Passover revelation. If you would like a deeper understanding of the meaning of Passover and its rich symbolism we invite you to schedule one of our “Passover with Jesus” presentations at your church. We also encourage you to join this ministry as we reach millions of religious Israelis who need a true revelation of salvation through grace in God’s redemptive work on the cross.