Michael Boling – Jesus as the Fulfillment of the Feast of Pesach (Passover)

Jesus as the Fulfillment of the Feast of Pesach (Passover)

In the previous post, Feasts of the Lord: The Feast of Pesach, we explored the scriptural mandate for this observance to include how a typical Passover Seder is conducted today. In this post, we are going to see how the Feast of Pesach was fulfilled by the pure, spotless, unblemished Passover Lamb, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We will begin by analyzing each aspect of the Passover Seder noting how this service is replete with signs pointing to Christ and the Renewed Covenant through his blood.

The Feast of Pesach is often described as the Feast of Salvation or the Feast of Freedom. This is not surprising given the fact Pesach was first established as a remembrance of God’s deliverance of Israel from bondage in the land of Egypt (Mitzraim). God saved His people from slavery delivering them to the Land of Promise just as He had covenanted with Abraham. Pesach is to be “a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.” (Ex. 12:14) As we walk through the Passover Seder identifying each element a bit further, paying special attention to how each aspect points to Christ and his sacrifice, we shall begin to see why Passover was to be an everlasting ordinance. It was to be celebrated in perpetuity and whether we realize it or not, we will be celebrating throughout eternity the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb and the penal substation provided through the cross. This eternal celebration can be seen in Revelation 5:12 which declares “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”

As noted earlier, Passover is largely a celebration of salvation, redemption, and freedom. For Israel, that salvation from was slavery and the sacrifice of the lamb represented the price that was paid to redeem and free them from bondage. Thus, each aspect of the Passover Seder brings to the mind of the celebrant what God did for His people long ago. Additionally, the promise of the Messiah can also be seen in the Passover Seder, One who would come in the spirit of Elijah to for all time bring peace to the land and to forever save God’s people. To properly understand the significance of Pesach requires one to understand Pesach as a time of remembrance and a time of longing. For the Jew who does not believe Jesus was the Messiah, it is a time of remembrance and a time of longing as they are still longing for his coming. For those who affirm Jesus is the Passover Lamb, it is a time of remembrance of the deliverance provided through the cross from sin and death and a time of longing for the return of the spotless Lamb who will one day return for His people to deliver them for all eternity from sin, death, and the grave. With that as a background, let’s begin to examine the Passover Seder observance in more detail. But wait, there’s more!

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Michael Boling – Feasts of the Lord: The Feast of Pesach (Passover)


The Feast of Pesach (Passover)

“And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever. “It will come to pass when you come to the land which the LORD will give you, just as He promised, that you shall keep this service. “And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ “that you shall say, ‘It [is] the Passover sacrifice of the LORD, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.’ ” So the people bowed their heads and worshiped.” (Exodus 12:24-27)

“These [are] the feasts of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. On the fourteenth [day] of the first month at twilight [is] the LORD’s Passover.” (Leviticus 23:4-5)

These scriptures demonstrate the Feast of Pesach (Passover) was to be an ordinance to be observed not just by the Israelites as the exited Egypt and not by them as they settled into the Promised Land. It was to be a holy convocation observed by all future generations. Before we examine exactly what is involved in the Feast of Pesach, it is vital to point out this is described by God as a feast of Yahweh. Also notice it was to be observed at a very specific time and date. These are things we will return to later in this study but that I wanted to note at the outset if anything to note this is not just a Jewish feast. It is a feast of the Lord to be observed forever.

So what is the background of the Feast of Pesach? Arguably, this is the most well-known feast outside of perhaps Pentecost. Additionally, many people have likely attended a Passover Seder (service) at some point, either at their own church, a Jewish synagogue or a Messianic Jewish congregation. Thus, much of the background and elements of this feast may be somewhat familiar. Nevertheless, we are going to walk through the background of this feast and how it is celebrated followed by, in the next post, a discussion of how Jesus, as the Passover Lamb, fulfilled this feast. But wait, there’s more!

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Michael Boling – Jesus as the Fulfillment of the Feast of Hag HaMatzah (Unleavened Bread)

Christ-is-our-unleavened-bread-our-sinless-life-supply-of-sincerity-and-truth-absolutely-pure-without-mixture-and-full-of-reality

“And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger…” (John 6:35)

“Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (I Corinthians 5:7-8)

“ For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.” (Luke 8:17)

“ I am the bread of life.” (John 6:48)

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)

“and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” (I Corinthians 11:24)

As we discovered with the Feast of Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread also finds its ultimate fulfillment in the Messiah. Furthermore, in each element of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we find a foreshadowing that not only points to the Messiah, but also reveals vital theological and spiritual truths in regards to the necessity of purging sin from among us in order to be a holy bride for our bridegroom. With that in mind, let’s walk through once again the Feast of Unleavened Bread noting the wonderful truths subsumed within that time of remembrance that continue to have great relevance for us today.

