The Oldest Feast in the World
March 28, 2021
The Oldest Feast in the World
Six Things to Know about the Passover Feast
Revelation 13:8 (NLT)
And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast. They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was made.
Jesus’ sacrifice was in God’s mind before He created us!
Passover is a Jewish Feast that preceded our communion table.
The oldest religious feast in the world is the Passover Feast; it is over 3500 years old!
We can glean some great things for our spiritual life by looking at this feast.
Six things for Christians to know about the Passover Feast:
1. Jesus died during the time of year that the Israelites celebrated the Passover feast. Jesus was the fulfillment of that feast.
Matthew 26:17-29 (NLT)
On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?” 18 “As you go into the city,” he told them, “you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.'” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there. 20 When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the twelve disciples. 21 While they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.” 22 Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one, Lord?” 23 He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. 24 For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!” 25 Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?” And Jesus told him, “You have said it.” 26 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, 28 for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. 29 Mark my words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”
2. Paul refers to the Passover feast and its meaning.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (NLT)
For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.” 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.
3. The Passover feast celebrates God’s protection of Israel during their deliverance from Egypt.
For more than 400 years, the Jewish people had lived in Egypt. They came there during the time of Joseph during a terrible drought in the Middle East.
The Egyptian government persecuted the Jews after Joseph, who was Prime Minister, died. The firstborn boys were killed during Moses’ time, and his mother put him in a tar-lined basket and floated him down the Nile so he would not be killed.
God sent Moses to Pharaoh with a message to let the Jews go from Egypt. They had been used as slaves to build the Egyptian kingdom. When the Pharaoh refused to release them, God sent 10 plagues against the Egyptian gods.
The last plague was the death of the firstborn.
4. The Passover feast celebrates God protecting the Jews from the death angel by the blood of a lamb being applied to the front doorposts of their houses.
A lamb was sacrificed and the blood applied so when the death angel passed through Egypt, killing the firstborn of Egypt, all of Israel was spared.
We can learn a lot from the Passover Feast…
Exodus 12:1-13 (NKJV)
Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2 “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. 3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. 4 And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. 7 And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. 8 Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire — its head with its legs and its entrails. 10 You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. 11 And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. 13 Now 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 the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.’”
5. The Lamb was the center of the passover feast.
In the feast and its memory for the Jews, God required 3 symbolic foods to be eaten on that Passover night – the lamb, matzah (unleavened bread), and bitter herbs.
The lamb had to be roasted with fire, which stood for judgment.
The unleavened bread was eaten to symbolize the purity of the sacrifice. Leaven, which sours bread, is a type of sin, and was left out of the bread.
Bitter herbs (endive, chicory, dandelions) were eaten as a reminder of the suffering the lamb would experience. It died in the place of the firstborn of the family.
The lamb was sacrificed that first night to keep judgment from falling on each individual in each family.
Notice that the lamb was to be without blemish and spot. Jesus was sinless.
The lamb was to stay with each family. Each family became endeared to the lamb before it was slaughtered.
Jesus became a man and was tempted just like us in every way. He completely identified with us. He became part of the human family.
They killed the lamb just before the sun went down. Blood from the lamb was applied to their doorposts, protecting them from the death angel when it came.
Unleavened bread was eaten. Leaven is a type of sin. It ferments in the bread. They cleansed their houses of leaven before they left Egypt.
Jesus has provided a way for us to be cleansed of sin!
On the evening of the 14th of the month, 4 days after they acquired their lamb, they sacrificed it as the sun was setting. The lambs were killed publicly by each family. All of the people were responsible for the death of the lamb. Each family was responsible to apply the blood to their doorpost on their own.
The innocent lamb provided a covering of life for each family that applied its blood to their doorpost. The lamb substituted its life for their life. Judgment “passed over” them.
They went in the strength of that lamb. Jesus has provided healing as well as forgiveness for us.
This event changed Israel! Their calendar year was changed, and their year from then on started in the month of Nisan – our March/April.
6. Jesus is the Passover Lamb of Sacrifice!
Leviticus 17:11 (NLT)
For the life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the LORD. It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible.
Hebrews 9:22 (NLT)
In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.
John 1:29 (NKJV)
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
1 Peter 1:18-19 (NKJV)
Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, (19) but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
1 Corinthians 5:6-8 (NKJV)
Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?
7 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. 8 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.
Hebrews 9:22 (NKJV)
And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
Leviticus 17:11 (NLT)
For the life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the Lord. It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible.
We have a covenant of salvation and protection in the communion table. Jesus, the Lamb of Sacrifice has taken our place and borne our sins and sicknesses in His body so that we could go free!
- After your last breath, there is a judgment. Hebrews 9:27. Only Jesus Christ and His blood can cleanse sin and stay judgment. God is holy, and all sin must be judged. What about your sin?
- Have you accepted the mandate to tell others about the Lamb that cleanses sin?
- Bitter herbs. Unleavened bread. Jesus left us an example. We are to accept the mantle of bitter herbs. Life is not always fair. The enemy attacks us through others. Am I willing to lay my life down, suffering persecution because I am a believer for the sake of others?
- Have you asked God to reveal leaven in your life, areas of sin that are still clinging to you? He wants you free.