The Foreshadowing of the Cross in the Passover
Here is yet another example of how the Old Testament preaches the glorious gospel of our Lord and Savior. Read rightly, this passage has more to do with foreshadowing the cross and the deliverance of God’s people from sin and death under the new covenant of grace than it does with the plain, historical facts recorded. Yes, Israel was redeemed and brought out of Egypt by the strong arm of the Lord. But the historical event serves as a type, a copy, a shadow, of the heavenly things which were to come (Hebrews 8:5).
Revelation 5:1-14 paints the awe-inspiring picture of the all-powerful, conquering Lamb who was slain. Before him the twenty-four elders fall down and cry, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” At a point in time, our Savior came down and assumed our nature that he might be our sacrifice and become our merciful and faithful high priest. But the Scripture indicates that even before that specific moment in history when he was born and later crucified and risen, he was already our sacrifice, our Redeemer, our Savior, for he was “foreknown before the foundation of the world, but was made manifest in these last times” for our sake (1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8). Everything in the Old Testament points forward to this; everything in the Old Testament preaches Christ. And the Passover is the event that foreshadows the passion of our Lord.
And so the ancient Israelites sacrificed a lamb, took its blood and put some on the lintel and doorposts, and were delivered. They were spared when “the destroyer” passed over their homes and struck the wicked instead. They came out of the land of slavery and began their trek across the wilderness. They were “baptized” in the Red Sea (1 Corinthians 10:1-3), the same baptismal waters which were merciless to those who would thrust their way through without faith and with wicked intent (Exodus 14:21-29). Who can miss the parallels? By the blood of the Lamb, we are saved from death and hell. By the blood of the Lamb, we are freed from the slavery of sin. By the blood of the Lamb, the wicked are overthrown and drowned. By the blood of the Lamb, we begin our pilgrimage in this life through baptism, walking with our Lord until we reach the Promised Land. You see, God makes even the whole world to preach Christ (Philippians 2:9-11).