What is Passover and Why Celebrate It?
What is Passover
The plagues and death in Egypt were just a shadow/glimpse/picture of what the real Passover would be about 1,500 years later. In Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives, just above the temple area, on the way to Bethany, where Jesus would travel back and forth when He was in the area, is where Jesus defined Passover in a most beautiful way.
Jesus is looking down at Jerusalem and He refers to a verse from Isaiah 31.
“Like birds hovering overhead, the Lord Almighty will shield Jerusalem; he will shield it and deliver it, he will ‘pass over’ it and will rescue it.” Isaiah 31:5
Passover (paw-saach) literally means:
- to protect or shield with wings, like a mother bird her young
- to spare someone – to give them immunity from calamity
Matthew 23:37-39 says “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.
To paraphrase Him: How often I have longed to be your Passover – to hold you close – to be your champion. Passover is an encounter with Jesus. He longs to pull us in, close to His heart.
Jesus longs to eat this meal with you.
Luke 22 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired (longed) to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
Those are the only two times Jesus longed for anything in scripture.
He wants to be your Passover – to hold you close
He wants to eat it with you and hear you testify about Him
You can continue to neglect it here on earth –
But He just told you He will be eating it with you in heaven
On Passover, He will be waiting at your table – Your response is up to you
Three Celebrations in One
Passover is when you taste and see that He is good – every food points to Him and the cross.
The Feast of Firstfruits – Resurrection of Jesus and all the saints in Hades – It’s your birthday!
The Feast of Unleavened Bread is 7 days of eating no yeast – which represents a holy walk.
Our sin is removed on the Cross, but we must live the Christian life.
“Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” I Corinthians 5:8.
- Most people think about the Annual Meal each Spring
A Passover Seder includes a lot of teaching with a very interactive meal attached.
Everything on the table that you see, taste, or touch is all about Jesus from first to last.
- It’s History – past, present, and future
It’s what God has been doing since the beginning of time
Anything that changes everything is important.
5,781 years ago: The creation of Adam and Eve occurred in the Fall. The month would come to be called Tishrei (the 6th day was called Rosh Hashanah). The word Tishrei means “To begin” and “You will forgive” – both speak of the Garden of Eden. It was the beginning of everything.
About 3,500 years ago: When the Passover in Egypt with Moses occurred, in what would come to be called the month of Nissan, it literally changed time and the calendar, “The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.” Exodus 12
It seems so strange; for 2,500 years since creation, the new year had begun on the date God had made man in the Fall. But suddenly, as Israel was being set free from bondage in Egypt in the Spring, God established Passover on the 14th day of Nissan, the month that would become a second beginning to each year.
It really wouldn’t make a lot of sense for 1,500 years (2,000 years ago): The death and resurrection of Jesus, as the Passover sacrifice on Passover evening, literally changed time and the calendar.
To every Christian, it makes perfect sense, because we have two birthdays, one when we are born, and one when we are born again at the cross.
In Genesis 1, when God created time, it was night and then day, so a Jewish calendar date begins the night before.
For instance, today (Friday March 26th) is the 13th day of the month of Nissan (which is the first month of the Jewish year).
At nightfall tonight the 14th day of Nissan will begin and continue all day Saturday until it ends at nightfall Saturday night when the 15th day begins.
In Egypt, God commanded that the Paschal lambs were to be slain and cooked on the afternoon of the 14th of Nissan and the Passover/Seder meal was to be held that night as the calendar flipped to the 15th, which began the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread.
As Christians, we think of Jesus becoming flesh, dying for our sins, and rising again 2,000 years ago.
When God put on flesh as Jesus, He was referred to as “the Passover Lamb”:
- In John 1 John the Baptist said of Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
- In 1 Corinthians 5 Paul referred to Him, like this: “For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.”
They both called Jesus the Passover Lamb, 1500 years after the Passover Lamb was slain in Egypt. The story is much bigger than that. Passover is literally timeless.
Jesus is the Beginning and the End. He was redeeming us long before the cross, and even though He walked the earth 2,000 years ago, He never stops being a Lamb.
In fact, Jesus loves to reveal Himself to us, so that we can encounter Him in a new way and come to know Him even better than we already do.
In Revelation, John refers to Jesus as the Lamb 28 times.
“…to the Lamb, forever and ever!”
Forever means, He will always be a Lamb, as well as a Man, as well as a Lion. Passover never ends.
In Revelation 5 John says “And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain…And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!”
Of all the ways He could have revealed Himself to one of his closest friends, He chose the Lamb.
Do you still only want to relate to Jesus the man, and not Jesus the Lamb? Are you ready for the judgement at the end of the world?
Is your name written in the Book? And just whose book is it?
Revelation 13:8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. Not 2,000 years ago, but in the Garden at creation.
Ask Yourself: Why is Jesus Still a Lamb?
- He waited 4,000 years to reveal Himself as the man Jesus Christ.
- Jesus the man is the highest revelation of the Son of God.
- The name of Jesus is the name above all names, every knee will bow and tongue confess that He is Lord.
- Why does He flip back to revealing Himself as The Lamb, after He returns to heaven in His glorified resurrected body?
- And why has He spent the last 2,000 years sitting at the right hand of the Father on the throne as the Lamb?
If the Lamb isn’t always a literal lamb, then what is Passover?
Are we remembering The Passover Lamb Slain in Egypt?
Or The Animals God slew to Cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness?
Is it one of The Pesach Lambs from Bethlehem raised only To Be Sacrificed?
Is it about The Birth of The Messiah in Bethlehem of Judea?
