Passover and the Path to Freedom

The Passover celebration remembered a central element in the path to freedom for Hebrew slaves. The Passover was the critical moment when God released his people from slavery to the Pharaoh and began their journey to nationhood.

The Passover recalls the night when all Hebrew families slaughtered a lamb and placed blood on the doorposts and lintel of their homes. That night a death angel struck the firstborn male of every Egyptian family but passed over all of the Hebrew families with blood on their doorposts (Exodus 12).

Rudy Ross has an excellent explanation of the Passover and how it connects with the crucifixion on today’s YouTube video. It can be found on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.

Rudy points out in our video that the events were arranged by God to reveal his plan to give humans the gifts of freedom and love.

— The observance of Passover remembered the means that God used to free God’s people from slavery. The nation Israel owes its existence to this act of God’s love and power.

— Jesus was crucified on the day when the Passover lamb was sacrificed in Jerusalem. The sacrifice of his life delivers people from slavery to sin.

— Fifty days after the Passover, God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai.

— Fifty days after the crucifixion of Jesus, God gave the Holy Spirit to all who are willing to trust their lives to Jesus.

Passover in Deuteronomy

Remember that the Hebrews wandered in the wilderness for 40 years prior to their entrance into the promised land. As they were on the verge of entry into the land, Moses reminded them of the great event of their liberation from slavery.

He said, “Observe the month of Abib by keeping the passover to the Lord your God, for in the month of Abib the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night.

“You shall offer the passover sacrifice to the Lord your God, from the flock and the herd, at the place that the Lord will choose as a dwelling for his name” (Deuteronomy 16.1-2).

I encourage you to listen to the interview I conducted with Rudy on the Passover. He is a Jewish follower of Jesus and has conducted an extensive study that connects Passover with the events of Jesus Christ.

For the remainder of this article, I will examine freedom from the power of sin that Jesus gives to his followers.

If The Son Makes You Free . . .

Jesus offers freedom to everyone who will follow him.

He said, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.

“The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever.

“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8.34-36).

If you are like me, you know the power of sin in your life. So did the Apostle Paul. He famously wrote about slavery to sin in Romans 7.

Romans 7.14-15, 18-19, 24For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin.

I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it.

For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.

Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?

Paul, like so many, understood slavery to sin. This slavery undercut his good intentions and caused him to feel wretched. He desired to be rescued from bondage to sin.

The good news is that if the Son makes us free, then we are free indeed.

Jesus’ Death Purchased Our Freedom

Just as the sacrifice of the Passover lamb was used in God’s miracle of deliverance for the Hebrews, Jesus’ sacrificial death also sets humans free.

Jesus said, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8.31-32).

By God’s grace, we can live Jesus through the written word and dialogue with him about its meaning for our lives.

John of the Cross recommended a method of relating to Jesus through his word. He instructed people to approach the Bible in four phases.

(1) Read the Bible, especially the Gospels.

(2) Meditate on what has been read. Like a cow chews her cud, we mentally chew on what Jesus has taught us in the Gospels.

(3) Pray – Ask Jesus to explain his word to us. The first followers of Jesus often asked him to explain what he taught. We should follow their example.

(4) Contemplation – Reading, meditation, and prayer is designed to move us to a place where we interact with the Lord in our inner self.

The Spirit and Freedom

Another provision of Jesus’ death was the gift of the Holy Spirit. On the Day of Pentecost (Remember this happened on the memorial date of the giving of the Ten Commandments), the Spirit came on Jesus’ followers.

A crowd assembled and Peter used the Scriptures to explain the gift of the Holy Spirit.

He said, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him” (Acts 2.38-39).

When we surrender the management of our lives to the love of Jesus, he gives us the promised Holy Spirit.

When Paul was empowered by the Holy Spirit, he solved the problem of his slavery to sin. He wrote about this in Romans 8.

Romans 8.1-4There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,

So that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

The presence of the Spirit in our lives gives us the power to live free from the power of sin. As we surrender the control of our lives to the Spirit, he will set us free from sin’s power.

Instead of slavery, we experience an intimate relationship with the Father.

Romans 8.15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!”

God’s Word and the Spirit

The death of Jesus gives us two powerful weapons to gain victory over the power of sin.

They are the word of God and the presence of his Spirit.

Just as the Hebrew people had to cooperate with God to conquer the land of promise, we must join with God for victory over sin.

About This Blog

Please take eight minutes to listen to the interview I had with Rudy Ross about the Passover. He has devoted years of study to this great event in history. It can be found on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.

Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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