Tag: Paschal Lamb
The seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread is connected to Passover, since its observance began the day after Passover, Nisan 15th. During the seven days of the feast only unleavened bread could be eaten. While Passover commemorated the night of the deliverance from Egypt, the Feast of Unleavened Bread served to remind devout Jews of the circumstances of the Exodus and symbolized for them God’s call to holy living (Ex 12:39; Deut 16:3; Lev 23:6-8).
In the Old Testament, Passover evolved from a private family sacrifice of the paschal lamb to an elaborate and solemn sacrifice at the Temple in Jerusalem. In spite of its evolution, the underlying theme of Passover remained the same: the commemoration of the supernatural deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage which brought freedom and new life to the people.
The best place to pick up the thread is with the first of the holydays in the year, the Passover. There is a passage in one of Paul’s letters that long ago should have caused us to rethink this question. It was written to a Gentile church, and commentators tell us it was written during the Passover season. Paul is dealing with a serious problem in the church and in the process, he makes a connection to the Passover: "Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." (1 Corinthians 5:7-8)
The prevailing view among Christians today is that the annual feasts were strictly socio-ceremonial institutions given to Israel. Their function terminated at the Cross with all the sacrificial system of Biblical and Festival Typology the Old Testament. I must admit that I subscribed to this view until I became involved in this research. It came as a surprise to me to discover that the feasts were designed by God, not only to meet the socio-religious needs of the Jews, but also to foreshadow the unfolding of salvation history until its consummation. This suggests that while the sacrificial, ceremonial aspects of the feasts terminated at the Cross, their typological function continues in the Christian church, though with a new meaning and relevance.