What is the Significance of Passover?
Passover is the holy and joyous festival that commemorates Israel’s deliverance from bondage in Egypt. The Jews cried out to God in their oppression, and God sent Moses to deliver them.
But Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go, so God told Moses He would strike every Egyptian home with the death of the firstborn.
The Jews were instructed to slay a lamb and "take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses" (Exodus 12:7) on that night. Then God promised, "When I see the blood, I will pass over you" (v. 13).
The Jewish captives were also told to eat the sacrificial lamb in haste as they prepared to leave Egypt in the first Exodus.
Birth of a Nation
The command to observe Passover is found in Exodus 12 which reads:
"The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, ‘This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. … That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. … Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’S Passover’" (vv. 1-3,8, 11).
Passover and the Exodus mark God’s redemption of Israel and their birth as a nation as Jewish families were liberated and led to the Promised Land.
Passover and Easter
Again this year, Jews the world over will share the Passover meal to commemorate their deliverance by God from slavery and captivity.
Some of the Jewish Passover rituals have carried over to the Christian holy days of Good Friday and Easter. Many of the aspects of communion or the Lord’s Supper are also taken from the Passover tradition.
Jesus regularly observed the ceremonies of Passover by going to Jerusalem to celebrate this festival with his disciples. It was during the Passover celebration that Jesus taught his followers the significance of his approaching death and the season known to Christians worldwide as Easter (Luke 22: 1-20).
Jesus underscored the importance of Passover to him as a Jew when he told his disciples, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer" (v. 15).
The New Testament transformed this theme by also identifying Jesus as the Passover lamb who would be sacrificed for the world. John the Baptist pointed to Jesus one day and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29).
This year Passover begins at sundown on April 18, and Easter Sunday is April 24.
Modem Day Exodus
Centuries after Israel’s Exodus from Egypt, this most amazing prophecy was recorded by Jeremiah: "The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when men will no longer say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ but they will say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north. …’ For I will restore them to the land I gave their forefathers" (Jeremiah 16:14-15).
As foretold in Scripture, the “Second Exodus” of Israel is now under way today, and Christians and churches around the world are playing a major role in its fulfillment!
As recently as this January, nearly 300 Ethiopian Jews made aliyah(immigrating to Israel) after years of oppression and persecution for practicing their faith. In many instances, the new immigrants from Ethiopia’s Falash Mura community were reunited with family members whom they had not seen for more than a decade. Parents, children, siblings, and even spouses, were reunited in an emotional homecoming at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport.
The Ethiopian Jews are believed to be descendants of the tribe of Dan, one of the ten lost tribes of Israel who were dispersed and sent into exile over two thousand years ago. For generations, these Jews who had settled in Ethiopia have continued to practice biblical Jewish laws and customs, despite being subjected to great social and economic pressure to assimilate into the prevailing culture.
Finally, just a few decades ago, the Ethiopian Jews began returning to the Promised Land, thus fulfilling the biblical prophecy promising the return of the Jewish people to Israel "from the four corners of the earth" (Isaiah 11: 12).
Right now, for these Ethiopian Jews, the Passover celebration is particularly poignant-a real-life reflection of the freedom and redemption that is at the heart of this holy day of remembrance.
Call to Gentiles
These incredible and miraculous events would not be happening if not for The Fellowship‘s partnership with Bible-believing Christian congregations like yours. With your support and prayers, hundreds of thousands of needy Jews have been rescued and helped through On Wings of Eagles, the ministry that facilitates the return of the Jewish remnant to Israel.
Through your continued help and care, we can reach out to even more needy Jews in need of rescue, fulfilling the prophecy spoken by Isaiah more than 3,000 years ago: "I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their shoulders" (Isaiah 49:22).
For thousands of needy and oppressed Jews throughout the world, their best hope for survival and a brighter future is a Wings-sponsored “freedom flight” to their homeland. Their best hope is you.
Thank you for joining literally millions of Christians both here and abroad in praying for and supporting this marvelous prophetic fulfillment of Scripture.