HomeReligion ZoneSunday word: Origins of the passover feast

Sunday word: Origins of the passover feast


The roots of the Passover Feast can be traced back to the land of Egypt, on the continent of Africa. Biblical history narrates how Jacob, code-named Israel by God, came to settle in the land of the Pharaohs at the behest of one of  his 12 sons, Joseph, who had attained a commanding post in Egypt. The descendants of Israel grew in numbers and strength such that they then seemed to be a threat to subsequent rulers. In the course of time, they were subjugated to a life of slavery under Egyptian control. For over 400 years they were used as slave labour, until God could no longer bear to witness their suffering. He took it upon Himself to rescue them from the humiliating bondage. He chose a man named Moses, of the generations of Israel, to execute His divine military style plan of action to free them.

In an effort to show His powers to the Pharaohs of Egypt, with a view of making them submit to the freedom of the Hebrews, the Lord brought upon them one plague after another totaling nine in number, yet they would not relent. In a final push to make them subdue, the Lord our God promised Moses and his people; “Yet one more plague I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from there (Exodus 11:1)”.

This was the nature of the plague as spoken by God through Moses, “Thus says the Lord: ‘About midnight I will go out in the midst of Egypt, and every first born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first born of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the first born of the slave girl who is behind the hand-mill, and all the first born of the cattle. There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been nor ever will be again (Exodus 11:4-7)’”

In Exodus 12, it carries the story of the establishment of the feast of the Passover as explained to Moses and Aaron; “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the 10th day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their father’s houses, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbour shall take according to the number of persons, according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male lamb a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the 14th day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs between the two evenings.

“Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two door posts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.  They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the first born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgements: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.

“This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven out of your house, for if anyone eats what is leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. On the first day you shall hold a holy assembly. No work shall be done on those days. But what everyone needs to eat, that alone may be prepared by you. And you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations, as a statute forever. In the first month, from the 14th day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. For seven days no leaven is to be found in your houses.

If anyone eats what is leavened, that person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel whether he is a sojourner or a native of the land. You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwelling places you shall eat unleavened bread.”

Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two door posts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the door posts, the Lord will Passover the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you. You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever. And when you come to the land that the Lord will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this service. And when your children ask you, ‘what do you mean by this service?’ you shall reply, ‘It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.’”

And the people bowed their heads and worshipped. Then the people of Israel went and did so, as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. Likewise our Lord Jesus Christ did so. Amen.

  • Prosper Tingini is the Scribe of the Children of God Missionary Assembly – God’s messengers. Contact details: Mobile & whatsapp – 0771 260 195. Email address: ptingini@gmail.com 

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