According to Exodus 8:22, the Children of Israel were still living in Goshen in Egypt when the plagues started. Goshen was where they once enjoyed the “best of the land” to shepherd their livestock, but with a less than considerate Pharoah in office, Israel had been forced into slave labor. Mercifully, God intervened and scheduled their departure from Egypt.
The tenth and final plague was so deadly (death of every first-born) that Israel had to prepare for it!
So, in accordance with God’s instructions they gathered their belongings and animals, marked the lintels and doorposts of their homes with the blood of an unblemished lamb, then they roasted and ate the lamb with unleavened bread… in haste.
That night God saw and “passed over” each home that was covered with the blood to prevent entry of the destroyer, but the unprepared Egyptians were left devastated. Next, God demonstrated His ability to supernaturally deliver His people from death (bondage) to life (liberty) when He parted the Red Sea so they could cross on dry land.
Since then, the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread have been remembered annually in the Hebrew month of Nisan (either March or April) (Exodus 12:13-27).
On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the LORD’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread (Leviticus 23:5-6).
The Passover holiday coincides with Good Friday and the Easter weekend this year, which is a great time to remember that the Lord is Our Deliverer. There are no happenstances in God’s Kingdom. Everything written in the Scriptures is intentional and to teach us something (Romans 15:4).
Through symbols, God prophesied that He would provide the Body (unleavened bread) and Blood (wine) of the Passover Lamb (Jesus) to deliver all His children (Jews and Gentiles) from the bondage of sin and death forever. The color red is symbolic of the Blood of Jesus and passing through the sea represents the waters of baptism.
More Symbols of Passover
Passover symbols occur throughout Scripture and begin appearing long before Jesus’ birth. For example, we see bread and wine in the tabernacle of Moses, as well as during Abraham’s encounter with Melchizedek (about 1800 year before Christ):
Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said:
“Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” Genesis 14:18-20
Dreams of the Butler and the Baker
The first son of Jacob to arrive in Egypt was Joseph. He was a gifted dreamer and interpreter of dreams but suffered a string of unfortunate circumstances which landed him in prison. God has an interesting way of transforming irreversible adversities into unexpected blessings.
As it turned out, Joseph was in the right place at the right time to meet and interpret the dreams of the Butler and the Baker. One of these two men would eventually arrange for Joseph to interpret the dreams of the Pharaoh, and this resulted in Joseph’s overnight promotion to become protector and provider for Israel, Egypt and many other nations.
The dreams and the interpretations were from God and were fulfilled in three days, exactly as Joseph prophesied. However, there were symbols in those dreams that pointed to much greater events to come.
On the one hand, the baker’s dream foretold the death of Jesus the Messiah, crucified on a tree and left dead for three days.
The bread (His body) was not left exposed to birds or decay, as prophesied by David many generations after Joseph. (Acts 2:31 and Psalm 16:9, 10).
On the other hand, the butler served wine to Pharaoh. Wine (from the fruit of the vine) is symbolic of the Blood of Christ (Matthew 26:28) , and “life is in the blood.”
Therefore, the butler’s dream revealed Jesus’ restoration to life (the Resurrection) after three days. And even as the Butler put a cup of wine in Pharaoh’s hand, Jesus’ shed blood was also preserved to be presented in Heaven.
Are Dreams for Now or for the Future?
The dreams Joseph interpreted were for his day as well as for events to come far beyond his lifetime. Similarly, our spiritual dreams can hide symbols or interpretations for the present as well as the future… until the Holy Spirit gives understanding.
We may even see different dream symbols related to the Passover and Jesus our Messiah. Why? Because dreams are prophecy and the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy (Numbers 12:6, Revelation 19:10).
Bread, a lamb, a cross, a garden, plagues, thorns, the number 14 (fourteenth of Nisan), a ram, or crossing a sea, resurrections, the color red or blood (even the application of the blood to the doorposts and lintels on the first Passover formed the sign of a cross), wine, wounds like Christ’s, a red cord or many other symbols may be seen in dreams to remind us of God’s Provision to us.
The Passover Forever
And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons forever. (Exodus 12:24)
God instructed Israel to observe the Passover forever. Even Though He is the Lamb, Jesus celebrated the feast with His Disciples and gave them bread and wine at the very first Holy Communion to remember His death. Apparently, forever includes remembering God’s Passover in Heaven, as witnessed by the Apostle John.
Revelation 5:6 says: And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
Therefore, this weekend as we celebrate the Passover or Resurrection Sunday (or both), let us remember the same message of blessed redemption, centered around the Lamb who has so marvelously delivered us from bondage to liberty. Happy Pesach and have a blessed Easter!