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The message of Passover is the message of Easter

As a faithful, practicing Jew, Jesus celebrated Passover each year, and the New Testament talks about several of His Passover experiences.

According to the synoptic Gospels, the Last Supper (where Jesus washed the disciples’ feet and introduced the Sacrament) was a Passover meal.

Passover was instituted by Jehovah (the God of the Israelites), and served as a symbol of how He would always deliver His people—and Jehovah commanded the Israelites to remember this event each year to teach their children about about Him and His desire and power to deliver His people. Latter-day Saint theology teaches that Jehovah was the premortal Jesus Christ.

All things testify of Christ (see Moses 6:63). If we are looking, we can learn of Him absolutely everywhere on this earth He created, especially in modern Sabbath and temple ordinances. This is no less true of ancient ordinances, which all served to foreshadow the One who was foreordained and would be sent by the Father to offer deliverance from death and sin to all of God’s children (see Moses 5:7-8).

For Christians, every action and symbol in the original Passover festival points to the mission of Jesus Christ (a.k.a. Jehovah and the Messiah): lambs, unleavened bread, blood, painting with hyssop, bitter herbs, springtime, a new calendar, home and family, even the command to eat with shoes on and staff in hand.

This is also true of the Passover traditions that were added between the times of Moses and Jesus’ mortality, such as the Jews’ pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the emblem of wine, and special liturgy. It was Passover that brought us the ordinance of the sacrament, which was instituted after the Lamb of God—that “great and last sacrifice” (Alma 34:14)—had been offered as a substitute for all mankind.

You see, for a Christian, the message of Passover truly is the message of Easter! Freedom. Protection. Deliverance. Salvation. Proxy sacrifice. Opportunity. Faith. Hope. He rescued us by trading His life for ours. "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift" (2 Cor. 9:15).

This three-millennia-old ordinance—though no longer required by the Lord—still has much to teach us about who Christ was, is, and always will be. I have yet to find a more powerful way to prepare for the greatest of Christian holidays: the day the sacrificed Lamb of God rose from the dead and broke the shackles of death and justice for each of us.

Death is conquered; man is free.

Christ has won the victory.

(Hymns, no. 199)


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