Here we see the final culmination of the plagues against Egypt. So far the plagues have destroyed much of their cattle and most of their crops, but the locusts are coming to finish off everything that wasn’t already destroyed. Next, three days of darkness: the ultimate defeat of Ra, the sun god and their major diety.
Finally, the coup de grasse: the death of all the firstborn. And with this horrible plague comes both the end of Hebrew slavery, and the beginning of the Nation of Israel. It is the first day of the first month of their existence as a free nation. You know that expression, “This is the first day of the rest of your life?” I think this is where it started.
The sacrifice of the Passover lamb, however, is somewhat misunderstood, especially when we refer to the sacrificial death of Yeshua/Jesus during that fateful 1st Century Pesach celebration.
Yeshua is often referred to as the Lamb of God, or the Paschal Lamb. But the passover lamb sacrifice was not a sin sacrifice. The sin sacrifice was to be presented and killed at the tabernacle. There would be a portion given to the Priest and the rest was to be burned on the alter. The remainder portion for the Priest was to be eaten in a holy place, and only by the male priests. The blood was to be sprinkled against the altar and poured onto the ground.
That is not the regulation for the passover lamb.
The peace offering is treated differently. With a peace offering the person presenting the offering is allowed to eat the flesh, and can share it with others. The Passover Seder is exactly that- a peace offering that is shared with others. It is not a sin offering.
Yeshua may be called the Paschal lamb, but His death was a sin sacrifice. The paschal lamb is a peace offering.
It was Pharaoh who should have been making a sin offering. Although he didn’t have any intention of doing so, the Lord made that choice for him. The choicest of Pharaoh’s possessions were being sacrificed to the Lord to atone for the sins he had committed against God’s people. And even though Pharaoh had no intention of doing so, he did make a sin sacrifice: he lost his first born, and the firstborn of all his people. And from then on, the first born of both people and animals from the nation of Israel belonged to the Lord.
At the same time the people of Israel were making a peace sacrifice to the Lord, the people of Egypt were making a sin sacrifice to the Lord. There was a peace offering, and a sin offering; there was communion and there was punishment. Two sides of the same coin.
Fifteen hundred years after the first Passover, as the people were making their peace offering, Yeshua was offering up His own body as a sin offering for the people. It was history repeating itself, anew. The Passover in Egypt was the beginning of the physical freedom from slavery, and the Passover in Jerusalem 1,500 years later was the beginning of the spiritual freedom from sin. We normally associate these two freedoms on Shavuot, 50 days (give or take) after the Passover Seder, but it really happened after dusk on the night of that Seder.
God commanded that on Yom Kippur we perform the sin sacrifice for all the people, yet Yeshua was a sin sacrifice for all the people on Passover? What’s with that?
Yeshua is both sides of the coin- He is both the sin sacrifice and the ultimate peace offering. His sacrifice was first for the sin of the people while they enjoyed a peace sacrifice. When He returns, he will be bringing peace and communion to the people of God while the rest of the world will be suffering for their sin. Passover and Yom Kippur are the two sides of the coin of salvation. The first Passover saw the sin offering of the Egyptians (their firstborn) and the peace offering of Israel. The Passover of salvation saw the sin offering of God’s firstborn and the peace offering of Israel. The final Passover (which may not be on Passover, but more likely will be around Yom Kippur) will see the sin offering of the world and the final and eternal peace for those who have accepted Yeshua as their Messiah.
Peace and suffering, two sides of the same coin and both working together to make salvation possible.
If you aren’t sure which side you are on, ask God for forgiveness, accept Yeshua as your Messiah and ask Him to send to you the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit.) Then start to read the Bible through the eyes of God’s Spirit so you can truly see what He has in there for you.