The First Passover: Overcoming Temptation and Sin
The Passover first began with the commandment of the Lord given to Moses, that the blood of the lamb be placed on the door poses of the houses of the Israelites in Egypt. That night, they were to eat bitter herbs, have their loins girded, their sandals on their feet, their staff in their hand (Exodus 12). It continued that through the shedding of blood of the lamb, there came forgiveness. “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22).
On the night of their exodus from Egypt, the Lord commanded the Israelites to roast the lamb, and eat unleavened bread with bitter herbs (Exodus 12:8). The meat that the Jews would feast upon was not raw or unbaked, but cooked in fire. The lamb had to suffer through fire; it had to suffer. This meat had a sweet smell, but a bitter taste. Such is the great reminder of sin–however pleasing it may seem to our senses, however alluring it may be to us, we must never forget the bitter sadness of its consequences. This bitterness lies within the cross: “He has filled me with bitterness, he has made me drink wormwood” (Lamentations 3:15).
The Christian life is full of bitter herbs that bring forth a sweet, saintly aroma. One type of herb comes from loving of our enemies. Another comes from serving the Lord in difficult circumstances—either a family difficulty or a conflict in our schedules. There is a garden of bitter herbs awaiting you in prayer and vigil in times of weakness, sorrow, or confusion. When you fast, you taste of these bitter herbs…you have experienced the Cross. By choosing to take this narrow and difficult path, by submitting to travel along the Via Dolorosa, “we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 2:15).
Christ, Himself became the true and ultimate Passover Lamb, the fulfillment of this prophesy. “For indeed, Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7). After the disciples had eaten the Passover Meal, the Old Testament had been fulfilled. Our Lord and Savior perfected the Passover meal by offering His Body and Blood in the form of bread and wine. This was the “marriage supper of the Lamb” discussed in Revelation 19:9. This however, was only the first Passover.