Or is it Jesus on the Cross? Or Our Own Salvation and Baptism?
Is The Seder Meal the Fruit from The Tree of Life that gives Eternal Life?
Or the Bread and Wine of Melchizedek that became The Weekly Sabbath Meal?
Or The Passover Meal of Lamb and Unleavened Bread and Bitter Herbs?
Is it The Last Supper? Is it The Body and Blood Of Jesus?
Or is it The Wedding Supper of The Lamb in Revelation?
The creation or foundation of the world was 6,000 years ago.
That’s just as much a part of Passover as Egypt or the cross.
He was slain from creation for the whole world
In Egypt the lambs were slain for the oldest Israelite sons
On the cross, Jesus died for the whole world
On the throne Jesus is reigning as a lamb for the whole world
What God did in Egypt is not just a Jewish celebration
Jesus was and is the Lamb from Creation to Passover to Calvary to the Throne.
Why is He Still a Lamb?
Psalm 84:5 “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.”
For 6,000 years, every man, woman, and child who has lived has needed the same thing:
a “way” back. Some “way” to be restored back to God.
To be able to walk in relationship with Him, with some “way” to deal with the reality of their stumbling and bumbling.
Eat The Sacrifice
The Passover Sacrifice in Egypt changed everything about sacrificial offerings.
For the first time the people were told to eat the sacrifice.
Why, because Jesus was the Passover Lamb?
Before then, God walked through the pieces of the sacrifice with Abram,
or they placed it on an altar and burned it entirely.
The Passover meal and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb are the same meal.
It’s not a sacrifice that you can just watch burn, it has to enter you, to become one with you, to save you.
There was more going on in the Garden of Eden in the shadow then meets the eye.
Instead of communing with God, Eve communed with Satan and eventually had a meal with him.
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:6
Remember the Garden was a shadow of a future wedding, so Eve did more than eat the forbidden fruit. She was at her wedding, when the devil was defaming God, who was her groom.
Satan wasn’t just tempting her to sin, he was tempting her to see God differently.
He was making a proposal – of a better future, a different future, a different communion, a different meal.
Genesis 3, “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Sadly, when she accepted and ate the fruit, she also accepted the devil’s proposal.
She chose to know both good and evil instead of knowing God.
We think of Adam and Eve as the groom and bride, but in reality, Jesus was always the Bridegroom. The devil was trying to stop the wedding between man and God.
That’s why all sin for a Christian is adultery.
After Adam names his wife, the next shadow of the Passover occurs, “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21
God was the first to kill an animal to cover the sins of Adam and Eve. And later He would be the One to give His own life to cover forever the sins of mankind.
So, Passover actually begins thousands of years before Moses killed the first Passover lambs whose blood covered the door posts of every Israelite home in Egypt.
It’s not about slavery or even about the Israelites. It’s about God taking a bride.
You begin every Passover with the lighting of the candles: Light is a symbol of God’s presence. Although Eve led the human race into sin, God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus who would redeem mankind.
Notice: Eve was the first to fall. And the first to be redeemed.
Every Friday night at Jewish Sabbath meals, the woman of the household has the honor of lighting the festival lights.
Likewise, to begin the Passover Seder, the woman of the household has the honor of lighting the festival lights.
Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sent your only Son, Yeshua the Messiah, to be the light of the world and our Passover Lamb, that through him we might live. Amen.
In Luke 1:42 when Mary visited Elizabeth, she was filled with the Holy Spirit.
“In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!”
Since this portion is about blessing, at our house this is where we take time to bless each other.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26
What is the Final Judgment for Christians?
Romans 14 “For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’” So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.”
We imagine standing before all of heaven as the books are opened and all our sins and failures played on the big screen.
Revelation 20 “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.”
This event was just Passover in heaven. We are sitting with Jesus as He takes the bread and looks at us, “This is my body broken for you…your sins are many…but not as many as the stripes…your failures are many…but not as many as the holes…I have longed to eat this meal with you here forever.”
The Beginning of All Things (including Passover)
To understand anything fully, it’s good to go back to the beginning, instead of starting in the middle of the story with Moses in the Book of Exodus. We can flip back one book from Exodus to Genesis, the book of beginnings, where Moses sets the stage.
Now, I know some of you like to peek at the last chapter to see how it ends before you read, and that actually will help you understand this rather complicated story.
Revelation 19 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”
Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war…
The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.”
The Bible tells us that Jesus is the Lamb and the Bridegroom, Christians (those who follow Jesus) are His Bride, (the wedding supper includes the Passover meal), that this world will end, and God will create a new world.
Let’s look at the foundation of the new heavens and earth
Bride – Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
So on earth we see a death, Passover, but in heaven there is a wedding.
Revelation 19: Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’”
So, we know that creation was God was making children, but ultimately making a Bride
So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. Genesis 2:21-22
***The words sleep and dead in the bible are often used [euphemistically or interchangeably].
“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:2
“Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.” The disciples then said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep.” John 11:11-14
And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!'” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.” Revelation 14:13
In that verse in Genesis, So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep,
Likewise, Adam is not dead, he is just sleeping, but he represents Jesus on the cross, who dies.
Here you have the very first shadow or picture of Passover and the cross, when God overshadows Adam. God removes a rib from Adam’s side and makes Eve.
4,000 years later that shadow would become real when a spear pierced the side of Jesus (the second Adam) and blood and water gush out representing His bride – the church coming forth.
From the medical perspective: Hypovolemic shock caused fluid to gather in the sack around the heart and around the lungs.
