Today’s Sunday Snippet is an extract from the book Passover: The Story of Easter from the Beginning by Nathan Slegers.
What is Passover: The Story of Easter from the Beginning about?
Passover: The Story of Easter from the Beginning is a 152 page Old Testament book published by Come Thirsty Ministry; 1 edition (August 21, 2018). It is currently available as both an ebook and a paperback book.
Synopsis of Passover – The Story of Easter from the Beginning: Passover and Easter are pivotal events in Christianity that have divine connections. In Passover – The Story of Easter from the Beginning you’ll be taken on a journey that explores the coherency of God’s plan of redemption from creation to the resurrection. In a theologically rich, yet easy to read manner, the Passover and Easter will be traced through some familiar connections such as Abraham, Isaac, and the Exodus, to many less known connections such as Joshua, Rahab, and Ruth. The result is a deeper understanding of both the Passover and Easter that will lead to a sharpened view of redemption and its transformational nature.
Snippet from Passover – The Story of Easter from the Beginning, Chapter 1:
It’s been almost a decade since my pastor at the time invited a Messianic rabbi to speak at our church one Sunday morning. He came in preparation for an evening Messianic Passover meal, called a Seder, which he would lead us through to illustrate some of the Jewish connections to Jesus.
His premise was simple. He linked the sacrifice of a lamb without defect to provide redemption from Pharaoh at the first Passover with Jesus, the spotless Lamb of God, who was also sacrificed at Passover to provide our redemption. This is familiar ground for most of us. Something we’ve heard preached many times.
However, in the midst of this familiarity, he mentioned some details that I’d never before connected. He started by identifying the prescribed timing of the selection, inspection, and sacrifice of the Passover lambs in the twelfth chapter of Exodus. The precise instructions were to happen on specific days of the month. Next, he reconstructed the days leading up to the crucifixion and showed that they aligned with the twelfth chapter of Exodus.
Jesus and the Passover lambs were brought to Jerusalem at the same time, inspected together, and then sacrificed. The facts were not new to me, yet having both events overlaid and shown to match so closely seemed momentous.
As I later asked around, there were people who, like me, were not aware of these connections. And yet others were aware. It made me ask, “How many other connections were known about which no one ever told me?” And, just as importantly, “Are there any connections that may have begun to evaporate from common knowledge over the decades?”
I immediately started searching for other connections between the early Passovers and the final week of Jesus’s ministry. Very quickly, links between Moses, the Exodus, and Jesus became apparent.
One of the first I discovered was Luke connecting Jesus and Moses in a significant way, which only appears as a footnote in most Bibles. In Luke’s account of the transfiguration we read: “Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem” (Luke 9:30-31, emphasis added). The word “departure” is the translation of the Greek word exodus. It’s a subtle link, but using my paraphrase, one could read it as, “Moses and Jesus spoke of Jesus’s exodus, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.” Both Moses and Jesus having an exodus seems significant.
The words Jesus chose to use at the Last Supper also connect that week to Moses and the first Passover. God told the Israelites before leaving Egypt, “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD—a lasting ordinance” (Exodus 12:14, emphasis added). Compare this to Jesus’s words:
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”
At this Passover Jesus also declares, “Do this in remembrance of me,” meaning, commemorate this Passover. Even more striking are the symbols of the covenant. Jesus marks the new covenant with wine representing his blood. Similarly, “Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words’” (Exodus 24:8).
The connections between the first Passover and this one run deep. Both tell of redemption: one within an old covenant; the other by defining a new covenant. The purpose in Jesus’s declaration was to link his words and actions to the Old Testament and to establish a unity of purpose in his ministry and in the entire history of redemption.
After the resurrection, the events on the road to Emmaus that opened this chapter (Luke 24:27) provide another significant connection. Any doubts that the Passion of Christ was not included in the ancient prophecies are put to rest with this grand declaration.
If you enjoyed reading this snippet, you can purchase your own copy of Passover: The Story of Easter from the Beginning by Nathan Slegers via your favourite book retailer or on Amazon
Nathan Slegers will appear on The Segilola Salami Show podcast to talk about his book on the 20th of November 2018. Please click here to subscribe to the show now.