What is Passover and Why Celebrate It?
- Is Passover a What or a Who?
We know the story from Exodus of when the Israelites were living in Egypt and growing in number and in strength, so they made the Israelites slaves and oppressed them. They continued to grow even more so, when a cruel Pharaoh rose up, he commanded that all of the newborn babies who were boys were to immediately be thrown into the river and destroyed.
Now, let’s just pause to acknowledge that the Bible doesn’t always give us all the details. Sometimes we have to dig a little deeper to get to the heart of the matter. In this case, the Pharaoh’s command is rather odd if his goal was to shrink the population of the Israelites. It would make a lot more sense to shrink the number of girls. Lots of women with even just one man can produce a large population, but lots of men with just one woman would take a really long time.
There are a few reasons you would want to kill the boys but, what we know is the Pharaoh is very afraid of the Israelites joining his enemies and going to war against him. And it turns out there is a backstory. And it’s one of the most important parts of the story. The reasoning process of Pharaoh was revealed by Josephus, who wrote about Moses and this chapter of Israeli history in his book, The Antiquities of the Jews — Book II.
“At a certain time one of the Pharaoh’s sacred Scribes, who are very wise in foretelling future events truly, told the King, that a child would be born to the Israelites, who, “if he were reared, would bring the Egyptian dominion low; and would raise the Israelites: that he would excel all men in virtue; and obtain a glory that would be remembered through all ages.” In short, his prophecy was saying “The Kingdom of Egypt is in danger. An Israeli king is going to be born soon that will overthrow the Pharaohs and take control.”
And that prophecy was correct – Moses was coming – and not just Moses – but in the bigger picture the Messiah was coming – and in 1,500 years King Herod would go the murderous route of Pharaoh and try to stop Jesus the same way. But this birth had been foretold since the garden of eden when man first fell. Redemption was coming in the form of the seed of Eve.
So, now with a little more info, what this passage is saying is the Pharaoh is not just randomly killing baby boys, he’s killing all of them in hopes he will kill the new Israelite ruler that is to be born, or if that fails, he is killing that future king’s army. And we pick the story back up with a very fearful King commanding that every male child born to the Israelites should be destroyed, and the parents would have to cast their babies into the river, and if any parents should disobey, and try to save their male children they and their families should be destroyed.
The most important thing to remember is this: Passover is about a person – Moses. Don’t ever lose sight of that. Ultimately, it’s about the sacrifice of a lamb which you then eat.
But that baby lamb would one day be a person – Yeshua Jesus the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. [All of scripture is just a revealing of people who represent that Lamb.]
And this brings up another really fascinating connection.
In Genesis 22 we have the story of the binding of Isaac.
2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance…
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together,
In the Mishnah (it’s the writing down of the Oral Law), which some Jews consider even more sacred than the Torah – it describes Isaac as one “carrying a cross”.
7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
A different Mishnah describes this section with some narrative of Isaac telling Abraham to tie him now tight so if he struggles, he won’t break any bones.
Exodus 12:46 describing the Paschal Lamb, “It must be eaten inside the house; take none of the meat outside the house.
Do not break any of the bones.”
So, the Rabbi’s writing the Mishnah were clearly identifying Isaac as a Messiah figure and his story involved a cross and the rules of Passover.
If you notice, wherever you go in the Passover story, you are looking at somebody – a person.
The central character in the Passover/Exodus from Egypt is Moses.
It’s not about a story. It’s about a person. Without the person there is no story.
The prophet Isaiah writes about another Moses type figure that was to come:
- “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of Him/the messenger who announces the good news, “All is well.” He brings good news, announces salvation/Yeshua/Yehoshua, and tells Zion that its Elohim rules as king.” Isaiah 52:7
- “Yehovah will show his holy power to all the nations. All the ends of the earth will see the salvation/Yeshua/Yehoshua of our Elohim.” Isaiah 52:10
The name of the Father is Yehovah, and the name of the Son is Yehoshua or Yeshua – both mean Yehovah is salvation
So, from the time of Moses and Joshua this name has been declared – and the fact that God Himself will save us. So, when Yeshua comes on the scene, His name has been declared as the source of God’s salvation for 1,500 years.
