PASSOVER UNDERSTANDINGS For us today with the writings of the New Testament(NT) and two thousand years to look back at the death of Christ, it is sometimes hard to put ourselves in the shoes of the Jews and disciples of Jesus concerning the theology of the Old Testament(OT) Passover lamb. I raised a few eye-brows lately with some questions like: Show me from the OT where the Passover lamb represented the Messiah and show me from the OT where the Passover lamb was to be killed at 3 p.m. in the afternoon of the 14th of Nisan. For our edification we need to put ourselves in the shoes of the Jews of the first century A.D. Try to forget for a moment all you have come to know about the Passover lamb from the NT, and how the NT explains the typology. Now your mind is clear. Good. take the right shoe of the Jews at the time of Christ and put it on your right foot. Got it on? Fine, do the same with the left shoe. You are now standing in the same shoes as the Jews of the first century. You(as a Jew) have been told from birth that the Passover memorial service was to remember how God saved and delivered your people on the 14th of Nisan from the bondage of Egyptian slavery. You have been told time and time again the story of Exodus 12 and 13. How the death angel saved from death those under the blood. You have observed the night many times with the reading and telling of these historic events, BUT NEVER HAVE YOU BEEN TOLD: "listen son, the Passover lamb God gave to Israel to kill on the 14th was to represent the Messiah." You were never taught this by your parents, you were never taught it in the synagogue, you were never taught it by the Rabbi of your town or in fact by anyone! Why? VERY SIMPLE! There is NO SCRIPTURE that says: "See Moses this lamb you kill on the 14th is to represent the Messiah to come" or "Moses, I want you to tell the children of Israel that this 14th day lamb is to remind them of the coming Messiah, it is to picture His death." There is not one word in the books of Moses that come close to explaining the lamb of the 14th was to symbolize the Messiah to come. There is not one word in the Psalms, the writings, or the Prophets that told anyone about the Passover lamb being a type and forshaddow of the coming Messiah. Try to find it friends, you will not because the OT is SILENT on that typology! You as a first century Jew were never told by anyone: "Now we want you to understand that the death of the lamb on the 14th, represents the death of the Messiah to come." You were never taught that because the OT says NOTHING in any specific language that that was what the lamb's death on the 14th really typified. Oh, the death of the Messiah was talked about in the OT, but even that was clouded in some not too clear words. Certainly it was not laid out in plain language so none would ever get mixed up on. It was shrouded in language and a setting that left most scratching their heads as to what and who it was all about. Remember the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8. He was reading Isaiah 53. Philip asked him if he understood what it meant. His answer was NO! The Jews and disciples of Christ did not have as part of their upbringing the, theology that the Passover lamb represented the Christ, the Messiah. They did not have as part of their theology that the Messiah was to come and be slain like a lamb on the 14th of Nisan! Oh, they may have had some theology that taught the Messiah would deliver them from the Roman armies on the 14th as God once delivered Israel from the Egyptians, but that is not the same and is a long way from the theology that the Passover lamb represented the Messiah who would be killed on the 14th. How could He deliver them on the 14th from Rome and die on the 14th at the same time without delivering them. When we understand how the Jews had no theology that the 14th lamb typified the Christ, then we can understand the NT gospels and the mind set of the Jews and the disciples much clearer. All starts to become understandable as to why what happened ,did happen to Jesus, and why even the disciples were stunned, shocked, and in complete despair. Peter even saying "I go fishing" and Thomas even doubting Jesus had been raised to life again. Looking only to Exodus 12 or anything else said about the Passover lamb in the OT, would never have led you to the theology that this lamb represented the coming Messiah, who would shed His blood in death on the very day the Passover lamb was always killed. Let's use some common human logic. If this lamb of the Passover was known in religious circles to be the Christ to come, then it would have been KNOWN, right? Yes, of course! It would have been common theology of the synagogue. All would have talked about it, that the Messiah would come the first time to