Tag: Jesus Christ is the Passover Lamb

Jesus Christ is the Passover Lamb

Jesus Christ is the Passover Lamb

Passover or “Pesach” in Hebrew is a feast celebrated by Jews all around the world commemorating the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. But Passover and the story of the exodus have great significance for Christians too. The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is the Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7).

Origin of Passover

The origin of Passover is outlined in the book of Exodus. God promised to deliver His people, the Israelites, from Egyptian bondage and slavery (Exodus 6:6). God sent Moses to Pharaoh, the King of Egypt with the command to “let the people of Israel go” (Exodus 6:10-11).

When King Pharaoh refused, God brought ten plagues on the land of Egypt: 1) plague of blood, 2) plague of frogs, 3) plague of gnats, 4) plague of flies, 5) plague against livestock, 6) plague of boils, 7) plague of hail, 8) plague of locusts, 9) plague of darkness and, 10) the death of all the firstborn in Egypt.

The night of the tenth and worst plague was the night of the first Passover.

God instructed every Israelite household to select a year-old male lamb or a young goat without blemish for a sacrifice (Exodus 12:5) and keep it in their house for four days. They are to slaughter the lamb on the night of the “pass over,” making sure that none of its bones are broken, and sprinkle some of its blood on the sides and tops of the door frames of the houses where they eat them (Exodus 12:7, 22).

Jesus Christ is the Passover Lamb

The Israelites were also given specific instructions on how to eat the lamb, “with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. You should eat the meal in urgency for it is the Lord’s Passover” (Exodus 12:11). In other words, the people had to be ready to travel because God will set them completely free from the Egyptians.

On that fateful night at midnight, God passed through the land of Egypt and struck down all the firstborn, both man and beasts to execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt (Exodus 12:12; Exodus 12:29), and there was a great cry in Egypt for there was not a house where there was not one dead (Exodus 12:30).

But when the Lord passed through the nations to strike the Egyptians, He “passed over” every household that has the lamb’s blood on its door and did not allow the destroyer to strike it (Exodus 12:23). The blood was a sign for the Israelites on their houses for God to “pass over” them and not be destroyed. So in a very real way, the Israelites were saved from death because of the blood of the lamb.

Jesus Became the Passover Lamb

Going into the New Testament, the writers referred to Jesus as the Lamb of God and the Passover Lamb several times (John 1:29, 35-36; 1 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Peter 1:19; Revelation 5:6, 13:8). The significance of the phrase “Lamb of God” as it refers to Jesus is that He is the sacrifice for sin which God Himself has provided.

Just as each Hebrew family was instructed to select an animal and keep it for four days in their home to make sure it was perfect before sacrificing it to the Lord for Passover; Jesus came and dwelt among Israel. Just before Passover, Jesus moved into Jerusalem where the Temple was built along with the rest of Israel (The Triumphal Entry – Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-19). Living in Jerusalem before Passover was like the lamb living in the family’s house.

In the story of Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22:1-14), we see a foreshadowing of Jesus as the sacrificial lamb. At the instruction of God, Abraham took his son Isaac to Mount Moriah to sacrifice him there as a burnt offering to God. When the boy asked where the sacrificial lamb was, Abraham replied, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering” (Genesis 22:8).

Abraham was willing to offer his beloved son Isaac, but God stopped him and provided a ram to be sacrificed instead. On a greater scale, God provided the Lamb for us – His own Son. Two thousand years ago at Mount Calvary, God offered His beloved Son to be the sacrificial Lamb for us; a sacrifice that is truly sufficient for our atonement (Hebrews 9:12, 14).

*Read the story of Abraham and Isaac here: When God Tests Your Faith 

The people of Israel were familiar with lambs for the sacrifices because at Passover, each family had to have a lamb, and during the year, two lambs a day were sacrificed at the Temple altar, plus all the other lambs brought for personal sacrifices. But while those lambs were brought by men to men, Jesus is God’s Lamb given by God to men.

The blood of the lamb in the Old Testament did not only serve as the protector of the Israelites but it is also seen as the atoner for them so that they could commune with God. It is because of the blood of the lamb that they were spared from death.

Jesus’ sacrifice does the same for us. It is Jesus’ blood that atones for our sins and restores our relationship with God. Just as the Passover lamb’s blood applied to the Israelites doorposts caused the destroyer to “pass over” each household, the blood of Christ applied causes God’s judgment to “pass over” sinners to give life to believers (Romans 6:23).

Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission.

Jesus Christ fulfilled the Old Testament sacrificial system when He became the “once for all” offering for our sins (Hebrews 10:1-18). It is by His sacrifice that our communion with God is restored and by His blood covering that we are spared from eternal death.


The Passover was instituted by God to protect the Israelites from the final plague, the death of the firstborn. A lamb without defect was killed and its blood was sprinkled on the doorposts and lintel of the house, as a sign for God to “pass over” them, sparing the firstborn of that house.

Today, Jesus is our Passover Lamb who was sacrificed for us. Jesus’ death was the fulfillment of the original Passover night. His blood not only saves the firstborn son’s life but every person who trusts in Him. It is because of His blood that our sins are forgiven and we are spared from God’s judgment – everlasting death.

As the first Passover marked the Israelites’ release from Egyptian slavery, so, the death of Christ marks our release from the slavery of sin and death (Romans 8:2). While the Jews celebrate the first Passover as an annual feast, Christians are to memorialize the Lord’s death in communion until He returns (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

Holy Communion/Lord's Supper