Hi folks: Some may not be aware of the connection between the Jewish feast of Passover and Holy Week for Christians. If any are interested I’ve included the description below.
In Exodus 12 God prepares the Israelites for the final plague. The final plague is death. The only way that the firstborn of Israel could be spared from death was if they slaughtered a male lamb towards evening on the 14th day of the first month of the Jewish calendar. The Israelites were saved not by the act of slaying the lamb but by the blood of the lamb that was spread on the two door posts and the lintel of their houses. When God passed through the land of Egypt, and saw the blood on the Israelite houses, He would PASSOVER. Therefore the Israelites were saved when God saw the blood of the slain lamb. During the Seder which the Israelites were to eat in haste keeping with this theme bread was to be made without leaven. This unleavened bread is called matzoh. During the Seder three matzoh are placed in one pile atop another. The matzoh represent the Jewish people made up of Kohen/Priests, Levites, and Israelites all unified. During the “Yachatz” the middle matzoh is broken in two. Half is set aside the other half is hidden. The hidden portion becomes afikomen or dessert for later. The Seder also includes the drinking of wine and consumption of the slain roasted lamb, roasted egg, moror bitter herbs, charoses diced apple the same color as mortar, and karpas a green vegetable. God commanded that this feast was to be observed by the Jewish people forever to commemorate their freedom from bondage. This was all brought about by God sending his deliverer Moses, a Levite, to the Egyptian Pharaoh demanding the release of his people the Israelites.
For first century Jewish believers in Yeshua (Jesus) the Passover took on added significance. The lamb that was slain toward evening before Passover was the Messiah. (Isa.53). They considered him the Passover lamb (1Cor. 5:7). They considered it not mere coincidence that Yeshua was slain just prior to Passover. The probability was 1/360 since he could have died at any other time and not by having his blood spilled. To them his blood being spilled on a Roman cross fulfilled the blood that was spread on the doorposts and lintel of Jewish houses. Just as Egypt symbolized bondage and slavery, the first century Jewish believers saw Egypt to signify our bondage to sin and when we accept the slain lamb (Messiah) and obey His commandments, Ex 20, Deut 5, Deut 6:4-6, Lev 19:18) then God will PASSOVER and not condemn us to eternal death. Since God is Holy and Just, sinful people cannot be in his presence. The matzoh in one pile came to signify one God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This was hinted at in Gen 1:26; 3:22; 11:6-7 and described fully in Isa 48: 16-17 and Pro 30:4. When the middle matzoh was broken this came to signify the Son who was broken for us. The part that was hidden signified his burial. When this portion was later recovered during the Seder this signified his resurrection from the dead (Psalm 16:10; Isa 53:9-12; Hos. 6:1-3.) The drinking of wine came to signify the acceptance of his blood sacrifice and the consumption of unleavened bread (Communion) was the acceptance of God giving Himself as an offering for our sin so that we may be saved and accounted as acceptable to God. They observed this at the Last Supper i.e. Passover Seder (Matt.26:1-29, Mark 14:1-31, Luke 22:1-38, and John chapters 13-17).Therefore the meaning for them was that we could not earn salvation. God provided the means whereby all people could be saved if they accepted the sacrifice of the slain lamb (Messiah) and his blood as an offering for our sin.