Does the Passover lamb prefigure Jesus?

“Yes, after all…
  • v3 --Both are examined on month Nisan, 10-14th

      Both Jesus1 and the Passover lamb2 are examined during the month Nisan, between the 10th and 14th.



      1. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey on the 10th day of Nisan, and taught publicly in the Temple etc., where he was examined by the very chief priests who inspected the lambs. They were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. This occurred until the Last Supper before his arrest 14th day of Nisan.
      2. Exodus 12:3-5 -- ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household. Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb. Your lamb shall be an unblemished male… You shall keep it until the fourteenth day
  • v5 -- Both are free of defect (pure for sacrifice)

      Both Jesus1 and the Passover lamb2 are young males, unblemished in the Biblical sense (free of defect/sin).3



      1. The chief priests who examined the lambs found no fault in Jesus:
        Mt 26:59-60 -- The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.
        See also: • 1 Peter 1:19 -- but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
        2 Corinthians 5:21 -- He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
        John 1:29 -- The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
        1 John 3:5 -- You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.
        See also: Mt 27:4, Jn 8:46, Jn 7:18, 19:4
      2. Note: In Jewish thought, the lamb needed to be blemish free because the blemishes correspond to impurity, to sin. If they killed a blemished lamb, they would not have acquired purity themselves.
        Exodus 12:5 -- “Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.Deuteronomy 17:1 -- “You shall not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep which has a blemish or any defect, for that is a detestable thing to the Lord your God. (cf. Malachi 1:7-8)
  • v6 -- Both are killed on Passover

      Both Jesus1 and the Passover lamb2 are killed during the Passover festival.



      1. Mark 14:12 -- On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?”John 19:14 -- Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!”Luke 22:1 -- Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching.
      2. Exodus 12:6 -- “the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.
  • v7 -- The blood of both is applied to wooden beams

      The blood of both Jesus1 and the Passover lamb2 are applied across wooden beams. (We reference here the wooden beams comprising the doorposts of houses and the crossbeams of Jesus's cross)



      1. At his crucifixon, after being flayed several times, Jesus's back would have been leaking a severe amount of blood.
      2. Exodus 21:7 -- Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel [the top beam of the doorway] of the houses in which they eat it.
        Note: Almost all Egyptian homes were made of mud-brick, and yet had “post and lintel” doorways, commonly constructed of wood. Similarly, “shutters and doors” were commonly made with wood. [http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/timelines/topics/wood.htm]; “Doorways were made of stone too, with wooden lintels (the part of the door). Windowsills were also sometimes made of wood. Doors were made of wood…” [Ancient Egyptian Homes, 21.]; Eric Parrington Uphill: “Wood was used for door posts, lintels…” [Egyptian Towns and Cities (Shire, 2001), 25.]
  • v7 -- The blood of both is effectual for the faithful

      The blood of both Jesus1 and the Passover lamb2 does supernatural work for the faithful.

      1. Exodus 12:7 says “take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. [The blood represented the animal's life (Lev 17:11; Heb 9:22). It needed to be shed/applied for each individual household, and internalized (v8)]
      2. Jesus’ blood was was for all people (Jn. 1:29; 1 Jn. 2:2; 2 Cor. 5:19; 1 Tim. 4:10; Heb. 2:9; Titus 2:11), it applies only to the faithful (Jn. 1:12). This would imply that if an Egyptian had applied lambs blood to his doorpost, he would have been saved. Coming to know Christ brings spiritual life.
  • v9 -- Both lambs undergo God's fiery wrath

      Both Jesus1 and the Passover lamb2 were to under go God's wrath (symbolically for the Passover lamb).

      1. • Hebrews 12:29 -- for our God is a consuming fire. • Romans 5:9 -- Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
      2. • Exodus 12:9 says “[Eat it] roasted with fire,” [Note: Fire is an undisputed symbol of divine judgment.]
  • v13 --The blood of both stays God's wrath

      The blood of both Jesus1 and the Passover lamb2 serve to block, or exhaust, God's divine wrath which was due for others.

      1. .1 Peter 1:18-20 -- knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you keeps us from facing God's judgment
        Romans 5:9 -- Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
        1 John 1:7 -- the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
      2. Exodus 12:13 -- “The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
        Exodus 12:7, 13 --
        Exodus 12:23-27 -- For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you. 24 And you shall observe this event as an ordinance for you and your children forever. 25 When you enter the land which the Lord will give you, as He has promised, you shall observe this rite. 26 And when your children say to you, ‘What does this rite mean to you?’ 27 you shall say, ‘It is a Passover sacrifice to the Lord who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes.’” And the people bowed low and worshiped.
        Leviticus 17:11 -- For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.
  • v21 -- Both are killed publicly

      Both Jesus1 and the Passover lamb2 are killed during the Passover festival.

      1. Romans placed the crucified on a hill, Golgotha, on the busiest intersection in and out of Jerusalem to serve as a deterrant to rebellion.
      2. The Lamb was slain in public view in the temple. (Exodus 12:21 -- Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb.)
  • v46 --The bones of both remain unbroken

      The bones of both Jesus1 and the Passover lamb2 were to remain unbroken, in a context where they are otherwise expected to be broken.

      1. A prominent feature of Jesus's death was that his bones were almost broken.
        John 19:32-36 -- So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; 33 but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. 36 For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, “Not a bone of Him shall be broken.”
      2. Exodus 12:46 -- “…nor are you to break any bone of it, and Num. 9:12 says “…nor break a bone of it; according to all the statute of the Passover.Ps 34:20
  • v8 --The body of both is to be ritualistically eaten

      Both Jesus1 and the Passover lamb2 are to be ritualistically eaten by the faithful.

      1. Luke 22:19 -- And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.
      2. Exodus 12:8 -- They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
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