PASSOVER IS A SEASON OF FREEDOM
The Biblical Jewish Festival of Passover commemorates the Israelites’ liberation from the land of Egypt. Today, Passover is celebrated with a dinner accompanied by liturgy (holy readings), and symbolic elements reminding us of the Passover. Today, as believers in Christ, we know Jesus as the Passover lamb. He was the slain lamb sacrificed for our sins. The symbolic elements of Passover are represented so we can Embrace the Festivals Holistically. To understand Jesus’ story of redemption, we must understand the individual freedom in the components through Passover.
IDENTITY – WE ARE SONS
In Passover, we experience the spiritual blessing of being adopted sons and daughters in Christ’s death. Ephesians 1:3-6 describes this adoption as sons and daughters. In 1 Peter 2:9,10, we see that we have been chosen by God, grafted into the family of God. We are adopted for the express purpose of proclaiming God’s greatest to the rest of the world. Just as the Israelites were freed from slavery (Exodus 4:23), so we are freed through Jesus’ compassionate death (Galatians 4:5,6). We are brought out of our slavery, sanctified for the presence of God.
DELIVERANCE – WE ARE RESCUED
To “rescue” someone is an indication they can do nothing to influence their own redemption. Try as we might, we are not capable of rescuing ourselves. We can’t save ourselves, no matter how strong, capable, smart or perfect we may try to be. The Israelites were delivered from their “bondage” or “service” of the Egyptians and their gods in the Passover story (Numbers 33:4). This redemption is a great act of God’s power and sacrifice to free us. Today we know that Jesus’ redemption is a free gift. Matthew 26:26-29 tells us Christ was the price given that we might be redeemed. We could never earn the grace of Christ. Rather, we are redeemed by a loving God, without any merit of our own (Colossians 1:13,14).
PASSOVER AND THE KINGDOM – WE HAVE A FUTURE
Because we are redeemed, we have the future hope of the time when we will see Jesus (Romans 8:23-25). We are granted eternal life through his death. The sacrifice of the Passover lamb gave the Israelites an opportunity to step toward the Promised Land of Israel. Today, we can experience the Promised Land and the Kingdom of God in our own lives. His Kingdom is already here, and when we give our hearts to Jesus, we become a part of that Kingdom.
PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE
On the evening we celebrate Passover, there is a time for everyone to share how Jesus has brought freedom into their lives over the past year. We all share what freedom we expect to experience in the coming year. As you prepare for Passover, consider journaling about the following questions in preparation for Passover.
- How has Jesus’ death given me freedom to experience deeper intimacy with Him?
- How has Jesus’ death changed my experiences in worship?
- Based on Jesus death, what have I discovered about repentance over the last year?