Jesus Christ Our Passover and His Unlimited Atonement – Proof that Limited Atonement is False.
Jesus Christ Our Passover and His Unlimited Atonement – Proof that Limited Atonement is False
By Steven M. McCalip
There are several articles on this website dealing with Calvinism’s corruption of the gospel, in particular, their teaching that Christ died and shed his blood just for a few, select individuals. I also spoke about this teaching in my Commentaries section concerning Galatians chapter one. In this present article, I want to focus on how the Old Testament, specifically the Passover ceremony, refutes this theory of limited atonement. The seriousness of this heretical teaching is that Calvinism corrupts the very gospel that saves men. The fact that Christ died for our sins is the very foundation of the gospel as Paul himself stated in
1st Corinthians 15:1-4: Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
If you noticed above, Paul said that Christ dying for our sins was the “first,” thus, most important part of the presentation of the gospel that was delivered to him and that we should deliver to others. This, then, is no trivial matter, and it is no issue of “semantics” or scholarly musings. The Calvinist will argue that the phrase “our sins” in the scripture above means only the elect’s sins, you know, the ones who were “pre-selected and pre-approved” for salvation. What I am about to show you concerning the Old Testament passover feast will totally annihilate and put to rest this blatant heresy that Christ died only for certain people and not the whole world.
What I will demonstrate and hopefully prove to you is this: Since Christ is our Passover according to Paul; he fulfilled all the aspects of the Old Testament sacrifice. Even more importantly for this study, all the applications of the Old Testament Passover apply to Christ as well, including whom the Passover was intended to be applied to in the Old Testament. In other words, I will show you that it was all Israelites who were covered by the blood including any strangers that wanted to partake of the Passover lamb in the Old Testament. That type and foreshadow of Christ shows us that all men everywhere are also covered by that same Passover blood in Jesus Christ. Keep in mind that not all Israel were believers, yet from the scriptures I will show all of them had, at that time, the physical protection provided by the blood of the Passover lamb. I will also show scriptures proving that not all Israelites were believers to again show that Christ’s blood and the Passover’s blood is shed for all men, not just a select few as Calvinists would have you believe.
To begin, it’s quite simple to prove that the Passover was a type of Christ Jesus and that its ceremonies were all meant as a type and shadow of Jesus Christ, including the blood of the Passover and its application to all men:
“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” (1st Corinthians 5:7).
That was Paul the apostle in the New Testament affirming that Jesus Christ fulfilled the Passover from the Old Testament by becoming the Passover lamb himself. Jesus is our Passover lamb, and his blood, like the Passover of the Old Testament, was shed for anyone who wanted to partake of that lamb. Now that we have established the direct connection between the Passover and Jesus Christ, we will look at the original Passover and who its blood sacrifice was intended for. Before we look at the Passover, though, let’s revisit the entire blood sacrifice system instituted by Moses to get the full picture of blood sacrifice. Let’s begin in the New Testament to see that this entire system also all pointed to Jesus and that its blood, too, like the Passover, was applied to all men and whoever wanted their sins covered by these animals’ sacrifices:
The Old Testament blood-sacrifice system in general
“For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you” (Hebrews 9:19-20).
In case you missed it, the word of God specifically notes that Moses sprinkled ALL THE PEOPLE with the blood of the testament. Moses’ priesthood was a direct type of Christ’s priesthood, just as this following verse in the same chapter below declares:
“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:28)
But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people”(Hebrews 9:7).
The high priest didn’t offer blood sacrifices just for some “elect” Israelites. That is not only false, it is madness. The scriptures say “all the people” in Hebrews 9:19 partook of this blood sacrifice. Nowhere does it even hint that that meant “all the elect.” But this, of course, is the Calvinists’ only resort, and it shows the foolishness of their desperation to keep their limited atonement doctrine alive. Hebrews 9:7 says the blood was offered for the “errors of the people.” Maybe I missed something. Did anyone read there of any “errors of the elect people?” Was Moses’ job to go around and find out who was elect, write their names down, and then offer sacrifices for them only? As ridiculous as this sounds, that is what Calvinists have to believe about these sacrifices. These were blood sacrifices offered for the sins of the people. These were a direct foreshadowing of Christ’s sacrifice. Calvinists are in quite a pickle here. There is no getting around this. It is patently obvious that Moses offered blood sacrifices for every single Israelite’s sin. If a Calvinist denies this, he is denying the truth that is staring him right in the face. How great is that darkness of man’s religion! Let it go, my Calvinist’s friends. You think you are honoring God’s sovereignty, and yet you are destroying his mercy and goodness.
Thinking you are being holy by honoring God’s sovereignty but dishonoring his other attributes is an extremely deceptive spot to be in. Please consider what I say.
“Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience” (Hebrews 9:9).
We see that everything Moses did was a “figure for the time then present.” Moses sacrificial system was a figure of Christ’s, and that includes who the blood was intended for.
“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14).
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh” (Hebrews 10:19-20).
“And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.” (Exodus 24:3).
Did Moses just tell the “elect” Israelites? Are you going to entertain that foolishness for one second? He told all Israelites, can’t you see? If he told them all, then the blood was good for them all. It covered all of them. Does this not fit in with God’s sovereignty enough? Does it make you uncomfortable to have to forsake your traditions of man? It would make me excited to learn that I am being delivered from anything that smacks of man’s traditions. How about you?
“And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.” (Exodus 24:7-8).
Moses sprinkled this blood on the same crowd as was mentioned before. Do you seriously think he sprinkled it on just the elect part of the crowd? How would he even know who to sprinkle it on? Did God give him a list with names on it? I am mocking to make a point. I’m sure you see it by now. Moses sprinkled the blood on all the Israelites, and as we find out later, not all the Israelites ever came to the Lord. So then, he sprinkled blood on evil Israelites who never got saved. Was that blood made ineffectual? Not in the least. God knows what he’s doing; even if doesn’t match your theology.
The Old Testament passover lamb and its blood sacrifice applied
“Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.” (Exodus 12:3-4).
***This is unmistakable, and it shatters the “limited atonement” of Calvinism’s gospel that the blood of Christ was shed only for certain people. This was God himself telling Moses to tell ALL Israelites to get a lamb for the passover. Notice the phrases: “all the congregation of Israel,” “every man a lamb,” “a lamb for a house,” “according to the number of the souls.”
How much clearer does it need to be? How many times does God have to say he did it for every Israelite? What excuse are you going to make for all of these? Please just stop and ask the Lord if what I am pointing out is the truth. He’ll show you if you are asking in an honest and sincere heart.
And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it” (Exodus 12:7).
Note that that blood was applied to every house.
“And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover”. (Exodus 12:11).
Now we see that this whole ceremony is “the LORD’s passover” showing us that the passover was of such significance that the LORD called it his very own. Why do we think God went to such trouble to put blood on every house? Was it to show us that only a few of those houses were chosen to be delivered? Of course not. What will the Calvinist do with this? Will he come up with some private interpretation that ignores this obvious fact of every house having the blood on it? EVERY HOUSE that participated was delivered. Every person that participates today is delivered also. The type is perfect and it is undeniable. To say that this passover blood applied only to certain houses would only demonstrate that you need help in basic reading. It would demonstrate that you, if you’re a Calvinist, will go to any length even in the light of obvious error, to say that your doctrine of limited atonement is still correct. To say that every Israelite was a believer is also a joke. Thousands of unbelieving Israelites who participated in the passover and came out of Egypt later died in the wilderness. More on that to come soon.
“And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt” (Exodus 12:13).
***What a beautiful type of Jesus’ shed blood at Calvary. When God sees the blood on our souls, he will pass over us in wrath also. That blood was on every Israelite house, and many of the Israelites were not believers. Now, of course, this does not mean that the Old Testament passover is what spiritually saved the Israelites, for it delivered them physically, but Paul applies it spiritually to us in the New Covenant as shown by calling Jesus “Christ our passover” in 1st Corinthians 5:7. Just as all the Israelites that participated were physically delivered, all those who participate in believing that Christ’s blood is our passover will be spiritually delivered. The parallel is too strong to be challenged, and to challenge it is to oppose yourself and the word of God.
“And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you” (Exodus 12:22-23).
“That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD’S passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped” (Exodus 12:27).
Now let me deal with some obvious, childlike objections to this teaching. Calvinists will say that God delivered only the Israelites and not the Egyptians and that this shows only certain ones were saved and selected, like the elect of Calvinists. People should really think before they jump to such infantile conclusions. A little studying would help also, but for those who want to look for any “out,” they can always find one. God will oblige you if you want to find stuff to match your doctrine instead of looking at God’s words first and what they obviously teach. There’s a trap for just about any kind of unbelief, and if you don’t believe his words, you will fall into this trap like a snared animal. Getting out of this trap, however, is much more difficult. Let’s look at a few verses that will show us that most of these Israelites that participated in the passover were EVIL and eventually DID NOT get saved, thus overthrowing the belief that God only shed blood for elect that gets saved:
Most of the original Israelites who took the 1st passover were evil and never got saved but were still covered by the blood of the passover:
“And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!” And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?”(Numbers 14:2-3).
“How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me” (Numbers 14:27). “I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die” (Numbers 14:35).
