Exodus 12 states that the Passover is an important feast for the Israelites. The Passover mentions about the “firstborn” and the “firstborn son”. God asked each household of the Israelites, or with his neighbor, to take a lamb.
“Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. [The lamb symbolized the Lord Jesus Himself, who would shed His blood to redeem us.] You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight. “Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.” (Exodus 12:5-7)
Later in the same chapter, it mentions eating the flesh of the lamb. This symbolism is clear and precious. The lamb must be without blemish. The Lord did not have any blemish and he did not have any sins. He died for us at His prime. The Lord died for us on the day of the Passover. It is evident that He is the Lamb of God. He offered Himself so that we should not perish but have eternal life. At the first Passover, if the household did not put some of the blood of the lamb on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses, the firstborn would be killed.
“For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: 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.” (Exodus 12:12-14)
The Passover is so important to the Israelites. On that day, they were redeemed from their slavery and it was a new beginning for them. The true Lamb of the Passover is the Lord Jesus, who has already come. He died for us on the cross! On the day of the Passover, the Lord prepared for us the feast of a lifetime, that is the breaking of the bread. Every time when we have the break bread meeting, we have the bread which symbolizes His body that was given to us, and the cup which symbolizes His blood that was shed for us. The Israelites who have believed in the Lord Jesus do not need to keep the Passover because the true Lamb of the Passover has already come. He has already been offered as a sacrifice. It’s so precious that He’s risen! He will praise God in the midst of the congregation. The Lord has already established the new covenant. We no longer need to keep the feasts because the real one has already come. The true Lamb has accomplished the perfect salvation, so that we should not perish but have eternal life. The break bread meeting has replaced the Passover.
Let us read Exodus chapter 4. God asked Moses to bring the Israelites out of Egypt.
“And the Lord said to Moses, ‘When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. Then you shall say to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord, Israel is my firstborn son, and I say to you, ‘Let my son go that he may serve me.’ If you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son.”’” (Exodus 4:21-23)
The last plague from God was killing the firstborn sons because Pharaoh would not let the Israelites, God’s firstborn son, go and serve God. Pharaoh wanted to keep them as his slaves. God would deal with their enemies and set the Israelites free.
On earth, the nation of Israel is God’s firstborn son. One day in the new heaven and the new earth, the Israelites will be the head of all nations on earth. They will be able to enjoy the new covenant in the Millennium and will become the head of all nations. Being chosen by God, the Israelites should be the blessed one on earth. However, they suffer much because they don’t fear God. God made different covenants with them. God chose for them the abundant land of Canaan. God entrusted them with His Holy Word. There were also many prophets among them. They were especially blessed by God.
The Israelites are God’s firstborn sons. In the Millennium, they will be the head of many nations. The temple will also be rebuilt and many will return to Jerusalem. After the Millennium, in the new heaven and the new earth, the Israelites will continue to be the head of all nations on the new earth. God’s calling is indeed unchangeable.
But we have to note that while the Israelites are the head of all nations in the Millennium and on the new earth, we (the church) will reign as kings of the whole universe with the Lord. In the new heaven and the new earth, we will reign with the Lord forever. The Israelites are especially blessed on earth among all nations. They are a blessing to others. But we are the church of the firstborn; we are far more blessed! The Israelites will be living outside the new Jerusalem, whereas we, being the church of the firstborn, will be living INSIDE the holy city.