CHRIST: OUR PASSOVER – 1 Corinthians 5

Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed.

1 Corinthians 5:7 RSV

Ye are unleavened … This is a figure for “you are not contaminated with sin.”

Despite the sinful lapses visible in the church, the action of their being cleansed in the blood of Christ was constant and effectual.

Serious sins would be punished and purged from the Lord’s church;, and the essential purity of it was affirmed even in this moment of her shameful deficiency.

This purity was not of themselves, but of Christ “in whom” they continued to be.


In 1 Corinthians 5:7, Paul affirmed that Christ is our passover; but, as in most analogies, there are points of likeness and unlikeness.

I. Points of likeness:

A. In both the Jewish passover and the passover of Christians (who is Christ)

There is the death of a sinless, blameless victim (John 14:30; 8:46; Hebrews 4:15).

B. In both, there is the design of deliverance from the wrath of God.

In the Jewish Passover, it was from the destruction of the death angel, and for Christians it is from God’s eternal wrath (Romans 1:18).

C. In both, deliverance carne through the vicarious death.

In their case, that of the lamb, in our case, that of Christ who died for us (Romans 3:25; 5:6; Matthew 20:28; 1 Peter 3:18).

D. In both, the slain victim became the food of the redeemed.

The Jews actually ate the Passover lamb; and Christians partake of Christ who is their spiritual food (John 6:53).

E. In both, a personal participation on the part of the redeemed was an absolute requirement.

The lamb had to be slain for every family; each member had to eat; the blood was sprinkled on every door. Every man must be “in Christ” to be saved (1 Corinthians 12:13).

F. In both, the line of demarcation between the saved and lost is clear and emphatic.

Egyptians did not partake of the Passover. The evil men of the world do not partake of Christ.

G. In both, there is a pledge of fellowship.

Eating together is one of the oldest bonds of fellowship; and, in both dispensations, God made use of this instrument to cement the bonds of fellowship among his people.

II. Points of unlikeness:

A. There is a contrast in the redemptions procured, one being temporal and earthly, the other being heavenly and eternal.

B. There is a contrast in the victims provided. Is not a man of more value than a sheep?

C. There is a contrast in the efficacy of the blood offered, that of animals being unable to take away sin (Hebrews 10:4), but the blood of Christ providing remission of sins (Hebrews 9:14).

D. There is a contrast in that which was purged out, in the case of the Jews being the old leaven of actual bread, but in the case of Christians the purging of sin from the hearts of those saved.

III. The entire institution of the Passover was typical of the entire institution of Christianity:

A. The Passover lamb, sacrificed the first day, was fulfilled by the crucifixion of Christ at the very hours the lambs were slain.

B. The lamb was a type of the person of Christ in that it was innocent, died vicariously, was a male of the flock, and without blemish, and in that not a bone of it was broken (Psalms 34:20).

C. Just as the Passover was slain and eaten in Jerusalem so Christ suffered, died, and rose again in the same city.

D. The Passover was typical of the Lord’s supper in some ways, though not in others.

Both were divinely instituted, both were commemorative, both were continuative, moving for millenniums through history; both began a new kingdom, the Passover that of the Jews; the Lord’s Supper distinguished the kingdom of Christ; and in both cases the actual beginning of the kingdom was a little later than the institution of the rite.

Who but God could have so designed the religious economy of Israel that all of it would have served to typify and identify the Christ who should come into the world?

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?
1 Corinthians 10:16 RSV

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