The Passover story, a promise of God, a wonderful story

The Passover story begins in Exodus 12. At the time, the LORD God commanded the Passover to Israeli people who were slaves in Egypt for the first time. Approximately 1500 years after, Jesus, who is God incarnate (Incarnation means God will appear in the flesh), His last Passover story, was recorded by the four gospel writers. 1) The day before His crucifixion, Jesus had supper with his disciples. This day is the Passover.

The LORD's First Passover Story

Ten Plagues in Egypt

When Moses was 80 years old, he became a minister to fulfill the LORD, God of Israel’s promise. Moses asked Pharaoh to let the Israelites go. It was unthinkable for Pharaoh to release the Israelite slaves because they were the main labor force for maintaining the monarchy. Pharaoh refused Moses’ request and tormented the Israelites even more.

The Plague of Blood

The LORD became angry and brought plagues on Egypt. The disaster that changed all Egypt’s rivers into blood was just the beginning. Although Fish died en masse, foul smells started coming from the rivers and people suffered from food poisoning, Pharaoh continued in his stubbornness. The LORD brought the frog plague all throughout Egypt. Pharaoh promised emancipation. However, when the plague stopped, he changed his mind again.

Even though Pharaoh suffered plagues such as gnats, flies, boils (infectious diseases), hail, locusts, Pharaoh did not readily show any desire to free the Israelites. The ninth plague came. Darkness spread throughout Egypt for three days. Even in this harbinger death-like plague, which can only be interpreted as an unprecedented solar eclipse in human history, Pharaoh did not even budge.

Finally, there is the warning for the tenth plague, the plague of death in Egypt. The LORD tells Moses the way to avoid the plague of death to all the firstborn of Egypt when it comes. It was to keep the Passover. There is a detailed account of the Passover Story in the second book of the Pentateuch, Exodus chapter 12.

Israel Released From Egypt After The Passover

The Passover (illustration by Gerard Hoet et al.,1728)

On the Passover, first month, 14th day Jewish calendar, the Israeli people slaughtered the lamb and put the blood on doorframe sides and top. That night, roast the meat in the fire along with bitter herbs and unleavened bread, sandals on your feet, staff in your hand, eat it in haste, and with bated breath, wait for God’s work to come.

In the middle of the night, there is loud wailing here and there. God’s warning was accurate. Through the tenth plague, Pharaoh’s firstborn, all Egyptian firstborn as well as all firstborns came to die. However, the Israelites remained safe. The plague passed over the houses with the lamb’s blood on the top and sides of the doorframes because it was the sign of God’s people.

During the night Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and accepted Israel’s emancipation. The Egyptians urged Israel to hurry and leave and gave them whatever they asked for, jewelry, clothes, and livestock. Many scholars have different opinions about who Pharaoh was at that time. The Pharaoh’s recorded in Egypt’s new kingdom era include Amenhotep II, Thutmose III, and Ramses II, among others. 2) 3) 4)

Since the Exodus is only dealt with in the Bible, the presumed results come from comparing Egyptian artifacts, chronicles, etc, with similarities in the Bible.

The reason the opinion of every scholar differs is that the chronology of ancient Egypt is not accurate. Furthermore, the reason why the Exodus is not found in Egyptian artifacts or literature is due to the fact that ancient Egyptian kings had a habit of not keeping records of their defeats.

Crossing the Red Sea, 1482

Pharaoh negotiated with the immigrants, the slaves, and as if to surrender, he released them, then he pursued them but suffered a defeat at the Red Sea. For Egypt, the Exodus is a humiliating history that they would want to hide.

The Passover night was the last night the Israelites spent in Egypt. The number of Israeli men, over 20 years old, who escaped from Egypt, was six hundred thousand. The LORD commanded the Israelites to celebrate the day that brought forth the joy of emancipation, year after year. 5)

Jesus’ Last Passover Story

Jesus And The Twelve Disciples’ Last Supper

After 1500 years had passed, something happened in the spring around 30 A.D. It was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Passover, and the day before Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus’ two disciples, Peter and John asked Jesus where they should prepare the Passover food to eat. Jesus’ gave an abstruse but clear answer.

“When you enter the city, you will meet a man carrying a water basin. Follow him to the house he enters. And say to the house owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ Then he will show you a fully furnished large upper room, make preparations there.”

Jesus specially prepared the place for the last supper with His disciples as if he had made a reservation. That was the last errand that Jesus gave His disciples. Jesus already knew that he would die on the cross. Two days before the Passover, the chief priests and teachers of the law were scheming a plan to get rid of Jesus. One of His disciples had already accepted a bribe.

From Jesus’ early days of His public life, He implicitly or publicly revealed His death. To the Jews, Sadducees, and Pharisees who wanted a sign, He answered with, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” 6) To His disciples, Jesus told them directly, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” 7) “The Passover is two days away, and they will hand the Son of Man over to crucify Him.” 8) However, the disciples did not expect that day to be their Teacher’s last day.

Passover Kept With Bread and Wine

The Passover kept by Jesus and his disciples

In the evening of the Passover, Jesus and His disciples sat at the table in the large upper room, which is said to have belonged to Mark. On the table, there was bread and wine, instead of a lamb. Once again, Jesus hinted to His disciples about His death and said, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” Then He took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, “This is My body.” He then raised the cup with the wine in it, gave a prayer of thanks, and said the significant words, “This is My blood, poured out for many.”

Jesus kept His promise the next day through His sacrifice of being crucified; His flesh torn and His blood shed.

Jesus’ last supper and the new Passover ceremony was, in fact, His ultimate mission. 9) Before the Passover, Jesus taught that eating and drinking His flesh and blood enabled eternal life. 10) Jesus’ flesh and blood gave meaning to the bread and wine that he shared on the Passover evening. Jesus kept His promise the next day through His sacrifice of being crucified; His flesh torn and His blood shed.