"When the hour had come, He and the twelve apostles with Him sat down. And He said to them, 'I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will never eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God'" (Luke 22:14-16).
The special Passover season is upon us! When you talk to most Christians about the Feast of Passover, there is a tendency to think that it is a 'fulfilled' festival. Why do many say this?
Passover was instituted in Exodus 12 when the Israelites were instructed to kill a lamb and put the blood on the sides and top of the doorposts of their homes. They were then to eat a meal with lamb, bitter herbs and unleavened bread. They were asked to do this so that the death angel would pass over their homes as it came through the land of Egypt. Once they obeyed these instructions, they were free to leave Egypt. We know from the Bible that they obeyed and left Egypt in haste.
Jesus came as the Lamb of God. John the Baptist said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). In the same way that the blood of the natural lamb freed the Israelites from the death angel, the blood of Jesus frees us from eternal death. Paul wrote, "How much more then, being now justified by His blood, shall we be saved from wrath through Him" (Rom. 5:9).
The rationale for many Christians is that since Jesus came and died as the Lamb of God, then Passover is a fulfilled feast. However, notice the words of Christ from Luke 22:14-16. He said that Passover would not find its fulfillment until the kingdom of God (that is the 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ mentioned in Revelation 20:6).
Don't get me wrong—Jesus coming to earth and dying for our sins is definitely part of our New Covenant understanding of Passover. Jesus and the earliest disciples honored Passover with this renewed understanding. However, Jesus informed us that the actual fulfillment of Passover depended on events that would take place in the distant future. What was he referring to?
The foundation for this future fulfillment is taking place now.
We will continue this discussion in Part 2 of this series.
Kelly McDonald Jr. is an ordained evangelist at Hungry Hearts Ministries in Jackson, Tennessee. He has written over 40 books and booklets on pursing Christ, Hebrew roots and end-times prophecy. He is currently president of the Bible Sabbath Association (BSA). You can follow him at: kellymcdonaldjr.com.
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