Passover Topical Study

<p><strong><span class="heading-lg">Passover in Scripture</span></strong></p><ul><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Exodus 12:5-13</a>, lamb without blemish</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Exodus 13:14-16</a>, &quot;what does this mean?&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Deuteronomy 26:7-9</a>, God heard the cries in Egypt and rescued his people</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">2 Chronicles 30:15-16</a>, remembering</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Mark 14:12-16</a>, the passover meal</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">1 Corinthians 5:7</a>, the paschal lamb, Christ Jesus</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">1 Peter 1:18-19</a>, ransomed by the blood of Christ</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Revelation 5:12</a>, worthy is the lamb</span></li></ul><p><font color="#0077c8"><span style="font-size: 28px;"><b><span class="heading-lg">Reflections about Passover</span></b></span></font></p><p><span class="body-copy">In <span class="body-copy">the history of Israel the Passover is a founding event, the basis for Israel&#39;s devotion to God the liberator and the constitutive factor in Israel&#39;s sense of her identity. Who are we? We are the people whom God passed over and then delivered from Egypt. In following centuries, when Israel recited God&#39;s &quot;mighty deeds,&quot; she would start with the Passover. Moreover, the Passover and other mighty deeds secured Israel&#39;s h</span>ope. If God delivered us before, then God will do it again.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy">In the years following, Israel ke<span class="body-copy">pt the memory of Passover alive by celebrating the Passover festival. In it, Israelites would re-enact the Passover (a slaughtered lamb, its blood smeared on the door frame, roasted and eaten quickly, with people dressed for getting out of town). The festival might happen hundreds of years after the Passover event, but the father of the family would speak as if he himself had been brought out of Egypt: [the </span>festival] &quot;is because of what the L<span class="small-caps">ord</span> did for me when I came out of Egypt&quot; (Exodus&nbsp;13:8).</span></p><p><span class="body-copy">By the tim<span class="body-copy">e Israel had a temple, it became home base for the slaughter of the lambs. A Jewish family would slay a lamb while the priests collected the lamb&#39;s blood in basins and then dashed it against the base of the altar. The lamb would be skinned and its fat and kidneys burned on the altar. During the process, Levites would sing the Hallel psalms (Psalms 113-118). Then the lamb&#39;s owner would rewrap the carcass in its own skin, fling it over his shoulder, and carry it home for the Passover meal. During the spring celebration of Passover, Jerusalem would be glutted with an extra 200,000 Jews. Among them were merchants of every kind. Merchants would haggle, beggars would scramble for the most trafficked spots, and everywhere, food, drink, jewels, clothing, and especially lambs and goats would be bartered or </span>sold.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy">New Testament gospels tell us t<span class="body-copy">hat the Last Supper was a Passover meal: there was food, drink, (probably Hallel) psalm singing, and an air of urgency because Jesus reveals that a traitor is with them. Jesus also reveals that the bread and </span>wine are his body and blood to be consumed now, but not again until God&#39;s kingdom comes.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy">Paul and Peter (and maybe Revelation) identify Jesus with the slain Passover lamb.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy">Meanwhile, Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:1, 2 t<span class="body-copy">ies baptism in with the Exodus: &quot;our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea&quot;). Elsewhere, Paul says that Christians are baptized into Christ, or into Christ&#39;s death and resurrection. The idea is that Moses and Christ are the &quot;representative personalities&quot; of the people of God. To be baptized into them is to be recognized ceremonially as belonging to the community launched into history by their signature acts &mdash; for Moses, Passover and Exodus; for Christ, death and resurrection, with resurrection counting as the second Exodus (Lewis B. Smedes, All Things Made New: A Theology of Union with Christ, Eerdmans, 1970, pp. 143-45). When Christians immerse a baptizand, they are reenacting the passage through the Red Sea and the death and resurrection of Christ. Christians say to the baptizand by these actions: You are a person of these events. They are your events because you belong to the people formed and</span> identified by these events.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy">In his teaching at Calvin <span class="body-copy">University, Nicholas Wolterstorff used to suggest an illuminating parallel: when on the Fourth of July Americans dress up in eighteenth-century clothes, play music, parade, and shoot off cannons and fireworks, they are saying, &quot;We are the people of the Declaration of Independence and of the Revolutionary War. Those are our events, because we belong to the people formed and identified by these events.&quot;</span></span></p><p><span class="body-copy">For contemporary observant Jews, the Passover feast often features braised lamb shank.</span></p>