The Passover

The tenth and final plague which afflicted the Egyptians and which resulted in the liberation of the Israelites was the death of the oldest child in each family. Israelite families were spared, but only if they followed Moses’ instruction to kill a lamb and mark their doorposts with its blood. The lamb had to be “without blemish, a male of the first year” (Exodus 12:5).

When the Lord gave these instructions, He gave the sacrificial lamb a name. He called it pesach (פֶסַח), which is translated into English as passover:

Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover.

Exodus 12:21

Thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s passover.

Exodus 12:11

When Isaiah prophesied of a servant of the Lord who would suffer for our sins, he compared him with a sacrificial lamb:

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

Isaiah 53:7, quoted by Abinadi in Mosiah 14:7

John the Baptist used the same metaphor as he introduced Jesus to his disciples. “Behold the Lamb of God,” he said, “which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29, 36). In the Book of Mormon, Nephi frequently refers to the Savior as the Lamb of God, beginning with his father’s prophecy that John the Baptist would baptize the Messiah, “the Lamb of God, who should take away the sins of the world” (1 Nephi 10:10). Alma and Moroni also use this title for the Savior. (See Alma 7:14, Mormon 9:2-3.)

And the apostle Paul connected the Savior even more specifically with the lamb associated with the tenth plague, saying, “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7). The Greek word pascha (πάσχα), which is translated “passover” in this passage, is derived from the Hebrew word pesach.

Elder Ulisses Soares said:

By voluntarily taking upon Himself the sins of all mankind, being cruelly nailed to the cross, and victoriously conquering death on the third day, Jesus gave a more sacred significance to the Passover ordinance that had been bestowed upon Israel in ancient times. In fulfillment of prophecy, He offered His own body and precious blood as the great and last sacrifice, validating the traditional symbols used in the celebration of the Lord’s Passover.

Jesus Christ: The Caregiver of Our Soul,” General Conference, April 2021

Today, I will be grateful for our Passover, the Savior Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who suffered and died in order to take away the sins of the world.

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