Reflecting on First Corinthians for Easter Sunday

From First Corinthians by George T. Montague, SM, commenting on 5:6b-8:

When Paul calls Christ the paschal lamb, or Passover lamb, he is evoking the entire conceptual and emotional world connected with the Jewish feast of Passover (pasch; Hebrew pesakh), of which Christ is the fulfillment. Even today Passover is the most important Jewish feast of the year. It evokes the entire story of Israel’s enslavement in Egypt, the plagues, the night of liberation when the Israelites slaughtered the Passover lamb, sprinkling its blood on the doorposts to save their firstborn from being slain, the meal they ate in haste with unleavened bread, the escape through the sea to freedom. The New Testament applies these images to various aspects of what it calls the paschal mystery: the Passover fulfilled in Christ’s death and resurrection.

© 2011 George T. Montague and Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.


  1. Why tiptoe around the New Covenant , implying the connection between Passover and God’s latest(last?) Covenant. This needs to be explained in clear straight forward language. Come out and tell the good news.

  2. Colleen Fay says:

    Paul’s most important message as he invokes the paschal imagery is that of total reliance on God as redeemer; the Israelites were redeemed by God and we are redeemed by Christ’s salvific act. We don’t earn it, we don’t merit it, it is not a function of our being “good Catholics” — whatever that may mean. Jesus has undone the bonds of sin that have held us back. Many of us today don’t feel “redeemed”; we still stumble and make fools of ourselves. We even try to redeem ourselves because our belief (I’m speaking here of myself) is so weak. Don’t worry: Jesus has done all the “heavy lifting” and we rejoice now that he’s lifted that burden from us. What an amazing gift! Let’s celebrate this day that God has made, rejoice and be glad.