As with all the Feasts of the Lord, the Feast of Unleavened Bread was established as a memorial to forever be remembered by God’s people. This is an important point to make at the outset given the fact Christ fulfilled this feast with his broken body on the cross. This is not just an ancient Jewish festival with no importance or application for the people of God today. Nothing could be further from the truth. The appointed times of God are just that, appointed times established by God for a purpose. In regards to the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the purpose is for believers to remember the broken body of Christ, THE bread of life as well as providing a time of introspection in regards to the necessity for believers to cleanse their lives of sin through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. But wait, there’s more!

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Michael Boling – Yeshua as the Bread of Life as Explicated in the Gospel of John

The bread of life discourse, outlined in John 6, immediately followed the feeding of the five thousand. In typical Johannine methodology, numerous Old Testament comparisons, in particular that of Moses and Yeshua, are presented as evidentiary proof to the Jews that Jesus is truly the Messiah, the giver of life. Jesus clearly identified himself as the bread of life, a figure of speech pregnant with meaning and purpose for not only the 1st century hearer, but for the modern seeker of eternal sustenance.

The Apostle John presents a magnificent theological interlude in his gospel account of the spiritual deliverance available to humanity through the person and work of Yeshua. The pericope of John 6 demonstrates that as manna provided physical salvation for the children of Israel, Jesus, as the bread of life, provides eternal life to those who place their trust in him.

MANNA AS THE FORESHADOWING OF YESHUA

When Yeshua presented himself as the bread of life, he clearly utilized a typology that was an essential element of the “most crucial book of the Pentateuch for Israel’s history and theology – the Book of Exodus.” This proclamation was in response to the crowd’s continual appeal for a sign as a demonstration of his power and authority. The perishable food that Yeshua had referred to in John 6:27 clearly referred to the manna provided to the children of Israel in their wilderness wanderings. In contrast with this historical precedent which so permeated the teachings and beliefs of the Jewish people, Yeshua is presented as the source of imperishable food. Jesus is the manna from heaven sent by God to provide life for his people.

This was no small claim that was made by Yeshua due to the inherent messianic undertones subsumed within his “I am the bread of life” commentary. It was widely asserted in the Jewish beliefs of the period that Jeremiah had hidden a jar containing manna that he placed in the ark and the Messiah was expected to produce the hidden manna to the people of Israel thus revealing himself. Additionally, as denoted by William Barclay, rabbinic teaching averred that “as was the first redeemer so was the final redeemer; as the first redeemer caused the manna to fall from heaven, even so shall the second redeemer cause the manna to fall.”

The miracle of the feeding of the five thousand resulted not in sufficient evidentiary proof of Jesus superior status to that of Moses. Rather, the multitudes sought further evidence for the claim that Yeshua had made. Essentially, the Jews disregarded the loaves provided to them as an indication of manna from heaven as the provision had initiated itself from merely earthly loaves made from everyday ingredients. The manna which they sought was a “different thing and a real test.” As noted by F.F. Bruce, they rationalized among themselves, “let the second Moses vindicate his authority in a similar way – not by a once-for-all feeding but on a more lasting basis.”

In response to the disillusionment of the multitudes and their insistence of additional miraculous signs, Jesus first reminded the Jews that it was not Moses who provided them with the miraculous provision of sustenance in the form of manna, but rather it was a gift from God. Yeshua then explicated further the true meaning of the provision of manna to their forefathers. He saliently indicated that the manna was just a symbol of the bread of life given by God and was targeted merely at answering hunger; a physical need. The claim being made by Jesus in relation to the manna which the Jews sought from him is that Yeshua is the bread sent from heaven to provide a solution to the spiritual hunger which constantly hounds the soul of man. Calvin rightly avers that the “bread with which Moses fed their bellies was not true bread…the manna came down from the visible heaven, that is from the clouds; but not from the eternal kingdom of God from which life flows to us.” The manna provided to the children of Israel in the wilderness was a mere foreshadowing of what Yeshua, as the Messiah, can provide. But wait, there’s more!

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