From the founding of the church perspective: “This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.” 1 John 5:6-8
There is a lot of symbolism going on here. Shedding of blood for the forgiveness of sins and water baptism into his death.
The water also a symbol of birth (water breaks). But the main point is Jesus birthed the church with the Spirit.
The foundation of the world that the verse was speaking about when Jesus was slain, points back to the rib being removed from Adam to create Eve. The reality came on the cross long after.
So, creation and redemption is all about creating a bride for the Son. Passover and the cross are all about that wedding.
If you could see through God’s eyes you would be seeing the cake and the dress, etc.
“For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.” Isaiah 54:5
The 10th Day
Micah 7:19 describes a sea of forgetfulness. “He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” He sees our sins as our enemies.
Choosing a Lamb
On the 10th day, Palm Sunday, four days before Passover, every family obtained a lamb so they could inspect it to make sure that it was “without spot or blemish.”
This allowed each family to become attached to their lamb, [treated like a pet]
In Exodus 12:3 God says, “every man shall take for himself a lamb.”
Then in Exodus 12:5 God says, “Your lamb shall be without blemish.” It’s now your lamb.
But then in Exodus 12:6 God refers to “the” Lamb of God, as if there was only one:
“You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall slaughter him (אתוֹ) at twilight.
This word “Him” in Hebrew is Aleph-Tav (את) Vav (ו), which specifically identifies the “him” as the “First and Last”.
The 10th Day is Palm Sunday
When He entered Jerusalem through the Eastern Gate, “the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!”
Why did they choose these words? The word “Hosanna” in Hebrew is “Hoshia Na” or literally “save, please” and is part of Psalm 118, one of six psalms of the Hallel (Psalms 113-118). These were the songs of praise and thanksgiving always used during this Feast.
Jesus would recite Psalm 118 during the Last Supper and He would hear it echoing over and over while He hung upon the cross, as it was chanted by the priests as they slaughtered hundreds of thousands of lambs.
Some of the words of Psalm 118:
“This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous shall enter.
The stone which the builders rejected has become the Chief Cornerstone.
This was the Lord’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!
Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”
For four days, Jesus lived among the people before His crucifixion.
Jesus was thoroughly examined and proved Himself perfect, without defect.
- “…the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching” (11:18)
- “…(the Pharisees and Herodians) were amazed at him” (12:17)
- “Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, ‘I find no basis for a charge against
this man.’” (Luke 23:4)
- Peter declared Jesus, a “lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Peter 1:19)
And Jesus wept…
In Luke 19 Jesus prayed over Jerusalem, “He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
In the New Testament, Jesus weeps only twice – once over Jerusalem, and once over Lazarus. Both occasions are on the Mount of Olives, occurred relatively close time wise and location wise, but these two tearful scenes only make sense when you look at them together. Why did Jesus intentionally allow Lazarus to go through the suffering and torment of death, and then weep over him, if He was just going to raise him back to life. Perhaps the suffering of Lazarus was a perfect shadow of the suffering coming upon Israel, and perhaps the tears of Jesus were more significant than tears for the death of a friend. He was weeping for us all…dead in sin…with only one remedy.
The Meaning of the English word Passover
Exodus 12:12-13, God says, “And I shall pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and I shall smite every firstborn in the land of Egypt from human to animal…and I will see the blood [on the doorposts], fasachti you.…” [faa-sock-tee]
It’s commonly translated as “and I will pass over.” However, it is such a rare word in the Bible, that its translation is uncertain.
At the time of Jesus, the word was translated as, “I will have compassion or have mercy.”
But in it’s also often translated it as “to protect”.
P-S/X-CH is a primitive root that can mean:
- to hop, that is, (figuratively) skip over (or spare)
- to hesitate
- to limp or to dance
- to halt, become lame, leap, or pass over.
It was William Tyndale who invented the English word Passover.
The reformer and translator, is the true father of the English Bible.
Tyndale was the first to translate the Bible into Modern English from the original languages of Hebrew and Greek and provided the basis for the King James Translation
But if we go back much further than Tyndale, the original word that became Passover was P-X-CH in Ancient Hebrew, not Pesach. The letter “s” in “pesach” is incorrect because ancient Hebrew had no letter “s”. X is the original sound of the letter (now called) samech.
- Peh/Pey became the Greek word pi, which became our common letter P.
Picture = open mouth – It means mouth, and by extension word, speech, and breath.
So the Peh/Pey speaks of the Spoken Word of God.
- The ancient XaN or current samech means to lean upon, to uphold or to support
(like a prop, supporting and upholding a tree to enable it to weather storms safely.
Picture = thorn or The laying on of hands upon the head of a sacrificial animal like a bull.
Because Greek came partly from ancient Hebrew, the modern Hebrew letter samech is equivalent to a Greek XI (letter name) or English X (letter shape).
In Greek, the word Christos (Christ) begins with the letter “X,” or chi.
The 2nd letter of Pesach, the S, essentially speaks of the Christ or the Messiah,
He is a part of the very word Pesach.
- The 3rd letter in Pesach is the (CH). The Hebrew number and letter for 8 is Cheth – it means change. Its pictograph looks like a wall or a boundary.
Here are a few walls that are unique to Pesach:
- The door covered in blood became a wall that the Destroyer could not enter
- The Red Sea became a wall to hold back the water to let the Israelites walk thru
- God became a wall of fire to protect them from the Egyptian army
- Due to their rebellion, the Promised Land became a wall the Israelites could not enter
- 40 years later Jericho was surrounded by walls that could not stand against God
Beyond Egypt what does Pesach mean?
