Exodus 12 and the earlier chapters tell the story of Pesach. Nine plagues had not convinced the Pharaoh of Egypt to release the Jewish people. God had one final plague in mind. In order to be protected from this plague, each family had to kill a lamb and apply its blood to the door of their home. When the angel of destruction passed through Egypt, he passed over the homes with the blood on the door.
As believers in Yeshua when we celebrate Pesach, we remember not only God’s actions during the time of the Exodus, but also Yeshua’s death for us, which secured our atonement. In fact, the term used for the piece of matzah which is hidden during the Pesach meal is called the Afikomen, a Greek word, not Hebrew, and it literally means the coming one. It was used in the first couple of centuries as a title of Yeshua the Messiah.
We also celebrate Unleavened Bread and Leviticus 12:6-8 describes this festival which is closely connected to Pesach. It is a time when all the leaven is taken out of the house and only bread without leaven is in the house.
According to Leviticus 23:9-14 the ceremony of Firstfruits occurs immediately after Pesach. The very first part of the harvest is waved before God, a symbolic way of presenting it to God, to be accepted for us. Three days after his death and right after Pesach, on the day of this ceremony, Yeshua rose from the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:20 “Yeshua became like the Firstfruits of those who died.” Like the Firstfruits of Leviticus 23:11 his resurrection was accepted for us.
1 Corinthians 5:6-8 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Messiah, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
As we recall the significance of Passover week, we recognize several truths. The blood of the Passover lamb reminds us of Yeshua’s great loss of blood at his crucifixion, and the matzah recalls his body sacrificed on our behalf. These holidays picture his death. The ceremony of Firstfruits pictures is resurrection. Thus, the Messianic significance of Passover week relates to the atonement for us by Yeshua the Messiah, effected by his death and resurrection.