Matthew 26:17. “Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto Him, Where wilt Thou that we prepare for Thee to eat the passover?”
The first day of the feast of the unleavened bread was the day on which the passover was to be killed (Luke 22:7). That the disciples asked Jesus where He wished them to arrange for the feast is proof that they expected, and indeed did, commemorate the Jewish Paschal Supper.
This has always been one of my favorite Bible stories. Pharoah had hardened his heart over and over, refusing to allow the Israelites to leave Egypt. His belligerence had resulted in nine terrible plagues, and this was to be the final one, the last straw, that would break his spirit for a long enough time for the Israelites to escape. The eldest son in every Egyptian household would be dead by morning unless they followed the directions given to Israel. A perfect lamb was to be sacrificed, and its blood was to be daubed over the door and on the posts of the doors. The sign of the blood would cause the death angel to pass over each house so marked; he would take the lives only in those dwellings that went unmarked.
God’s directions were clear. They were specific. They were easy to follow. But Pharoah would have nothing to do with following the rules of the Hebrew God, and so he lost his firstborn son. In his great grief, he finally bowed to Yaweh and allowed God’s people to go free.
There is much symbolism in the Passover feast, I will try to remember to point it out as it comes up in this story.
The first day of the week of the Passover went from our Tuesday sunset to Wednesday sunset, as the Hebrews counted their days. As I said, it was on this day that the Paschal lamb was to be killed.
The word Paschal seems to have come down to us from the Hebrew Pesah, for passover. As with many words, it has had some changes through the centuries. It simply refers to the Passover, though, and has no special meanings other than that. The lamb, of course, was a picture of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, Whose life would be given and Whose blood would be shed to not just cover the sin of the world, but to cleanse everyone who comes to Christ in repentance, for salvation. It is His blood that keeps the death angel at bay, and gives us eternal life with Him in heaven.