The Spoken Word of God – By The Christ – Brings Change to a Wall or Boundary
In Egypt, God’s anointed mouthpiece was Moses – He spoke and God brought plagues
But we know Passover was always pointing to Jesus as the Lamb. Since Jesus was the Word of God and the Christ and the Passover Lamb who takes away the sins of the world, then something He said is the real essence of Pesach
His last word…It is finished…Tetelestai…when He said it…the curtain/door/wall was forever removed between God and man
So Pesach isn’t about the angel of death angel in Egypt but about the Son of God destroying sin and death for humanity
The word Passover is about Egypt…Pesach is about the Kingdom of God
We have been given authority from Jesus for such a time as this. What we do affects our authority, empowers our authority or steals from our authority.
So the 3rd letter of Pesach, the CH means Change / A Wall
So what was God communicating through the three letters of the word Pesach?
- The Spoken Word of God
- The Christ
- Change / A Wall / A Boundary
When taken together it becomes:
The Spoken Word of God by Christ brings Change in a Wall or Boundary.
Because we are speaking of Pesach, we know the Wall in question has something to do what was causing separation. There were two such walls.
- The first wall was Sin that was separating us from God and God from us.
2. The second wall occurred late on Pesach when the Door of Blood became like a Wall to keep the Destroyer out of the homes of the Israelites, which would allow them to find freedom in a relationship with God that would physically set them free from slavery in Egypt, but also spiritually set them free from sin.
Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews
Pesach isn’t just about the angel of death in Egypt but about the Son of God destroying sin and death for humanity.
The word Passover is about Egypt…Pesach is about the Kingdom of God
At the Passover in Egypt, the blood was put over the doorway, and down each side
above for salvation, and on either side for protection.
This is an amazing foreshadow of the sign they hung on the cross of Jesus.
The Romans wrote, Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews/Judeans in Latin, Greek and Hebrew.
Whether they used the 4 letter Hebrew initialism pictographs: Yode Nun Mem Yode
or the Hebrew words Yeshua Nazarene Melek (meh-lek) Ioudaios (You-deans)
It enraged the Jewish leaders for a very good reaspn.
In Hebrew Yeshua is not just a name – it’s the word for salvation
Nazarene (which comes from ne·tser (branch) was a messianic title from Isiah:
“There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.”
Melek (meh-lek) is King and Ioudaios (You-deans) is Judeans
But for the Pharisees and the religious Jews crucifying Jesus – the sign was blasphemous
It essentially said This is Salvation – the Messiah – King of the Judeans
The Jews might have thought they were in charge at the cross –
but God had set this up – especially the location – from the beginning of time
Outside the Camp & The East Gate
- Execution of a criminal in the time of Jesus was acknowledged as the criminal’s own
“sin offering” for himself – instead of a substitute animal sacrifice
- So, criminals (as sin offerings) were executed “in the presence of God” just “outside the camp” (Numbers 15:35) near the Red Heifer altar. This was also the spot where Stephen was executed.
- Since Jesus was counted as a criminal He was taken to the summit of Olivet across the Kidron Valley. The Jews called it the Valley of Jehoshaphat where they believe God would judge all people for their sins.
- There Jesus died “as a sin offering”, not for himself, but for the sins of the world.
- The path east from the temple up the Mount of Olives to Bethany was a very common path and has lots of history.
- It may be where the tree of knowledge of good and evil was.
- It was the path Adam and Eve would have walked to leave the Garden in banishment.
- It was the place a young boy named David buried Goliath’s head
So the spot of the great trophy became well known. Goliath was from Gath so the summit was call as Golgotha the place of the skull.
- For Jesus to be crucified there brought extra meaning and irony fulfilling Genesis 3:15
“He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel”
- The Shekinah glory of God left the temple (in Ezekiel) over this same path on the Mount of Olives
- On the feast of Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement two goats are involved in the sacrifice.
- The blood of the first goat was placed on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies.
- The other, or “scapegoat” was released into the wilderness, signifying that our sins were not only covered, but also removed.
- In the days of the Temple, this “scapegoat” was led through the Eastern Gate toward the Mount of Olives where it would disappear from view, as it fulfilled the removal of sins from the people.
- This same spot was the location of the ascension of Jesus into heaven.
- He ascended and disappeared in the same way as the “scapegoat” showing that our sins are removed as far as the east is from the west!
- Where Jesus will return, split the mountain in two and where a river will flow from the altar.
You probably know the gist of the story. The Jews were slaves in Egypt, God heard their groans, and sent Moses to deliver them from Pharaoh. There were plagues, the blood of a lamb on their doors, a hurried final meal without leaven, and a death angel killing the first-born in every home without blood. If you were there it would be impossible to forget. But God want’s us to actually feel what it was life every single year. Here is what God said about Passover night:
Exodus 12:41-42 “And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years—on that very same day—it came to pass that all the armies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. It is a night of solemn observance to the Lord for bringing them out of the land of Egypt. This is that night of the Lord, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations.”
In world history, these events take place about 3,500 years ago. 430 years earlier, God had made a promise to Abraham, and then kept it to his descendants – even to the day. And God says it’s important to Him that we remember what He did and when He did it – to the day.
Are you a child of Israel? In Romans 11, Paul tells Gentiles [who by definition are not children of Israel] that the Jews are in unbelief for a time so that salvation could be extended to the Gentiles but, just as the “branches” were broken off to allow for them to be grafted in, the Jews too can be grafted back in at any time.
