Sunday, July 24, 2011



(Unless otherwise noted, the Scriptures quoted are from The Interlinear Bible, a literal translation by Jay P. Green, Sr., as general editor and translator, with the transliterated Hebrew names of the Father and Son, Yahweh and Yahshua.)

Have you ever heard your Savior referred to as the Passover lamb? Yet, there are assemblies that teach that very seriously. They have built doctrines – and even religions – around that idea. Do other Scriptures truly support their doctrines?

There is only one verse that they quote as proof-text of this doctrine. In the King James Version of the Bible, this one verse says:

I Corinthians 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven; that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

Their “doctrine” is made up of several components –
  1. Yahshua was the Passover Lamb.
  2. Yahshua died at the same time the Jews were killing the Passover lambs.
  3. The Passover lamb was a sin sacrifice.
  4. The Passover lamb brought forgiveness.
  5. The partaking of the bread and wine – called by some the “Lord’s Supper” – brings forgiveness today.

Are these statements true? Is the idea factual? Or could there be more to the story? Yahshua died for our sins – that is true. But was it as the Passover lamb? Was the Passover lamb a sin sacrifice? Are these the same thing or is there a difference? What is the context surrounding Paul’s statement?


Exactly what was a sin sacrifice? What animal was used? How was it done? These sacrifices are not done now, so today’s world is not familiar with them and the preachers seem to ignore the definitive Scriptures. So first, a foundation must be laid.

There are several chapters in Leviticus that outline various types of sacrifices. Leviticus 4 is concerned with the sin sacrifice rules. Differences appear in the rules depending upon who is seeking atonement and presenting an animal to be sacrificed.

Verses 3-12 give instructions for the priest that is anointed –
  1. A young unblemished bullock is to be offered.
  2. The priest himself shall lay his hands on the bullock.
  3. The priest himself shall kill the bullock.
  4. The priest shall sprinkle of the blood 7 times before the veil of the sanctuary.
  5. The priest shall put blood on the horns of the altar in the tabernacle.
  6. The priest shall pour the remaining blood at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering at the door of the tabernacle.
  7. The fat that covers the inwards, along with the kidneys, shall be burnt on the altar of the burnt offering.
  8. The remainder of the animal shall be burned outside the camp.
Verses 13-21 give instructions if the sacrifice is for the congregation as a whole –
  1. A young bullock is to be offered.
  2. The elders shall lay their hands on the head of the bullock and the bullock shall be slain.
  3. The priest shall sprinkle blood 7 times before the veil of the sanctuary.
  4. The priest shall put blood on the horns of the altar in the tabernacle.
  5. The priest shall pour the remaining blood at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering at the door of the tabernacle.
  6. The fat shall be burnt on the altar.
  7. The remainder of the animal shall be burned outside the camp.
Verses 22-26 give instructions if the sacrifice is for a ruler –
  1. An unblemished male kid of the goats is to be offered.
  2. The ruler shall lay his hand on the head of the goat.
  3. The ruler shall slay the animal at the place of burnt offerings.
  4. The priest shall put blood on the horns of the altar of burnt offerings.
  5. The priest shall pour the remainder of the blood at the bottom of the altar.
  6. The priest shall burn the fat upon the altar.
Verses 27-35 give instructions for the common man –
  1. An unblemished female kid of the goats or the lambs is to be offered.
  2. The sinner shall lay his hand on the head of the animal.
  3. The sinner shall slay the animal at the place of burnt offerings.
  4. The priest shall put blood on the horns of the altar of burnt offerings.
  5. The priest shall pour the remaining blood at the bottom of the altar.
  6. The priest shall burn the fat on the altar.
In these four instances, who was covered by these sacrifices? Only those persons specified. In the first two instances, everything was burned. In the last two, those words do not appear, but nothing is said about the individual taking it home to eat.

In these verses, there was no specific time designated for these sacrifices.

Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible, Herbert Lockyer, Sr, editor, pages 935-936 –

“Sin Offering. This bloody offering, also known as a guilt offering, was presented for unintentional or intentional sins for which there was not possible restitution (Lev. 4:5-13; 6:24-30). If the offering was not accompanied by repentance, divine forgiveness was withheld (Num. 15:30). Expiation or covering (forgiveness) of sin was represented by the blood smeared on the horns of the altar of incense or burnt offering and poured out at the base of the altar.”

“The penalty for all sin, death, was vicariously inflicted on the sacrificial animal. Guilt for the worshiper’s sin was transferred symbolically to the animal through the laying on of the offerer’s hands.”


Going back to the beginning, to the first Passover in Egypt, there were specific instructions given. The story is in Exodus 12. Read the entire chapter to refresh your memory of all the instructions and to see if there is any verse that states that this Passover was to be for the forgiveness or covering of sins. Yahweh told them about choosing the lamb, slaughtering it, how to cook it and eat it, and what to do with the blood. What was the purpose of all this?

Exodus 12:7, 11-13, 22-23 7 – And they shall take from the blood, and put it on the two side doorposts and on the upper doorpost, on the houses in which they eat it. 11 – And you shall eat it this way: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Passover to Yahweh. 12 – And I will pass through in the land of Egypt in this night. And I will smite every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from man to livestock. And I will execute judgments on all the gods of Egypt, I am Yahweh! 13 – And the blood shall be a sign to you, on the houses where you are. And I will see the blood and I will pass over you. And the plague shall not be on you to destroy, when I smite in the land of Egypt. 22 – And take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin and apply some of the blood in the basin to the upper doorpost and to the two side doorposts. And you shall not go out, anyone from the door of his house until morning. 23 – And Yahweh will pass through to smite Egypt. And He will see the blood on the upper doorpost and on the two side doorpost, and Yahweh will pass over the door. And He will not allow the destroyer to come into your house to strike you.

So what are the main points of this lamb and this observance? The noticeable ones are –
  1. There was to be one lamb per household set aside on the 10th day of the first month.
  2. If necessary, households could join together.
  3. The animal was to be an unblemished lamb or goat of the first year.
  4. The lamb was to be kept till the 14th of the month and all were to kill it at their homes between the evenings – between sunset and dark.
  5. Blood was to be put on the upper and side door posts of the house where the lamb would be eaten.
  6. Roasted lamb was to be eaten that night by everyone, with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
  7. The lamb was not to be boiled but the whole animal roasted with fire.
  8. Any remainder was to be burnt.
Does the Passover lamb fit the instructions for the sin sacrifice? No, there are differences.

Did you note the purpose of the blood? It was put on the door frame –it was not sprinkled, put on an altar, or poured at the base of an altar. The head of the family killed the lamb. Neither the fat nor anything else was removed from the animal. It was roasted whole. The entire family ate of the lamb. It was to protect the lives of those inside the houses from the death angel. Nothing more. There is no mention of forgiveness of sin. There is no reference anywhere in Scripture about the Passover lamb being for forgiveness. So how is that connection reached?

There is no mention in Exodus 12 regarding any sin. The blood was not shed as an atonement for sin, but as a marker to show which houses were not to be touched by death.


So does Yahshua fit either of these – the sin sacrifice or the Passover lamb? If so, which one? They are too different for Him to fit both of them.

There is a reference to Yahshua being a lamb.

John 1:29 On the morrow, John sees Yahshua coming toward him, and said, Behold the Lamb of Elohim, who takes away the sin of the world!

Forgiveness of sin is mentioned here, but nothing about Passover – no connection.

So why did Yahshua die?

Isaiah 53:5-6, 10-12 5 – But He was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was on Him; and with His wounds we ourselves are healed. 6 – All we like sheep go astray; we have turned each man to his way; and Yahweh has made meet in Him the iniquity of all of us. 10 – But Yahweh pleased to crush Him, to make Him sick, so that if He should put His soul as a guilt offering. He shall see His seed; He shall prolong His days; and the will of Yahweh shall prosper in His hand. 11 – He shall see the fruit of the travail of His soul; He shall be fully satisfied. By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify for many, and He shall bear their iniquities, 12 – Because of this I will divide to Him with the great, and with the strong He shall divide the spoil; because He poured out His soul to death, and He was counted with transgressors; and He bore the sins of many, and made intercession for transgressors.

