Referenced Messianic Jewish Review Blog

The official blog of the Referenced Messianic Jewish Review. The Referenced Messianic Jewish Review studies the history, composition and theology of the Messianic Jewish movement.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jesus in the Passover

Passover is coming up in a little over the week and Messianic congregations/organizations will be talking about how Jesus can be found in the Passover. In fact, there is quite a business for groups like Jews for Jesus to go around and present to churches on the idea of Jesus in Passover. But is Jesus really part of Passover?

One of the claims that are made is that Jesus is the Passover sacrifice. However, this claim is simply not supported by the Bible. In the original commandments of the Passover sacrifice in Exodus Chapter 12, the Jewish people are commanded to take a lamb, kill it and place it's blood around the doorpost. They are next commanded to take the flesh of the lamb, roast it and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Any of the flesh that is left the next day is commanded to be burned. In Deuteronomy 16, G-d again commands the Jewish people to do a Passover sacrifice. Again, the Jews are commanded to eat the sacrifice. Other verses such as Exodus 34:25 state that the sacrifice cannot be left over for consumption the next day. Numbers Chapter 9: 9-12 reiterates that the Passover sacrifice is properly eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. What about Jesus? Was he killed, roasted and eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs as commanded by G-d regarding the real Passover sacrifice? Of course not. Jesus' death does not match the Biblical commandments from G-d in the Bible in any way, shape or form.

Now, many Messianics will say that Jesus was symbolically the Passover sacrifice and his blood covered everyone's sins. But G-d does not say that the sacrifice was symbolic-we are commanded to literally eat the sacrifice. These are commandments, not artistic options. In fact, in Jesus' time the true Passover sacrifice was still ongoing. Every year, people came and ate the real Passover sacrifice, with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Moreover, G-d clearly states the true purpose of the annual Passover sacrifice in Exodus 12:26-27. G-d says that when children ask you about the purpose of the Passover sacrifice you are to say, "It is the sacrifice of the L-RD'S passover, for that He passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when He killed the Egyptians, and delivered our houses." The Biblical purpose of the annual Passover sacrifice is to remember how G-d redeemed the Jewish people. It has nothing to do with sin.

Lastly, Deuteronomy 16:5-7 points out another way in which Jesus' death cannot be the Passover sacrifice. The Passover sacrifice is only allowed at the place where G-d puts G-d's name. In Jesus' time that was the Holy Temple. It is Biblically forbidden for the sacrifice to be done elsewhere, yet Jesus was killed by the Romans away from the Holy Temple.

In sum, the Bible proves that Jesus' death cannot be the Passover sacrifice.