Deeply moving celebrations of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus the Christ happened around the world this past weekend. It is a marvelous time of year for Christians as we are prompted to reflect on the greatest historical moment known to mankind. As I mentioned in a previous blog, it was planned by God from the foundations of the world and first promised in Genesis 3:15. It was typified in the story of Abraham and Isaac, and today I would like to show you some of the prophetic significance that God laid out in the Passover.
Before the last plague of Egypt would finally free God’s people from slavery, the Lord told His followers to sacrifice and prepare a Lamb without blemish. This event would initiate an annual remembrance known as Passover.
The people were to take the lamb into their home and make it part of the family. In this way when the sacrifice was made, they would feel a small piece of the very large price that must be paid for sin. Those seeking salvation from God’s wrath were to eat all of the lamb representing our need to receive all of Christ. They were to take some of the blood and place it on the doorpost of their home – on the right, on the left and at the top.
Many Rabbis teach that the symbol painted on the door was the Hebrew letter Tav. It is the last letter in the Hebrew alphabet, the last letter in the Hebrew word for truth and it symbolizes the act of being marked. It illustrates covenant relationship with God and serves notice to the destroyer that God’s people are not to be touched.
While the modern version of the letter Tav may remind westerners of our letter ‘n’, it looked very different during the days of Moses and the Exodus. What the ancient symbol reminds us of today, would not be invented for almost 1,000 years, yet the resemblance is unmistakable. When positioned on the doorpost, as instructed by God, it is deeply prophetic and profoundly moving.
Yes, the Ancient Tav is clearly the symbol of the cross. Three on the door post – and 1500 years later – three on Calvary. The incarnation of Truth suspended between Heaven and Earth with a sinner on the right and the sinner on the left reminding us that that our eternal destiny hangs on how we respond to Jesus.
The marking of the door post was not the only sign given. Each element of the occasion was carefully crafted by God to point to the coming Savior. For example:
• The lamb was to be without blemish – 1 Peter tells us that Jesus was the Lamb of God without sin.
• The lamb was to be taken on the 10th day of the first month. Jesus presented himself at the temple on that very day.
• The lamb was to be taken from the sheep and goats – Jesus came from among the righteous and the unrighteous.
• The lamb was killed on the 14th day of the month – Jesus was killed around the 14th day of the month.
• The lamb was to be slain between 3pm and 6pm – Jesus died at 3pm.
• When the Ancient High Priest finished all of the sacrifices, he said, “It is Finished” – Jesus last words were, “It is Finished”
Jesus verified His fulfillment of the ancient prophecies not only in His actions but also in His words. While celebrating the last supper with His disciples, Jesus said, “This is my body,” and “this is my blood,” clearly articulating to them that He was the Perfect lamb who fulfilled the Passover.
The Passover represented a prophetic foreshadowing of a much more important event that took place about 1,500 years later. It was a hook on which the disciples would hang the proof and truth of Jesus as the perfect Lamb of God. It would also serve as a permanent reminder to God’s people of the need for a savior and that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins and therefore, no salvation. (Hebrews 9:22)
Praise God for the Perfect Passover Lamb that takes away the sins of the world! (John 1:29)