(Matthew 1:21) And she will bear a son; and you shall call His name Yahshua; for He shall save His people from their sins.

(Acts 5:30-31) 30 – The Elohim of our fathers raised up Yahshua, whom you laid hands on, hanging Him on a tree. 31 – Elohim has exalted this One as a Ruler and Savior to His right hand, to give to Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.

(I Corinthians 15:3) For I delivered to you in the first place what I also received, that Messiah died for our sins, according to the Scriptures.

(Hebrews 9:28) So being once offered to bear the sins of many, Messiah shall appear a second time without sin to those expecting Him for salvation.

As all the lambs that were offered for sin sacrifices or for Passover, Yahshua also was unblemished and sinless.

(Hebrews 4:15) For we do not have a high priest not being able to sympathize with our infirmities, but One having been tried in all respects according to our likeness, apart from sin.

(I Peter 1:19) But with precious blood of Messiah, as of an unblemished and unspotted lamb.

(I Peter 2:21-22) 21 – For you were called to this, for even Messiah suffered on our behalf, leaving behind an example for us, that you should follow His steps; 22 – who did not sin, nor was guile found in his mouth.

Yahshua’s blood was poured out – with a purpose.

(John 19:34) But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a lance; and at once blood and water came out.

(Matthew 26:27-28) 27 – And taking the cup, and giving thanks, He gave to them, saying, Drink all of it. 28 – For this is My blood of the New Covenant which concerning many is being poured out for forgiveness of sin.

(Romans 5:9) Much more, then, being justified now by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath.

(Ephesians 1:7) (Yahshua) in whom we have redemption through His blood the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

(Colossians 1:14) (Yahshua) in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

(Hebrews 9:22) And almost all things are cleansed by blood according to the Law; and apart from shedding of blood no remission occurs.

What were the accusations against Yahshua? Why did the Jews insist that He die?

(Matthew 26:65-66) 65 – Then the high priest tore his garments, saying, He blasphemed! Why do we have any more need of witnesses? Behold, now you have heard his blasphemy. 66 – What does it seem to you? And answering they said, He is liable to death.

(John 19:7) Then the Jews answered him, We have a law, and according to our law he ought to die, because he made himself Son of Elohim.

If anyone claimed to be a son of Elohim, they considered that to be blasphemy.

Where was that law to which they were referring? Where were blasphemers to die? Was there a specific place?

(Leviticus 24:14-16) 14 – Bring out the reviler to the outside of the camp. And all those who heard shall lay their hands on his head, and all the congregation shall stone him. 15 – And you shall say to the sons of Israel, saying, When any man curses his Elohim, then he shall bear his sin. 16 – And he who blasphemes the name of Yahweh shall certainly be put to death. All the congregation shall certainly cast stones at him. As to the alien, so to a native, when he blasphemes the Name, he is put to death.

And where did Yahshua die?

(John 19:20) Therefore, many of the Jews read this title, because the place where Yahshua was crucified was near the city. …

Notice that? If it were near the city, then it was outside the city (or camp).

(Hebrews 13:12-13) 12 – Therefore, that He might sanctify the people by his own blood, Yahshua also suffered outside the gate. 13-So now let us go forth to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.


The last point of this discussion will center on the fact it is claimed that Yahshua is the Passover because He died at the same time the priests were killing the Passover lambs at the temple. Can that be supported with Scripture? Did Yahshua keep the Passover earlier than all the other Jews so that would be possible?

(Note: This discussion and searching in the Scriptures can be confusing because the terms Passover and Unleavens were used interchangeably. By the time of Yahshua, the word “Passover” had come to have three definitions: 1 – the Passover lamb/meal; 2 – the fourteenth day of the first month; and 3 – the eight-day festival season, lumping the Passover and the seven days of Unleavens into one entity.)

