Jots and Tittles: A Closer Look at a Little Bit of Hebrew

After the cold, dark months of Winter, the first flowers that peep out from the frosty ground are welcomed as a sign that warmer weather is on its way. The season of Spring is named for the action of plants appearing and shooting up from the earth. Of course, it’s not just vegetation that springs out but so do animals as they sense the change and venture out of their burrows with leaps and bounds.

Pesach, the Passover, doesn’t mean Spring (the season), although that’s the time of year it occurs in the northern hemisphere. But it does mean spring (the action) or leap or bound. Still if you do remember that the Passover occurs in Spring, it will help you remember what Pesach means.

The first Pesach goes back to the days when the people of Israel were slaves in Egypt. It marked the turning point in their history—the night before they were given their freedom. The Lord told them to keep this feast:

‘This month is to be for you the first month… Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household… Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast… Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover. On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.’

Exodus 12:1–13 NIV

According to the calendar reckoning of the Jewish people, this year (from 27 March to 4 April) will be the 3333rd time the Pesach has been celebrated; not counting that first inaugural night. But about 1987 years ago (give or take a year or so), Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of the first Pesach as He became our Passover Lamb.

Paul wrote: ‘Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.’

1 Corinthians 5:7 NIV

And by that Paul meant that the death of Jesus fulfils God’s ancient and never-withdrawn promise: ‘I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you.’

If you haven’t put your trust in Jesus as the Passover Lamb whose blood brings you freedom and rescues you from slavery to sin, then check out vision180.org.au/you-need-jesus/ right away.

 

About the author

Anne Hamilton

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