What does the word Passover mean?


The Passover or Pesach is one of the Jewish yearly feasts (Leviticus 23). It commemorates the Exodus and the deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery (Exodus 12). According to biblical chronology, the exodus took place at about 1300 BC. Passover is celebrated in the spring, during the Hebrew month of Nisan (April).

God promised to deliver the Israelites from slavery (Exodus 6:6). So, He sent Moses to Pharaoh asking for the deliverance of His children (Exodus 8:1). Pharaoh refused, so God punished Egypt with ten plagues which in turn humbled Pharaoh. The last plague caused the death of all the firstborn in Egypt.

During the night of the tenth plague, God instructed that the Israelites would celebrate the Passover by sacrificing a lamb and eating it with unleavened bread (leaven symbolized sin) and bitter herbs (Exodus 12:8). But most importantly, they were to mark their doorposts and lintels with its blood (Exodus 12:21–22).

When the angel of the Lord passed through the land of Egypt during the night, he would “pass over” the households that had the blood on their door posts (verse 23). Thus, the Israelites’ first born were not touched by the angel of death and were spared from the plague because they were redeemed with the blood of the sacrifice (Exodus 13:1–2, 12).

As for the Egyptians whose homes were not marked by blood, they lost their firstborn children that night (Exodus 12:21–30). Therefore, Pharaoh finally permitted Israel to leave Egypt (verses 31–32).

When Jesus died at the cross of Calvary, the Passover feast was fulfilled and therefore was done away with (Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:16). Jesus became the Passover lamb as He was crucified on our behalf (1 Corinthians 5:7; Revelation 5:12). All those who accept His blood on their behalf are like the Israelites who applied the blood of the lamb on their homes. These will be saved from eternal death and damnation (John 1:29).

Today, the church of God must be purified by the blood of the Lamb who is Jesus Christ (1 John 1: 7). The body of Christ must be free from all sin and imperfection which is typified by “leaven” (Matthew 5:48; Ephesians 1:4; 5:27). Jesus said, “you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Striving to reach that goal can be done only by the power of God (Philippians 4:13).

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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