(Mark 14:12) And before the day of the unleavens, when they killed the Passover, His disciples said to Him, Where do you desire that going we may prepare that You may eat the Passover?

There are several points here. “Before the day of the unleavens” shows that the Passover day was lumped into Unleavens, making it an eight-day festival. Since they ate unleavened bread with the lamb, they referred to it as a day of Unleavens as well. “When they killed the Passover” tells us that it had to be that day, not one of the seven days of Unleavens. The disciples are asking Him about preparing the Passover. And note when they did it – on the day Scripture said it was to be done. Not on a different day or a day earlier.

(Luke 22:7-8) 7 – And the day of the Unleavens came, on which the Passover must be killed. 8 – And He sent Peter and John, saying, Going, prepare for us the Passover that we may eat.

When? The day the Passover must be killed. The word “must” is the Greek word #1163, dei. It carries the meaning of being mandatory, compulsory, obligatory. It includes the meaning “under compulsion of law”. The Strong’s definition says it is (was, etc.) necessary (as binding).

So how can anyone say that the majority of the Jews kept the Passover a day later than Yahshua? Based on one verse.

(John 18:28) Then they led Yahshua from Caiaphas into the praetorium, and it was early. And they did not enter into the praetorium, that they might not be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.

This scene took place after the Passover, “early” as it says, the next morning. So what does it mean “that they might eat the Passover?” Remember the idea that the word Passover could refer to the entire eight days? There were additional sacrifices offered every day of the seven days of unleavens that the priests were to eat of (Numbers 28:17-25). Who are “they” in John 18? The chief priests!

The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Alfred Edersheim, Book II, page 482 –

“Equally untenable is it, that Christ had held the Paschal Supper a day in advance of that observed by the rest of the Jewish world – a supposition not only inconsistent with the plain language of the Synoptists, but impossible, since the Passover Lamb could not have been offered in the Temple, and, therefore, no Passover Supper held, out of the regular time.”

Where does it say in Scripture that they would be ceremonially unclean if they entered the judgment hall? Such a Scripture does not exist! According to their traditions, they became unclean by entering the home or precincts of a Gentile.

The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, page 568 –

“(from Chag, or Chagag, to bring the festive sacrifice usual at each of the 3 Great Feasts). There would have been no reason to fear ‘defilement’ on the morning of the Passover Sacrifice; but entrance into the Proetorium on the morning of the first Passover-day would have rendered it impossible for them to offer the Chagigah, which is also designated by the term Pesach.”

The problem here was not the Passover meal, but the offerings made during the week of Unleavens of which the priests were instructed to eat.

Another point to consider: if they were to eat the Passover meal that night, the same day Yahshua died, what were the chief priests doing? They were the ones responsible for arresting Yahshua, the ones taking Him from place to place, the ones who made the demands for His death, and they were present at the crucifixion site.

(Mark 15:31) And also the chief priests and the scribes mocking to one another said the same, He saved others; he is not able to save himself.

(Matthew 27:41-42) 41 – And in the same way the chief priests with the scribes and elders, mocking him, said, 42 – He saved others; he is not able to save himself. If he is the king of Israel, let him come down now from the cross and we shall believe him.

Now if they were to be killing the lambs that day, why were they there at the place of His crucifixion and not at the temple making preparations? There were certain duties to be carried out during the day to be ready for that event. The day the lambs were offered, the priests were to be at the temple.

The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, page 487 –

“…time for the ordinary Evening-Service and Sacrifice. Ordinarily this began about 2:30 P.M. – the daily Evening-Sacrifice being actually offered up about an hour later; but on this occasion, on account of the Feast, the Service was an hour earlier. … The Priest’s Court was filled with white-robed Priests and Levites – for on that day all the twenty-four courses were on duty, and all their services would be called for, although only in the Course for that week would that afternoon engage in the ordinary service, which preceded that of the Feast.”

