By Dr. Daniel Juster
We soon will be celebrating Passover in Israel, just prior to the 70th anniversary of the independence of the State of Israel in 1948 (5th Iyar, originally 14th of May). This Passover will be experienced by many Israelis as unusually important since our return to Israel as a people is prophesied in Jeremiah 16 and 23 as a new Exodus. But before we look at the important Last Days’ meaning for the Spring Feasts, let’s first review the fulfillment that took place at the time of Yeshua (Jesus).
Fulfillment at the Time of Yeshua
The Gospels are full of Exodus Passover imagery. In John 6, the feeding of the 5,000 takes place before a dialogue about Moses giving the children of Israel manna. What sign will Yeshua perform to show that He is the new Moses? Those who questioned Yeshua’s credentials were amazingly blind to the reality that providing bread for the 5,000 was a parallel miracle to the provision of manna in Exodus.
The Gospel of John is built around Passover bookends. Passover is found at the beginning and the end of this Gospel. All four Gospels emphasize that Yeshua brought a fullness to the meaning of Passover and Exodus. His death and resurrection itself is described as the exodus He would endure (Luke 9:31).
At his Passover Supper, Yeshua presents Himself as the one whose blood is given for the forgiveness of sin, prophesying that he is the true Passover Lamb. Luke shows that he fully follows the liturgy of that time, beginning the meal with the blessing over the wine, then the bread, and then finally the wine after the meal is said to be the blood of the New Covenant. His blood enables us to avoid the judgment, just as the Passover Lamb’s blood on the door of the Israelite homes in ancient Egypt protected them from the angel of death, which killed the firstborn of Egypt (Exodus 12:7-8).
The crucifixion itself is the crucifixion or sacrifice of the Passover Lamb that takes away the sins of the world. In John’s Gospel, the point made that his bones are not broken is a fulfillment of the meaning of the unblemished sacrificial lamb whose bones are not to be broken. (Exodus 12:46, John 19:36).
Yeshua’s death and resurrection is an exodus through crucifixion, burial and resurrection. He ends up on the other side of the grave, just as Israel was on the other side of the sea. And then the Bible says we must also undergo our own personal passover and exodus, a death and resurrection in Him (Romans 6:1-4).
Christian teachers, speaking about the fulfillment of the Feasts, usually say that Passover/Exodus and Shavuot/Pentecost have been fulfilled, but add that Tabernacles/ Sukkot in the fall has not yet been fulfilled. This would suggest that Passover/Exodus as a Feast is done, and now we celebrate the death and resurrection of Yeshua as the full and total meaning of Passover and Exodus. But, as important as this fulfillment is, it is far from the truth that the fulfillment is total.
The Fulfillment Happening Now and Yet to Happen
Rather, the Bible speaks of a Last Days’ Exodus and a worldwide Passover that are yet to come. The Last Days’ prophetic meaning for Passover/Exodus is crucial, and we are living in those days, beginning with the dramatic events of the Holocaust and the resurrection of Israel as prophesied in Jeremiah 16 and 23.
In addition, there is coming a great judgment to the whole earth and a trial for Israel and the Church that parallels the period in Egypt before the Exodus. Amazingly, the Roman Catholic Catechism (1996) picks up on this and states: The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in His death and Resurrection (Revelation 19:1-9). The book of Revelation is rightly referenced as a fulfillment of a Passover trial yet to come.
The Book of Revelation itself is primarily based on the idea of a vast worldwide Passover and Exodus yet to come. The people of God—Israel and the Church—are described in chapter seven: 12,000 from every tribe of Israel, who are the Messianic Jews, and a multitude of Believers from all nations, who none can number. They are God’s people who are to be protected and will not experience the wrath of God, though they will experience persecution and martyrdom from the enemies of God.
So we see the elements from the days of Egypt repeated: the Last Days’ Pharaoh, as the Antichrist (Revelation 13); the false prophets who are like the occult prophets/magicians of Pharaoh (Revelation 13); the two prophets in Jerusalem who announce the plagues, like Moses and Aaron (Revelation 11); and the final deliverance (Revelation 14, 19). (For more information, see my book Passover, Key to the Book of Revelation.)
As we enter into the celebration of Israel’s 70th anniversary, which comes soon after Passover, it is not unreasonable to believe that we will be moving into the events of the Last Days in the near future. This time is fraught with meaning.
It is also important to note that the second spring feast, Shavuot/Pentecost, also points to the future. In Judaism, it is the anniversary of the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai. The outpouring of the Spirit was at that time as well, which is fitting since only by the Spirit do we fulfill the Law of God.
However, it is again a mistake to believe that this is in reference only to past fulfillment. The fulfillment in Acts 2 on the day of Shavuot was partial, for the Spirit is yet to be poured out on all flesh.
That is yet to come, and this is why we see world revival and outpouring as part of the events of the Last Days and the Second Coming.