Why not the Day of Atonement?

(Jimmy Sellers) #1

Why did God choose Passover for the crucifixion event? Passover had nothing to do with God forgiving sin. As I understand it was God’s first act of grace but was not connected to the commission of sin but was connected to the act of obedience i.e. do the ritual meal and post the blood.

I just wonder what the reason behind this was because we celebrate the crucifixion as God’s ultimate act of love and the forgiveness of the sins of the world.

Wouldn’t the Day of Atonement have made more sense? After all it was the day that the sins of Israel were dealt with?

After thought, why connect the Exodus and the Cross?

Would be interested in your comments.

(SeanO) #2

@Jimmy_Sellers That is a really interesting question :slight_smile: Trying to process it, I feel like Jesus fulfilled both the Day of Atonement and the Passover. Do you think that is accurate? The NT says He is our atoning sacrifice and our Passover Lamb.

But then why did God choose to have it occur during Passover? As you mentioned, perhaps the correlation between the deliverance out of Egypt into the Promised Land and Jesus delivering us from sin and death and into eternal life?

I John 2:2 - He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 Cor 5:7-8 - Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

1 Peter 1:18-19 - For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

Exodus 12:5 - The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats.

Exodus 12:46 - It must be eaten inside one house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones.

The day Jesus was crucified was the day of the Passover celebration and the day that the Passover lamb was to be sacrificed. For the previous 1,200 years, the priest would blow the shophar (ram’s horn) at 3:00 p.m. - the moment the lamb was sacrificed, and all the people would pause to contemplate the sacrifice for sins on behalf of the people of Israel. At 3:00,17when Jesus was being crucified, He said, "It is finished"18 - at the moment that the Passover lamb was sacrificed and the shophar was blown from the Temple. The sacrifice of the lamb of God was fulfilled at the hour that the symbolic animal sacrifice usually took place.


(christopher van zyl) #3

Perhaps it is because just as you had to be saved by putting the blood on the door posts, you can only be saved from the coming judgement by having Christ’s blood on you.

(Mitzi Witt) #4

I would think a reasonable connection to be made is to remember the first “passover” was salvation fron death for God’s people, Israel. On that cross was like as stated in the above posts, our sin atonement ( which brings death) and our salvation from death. God’s provision, the slain lamb then and on the cross.

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(Catherine Keffer) #5

@Jimmy_Sellers I am truly amazed by God’s miraculous ways right now. The Holy Spirit has made me very aware of this exact topic just this week. It started earlier in the week when I heard a song and was immediately moved to tears by the overwhelming presence of God.

“We don’t have to slay the lamb anymore,
We don’t have to put the blood on the door.
Someone has taken the place of the lamb,
Jesus the Great I Am.”

The words are so simple, yet they prompted me to dig deeper as I knew it didn’t pierce my heart like that for no reason. I believe God is really revealing details and shifting our focus about things that maybe we were overlooking before.
I believe that Passover aligns with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ while the Day of Atonement aligns with the return of our King.

Lord help me to explain…in Jesus’ Name

When I read through Leviticus 16, I see so many parallels to end time prophecy as revealed in Revelation and the Prophets. I would have to write like a whole book to highlight and give scriptural basis for everything I am seeing, will begin working on that.

For now, let’s pray:
Father, if you are so pleased, by the power of the Holy Spirit and the Blood of your Son Jesus Christ, open the eyes of those who read Leviticus 16 and any other Scripture about the Day of Atonement. May you show them what you are showing me. Speak clearly and give us all deeper understanding that we may build one another up. We pray for the Spirit of Wisdom to move through us and in us. Give us discernment over every false doctrine. Luke 10:23 “Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.’”
May we all see what you have for us. In the name of Jesus, Hallelujah and Amen.

Now about the Lamb of God and the importance of the New Covenant, the absolute Truth that we live in the time of Grace. For the Grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all(Titus 2:11). I was led to Hebrews, chapter 9, and like any part of the Bible,(a.k.a.The Word of God) it’s all really amazing, and this particular chapter is great for deeper understanding of the importance and character of Jesus.

Passover was to protect God’s people from His wrath. Anytime God’s wrath is unleashed, He always gives His people instruction for protection, as long as they obey and follow God’s commands, they are safe from the wrath. God reigns on the just and the unjust, and although his wrath is too terrible for anyone to withstand, God knows how you cover His people. It’s more than just a way to keep being cleansed, it’s a way to be cleansed, and stay cleansed…as the Bible tells us to " come out from among them". God is giving divine instruction to receive the fullness and purity of Jesus in order to withstand the coming crisis. God is destroying every false doctrine, every ritual, every religious and legalistic way and He’s calling us directly into His heart by the Truth of the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 9:23-28
23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.
25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own,
26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

(Luna) #6

Well Passover makes more sense because in Moses’ time anyone who didn’t obey God and put the blood of a lamb over their door suffered the wrath of that plague. That in of itself in my opinion is sinful because you weren’t following God’s instructions and would have paid highly for it by losing your first born child, which in those days meant a lot since they were the ones who inherited everything in the family in those cultures.

I think God wanted to focus a lot on Grace and how its nothing we do but all dependant on Christ and his doing. Not saying that Christ didn’t fulfill a lot of things cause he did. But I think we are to never forget how by accepting him the punishment of our disobedience is passed over us.

(Jimmy Sellers) #7

I am sorry that I haven’t replied to all the great thoughts, but I have been distracted by some of the things that I have been reading on the subject.

The question is not new and the gotquestions site offers up an answer here.

I thought it interesting that the answer is given as a counter to the objection from a Jewish POV and that objection being that the Exodus and the Passover are synonymous. Two of the answers cited in the link are from two Rabbi’s, one French, Rashid 9th 10th century and Rabbi Abraham ibn Ezra, Spanish from the 11th and 12th century. This was/is a rabbit hole for me.

The question was raised in a lecture that I attend by NT Wright on Romans 5-8. His position is that these verses would have been understood as a retelling of the Exodus story and not the day of atonement.

Here is a much better explanation in song: