Note from editor. The feast of Passover was a sign celebrating God’s deliverance of His people Israel from slavery to Egypt. Jesus turned that feast into the Lord’s Supper into His prophetic sign of the new covenant, through which God our Father delivered us from the tyranny of darkness. I excerpted the following from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible because he so succinctly shows the connection with commentary and plentiful citations of scripture.
Exodus 12 by Matthew Henry
IV. This [Passover] was to be annually observed as a feast of the Lord in their generations, to which the feast of unleavened bread was annexed, during which, for seven days, they were to eat no bread but what was unleavened, in remembrance of their being confined to such bread, of necessity, for many days after they came out of Egypt, v. 14–20. The appointment is inculcated for their better direction, and that they might not mistake concerning it, and to awaken those who perhaps in Egypt had grown generally very stupid and careless in the matters of religion to a diligent observance of the institution. Now, without doubt, there was much of the gospel in this ordinance; it is often referred to in the New Testament, and, in it, to us is the gospel preached, and not to them only, who could not steadfastly look to the end of these things, Heb. 4:2; 2 Co. 3:13.
1. The paschal lamb was typical. Christ is our Passover, 1 Co. 5:7. (1.) It was to be a lamb; and Christ is the Lamb of God (Jn. 1:29), often in the Revelation called the Lamb, meek and innocent as a lamb, dumb before the shearers, before the butchers. (2.) It was to be a male of the first year (v. 5), in its prime; Christ offered up himself in the midst of his days, not in infancy with the babes of Bethlehem. It denotes the strength and sufficiency of the Lord Jesus, on whom our help was laid. (3.) It was to be without blemish (v. 5), denoting the purity of the Lord Jesus, a Lamb without spot, 1 Pt. 1:19. The judge that condemned him (as if his trial were only like the scrutiny that was made concerning the sacrifices, whether they were without blemish or no) pronounced him innocent. (4.) It was to be set apart four days before (v. 3, 6), denoting the designation of the Lord Jesus to be a Savior, both in the purpose and in the promise. It is very observable that as Christ was crucified at the Passover, so he solemnly entered into Jerusalem four days before, the very day that the paschal lamb was set apart. (5.) It was to be slain, and roasted with fire (v. 6-9), denoting the exquisite sufferings of the Lord Jesus, even unto death, the death of the cross. The wrath of God is as fire, and Christ was made a curse for us. (6.) It was to be killed by the whole congregation between the two evenings, that is, between three o’clock and six. Christ suffered in the end of the world (Heb. 9:26), by the hand of the Jews, the whole multitude of them (Lu. 23:18), and for the good of all his spiritual Israel. (7.) Not a bone of it must be broken (v. 46), which is expressly said to be fulfilled in Christ (Jn. 19:33, 36), denoting the unbroken strength of the Lord Jesus.
2. The sprinkling of the blood was typical. (1.) It was not enough that the blood of the lamb was shed, but it must be sprinkled, denoting the application of the merits of Christ’s death to our souls; we must receive the atonement, Rom. 5:11. (2.) It was to be sprinkled with a bunch of hyssop (v. 22) dipped in the basin. The everlasting covenant, like the basin, in the conservatory of this blood, the benefits and privileges purchased by it are laid up for us there; faith is the bunch of hyssop by which we apply the promises to ourselves and the benefits of the blood of Christ laid up in them. (3.) It was to be sprinkled upon the door-posts, denoting the open profession we are to make of faith in Christ, and obedience to him, as those that are not ashamed to own our dependence upon him. The mark of the beast may be received on the forehead or in the right hand, but the seal of the Lamb is always in the forehead, Rev. 7:3. There is a back-way to hell, but no back-way to heaven; no, the only way to this is a high-way, Isa. 35:8. (4.) It was to be sprinkled upon the lintel and the sideposts, but not upon the threshold (v. 7), which cautions us to take heed of trampling under foot the blood of the covenant, Heb. 10:29. It is precious blood, and must be precious to us. (5.) The blood, thus sprinkled, was a means of the preservation of the Israelites from the destroying angel, who had nothing to do where the blood was. If the blood of Christ be sprinkled upon our consciences, it will be our protection from the wrath of God, the curse of the law, and the damnation of hell, Rom. 8:1.
