1 Cor 5:7 “For Christ Our Passover has been sacrificed.” So WHAT KIND OF SACRIFICE is that? And why is it significant?

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Did you know the primary “Passover” offering of the 14th of Nisan is NOT a SIN OFFERING, but a type of Shelamim or Peace offering? And do you know why this is significant?

“Passover” (as in the entire weeklong Festival of Unleavened Bread) does have required “Elevation Offerings” given from the 15-21 of Nisan (i.e. all 7 days of Unleavened Bread). However, these sacrifices, are not the initial “Passover” offering presented on the 14th of Nisan nor are they the additional Pesachim given during the 7 days of Unleavened Bread. Numbers 28:16–19 explains:

16‘Then on the fourteenth day of the first month shall be the Lord’s Passover. 17‘On the fifteenth day of this month shall be a feast, unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days. 18‘On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. 19‘You shall present an offering by fire, a burnt offering to the Lord: two bulls and one ram and seven male lambs one year old, having them without defect.

Communal Elevated Offering, Additional (Mussaf) Pesach 15-21 Nisan

Here we see that the Burnt offerings (Additional Mussaf Elevation type offerings) are sacrificed from the 15th to the 21st of Nisan (2 bulls, 1 ram, 7 male lambs). (See pic)

The “Passover” offering of the 14th of Nisan as well as those additional “Passover” (Pesachim) offerings offered every day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread are Shelamim or Peace type offerings.

First Pesach (Passover) 14th of Nisan (Korban Pesach)
Shelamim (Peace) Offerings (Korban Shelamim) Individual Peace Offerings

The Korban Pesach or Passover offering (a type of peace offering) of the 14th of Nisan is only from the flock, (See pic) whereas the rest of the Shelamim (freewill peace) offerings offered the entire week can be taken from either the flock or the heard. (See pic) The fact that these Passover sacrifices are peace offerings is significant for several reasons. The first relates to the meaning behind the Shelamim offerings.

Peace Offerings Full View Page 1
Peace Offerings Full View Page 2

There is a difference of opinion between the Rishonim (later teachers) regarding the meaning of the name “shelamim.”  Rashi (Vayikra 3:1) cites two opinions:

  1. “that they spread peace in the world;”

  2. “that they bring peace to the altar and to the priests and to the owners” (meaning that everyone enjoys from the eating of the sacrifice).

The source of these two explanations that Rashi brings are in Torat Kohanim (Nedava, 15:1-2).  These two explanations base the word “shelamim” on the word “shalom” or peace.  A third possibility for understanding “shelamim” appears in Rashbam (Vayikra 3:1): “The term shelamim derives its meaning from ‘he vowed and needs to pay (le-shalem) for his vow’ – that is, from the language of payment.”  According to the Rashbam, shelamim are tied to the payment of a vow that a person has taken upon himself.  . . . Thus, in contrast to the other sacrifices that are usually brought out of obligation and as an atonement, the shelamim are characterized by their association with happiness – public or private – and stem from personal voluntary action. [1]

With this understanding in mind we see throughout Scripture an amazing message regarding the Passover sacrifices and the significance of Yeshua as our Passover sacrifice. Paul explains in Ephesians 2:14,

For He Himself is our PEACE [i.e. our peace offering making peace between God and man], who made both one [i.e. made both God and man quite literally ECHAD or “one” at peace in the incarnate physical person or body of Jesus Christ] and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall [i.e. a wall separating God and mankind].”

And in 1 Corinthians 5:7 Paul further explains,

“Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.”

The fact that Yeshua voluntarily offered Himself as a shelamim offering to God the Father on our behalf is important. As John 10:17–18 explains,

“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18 “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”

The rabbinic authorities note that the shelamim sacrifices do not implicate any sin on the part of those who bring them. In other words, unlike other offerings like the sin offering, which are obligatory when sin has been committed, the shelamim offering has no implication that the person bringing the offering has sin in himself.