Notice – “on duty”. Did that duty include being sure another human being was being sacrificed? If they were “on duty” why were they not at the temple?


Looking back at Exodus 12, what were the symbols of that first Passover? Lamb, unleavened bread and bitter herbs. That would have been the meal of which Yahshua and His disciples partook on that last Passover evening. Then He instituted something new to represent His soon-approaching sacrifice for sin – unleavened bread and wine. The unleavened bread was to represent His sinless body and the wine portrayed His blood. Wine does not appear in the instructions for that first Passover. Does it appear with any other sacrifices – along with unleavened bread or a food offering?

(Numbers 15:1-5, 11-12) 1 – And Yahweh spoke to Moses saying, 2 – Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, When you have come to the land of your dwellings, which I am giving to you, 3 – then you shall prepare a fire offering to Yahweh, a burnt offering or a sacrifice, in fulfillment of a vow, or as a free-will offering, or in your appointed seasons, to make a sweet fragrance to Yahweh, out of the herd, or out of the flock. 4 – And he who is bringing his offering to Yahweh shall bring near a food offering of flour, a tenth part, mixed with a fourth of a hin of oil; 5 – and wine for a drink offering, a fourth of a hin shall you prepare for the burnt offering, or for a sacrifice, for the one lamb. 11 – So it shall be done for one ox, or for the one ram, or for a lamb of the sheep, or of the goats. 12 – You shall prepare according to the number. So you shall do for everyone according to their number.

When sin sacrifices were offered, unleavened bread (the food or meat offering) and wine were offered as well. That is what Yahshua offered the twelve at the table. His body being offered completed the sacrifice for our sins, but not at the same time as the Passover lambs.

So does partaking of the bread and wine today bring forgiveness? No, we have seen that it was Yahshua’s blood that does that. The bread and wine are only symbols. We are simply commemorating what He has done for us – for the world.

Now let’s go back to Paul’s words in I Corinthians 5. If Yahshua is not the Passover lamb, then why does Paul say that He is? Or does he? Remember, he was not writing in English. What did he actually say?


First of all, look at the context of the entire chapter, at the verses above and below verse 7. Paul is talking about the people and chastising them for being puffed up – leavened – in their attitudes and sins. They have a man in the assembly openly and blatantly committing sin. This was during the Passover/Unleavens season because he says, “as you are unleavened.” The subject of the chapter is not the Passover! The subject of the chapter is about becoming unleavened, meaning to get leaven – sin – out of their midst and out of their lives.

Once again, the King James says:

(I Corinthians 5:7) Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Messiah our Passover is sacrificed for us.

Now let’s look at the same verse in a literal translation, not one that has been rearranged to English grammar standards. Keep in mind that Greek and Hebrew sentence structure is not the same as English. And there was no punctuation in either of those languages. Translators have added it wherever and however they saw fit.

(I Corinthians 5:7) Purge out then the old leaven that you be a new lump as you are unleavened also for the Passover of us for us was sacrificed Messiah.

Do you see any difference? Look at the last phrase carefully. Does it say that Yahshua is the Passover? No, it doesn’t. Paul states that they were to purge out the old leaven and become unleavened for the Passover/Unleavens. Then he adds a phrase at the end of that – the reminder that Messiah was already sacrificed for them – and for us. There is no other Scripture to substantiate the “doctrine” that Yahshua was the Passover lamb. Not one.

By examining the instructions for the original Passover and the sin sacrifices, as well as the Scriptures about Yahshua, it is clear that they are all different. Yahshua does not fit totally into any category. His was a separate, one-time sacrifice, never to be repeated.

But there are glimpses of Him in other sacrifices. Following are a few examples.

The blood of the Passover lamb described in Exodus was to protect the firstborn from physical death. Yahshua’s blood protects His followers – the first fruits – from spiritual death.

(John 6:53-54) 53 – Then Yahshua said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. 54 – The one partaking of my flesh and drinking of my blood has everlasting life, and I will raise Him up at the last day.

