No discussion of the OT offerings and sacrifices would be complete without an examination of Passover. Appearing only seven times, the Hebrew verb pāsach (H6452) is actually quite ordinary, meaning “to leap, pass over, halt, limp,” and perhaps even “to protect.” In the confrontation between Elijah and the prophets of Baal, for example, the prophets “leaped upon” the altar in their attempt to get their god to respond; this was undoubtedly some kind of ritual dance (1Ki_18:26). Just before this (1Ki_18:21), Elijah had asked the people, “How long halt [i.e., dance or bounce back and forth] ye between [the] two opinions?” of God and Baal. It is also used of Mephibosheth, who at five years old fell and “became lame” (2Sa_4:4).
By far the most significant use of pāsach (and the derivative noun pesach, H6453) appears in Exodus, its first occurrence, in fact. We first read in Exo_12:13; Exo_12:23; Exo_12:27 that when God saw the blood properly placed on the door posts and lintel, He would “pass over” (or “leap over”) that household and the plague of the death of the firstborn would not touch it. One authority suggests that in light of Isa_31:5—“As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it”—pāsach also carries the idea of “to defend or protect.” At that first Passover, therefore, the Lord protectively covered the houses of the Israelites and would not allow the death angel to enter.
The Passover is, indeed, the most vivid, dramatic, and powerful OT foreshadowing of the atonement the Lord Jesus would accomplish on the cross once for all (Heb_10:10). No NT passage, therefore, is clearer than 1Co_5:7-8 : “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” This declares not only the reality of the Passover Lamb, but the practical result of His atonement, namely, holiness of life. As the OT Passover clearly separated the godly from the pagans, God’s NT people are saved to be holy (Eph_1:4; 1Pe_1:15-16) and separate from the world (2Co_6:14-18).
Scriptures for Study: What does 1Co_5:9-11 teach about separation?
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