Jesus (Yeshua) was and is the Jewish Messiah; He didn’t come to form a new religion or to create Christianity! He lived and died and rose again as a Jew. Messianic Jews today are Jews who have accepted Yeshua as the Messiah, just like the Disciples and Apostles did. Meanwhile, Gentiles were grafted into “covenant relationship” through Israel. Jesus is the Tree and we are His body, made up of both Jewish believers and Gentile believers. The church does NOT replace Israel, it can’t exist without them. When God says, “This is that night of the Lord, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations,” He is talking to us.
Fast forward from Egypt 1,500 years to Jerusalem about 2,000 years ago – it’s Passover – the night of solemn observance. Jesus and His disciples are doing what they were asked to do – eating the meal the Israelites had eaten before they left Egypt, “Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread: and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-24)
‘“In the same way, after the supper He, took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” (Luke 22:20) “This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me” (1 Corinthians 11:25b)
So, whether you are Jewish or a Christian, God has asked His Body the Church to focus on this date and remember what He did on it. And there are rules of how to remember.
Passover is the one time of year we must forget that we are all unique. Passover is never about what “someone” did back then. It’s about what happened to “me” in Egypt, at the cross, and in the Garden of Eden, etc. Passover isn’t a history story, it’s a realization that you are in the story and the story is about you.
It’s Passover evening – the death angel was coming.
The “first born” in all the land of Egypt were going to die.
Even in the Jewish homes there was fear. Placing blood on a door had never prevented death before.
If you were the first born would you have slept with the death angel in town?
If you were a mother, would you have slept that night?
For the next 1,500 years, this watchnight became a tradition – stay up all night and pray.
When you think about the Garden of Gethsemane – This gives a deeper meaning to the request Jesus made, “could you not tarry even one hour”.
He asked them to keep watch with Him – the death angel was coming for Him later on the cross.
You may be thinking about yourself, the same thoughts they were thinking in Egypt. You know the depths of your sin, and just one can destroy you, plus you are born in sin thanks to Adam and Eve’s sin. How can the death of that tiny lamb remove their great sin or your great sin? It couldn’t.
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Hebrews 10:4
“…So the priest shall make atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them.” Leviticus 4:20
The root of the word atonement in Hebrew is kaphar, which means covering. Like a bandage, it could cover the problem, but not fix or remove it.
Sacrifices pointed to the only One that could remove sin—Jesus Christ who shed His blood one time to remove sin forever. “…we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Hebrews 10
Animal sacrifices could only cover sins; they could not remove them. So remembering Passover helps us see Jesus more clearly and better grasp all that He did for us.
Jesus is in the Grave for 3 Days. What’s Happening Then?
Jesus fulfilled 353 prophecies – All those prophets are in the room
He’s on a mission. To fulfill a 4,000-year-old promise. Imagine when Eve saw Him walk into that dark place where she had thought of her failure for millenniums. Everyone recognizes her and Adam. They are the cause of every death.
“As promised, that snake has been crushed, for you and every woman who came after you. Death no longer holds victory over you. There is a new garden with only one tree and no serpents. Now tell them who I am.”
A synagogue isn’t like a church. It’s not a sermon. It’s a discussion. The room is filled with the prophets who declared 353 prophecies that Jesus fulfilled.
- John the Baptist – Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
- Adam and Eve – We walked with Him in the garden.
- He was the one that made my face shine.
- .. This is the one who walked with us in the fire.
- David would remember his vision: They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.
- Isaiah would say He is the one born of a virgin: Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
It’s a three-day long sermon so that millions who have longed to worship Jesus can finally do it.
But eventually it has to end because Jesus has a job to do. He’s the real High Priest.
Ephesians 4:7-12 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.” (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
It’s the Feast of First Fruits. Every family brings a portion of their harvest to the priests. It was forbidden to eat from the crop until this portion had been offered. The priests have all got up early and went into the fields to offer the wave offering. They hold up sheaves of barley and wave them toward heaven to thank God for His provision that will come this year.
Matthew 27:51-53 The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people (saints) who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
These saints of old are the first harvest, they have been waiting for this moment when they could walk with God in their purpose.
When Jesus stepped out of the grave, the graves stones on the Mount of Olives began to shake, as dead men walked around Jerusalem on their way to heaven with Jesus.
It’s the Feast of First Fruits. The verse says that saints were appearing to people. How did they recognize Moses and the rest of them to know they were saints? They have been dead for so long and they just met Jesus. They can’t stop preaching.
Thousands of priests are in the field. They’re waving sheaves of barley.
For the first time millions of dead people are in the field and they’re waving back.
They just told their kids the story of Moses and Joshua and Jericho and suddenly there’s an earthquake and rocks are falling and dead people are walking around them.
All they have is barley in their hands.
Jesus stays in the cemetery long enough to tell Mary, “Don’t touch me I haven’t gone to the Father yet.” He has to present the firstfruits wave offering, but He waits because they aren’t the only first fruits. Mary and the disciples are firstfruits, and He wants them to know he will be right back.
1 Corinthians 15:20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
See, He’s the real high priest and all the dead people are his wave offering that he is taking into the field to present to His father and then He will bring them into heavens
Picture Exodus 12 as the host of the Lord leave Egypt for the promised land.
Ex 12:41-42 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years—on that very same day—it came to pass that all the armies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.
The host is leaving Hades for Heaven.
We wonder why thousands were saved at Pentecost a month or so later and why a great revival broke out that led to persecution.
Just when they finally go the walking dead out of their minds, they have to come back for the feast of Pentecost. What do they see in the streets?
Jews running amok speaking foreign languages and they have “tongues of fire above their head” – that man has Fire shooting out of his heads. “You killed Jesus.” Repent and be baptized? Yes please.
