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Passover, one of the three Pilgrim Festivals, commemorates the Israelites’ liberation from Egypt and their formation as an independent nation under God’s protection and Moses’ leadership. The Israelites celebrated this feast on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Nisan, and it lasted for a week (Lev 23:4-14; Deut 16:1-8). After the establishment of the Temple in Jerusalem, the feast was celebrated there. Every adult Jew living within 15 miles of Jerusalem was required to attend the Passover in the Temple. However, Jews from all over the world traveled to the Temple during this significant feast.

Jesus attended Temple services numerous times. His mother Mary and foster father Joseph presented him in the Temple when he was an infant (Lk 2:22-38). When he was twelve years old, his parents took him to the Temple again (Lk 2:41-52). Jesus likely attended the Passover and other feasts in the Temple several times during his private life. The evangelists did not document these visits as they were considered insignificant for their audience. During his three years of public ministry, Jesus celebrated three Passovers in Jerusalem (Jn 2:13; 6:4; 11:55).

The First Passover and Its Significance

During the first Passover, the Israelites slaughtered a lamb, collected its blood in a basin, and applied it to the lintel and doorposts using a bunch of hyssops (Ex 12:22). Though they did not drink the blood of the Passover lamb, they ate its meat. By obeying God’s command to slaughter the lamb, apply its blood to their doorposts, and eat its meat, the Israelites’ firstborns were spared from death, and they were liberated from Egyptian slavery.

This event foreshadows Jesus’ role as the Lamb of God. Jesus came as the new Lamb of God to be sacrificed, saving all who believe in him and obey his commands. Thus, eating his body in the Holy Eucharist becomes the new Passover for our liberation from the bondage of sin and Satan.

Jesus as the Sacrificial Lamb

In Jewish tradition, when animals were brought for communion sacrifice in the Tabernacle, and later in the Temple, only a portion was burned by the priests. The scripture states, “Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings?” (1 Cor 9:13). The worshippers ate the rest at the temple premises with devotion. Since they ate the flesh God had accepted and blessed, they left the Temple filled with God’s presence. Jesus presented a similar concept, except that instead of animals, he was the sacrificial lamb.

The New Passover

The Jews celebrated Passover similar to the communion sacrifice. After offering the Passover lamb in the Temple, they ate the roasted meat of the lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs (Ex 12:8). Jesus is the new Passover lamb, and the Holy Qurbana (Mass) is our Passover celebration where we join in the sacrifice of Jesus and consume his body, the Holy Eucharist. This heavenly meal is essential for our spiritual life and nourishment for our heavenly journey.


As Christians, the celebration of Passover and the understanding of Jesus as our Passover lamb should deepen our appreciation for the sacrifice he made for us. The Passover reminds us of God’s faithfulness and the deliverance of His people from bondage. Jesus, our Passover lamb, offers us deliverance from the bondage of sin and eternal death.

By partaking in the Holy Eucharist, we are reminded of the new covenant in Jesus’ blood and the unity we share as the body of Christ. This sacred act calls us to live in obedience, faith, and devotion, recognizing the profound gift of salvation and the ongoing presence of Christ in our lives.

Let us, therefore, approach the Holy Eucharist with reverence and gratitude, acknowledging Jesus as our sacrificial lamb who takes away the sins of the world. As we partake in this divine meal, let it nourish our souls and strengthen our commitment to live according to God’s will, reflecting His love and grace to the world around us.

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