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What Is Passover?

There are many events that took place in the Passion Week prior to Jesus rising from the dead. One example is the Jewish festival of Passover that begins on the 15th day of Nisan on the Jewish calendar. In 2017, April 10th is the Roman calendar equivalent. In ancient times, the nation of Israel would come to Jerusalem for the sacrifice of lambs at the temple and celebrate Passover for a period of seven days.

Passover is a remembrance of the Jews avoiding the punishment of God and being delivered from slavery. God sent nine plagues to Egypt as a demonstration of power to Pharaoh, but he still refused to release Israel from 400 years of bondage. The tenth plague was an echo of what Pharaoh enacted upon Israel that brought Moses into the palace as a baby.

Exodus 11:5-6 - And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more.

The Lord provided a way of escape from the angel of death, however.

Exodus 12:7-8 - And they shall take of the blood [of a lamb], and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

If the blood was on the doorpost, the angel of death would "pass over" the house and the firstborn would not be killed.

Exodus 12:13 - And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

These 3,500 years later, the Jews still celebrate the passing over of the angel of death. During Jesus' time here on earth, it was mandatory for all Jews to travel to Jerusalem and offer a sacrificial lamb. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, in AD 33, the year that Jesus was crucified, 255,600 lambs were sacrificed during the Passover in which Jesus made his Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem as the King of Israel. This means that there were between 2,000,000 to 2,500,000 Jews in Jerusalem the week of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection.

Why did Jesus go to the cross during the Passover week? There is no doubt that Jesus went to the cross so that all the Jews in Jerusalem could see him pay for the sins of the world by his death, burial, and resurrection. Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior so that your sins are passed over by the one, final Lamb?

1 Corinthians 5:21 - For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

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