die and be slain on the 14th of Nisan for the sins of the world, and His coming in glory would be after that event. The fact is the theology of the Jews did not see the first coming, they just could not put it together as the Ethiopian eunuch could not. They just could not understand the scriptures concerning someone to die and suffer as given in Ps.22 and Isaiah 53. What was said about the Passover lamb in the OT was certainly no help to them, for nothing was said about it representing the Messiah. The religious leaders who were against Jesus, and who finally wanted Him dead, they knew He claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God, even God in the flesh. Now if they had known from the Passover lamb that the Messiah was to come and be slain on the 14th of Nisan, DO YOU THINK THEY WOULD HAVE KILLED THIS JESUS WHO CLAIMED TO BE THE MESSIAH ON THAT DAY? They hated him, did not want Him to be acknowledged as anything but from the devil. They knew the people, at least more than they wanted, were looking to Him as from God. They knew many believed He was the very Messiah. With all that and if their theology taught the 14th lamb was representive of the Messiah, YOU CAN BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR THEY WOULD HAVE GONE OUT OF THEIR WAY TO MAKE SURE THIS JESUS DID NOT DIE ON THE 14TH!! Now, take some logic with the very disciples of Jesus. If it was their understanding that the Messiah was to fulfil the Passover lamb, in death and on the very day of the 14th of Nisan, then you would expect that somewhere along the line in the gospels you would read something to the effect as: "well Lord we know that you are the Passover lamb, to be slain for the sins of the world on the 14th of the first month. Is it this year Lord, this coming Passover that it will happen?" You know and I know that such a thought let alone a statement as that never came into the heads of the disciples of Jesus. They never even thought Christ would be killed, it just was not in their wildest dreams or nightmares. Even when Jesus just before the last Passover, said to them that the Passover was coming and the Son of man was to be betrayed and killed, IT WENT OVER THEIR HEADS, IN ONE EAR AND OUT THE OTHER, THEY COULD NOT SEE THE MESSIAH BEING KILLED!! Even when at the Passover supper meal and Jesus told them that one among them was going to betray Him, they could not believe it. It was just too ridiculous to contemplate such a thing. Who among them could possibly do such a terrible act. They certainly were not thinking that this Passover day Jesus was to have His blood shed and be killed. When in the garden and they were coming to arrest Jesus, Peter was ready to FIGHT to save Him from being taken! Do we see brethren the theology of the Passover lamb in the time of Jesus was not what we have come to see it as of today, and as the NT church came to see it after the Day of Pentecost when the Spirit came to start to reveal to them all things and all truth. We take things for granted today because we have the NT and have the answers to some of the typology in the OT that HAS ALREADY BEEN FULFILLED. It is easy for us to see AFTER THE FACT! We need to try and remember that for the Jews of Jesus' day it WAS NOT EASY TO SEE! When Paul uttered those words in 1 Cor.5 about Christ being our Passover, IT WAS AFTER THE SPIRIT HAD COME, AND AFTER THE FACT HAD BEEN FULFILLED! Paul did not say: "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us because He was burnt at the stake(roasted like the lamb)." Or, "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us because He had His throat cut and blood shed like the lamb." Paul did not say: "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us because He was spit upon, beaten, and scourged like the lamb" (which was never so treated anyway). He did not say: "Christ is our Passover because He died at 3 p.m. on the afternoon of the 14th, when the lambs were slain in the Temple." Paul said none of those things. He did not get into ANY specifics. He did not quote from Ps.22 or Isaiah 53. Paul was using a GENERAL FIGURE OF SPEECH, based upon what was NOW OBVIOUS TO THEM AND ALL CHRISTIANS. Jesus was the "lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world" (as John the Baptist proclaimed), and He died on the 14th of Nisan, the very day that the Passover lamb had always been slain upon. Those two facts alone put the sealing typology on the question, if there was a question about it. Jesus did fulfil the Passover lamb. The lamb of the Passover did represent the true lamb of God that would die to save sinners and die on the Passover day - the 14th of the first month. BUT THEY DID NOT KNOW THAT FACT UNTIL AFTER THE FACT WAS FULFILLED AND IT WAS THEN CLEARLY EASY TO SEE!! More in a future post.