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The Qur’an avoids the subject of the Passover

Published by Steven Masood - December 17th 2015
Passover, Jesus and the Qur'an

The Qur’an features Moses’ confrontations with Pharaoh 27 times in the first 89 of its 114 chapters. However, not even once in the exodus saga accounted in the Quran is there any mention of the Passover. Readers of both the Bible and the Qur’an soon find out that although there are passages in the Qur’an that refer to the laws of Moses (directly as well as indirectly), the subject of sacrificial law, the offerings, and their purpose has been avoided. The Qur’an completely ignored the tenth sign God gave Moses, stating that God “had certainly given Moses nine evident signs” and then, tongue in cheek and in the same breath, tells the reader to go and “ask the Children of Israel” (Sura 17:101).

The tenth sign, the Passover, is when God declared a death penalty against all firstborns in the entire land of Egypt, regardless of ethnic background. The Israelites were also under this death threat. There was only one way the firstborn sons could be spared the angel of death. If the families obeyed God’s command to sacrifice a Passover lamb and placed some of the blood on the doorframes of their homes (Exodus 11-12), their firstborns would be safe. On that night, every firstborn child of the Egyptians died. The Israelite children were spared because the blood of the Passover lambs had been placed on the doorframes of their houses. According to the Bible, it was the tenth plague that marked the turning point in Pharaoh’s relentless resistance to letting God’s people leave. After the Passover, he finally agreed to let the Israelites go free.

This illustrates the story of redemption, the central theme of the Bible. Through Adam’s fall we lost our spiritual relationship with God. The Passover Lamb is a picture of the task and process to bring us back to God, which would become complete in Jesus as our Passover lamb. The great sacrifice promised to Abraham (Genesis 22:8) and now symbolically presented in the Passover event points to Jesus. Centuries after the Passover occurred, Jesus fulfilled the Mosaic covenant and introduced the new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31) to bring us back to God! Jesus is not only for the Israelites, but is also for “whoever” would accept him as the Lamb of God and believe in him. He promises they “will have eternal life” (John 3:15-17). Elsewhere in the Bible we are told, “For even Christ our Passover lamb is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast…” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8)

Although the Qur’an has around 90 verses about Jesus, it presents a Jesus who, although is the word of God, is only a prophet who did not die on the cross. Muslims believe Jesus was bodily taken into heaven and that one day, he will be back and turn all Christians and Jews to Islam.

Since Muhammad denied the death of Jesus on the cross (Sura 4:157-158), he thus purposely avoided mentioning the Passover, which foreshadowed Christ as the atonement for those who would believe in him. Jesus is the fulfillment of what the Torah presents (Matthew 5:17; Luke 24:44). For believers in Jesus, it is so important to understand that Jesus is the Passover lamb who saves us from our sins (John 1:29, Isaiah 53, Psalm 22).

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