John records the story of Jesus and Nicodemus in John 3. Jesus teaches us a truth starting in verse three about how to enter the Kingdom of God – be born of the water and the Spirit. In this time period of the Counting of the Omer (Passover to Pentecost) Jesus ties the Old Testament shadows to the New Testament fulfillments. This maybe the second example of New Testament Passovers, the first one is in Luke when Jesus stayed behind to talk to the priest in the Temple.
In the first three chapters of John there are two different pictures of the Passover and the Counting of the Omer. The first is Jesus’ baptism and His forty day trip into the wilderness and the second is John 3:5 + 6. But we need to include chapter one and two in this second picture of Passover.
John 2:23 is one reference to a New Testament Passover. Jesus after His baptism picked some disciples (due to the testimony of John the Baptist), told Mary, His mother, that His “time had not yet come” and still preformed a miracle, and cleared the Temple of commercial activity. How do these reflect the Passover to the Jew of Jesus’ day and to us?
- We will start with the picking of some of His disciples – There is a pre-Passover fast where the firstborn males are recognized. When Jesus picked those disciples, He was doing a form of the Fast of the Firstborn.
- The miracle of the wine at the wedding is a complex, in my thinking. It could represent the miracles that led up to the first Passover. The fact that it was wine, a “yeast” made drink, is interesting because one of the “gods” that was humiliated was the Egyptian beer goddess.
- Jesus clearing the Temple is a picture of cleaning your home of yeast before Passover.It is interesting that the Jews were more concerned about the authority to upset the selling tables than the “right or wrong” of Jesus doing it. He did this again just before His last Passover.
- Jesus’ command to be born of water and Spirit reflect the “baptism” at the Red Sea and meeting God at Mount Sinai. And what would happen on the Birthday of the Church, Pentecost.
Jesus’ response to Mary in John 2: 4 about the wine finally has been settled for me. His “time” or start of His ministry was Passover! So, it was before His time!