The celebration of Easter, the forerunner of that great gittin’ up mornin’ that lies ahead, always includes the facet of Israel’s protection during Jehovah’s judgment upon those people who continued to mistreat the chosen race.
In order to spare his people, during the time of planned destruction of disobedient people who had mistreated his chosen race of people, Jehovah gave the simple instruction for his people to paint blood on each side of the doorway and on top of the lintel. As the death angel swept through the city, those doorways properly marked would be seen as protected by Jehovah and no death would come to those inside. The angel passed over that residence and from that time to this good hour, Passover is an integral part of Jewish religious dogma.
The Easter celebration is centered on the cross. The Lord’s arms were spread and his hands nailed to the wood structure. His head was the “lintel” of this pictorial cross and it takes little imagination to see the imagery of it as it is compared to the Old Testament cross depicted on the doorways of Israelite homes.
An interesting observation of Jehovah’s intention to spare his people, as shown in the protective door, lies in the awareness that when the blood had been painted the door was closed and was not to be opened until judgment had been rendered. In effect, God closed the door and those inside were safe, protected and saved from the death angel’s work. Yet another interesting aspect of God’s provision can be seen in Noah’s construction of the ark that was to be used to spare a few people and a few animals from the total destruction of those who had disobeyed Jehovah and refused to listen or live according to the clear mandates given. When Noah, his family and the animals were on board ... God shut that door! When the mayhem began, those on the inside of the ark were protected, held in safety, and were assured that they had received a special blessing.
In the Passover scenario, the blood denotes that something has been killed. It was the blood that denoted a price had been paid for the sins of the people and the high priest offered the sacrifice in behalf of the people. The blood identified those who received the blessing. Behind those doors were people who had been singled out as the chosen and because of the covenant made with Abraham, they were shielded from Jehovah’s judgment. All that existed outside those doors was unrighteous and Jehovah separated them from those inside to whom he had extended covenantal provision.
The cross of Jesus, with blood on both extended arms and upon his head as the crowns dug into the flesh, may have been the culmination of Passover provisions that link the old and new covenants. In this awful morning’s saga of agonizing pain, the cross gave witness to the sacrifice that was being made. The blood of Christ was the proof that the sins of humanity were being covered and that the Perfect Father, who can abide no unworthy thing in his presence, would only ever see the Christ who redeems those who will become the fruits of his labor and grace. His blood is the covering of all the past, present and future sins of mankind. The righteousness of Christ becomes the dermis of our identity and, like our predestined status, that only exists in our grafting of Christ’s predestined relationship with the Father, we are clothed with righteousness of protected and blessed grace that shields us from any force of temptation that could be strong enough to pluck us from his presence.
Passover, for Jewish people who comprise the fellowship that exists within the chosen race of God, began centuries ago when the death angel was instructed to identify the blood of sacrificial offering and spare those people the wrath that descended.
Passover, for Christian people who comprise the fellowship of the redeemed, began when the last breath left the body of Christ. His blood is the sacrificial offering for sin atonement and became, at that moment, the end of priestly representation for people’s approach to God.
Easter is the day of celebration for Christians, a time of joyous recognition that reminds us there is no future judgment of our sins because the blood of Christ covers our behavior. When the angel of eternal death, however that may be perceived, sees our righteousness, and knows that Jesus smothered us with his own, our passover is assured.