- Second Exodus
“Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that it shall no more be said, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.’ For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers.” Jeremiah 16:14-15
In 1963 the site of Masada was finally unearthed. Masada was ignored for years because it reminded the Rabbis of the failures of the many false messiahs that continually appeared after Jesus. Yigael Yadin led an international expedition to unearth the many secrets of the ruins. In the synagogue the Jewish rebels had constructed they discovered fragments of Ezekiel 37.
“So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath [ruach – also the word for the Holy Spirit] in them.” Ezekiel 37:7-8
The vision is a picture of what’s called the “Second Exodus” – the restoration of Israel to the Promised Land. It happened in 1948 and has continued ever since. But it’s just the physical aspect of their restoration because they have not yet begun to follow Jesus as their Messiah. Their spiritual restoration will come in fullness when the breath or Ruach of God is poured out upon the nation.
We got a glimpse of that on June 7, 1967 when Israel reclaimed the Temple Mount for the first time in 2000 years. On that same day in America, the Jesus movement was birthed in San Francisco bringing a revival that brought thousands of Jews to faith in their Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), establishing the Messianic movement here, there, and around the world. Many of those converts are now living in the land.
The bible is full of prophetic scriptures that can only fit into a time like the Thousand Year Reign, and the Talmud speaks a good bit on eternity. So, while the first part of the Second Exodus has occurred with the creation of the nation of Israel and the return of millions of Jews, there awaits another eternal aspect to that Second Exodus when Jesus returns to take us home to heaven and then return us along with the New Jerusalem to the New Earth.
Was The Last Supper a Seder?
Was Jesus crucified when the Passover lambs were being slain in the temple court?
If so, then the last supper occurred before the Passover lambs were killed,
so some say, then it could not have been a true Seder with the Passover lamb.
So, if it was the day before Passover, what meal or meat was it?
There were different festival traditions in different places.
Jesus and his disciples were Galileans;
Therefore, they would have observed the Galilean traditions.
There were several differences between Judean and Galilean Passovers,
Galileans observed the fast of the firstborns,
in remembrance of the firstborn Israelites who were saved from death.
The fast took place on Nissan 14, on the day of Passover.
Those obligated to fast include a firstborn son,
and the father of a first-born son who is too young to fast.
So, in the Galilean tradition, there had to be a special meal
at the beginning of Passover (Nissan 14th) called seudah mafseket.
After this meal, there would be a whole day fast –
and them the next meal would be the Passover meal, the Seder.
So, in this sense, this special meal was indeed the last supper.
The same special meal occurs in Israel before the Yom Kippur fast.
There was more than one kind of Passover lamb.
The official one had to be from the flock.
Additional lambs offered were peace offerings
or festival offerings that came from the herd called a hagigah.
Since you had to eat or burn all of the Passover lamb on the night of Passover,
the hagigah could be eaten before or after the night of Passover
so that there would be meat for the meals during the eight nights of the feast of unleavened bread.
There are things to do that have meaning and there are things to eat that have meaning:
- First Symbol of Passover: Light
Every Friday night at sunset at Jewish Sabbath meals, the woman of the household has the honor of lighting the festival lights. Likewise, to begin the Passover Seder, the woman of the household has the honor of lighting the festival lights at sunset.
Light is a symbol of God’s presence. Why does a woman light the candles? Eve led the human race into sin, but God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus who would redeem mankind. Notice: Eve was the first to fall. – And the first to be redeemed.
- THE WASHING OF HANDS:
John 13 begins the Passover and it continues until the Garden of Gethsemane.
The Jesus Passover – Changes
1. Washing – The Old Testament priests would do this elaborate bathing process to be clean so they could serve.
For thousands of years the priests misunderstood that this was a shadow of the Messiah
Instead they saw themselves as too clean to touch the unclean and hurting people.
The Bible says, “Jesus got up from the Passover meal…poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet.
Peters request for a bath was him trying to understand why Jesus was doing Passover wrong. Jesus was about to touch the food and serve it to them. You need clean hands.
Jesus said being clean or holy enables you to serve the unclean and hurting people.
- Sop – Jesus gives it to Judas. It should have been given to Peter, James or John because it goes to your close friend. Taking the sop is saying yes you are my beloved too.
This so confused Peter (He’s a zealot – he knows when things are done wrong)
He gets defensive saying he would never betray Jesus.
He again misses the purpose of the change in the tradition
Jesus washed Judas’ feet and gave him the sop
He’s saying “I know what’s in your heart – and I am your only hope”
Jesus was a friend of sinners – not an accuser
- Future not history in Egypt – Jesus reveals who He is as Messiah and talks about the Father and the Holy Spirit.
- Peace – John 14 “My peace I give to you.” He’s dipping the egg in salt water. It’s the peace offering. He’s dividing up the roasted egg among them. Eat this.
Jesus is shining a light on all of the sacrifices of the past.
He’s saying, “This is more than an offering for your failures. It’s my peace that I give to you. You don’t have to make sacrifices anymore. I’m about to die for the sins of the world.
Jesus was the meal. He was the water. He was what it was all about. God serving fallen man. Rescuing redeeming. Becoming their Passover.
- Next Jesus messes up the watch night service. You’re supposed to stay in the room, but He takes them to the garden to wait for the death angel to come. He preaches and then He prays. They all fall asleep. Clearly none of them are the oldest son. But Jesus is. The guards are coming to take him to his death.