Since most of the original Israelites who partook of the passover were evil according to God, we see another great teaching. God’s blood at Calvary was shed for evil people like you and me before we were saved. God died for the sinner, the wretched, miserable, poor, lost sinner whether they ever eventually came to him or not.
Now let’s consider something else here of great importance to our present teaching: It wasn’t just the Israelites that could partake of this blood sacrifice of the passover lamb and be protected by it-the stranger could as well:
“And if a stranger shall sojourn among you, and will keep the passover unto the LORD; according to the ordinance of the passover, and according to the manner thereof, so shall he do: ye shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger, and for him that was born in the land” (Numbers 9:14).
In conclusion, we see that Paul the apostle was the one who teaches that Jesus Christ was the perfect fulfillment of the original passover. Every major teaching of the passover, then, applies to Christ. Of course, the major one we’re dealing with here is the fact that this passover sacrifice was participated in by every Israelite and every member of every house. The blood was put on their door, and God passed over them in wrath. The parallel should be obvious to Christ’s blood over us and him passing over us in judgment of our souls. All Israel was not even righteous, yet God said that this passover blood should be applied to them as well.
Most Israelites never put their faith in Christ in spite of this sacrifice as we saw that most of them died murmuring against Moses in the wilderness and called them “evil.” Even the stranger outside of Israel was allowed to participate in this sacrifice and partake of all of its benefits. The parallels again are obvious to us today. Anyone outside of the “church” can participate in receiving the benefits of this blood sacrifice of God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
To say, then, that the blood of Christ applies only to certain men is to miss entirely the whole teaching of the passover in the Old Testament. Christ is our passover, and he is also the stranger’s passover. To change this is to change the whole scope of Old Testament teaching, and more than that, it changes the gospel. If you are a Calvinist, I pray that you will ask the Lord Jesus to show you a deeper understanding of the passover and apply it to your beliefs.
Lastly, as we look at this New Testament scripture again, even though the Calvinist will say that this scripture says “sacrificed for us,” we know now that the “us” doesn’t just mean a few of us, it means, according to the whole passover teaching, anyone who desires the benefits of Christ’s death and blood sacrifice for them.
“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” (1st Corinthians 5:7).
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A mantra Calvinists often use is “free-willism is of the antichrist and idolatry.” This excellent article has proven from the Old Testament that “limited atonement” is a farce. And so too their mantra on free-willism can be refuted from the Old Testament.
The High Priest had to make atonement for the entire nation and also the strangers who were in their midst once a year. But there were also sacrifices individual sinners could offer on a voluntary basis. Unfortunately, as this article pointed out, most Israelites perished despite the fact that atonement was made for them on a national basis.
Salvation is and never was forced on anyone. Only those who come to Jesus on a voluntary basis for the remission of their sins and who put their trust in Him and his propitiatory death on the cross receive eternal life (Matthew 11:28-29; Revelation 22:17). Enforced regeneration (unconditional election) is proven to be wrong again from the Old Testament.
Check out the web site the article came from. He writes some good stuff and from what I have seen has taken some grief in the past from those sweet tongued Calvinists. They never call anyone bad names that don’t agree with them… … do they?
Excellent article. Thanks for pointing out the analogy with the first Passover. It’s a pleasure to have things pointed out to us that we’ve overlooked before and therefore grow in grace and knowledge. In fact, it says in Exodus 12:38 that a mixed multitude also went up with the Israelites, implying that God also delivered non-Israelites out of Egypt too.
This article further and clearly hammers the point that God’s perfect atonement for humanity is not limited to a select few.
I will also check the site the article came from, as Sharon suggests. I remember coming to grief myself when I first came over Calvinism. It’s encouraging to find such sound contenders for the faith. Hopefully many who are ensnared by Calvinism find this article.
Very good. Our problem for centuries is the fact that the Roman religion removed the “church” from it’s foundations in Judaism. This has led to a lot of guess work. People have no understanding of what Christ actually fulfilled and how it relates to them. Christianity has no foundation because of the anti-semetic position it was given from the 4th century. Most of the traditions of “christianity” are based on pagan practices and beliefs. I have studied the Old Testament laws and ordinances for a number of years now and have found the heart of our Father. The verse says, “and He came in the fullness of time” was always puzzling until I found it in the Old Testament.
Bob Baker, you can study and practice the Old Testament laws until you are blue in the face. It cannot bring you into a right relationship with God. Breaking one of his laws amounts to breaking them all.
God’s curse rests on you as long as you think you can please Him by keeping the Law.
Interesting article…I think that my commentary that I did on the Bronze Serpent in the Old Testament awhile back is also supportive of unlimited atonement. See here for more details: