Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Passover and Resurrection Connection

Ever think about the connection between Passover and Resurrection Sunday? Were you even aware there was one? Passover celebrates the release of the Hebrew nation from just over 400 years of captivity in Egypt and Resurrection Sunday ("Easter") celebrates Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. God planned that the one should have everything to do with the other.

Long before Israel became a nation, God told Abraham that his descendants would be slaves then delivered after 400 years of captivity. The prophecy was fulfilled when God selected Moses (not Charlton Heston) to lead the people out--but under specific circumstances. God performed a series of miracles that would loosen the Egyptian hold on the captive nation of Israel. The circumstance is repeated many times in the Old Testament Book of Exodus: “that you may know that I AM the LORD.” One will find this phrase directed to Israel, to Egypt and to the nations throughout the rest of the OT.

The final miracle involved the death of the firstborn of the land. God was going to move through the land performing two specific acts: first, He would be the angel of death who would kill the firstborn of every family, both man and beast; second, we read that God Himself would stand and cover the doorway of those who marked their houses with the blood of a lamb and prevent Himself from entering.

What is most amazing about marking the doorway with blood is this was a sign that an Egyptian would understand, but it must have caused deep confusion at first and was not fully understood until the following morning.

See, the internal doorways of an Egyptian tomb has distinguishing features; specifically, the doorways of rooms containing the dead are painted red, have red stripes and/or red figures. Imagine what they must have thought that night watching the Israelites paint the lintels of the doorposts red--marking their homes as tombs. These were the homes that God would stand covering the doorway, blessing the home with life. The unmarked homes were visited with death.

Now imagine the next morning when people awoke and death had come through the land. As they mourned, those with marked homes rose with the dawn and stepped out into their freedom. The living walked out of their lamb’s blood, tomb-marked homes. This was the first picture of the resurrection and was communicated in such a way that the nations could understand and know “that I AM the LORD” who has delivered His people.

The blood of the Lamb of God was spilled to cover our sins when God’s wrath was poured out on the cross. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead. Have you repented and by faith been covered by the blood and walk in newness of life?

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