According to the Rashbam, shelamim are tied to the payment of a vow that a person has taken upon himself.  According to these two interpretations, the shelamim has nothing to do with the absolution of sin.  Whether it is related to a type of peace that is found in the world (i.e., God is not angry at the ONE who brings this sacrifice) or whether it is talking about a sacrifice whose essence depends on a voluntary vow, it does not refer to a sin that has contaminated the person bringing the sacrifice.  And indeed, when examining the places where the text discusses the shelamim, we see that it does not serve as an absolution, but rather as an expression of happiness and spiritual emotion. . . . in contrast to the other sacrifices that are usually brought out of obligation and as an atonement, the shelamim are characterized by their association with happiness – public or private – and stem from personal voluntary action.[2]

Not only do we see Yeshua symbolically as our Passover sacrifice, but the sense in which this is literally true is explained and understood in greater depth when we realize the connection in the Apostolic Scriptures to this FREEWILL OFFERING concept in the fact that “He voluntarily offered Himself” and He Himself “had no sin in Himself” when He brought Himself as our Pesach (Passover) Peace Offering between God and man. As Paul said, He Himself became our Peace Offering and in that sense He both causes peace between God and man while also completing a vow He (God) made to Abraham fulfilling a promise that results in the taking away or forgiving the sin of the world (John 1:29) and causing peace between God and those whom God has chosen (covenanted with).

We see the Promises and their fulfillment tie together in the Passover memorial in many ways, but here is a sample of some of the voluntary Promises of God Yeshua (Jesus) fulfilled as our Passover Peace offering and the effect of causing peace in the worshiper who “consumes the sacrifice” in fellowship with God:

In Gen 12:2-3 the LORD said to Abraham,

“And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

And in the first Passover Exodus 12:13 the LORD said,

“’The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you (i.e. in the sense of protect/covenant with and thus protect you), and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.’”

And the LORD promised and did in the person of Yeshua  what He promised in Leviticus 26:12,

“‘I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.’” 

And in Deuteronomy 18:18 He Promised,

“‘I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.’”

Likewise in Jeremiah 31:31–33, the LORD declared,

“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

And again He explained the reason for His Promise in Isaiah 43:25,

“I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.”

And in Jeremiah 31:34, the result of the fulfillment of the Promise in Yeshua would be that,

“They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

And in Hebrews 10:4–10 we learn why there was the necessity of Yeshua’s death as our Pesach Peace offering when it says,

“For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, “SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME; 6 IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE TAKEN NO PLEASURE. 7“THEN I SAID, ‘BEHOLD, I HAVE COME (IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME) TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD.’ ” 8 After saying above, “SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, NOR HAVE YOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them” (which are offered according to the Law), 9 then He said, “BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL.” He takes away the first [body of death] in order to establish the second [His life-giving eternal body].10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Thus, Yeshua commands us to remember and memorialize not simply the first Exodus but the Greater Exodus in His Blood when he says in Luke 22:19,

“19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

And in so keeping and memorializing Passover/Unleavened Bread Week each year Paul teaches that we are proclaiming with our actions the Lord’s death until He comes as it states in 1 Corinthians 11:23–26,

23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

And when we keep the Feast and do “the telling” of the LORD’s Redemption in Yeshua, and we eat the matzah, and drink the wine, we symbolically memorialize the eating of Christ’s body and drinking of His blood in symbolic and pedagogical fashion as we physically and visibly proclaim His role as our Passover Lamb as His witnesses fulfilling His words in symbolic and pedagogical fashion that He commanded in John 6:54 when He said,

“He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

Therefore, as Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 5:8,

“8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

But remember, (1 Corinthians 11:27–28),

“27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.”

The Bread here described is the Unleavened Bread of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover), and the cup is the Cup of the New Covenant in His Blood that the Lord instituted at the Last Seder (which pre-dates the drinking of the four cups of the modern seder).

“8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast!” (1 Corinthians 5:8a) of our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah and proclaim His death, burial, and resurrection on the 3rd day until He comes! Amen!

 

 

[1] The Nature of the Shelamim Sacrifice, by Prof. Yonatan Grossman, Parashat Tzav, http://etzion.org.il/en/nature-shelamim-sacrifice accessed 3/17/2018

[2] The Nature of the Shelamim Sacrifice, by Prof. Yonatan Grossman, Parashat Tzav, http://etzion.org.il/en/nature-shelamim-sacrifice accessed 3/17/2018

2 Comments Add yours

  1. I just posted a very short thought along these lines last night. And then I see this blog today. OOOOOOOOO. Cosmic Dude(tte).

    1. Christy says:

      lol…that’s funny…but cool when it happens. It’s like you get a glimpse at the Spirit speaking to our hearts and that He’s saying the same thing or teaching us all the same thing. 🙂

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