Why did He change the tradition? After closing the Passover dinner, Jesus had to leave the city because the atonement Lamb’s body was always offered up to God outside the city’s walls. (Hebrews 13:11-14)]
- In Gethsemane Judas, who ate the sop as his chosen beloved, he was the bride of Christ in that moment. And then just like Eve in the first garden, Judas betrays him. And Jesus says, with a kiss. He’s saying, “Isn’t this familiar.”
- The MATZAH, The Unleavened bread.
The Israelites fleeing Egypt had no time for it to rise. The bread without leaven. (pride and sin)
The Feast of Unleavened Bread begins the day after Passover and is celebrated for one week. You get rid of all yeast in your house – (no regular bread for a week)
Why no leaven and eat clothed and ready to leave? We live clothed in Christ and no longer see sin as our home. We can’t little sins creep into our lives, and go unchecked because if we get distracted we may find ourselves in the world (Egypt) while our people and God have left with our destiny.
What causes you to sin that you could fast from for the next week?
We are the bread. Leaven or yeast is sin. The sin of pride causes us to puff up and think we are better than others. When we become Christians we get rid of all of our sin. We become unleavened bread.
Matzah reminds us that one day we’ll live in heaven with new bodies that have no sin.
- The Roasted Lamb Bone is a reminder of the Temple Sacrifice and the first Passover Lamb – they don’t eat lamb but we do (repentance)
The Open and Closed Door
John 10:7-10: Then Jesus said to them again, “I am the door of the sheep.
Man of the house would look into the face of the lamb and slit its throat. Blood would run down on his feet and into the ditch at the foot of the doorway. He would take the hyssop branch with one hand as blood ran down his arm, then the other arm and finally the header as it sprinkled down onto his own head.
Four sides to the door – four cups of wine
- The Four Cups of Juice/Wine represents the blood of the lamb – Jesus
(Be Different – I Will Free You – Redemption – Cup of Praise/Joy)
You don’t fill the cups all the way full –
because you have to drink everything in the cup four separate times –
If it’s wine you’re drunk – If it’s juice you’re in a coma
Emptying the cups symbolizes that our joy is full.
Wine or Juice Mixed with Water
- Blood and Water
John 19:33-35 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.
- MISHNA: Passover wine was red and mixed with warm water.
Why? It reminded them of the blood of the Passover lamb:
- The Earliest references to these mixtures has a ratio of two-parts water and one-part wine. Later, in the Talmud, the ratio is three to one.
- Early Christians mirrored that of Judaism.
In Justin Martyr’s First Apology, the elements of the Lord’s Supper are bread and “wine mixed with water”.
Kiddush – First Cup
This first cup means “be different”. [In Hebrew, Kiddush.]
It’s what the angels are saying in heaven – Holy [In Greek hag’-ee-os]
This cup corresponds to the verse” “I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.
Being different is the first step to being saved. Everybody is a sinner, but God is holy and we cannot be close to Him with sin. The punishment for sin is death. Jesus died for us (was punished for us), so we can be close to God.
- Bitter Herbs (Horse Radish) (or Parsley for kids), recall the bitterness of slavery. Traditionally this is grated by hand by the man of the house till he begins to cry. (Sin like the bitter herb tastes sweet at first, then bitter)
BREAKING THE MIDDLE MATZAH – Three Matzos are placed in a special white covering.
The middle matzah is removed and broken. The larger piece is wrapped and hidden, it is called the Afikoman – meaning “that which comes later” [in Greek].
The Afikoman is hidden, or buried, and later whoever finds it gets a prize.
Stealing the afikoman is a re-enactment of Jacob stealing the blessings that were supposed to go to his brother Esau.
Why are there three matzos?
It’s a picture of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Son left heaven, was broken, buried, and then rose again alive.
And whoever finds Him, or asks Jesus to forgive them and come and live in their heart,
they receive a great reward, Eternal Life in heaven.
We single out this piece of bread because Jesus was foreordained to die for us.
We break it because He was broken for us. –
We hide it because He was buried with our sin.
We will bring it out later because He rose again. –
We will eat it before the 3rd cup of wine because He was 3 days in the grave. –
And we will eat it because you must accept Jesus into your life to be saved.
HIDE the AFIKOMAN.
THE FOUR QUESTIONS
And answer them by Telling the Passover Story of Slavery of Pharaoh of 10 Plagues
THE SECOND CUP – PLAGUES & INIQUITY
This cup corresponds to the verse: “I will free you from being slaves to them.”
A full cup represents joy, but we want to remember the Egyptians who died, so we say each plague, then dip our little finger into the cup, allowing a drop of wine to fall unto our plate, we do this to take away some of our joy.
These were the TEN PLAGUES which God brought upon the Egyptians in Egypt. Blood, frogs, lice, swarms of insects, cattle disease, boil, hail, locusts, darkness, slaying of the first born.
The Tribulation is mostly against the Antichrist. Only twelve verses out of 403 are persecution of the church. Three percent of the book of Revelation is persecution. Tribulation is the judgment of God destroying oppression. Like Moses and the Israelites in Goshen partnering with the Lord in prayer. Based on scripture (150 chapters on end times) and the shadows and types I believe the rapture is at the end not the beginning of the Tribulation. That said, when it happens, we will know for sure. Either way, be near Christ and you will be good.
Moses releases and stops the plagues as God directs him and as Pharaoh responds to them. The church is Moses.
The trumpets are hail, fire, blood. Then seas turn to blood, death of sea creatures and destroyed ships. Bitter water from a meteorite, then the sun, moon and stars are struck and darkness comes. Locusts like scorpions the size of horses. Four angels bring death (worldwide not just in Egypt). Two witnesses preach, are killed and resurrected. Earthquake and war. Dragons and two beasts, 666 – 144,000 redeemed, the great harvest, the winepress of the wrath of God.
We want our garments stained red. We want to drip with the blood of the lamb.
The problem with an early rapture is the hands and feet of Jesus are gone when the great harvest arrives.
Revelation 16 – we are in heaven and the bowls are poured forth on those who took the mark of the beast. Then Jesus leads us into the final battle.
“Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.” Leviticus 2:13
Take a pinch of salt and add it to your matzoh. Salt preserves, it purifies. We are the salt, Jesus is the bread
MOTZI – We now eat the Bitter Herbs mixed only with Charoses. (No Matzah is eaten)
We recall the bitterness of slavery when we choose to sin;
we remember the suffering of Jesus who set us free;
in the Charoses we taste the sweetness of God’s forgiveness
MATZAH, BITTER HERBS SANDWICH
We now eat the Matzah combined with bitter herbs, and the sweet Charoses.
Again, we recall the bitterness of slavery or sin,
and in the charoses the sweetness of God’s redemption.
This sandwich was eaten with Lamb during temples times in Jerusalem,
It is also known as the sop.
It is still the custom today to give this dipped sop to a loved one.
Jesus gave it to Judas to identify him as the one who would betray Him.
Give sop to loved one
- A Green Vegetable (Cucumber) represents the hyssop branches used to apply the blood of the lamb to the doorpost. It is also considered a bitter herb.
The Eating of the Green Vegetable (Cucumber) in salt water.
Green is a symbol of life and Springtime.
The Bible says: The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and he remembered his promise with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob (Exodus 2:23b-25)
This reminds us to pray and ask God for help because He promised to hear us and help us!
- The Clay of apples, nuts, cinnamon, and wine, represents the bricks and mortar the Israelites were forced to make under Pharaoh’s taskmasters (Sin=Bondage)
- A Roasted Egg is a reminder of the Temple Holiday Sacrifice and it is also a symbol of life. It was offered at the Temple during the Feast of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. (Deuteronomy 16:16) (We need peace with God)
- Salt Water symbolizes the (tears) shed by the Israelite slaves. It also reminds us of when they crossed the salty Red Sea when they were set (free). (Exodus 14:22)
Notice that the meanings are all things we struggle with daily.
The feasts are built to be our daily companions to remind us of His truth.
- EATING THE AFIKOMEN – eating it was optional because it was dessert.
Since the meal cannot be completed without eating the Afikoman.
The Afikoman, the broken middle matzah that was hidden, must be found and brought back.
The one who finds it receives a great reward.
The Bread itself reminds us of Jesus.
The Rabbis have rigid codes as to the appearance of the matzah.
It must have stripes, be pierced and without leaven.
Jesus was afflicted, striped, pierced and without sin.
Isaiah 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”
Sailors would often save some of the Afikomen to keep with them because it was believed to calm the sea. As it happens this was one of the miracles that Jesus did to help end the disciples’ unbelief (many of them were fishermen)
It was during the eating of this Afikoman (and the blessing of it) that the Bible tells us: Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread: and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. (1 Corinthians 11:23-24)
The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians “A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.” (1 Corinthians 11:28)
In Jerusalem at Passover time, Jews got ceremonially clean, fixing up roads and whitewashing tombs to prevent travelers from seeking shelter in a cave which was really a tomb. (coming in contact with a dead body would make people ceremonially unclean.
After the eating of the afikoman, no other food may be eaten for the rest of the night, other than the last two cups of wine at the Seder and coffee, tea, or water…so that the taste of the matzo that was eaten during the meal remains in our mouths.
Jewish law prescribes that an olive-sized piece of matzo be eaten to commemorate the lamb, whose meat was eaten at the very end of the Seder meal in the days that the Temple stood.
THE THIRD CUP – REDEMPTION
The Cup of Redemption / The Cup of Blessing:
With this cup Israel remembers their deliverance from slavery, and their redemption from the plague of death by the blood of the first Passover Lamb.
This cup corresponds to the verse: “I Will Redeem You”
If the afikomen was His body, then obviously the third cup is His blood.
“In the same way, after the supper He, took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. (Luke 22:20)
This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me” (1 Corinthians 11:25b)
]\THE FOURTH CUP is the Cup of Praise / The Cup of Restoration
This cup corresponds to the verse “I will take you to be my people”.
At This Time of the last Super, the Word says: “When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” (Mark 14:26,27,28)
THE 5th CUP – The cup of Elijah – The silent cup.
A special place at the table is set for Elijah.
John 19:28-30 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Since Jesus left Passover after the 4th cup, this is as close as He gets to a 5th cup as He heads to the grave
Elijah was one of the few people that didn’t die, but was taken by God to heaven. We similarly await the possibility of rapture.
I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; (Malachi 4:4-6a)
We recall Jesus saying of John the Baptist: (For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. He who has ears, let him hear. (Matthew 11:13,14,15)
John the Baptist would have been born around Passover. His father Zechariah was a priest of the division of Abijah which would have placed him in the temple through the tenth week due to the Feast of Weeks (Sivan 12-18) when he would have spoken with the angel. He would have remained away from his wife for an additional two weeks due to the laws of separation. “When his time of service was ended, he went to his home. After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, “This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favorably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.” Luke 1:23-25
This places the birth of John the Baptist at the time of the Passover
Jesus would have been born 6 months later (during the Fall Feasts)
The Seder customary ends by everyone saying:
Next Year in Jerusalem!
May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord deal kindly and graciously with you.
May the Lord bestow His favor upon you and grant you peace.