Exodus 12:1-2 states, “This month shall be the beginning of months for you.” Though the civil Jewish calendar begins in September, the biblical year was to begin at the month of Nisan (March-April). Why did God want the year to begin then? It was to emphasize God’s priorities.
Passover is the redemption of Israel from bondage, and with God, all things begin with redemption. As Passover was to mark their redemptive beginning, so also faith in Messiah marks the redemptive beginning of those who have believed—for “if any person is in Messiah he is a new creation, old things have passed away, new things have come” (2 Cor. 5:17). As the annual religious life of the Jewish people is to be based upon and oriented around this holiday, our redemption in “Messiah our Passover” is the sure foundation upon which all else will properly develop.
In Exodus l2:3 the lamb to be sacrificed was to be selected “on the tenth day of the month” and kept until “the 14th day of the month” (12:6). Why? During that time the lamb had to be inspected to certify that it was “without blemish” (12:5). For redemption, the lamb had to be flawless. Though the Israelites were anxious to flee bondage, it was better to take the time to insure having a perfect redemption, than to merely make a quick escape from their circumstances.
Yeshua entered Jerusalem at the same time, on the tenth of the month when the Passover lambs were initially selected. During that week, Yeshua was also inspected. He was questioned, interrogated and tortured, until on the 14th of the month of Nisan, the head of government declared, “I find no fault in Him!” (Luke 23:22). Therefore, Yeshua was declared fit to be our Passover Lamb, to die for our redemption from the bondage of spiritual slavery.
In this twelfth chapter of Exodus there is a progression regarding the lamb: the Hebrews were to select a lamb from the flock (12:3); once selected, it is referred to as the lamb (12:4); it was inspected for several days and then called your lamb (12:5); and only then it was killed (12:6). When you first realize your need for salvation you may see Yeshua as a lamb; any Savior will do, like a port in a storm. But in choosing Him, one realizes that He is objectively the Lamb, the Savior, indeed the Lord! Finally, it is in personally depending upon this One—making Him your Lamb, recognizing that His death was for your sins—that you receive salvation.
In Exodus 12:7 we see that the death of the Lamb was not the last part of their redemption. Those that trusted in the lamb had to place the blood on the outside of their doors. Why blood on the door?
In Exodus 12:12-13, we see the reason: “The blood will be sign for you… and when I see the blood I will pass over you and the judgment shall not come upon you.” It was the application of the blood that marked a home out for redemption on from judgment. But why would the Hebrews need to do this? God was not going to merely redeem a people of the flesh, but a people of faith. Think about it: what would be the essential difference between a Hebrew and an Egyptian? To put it another way, what is the difference between a believer in Yeshua and a non-believer in Yeshua? The difference is the blood of the Lamb! Only those that responded in faith and applied the Lamb’s blood were redeemed from bondage.
Those who have confidence in His atonement are to confess His redemption as well. For Yeshua said in Matthew 10:32-33, “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” Have you confessed Yeshua and experienced the fearless freedom He brings? He who the Son sets free is free indeed!
In Exodus 12:10-11, the people were exhorted to quickly respond to the opportunity for redemption. Three times the Scripture exhorts us to leave nothing over till morning: with wilderness Manna (bread from Heaven) in Exodus 16:19; with the Thanksgiving offering in Lev. 7:15; and here with the lamb. Identifying with the Lamb implies an urgent response. Redemption is for today, while it may yet be called today. So we are to “seek the Lord while He may be found,” and if you have not done so, please call upon Him while He is near (Is. 55:6).