The Bible is truly the most amazing book. From the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation we see confirmations of the truth of the word over and over again. There are numerous foreshadowings in the Old Testament that speak of things to come, as well as prophecies which in hindsight are astoundingly precise. Probably no other concept is foreshadowed and prophesied in the Old Testament more often than the coming of the Messiah.
As we approach Passover and Easter, and recognize our Savior Jesus as the Passover Lamb who came to take away the sins of the world, let’s look at some amazing parallels:
1. Passover always begins on the 15th of Nisan (in the Spring of the Jewish calendar.) God’s people were told to choose and set apart their lambs for sacrifice on the 10th of Nisan. (Lv 12:3) Jesus entered Jerusalem on the 10th day of Nisan. (Jn 12:1 tells us that Jesus entered Bethany 6 days before the Passover, so we can calculate when He entered Jerusalem, 5 days before Passover was to begin.)
2. The lamb was set aside for 5 days to be checked for spot and blemish. It had to be perfect, without fault. Jesus, during this time, was being questioned by religious leaders trying to find fault with Him. They questioned His authority and asked Him trick questions to find Him in error. When frustrated by their efforts, they took him to Pilate who said, “I find no fault in Him.”
3. Passover lambs were slaughtered the same day as Jesus was nailed to the cross, and at the same time of day. Because of the huge number of lambs that year, the priests started early to be done by the beginning of Sabbath. The lambs were being prepared in the morning, at the same time Jesus was nailed to the cross. They started killing the lambs at 3pm when Jesus died (according to Josephus, the Jewish historian.)
4. Lambs were split open and spread open on spits, resembling a body spread on a cross.
5. In Ex 12:46 God says none of the lambs’ bones were to be broken. Normally Romans broke the legs of those crucified, so that they couldn’t raise themselves up to relieve pressure on their lungs. They broke the legs of the 2 prisoners who were hung on either side of Jesus, but coming to Jesus, they found Him already dead so they didn’t break His legs, fulfilling prophecy.
6. The priests sprinkled the blood of the dead lambs as atonement for sin. They did this at Passover and were required to continue the practice every year.
But Jesus’s blood took away sin forever! Once and for all. For all people. For all time. Thank you , God, for Your wisdom, love and power. Thank you for coming to the earth to save us and show us the way.
Isaiah 53:7 “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”