3. The solemnly eating of the lamb was typical of our gospel-duty to Christ. (1.) The paschal lamb was killed, not to be looked upon only, but to be fed upon; so we must by faith make Christ ours, as we do that which we eat, and we must receive spiritual strength and nourishment from him, as from our food, and have delight and satisfaction in him, as we have in eating and drinking when we are hungry or thirsty: see Jn. 6:53–55. (2.) It was to be all eaten; those that by faith feed upon Christ must feed upon a whole Christ; they must take Christ and his yoke, Christ and his cross, as well as Christ and his crown. Is Christ divided? Those hat gather much of Christ will have nothing over. (3.) It was to be eaten immediately, not deferred till morning, v. 10. To-day Christ is offered, and is to be accepted while it is called to-day, before we sleep the sleep of death. (4.) It was to be eaten with bitter herbs (v. 8), in remembrance of the bitterness of their bondage in Egypt. We must feed upon Christ with sorrow and brokenness of heart, in remembrance of sin; this will give an admirable relish to the paschal lamb. Christ will be sweet to us if sin be bitter. (5.) It was to be eaten in a departing posture (v. 11); when we feed upon Christ by faith we must absolutely forsake the rule and dominion of sin, shake off Pharaoh’s yoke; and we must sit loose to the world, and every thing in it, forsake all for Christ, and reckon it no bad bargain, Heb. 13:13, 14.
4. The feast of unleavened bread was typical of the Christian life, 1 Co. 5:7, 8. Having received Christ Jesus the Lord, (1.) We must keep a feast in holy joy, continually delighting ourselves in Christ Jesus; no manner of work must be done (v. 16), no care admitted or indulged, inconsistent with, or prejudicial to, this holy joy: if true believers have not a continual feast, it is their own fault. (2.) It must be a feast of unleavened bread, kept in charity, without the leaven of malice, and in sincerity, without the leaven of hypocrisy. The law was very strict as to the Passover, and the Jews were so in their usages, that no leaven should be found in their houses, v. 19. All the old leaven of sin must be put far from us, with the utmost caution and abhorrence, if we would keep the feast of a holy life to the honor of Christ. (3.) It was by an ordinance for ever (v. 17); as long as we live, we must continue feeding upon Christ and rejoicing in him, always making thankful mention of the great things he has done for us.
III. The institution of the Lord’s supper, v. 19, 20. The passover and the deliverance out of Egypt were typical and prophetic signs of a Christ to come, who should by dying deliver us from sin and death, and the tyranny of Satan; but they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, that brought us up out of the land of Egypt; a much greater deliverance shall eclipse the luster of that, and therefore the Lord’s supper is instituted to be a commemorative sign or memorial of a Christ already come, that has by dying delivered us; and it is his death that is in a special manner set before us in that ordinance.
1. The breaking of Christ’s body as a sacrifice for us is here commemorated by the breaking of bread; and the sacrifices under the law were called the bread of our God (Lev. 21:6, 8, 17): This is my body which is given for you. And there is a feast upon that sacrifice instituted, in which we are to apply it to ourselves, and to take the benefit and comfort of it. This bread that was given for us is given to us to be food for our souls, for nothing can be more nourishing and satisfying to our souls than the doctrine of Christ’s making atonement for sin, and the assurance of our interest in that atonement; this bread that was broken and given for us, to satisfy for the guilt of our sins, is broken and given to us, to satisfy the desire of our souls. And this we do in remembrance of what he did for us, when he died for us, and for a memorial of what we do, in making ourselves partakers of him, and joining ourselves to him in an everlasting covenant; like the stone Joshua set up for a witness, Jos. 24:27.
2. The shedding of Christ’s blood, by which the atonement was made (for the blood made atonement for the soul, Lev. 17:11), as represented by the wine in the cup; and that cup of wine is a sign and token of the New Testament, or new covenant, made with us. It commemorates the purchase of the covenant by the blood of Christ, and confirms the promises of the covenant, which are all Yea and Amen in him. This will be reviving and refreshing to our souls, as wine that makes glad the heart. In all our commemorations of the shedding of Christ’s blood, we must have an eye to it as shed for us; we needed it, we take hold of it, we hope to have benefit by it; who loved me, and gave himself for me. And in all our regards to the New Testament we must have an eye to the blood of Christ, which gave life and being to it, and seals to us all the promises of it. Had it not been for the blood of Christ, we had never had the New Testament; and, had it not been for the New Testament, we had never know the meaning of Christ’s blood shed.
From: Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume by Matthew Henry