Passover is one of the most holy times of the year. Besides the Sabbath, it is the first of God’s appointed times (mo’edim) and holy convocations (miqra) that are detailed in Leviticus 23. Unfortunately, within the greater Christian community, there is little recognition, and often even less celebration, of these amazing, prophetic days. In this article, we will explore a little known prophetic foreshadow of this fascinating and wonderful time, and through the study of Holy Scripture, begin to understand the amazing significance it holds.
When one mentions the first Passover, most people immediately think about the book of Exodus, which is the story of Moses, Pharaoh, and the release of the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage.
Exodus 12:1-13, “The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight. Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.”
After examining these passages, we see the Passover sacrifice is to be a lamb without blemish of the first year. It is to be sacrificed and it’s blood placed on the door frame of the house, and it’s flesh is to be eaten in it’s entirety, or the remainder is to be burned. While these details are very important, one of the most important aspect of this sacrifice is written in verses 11-13:
…It is the Lord’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.”
Here we see the true intention of the Passover sacrifice. It is to be a substitutionary sacrifice for the life of the firstborn, and the blood on the doorframe will be a sign that those inside are “covered” by the blood of this sacrifice. While the Exodus account certainly represents the first national Passover for the children of Israel, is it really the first revelation of this holy time in Scripture?
All believers understand that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Psalm 102:27, Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8), that He reveals the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:9-10), and that what is, and what will be, has been before (Ecclesiastes 3:15). With this in mind, let us explore the first Passover sacrifice.
In the beginning, it is written that the Word (Yeshua/Jesus) existed, and we know that through Him God created all things, including life (John 1:1-4). This creation account is given in brief in Genesis 1:1-2:3. On the sixth day, God created man.
Genesis 1:26-28, Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Shortly after creation, mankind was tempted by the serpent (hasatan=the adversary), and this introduced sin into the world.
Genesis 3:1-6, Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it."
Immediately after Adam and Eve ate the fruit, both realized that they were naked and were shamed.
Genesis 3:7, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves."
While the physical act of being naked is not in and of itself a bad or sinful thing, the shame of nakedness (especially spiritually) is often associated with the guiltiness of one’s rebellious sin, or the harlotry of apostasy and lawlessness that is exposed before the Righteous Father. Before sin, Adam and Eve were naked, but were not ashamed (Genesis 2:25). After eating the forbidden fruit, both realized that they were naked and were ashamed, so they sewed together fig leaves for a covering. The Hebrew word used here for “nakedness’ is “eyrom” (Strong’s H5903), and is from the root “aram” (Strong’s H6191), which means crafty, cunning, subtlety, beware, usually in a bad sense.
Genesis 3:9-11, But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
The “original sin” was the first act of sin/lawlessness (sin is lawlessness, ie. against the instructions of God-1 John 3:4), and led to repercussions that have been felt through all of creation and generations since that time. The Apostle Sha’ul (Paul) instructs that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and that through one man (Adam), sin came into the world, and through sin death spread to all men because all have sinned (Romans 5:12).
In fact, God told Adam and Eve that if they ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thus disobeying God’s instructions, they would die (Genesis 2:17). Yet Adam and Eve did not die that day in the Garden of Eden, but went on to live very long lives. Why was that?
One would think that after Adam and Eve sinned and were exposed naked and ashamed before Almighty God, He would immediately destroy them. Especially given the specific instructions of God and the known repercussions for disobedience! On the contrary, what the Scriptures reveal is quite remarkable!
Genesis 3:14-19, “The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."
Here we see our first amazing parallel to the Exodus Passover story. In Exodus 12:12 the Lord says: For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord."
God states that not only will He pass through Egypt and strike the firstborn, but He will execute judgments on all the false gods of Egypt. In Genesis 3:14-19 we see God also promises to pass judgment on the original false god, hasatan the serpent, and destroy him by way of the offspring of the woman, which is Messiah. Rather than destroy Adam and Eve, God curses the adversary!
To the woman (Eve) he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.”
And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life, thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
In the first part of these verses we see God’s curse and judgment on the adversary, hasatan (Satan). Within this curse we also see God’s grace in one of the first promises of the coming Redeemer, Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus the Messiah! Next, we see the curse of painful childbirth, although childbirth is a necessity because of death that had entered into creation. Afterwards, we see the curse of the ground and labor, and then we finally see that indeed death will reign. But just after this, we see something very interesting!
Genesis 3:20-21, “The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.”
Here is the first Passover! God Almighty, who could have instantly destroyed Adam and Eve, not only blessed them with the promise of the Messiah through their seed, but He also killed an animal and clothed them in it’s skin! The first instance of death was not on those who transgressed and deserved death, but rather a substitutionary sacrifice was chosen by God in their stead. Adam and Eve are the firstborn of mankind, just as those in Egypt were the firstborn of their household. In other words, just as God passed over the firstborn of Israel in Egypt, God also passed over Adam and Eve in death, and then provided them with the most basic of protection, clothing. God performed the very first Passover sacrifice Himself, foregoing death and providing life, protection, and the promise of ultimate redemption through the seed of the woman, Yeshua HaMashiach/Jesus the Messiah! Hallelujah! God is a loving and merciful Father!
The clothing of this substitutionary sacrificial garment covered Adam and Eve’s nakedness and shame. Adam and Eve were powerless to “undo” their transgression, so it was totally incumbent upon God to forgive them and cover their sin. The flesh of the sacrificial animal (we are not told if it was a lamb, but it would not be surprising to find out that it was) covered their nakedness and shame before God. This animal was created by God, provided by God, sacrificed by God, and the clothing was made by God. Adam and Eve could do nothing to save themselves.
After this “first clothing,” we see many instances in the Holy Bible of being “clothed” in the righteousness and salvation of God (Judges 6:34, Psalm 132:16, Isaiah 61:10, etc.)
In the New Covenant, we see this concept realized within the context of being clothed in the righteousness and eternal life of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), who is the ultimate and perfect Passover sacrifice!
Romans 13: 13-14*, “Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh."
Galatians 3:26-27*, “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."
2 Corinthian 5:1-4, “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.”
In the books of Revelation and 1 Corinthians, we also get a glimpse of those saints who persevere and are given the white robes of victory, righteousness, and immortality.
1 Corinthians 15:50-55*, “Now I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must be clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come to pass: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
Revelation 6:10-11*, “And they cried out in a loud voice, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe and told to rest a little while longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers, were killed, just as they had been killed.”
Revelation 7:13-14*, “Then one of the elders addressed me: “These in white robes,” he asked, “who are they, and where have they come from?” “Sir, I answered, “you know.” So he replied, “These are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
In conclusion, Messiah Yeshua is THE perfect and spotless Passover sacrifice. By His perfect, sinless life, He is the one true Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). By His blood, we, as believers and saints, are clothed in His righteousness and immortality and can be assured of His promise of resurrection to eternal life to rule and reign with Him! At the beginning of creation, mankind disobeyed the instructions of God, thus sin entered the world which leads to death. On Passover at the cross God, as the Word made flesh in Messiah Yeshua, willingly sacrificed Himself for all mankind, and then resurrected His life, ensuring forgiveness for sins and eternal life that comes with faith in Him and His promises. The power of sin was broken, and death was overcome! Hallelujah and Amen!!
Romans 6:5-11, “For if we have been united with him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”