(Revelation 20:6) Blessed and set apart is the one having part in the first resurrection. The second death has no authority over these, but they will be priests of Elohim and of Messiah, and will reign with Him a thousand years.

During the Days of Unleavens, the first-fruit of the barley – the wave sheaf – was offered. Yahshua was offered up as the Wave Sheaf and became the first of the first-fruits among mankind.

(Colossians 1:18) And He (Yahshua) is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that He be pre-eminent in all things.

(I Corinthians 15:20) But now Messiah has been raised up from the dead; He became the firstfruit of those having fallen asleep.

At Shavuot – the Feast of Weeks – the people brought offerings – first fruits of the wheat and other crops they might have. As the first of the first fruits, Yahshua redeemed His people.

(I Corinthians 15:22-23) 22 – For as all die in Adam, so also all will be made alive in Messiah, 23 – but each in his own order: Messiah, the firstfruit; afterward those of Messiah at His coming.

(Titus 2:13-14) 13 – looking for the blessed hope and appearance of the glory of our great Elohim and Savior Yahshua Messiah, 14 – who gave Himself on our behalf, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify a special people for Himself, zealous of good works.

(Revelation 5:9) And they sing a new song, saying, Worthy are you to receive the scroll, and to open its seals, because you were slain, and by your blood purchased us to Elohim out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

(Revelation 14:1-4) 1-And I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on Mount Zion! And with Him were a hundred and forty-four thousands, with the name of His Father having been written on their foreheads, 2-And I heard a sound out of the heaven, as a sound of many waters, and as a sound of great thunder. Also I heard a sound of harpers harping on their harps. 3-And they sing as a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders. And no one was able to learn the song except the hundred and forty-four thousands, those having been redeemed from the earth. 4-These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones following the Lamb wherever He may go. These were redeemed from among men as first-fruit to Elohim and to the Lamb.

Animals slaughtered on Atonement provided a covering for the sins of the people. Yahshua’s sacrifice was more than a covering. He blots out and removes our sins. He cleanses us.

(I John 1:7) But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of His Son Yahshua Messiah cleanses us from all sin.

(Revelation 1:5) Even from Yahshua Messiah the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him loving us and having washed us from our sins by His blood.

(Hebrews 10:1-18) 1-For the law had a shadow of the coming good things, not the image itself of those things. Appearing year by year with the same sacrifices, which they offer continually, they never are able to perfect the ones drawing near. 2-Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered because those serving did not still have conscience of sins, having once been cleansed? 3-But in these there is a remembrance of sins year by year, 4-for it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5-For this reason, coming into the world, He says, Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but You prepared a body for Me. 6-You did not delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as to sins. 7-Then I said, Lo, I come, in the heading of the book, it was written concerning Me, to do your will, O Elohim. 8-Above, saying, you did not desire nor were pleased with offering and burnt offerings and sacrifices about sins, which are offered according to the law. 9-Then He said, Lo, I come to do your will, O Elohim. He takes away the first in order that He may set up the second; 10-by which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Yahshua Messiah once for all. 11-And indeed every priest stands day-by-day ministering, and often offering the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12-But He, offering but one sacrifice for sins, sat down in perpetuity at the right hand of Elohim, 13-from then on expecting until His enemies are placed as a footstool of His feet. 14-For by one offering He has perfected in perpetuity the ones being sanctified. 15-And the set-apart spirit witnesses to us also. For after having said before, 16-This is the covenant which I will covenant to them after those days, says the Master: giving my laws on their hearts, and I will write them on their minds; 17-And I will not at all still remember their sins and their lawless deeds. 18-But where forgiveness of these is, there is no longer offering concerning sins.

As seen in all these Scriptures, Yahshua’s sacrifice was unique. No others are necessary. No animal sacrifice can match – or even come close – to what He has done for us. His sacrifice has done away with the need to slaughter any animals in our worship of Elohim.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Most people completely miss the reality that Yahushua was the FIRSTBORN, but rather place the focus on the lamb.