So, Passover was, is, and will always be about the Savior – The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Modern day Jews would like the story to be about the law or the exodus from slavery because every person – every figure in the Passover – from Isaac to Moses points to the need for a mediator – a blood sacrifice – they always end up at Yeshua Jesus as the Lamb
- Passover Means Change
The plagues and death of the first Passover in Egypt 3,500 years ago were just a shadow/glimpse 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 [Yehovah-Tzva’ot] 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
1. Passover is when you taste and see that He is good – every food points to Him and the cross.
2. The Feast of Firstfruits – Resurrection of Jesus and all the saints in Hades – It’s your birthday!
3. The Feast of Unleavened Bread is 7 days of not eating any 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.
- 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.
5,782 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, “Yehovah 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 April 15th) is the 14th day of the month of Nissan (which is the first month of the Jewish year).
At nightfall tonight the 15th day of Nissan will begin and continue all day Saturday until it ends at nightfall Saturday night when the 16th 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.
3. Pesach / 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
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.
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.
- The Lamb
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 ultimately adultery.
After Adam names his wife, the next shadow of the Passover occurs, ” Yehovah Elohim 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, Yehovah 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.
“Yehovah bless you and keep you; Yehovah make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; Yehovah 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 Week of Passover
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.
The week of Passover has quite a lot of activities involved in it, the gathering of relatives, the finding of a suitable place to have the meal, and so much more, and of course collecting the most important guest: the Lamb. For Jesus, who was coming to be that Sacrificial Lamb, He would be the focus of much activity.
John 12:1 tells us, “Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.” Raising Lazarus was still very recent. Jesus is there to eat the Sabbath meal with them.
Mary somehow knew that Jesus was going to die and anoints Him with expensive burial perfume. Judas argues that she wasted money – but we know he was a thief, and we know the Pharisees had offered money for help to get Jesus since Lazarus was raised from the dead. And we know Judas did in fact betray him for money.
- The 10th Day
As to the events and the timing, we know from Daniel 9 that the year had arrived for the Messiah to be cut off. Leviticus 23 told them the sequence of the week ahead and for each day.
As Sunday arrived it was Nissan 10, four days before Passover: Choosing a Lamb. On the 10th day, 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.” A lamb.
Then in Exodus 12:5 God says, “Your lamb shall be without blemish.” It’s now your lamb.
He was presented Himself as both the Lamb to be slain for their sins and their holy, righteous King to one day be enthroned. He was not what they expected. 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. A lamb became your lamb, and now The Lamb is now a Him.
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 the first of our 4 Inspection Days – Passover is 4 days away.
During the remainder of the week, the lamb would be inspected for any defects. Likewise, Jesus would endure fierce temptations, tests, and threats against His life and prove Himself to be pure and holy, worthy and blameless.
By entering the Holy City on the foal of a donkey as a humble king, He fulfilled the Messiah prophecy of Zechariah 9:9. The humility with which Jesus entered the city as King explains why the multitudes broke palm branches and laid them before Him. It was part of how they celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles in the Fall to prophetically welcome the coming King who would save Israel and the nations.
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)
Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation [He has come to deliver], humble [ עָנִי֙ (a·ni) poor, afflicted, humble], and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
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 Yehovah!’ Hosanna in the highest!”
Clearly, the people believed that Jesus was about to establish the Messianic kingdom. They weren’t thinking of Him as the sacrificial Passover Lamb; they did not yet fully understand.
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 and sing 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 Yehovah through which the righteous shall enter.
The stone which the builders rejected has become the Chief Cornerstone.
This was Yehovah’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. Blessed is He who comes in the name of Yehovah!
Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.
Oh, give thanks to Yehovah, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”
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.
7. Passover Elements (Part 1)
There are things to do that have meaning and there are things to eat that have meaning:
- The First Symbol of Passover Is Not On The Seder Plate: It’s 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.
- 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!
- 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)
- Charoses – 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 of the elements are all things we struggle with daily.
The Feasts are built to be our daily companions to remind us of His truth.
- The Roasted Lamb Bone is a reminder of the Temple Sacrifice and the first Passover Lamb –
Since the temple’s destruction, they don’t eat lamb (because there is no way to properly sacrifice it without a temple). But most Christians do eat lamb at Passover (repentance)
What do the Jews do with no temple and no blood to deal with their sin?
Since they can’t put their hope in the blood of the sacrifice, they focus on obeying the law (oral law is just as holy as the written).
Since the lamb, and even the shank bone, make the real religious Jews think of the possibility that Yeshua might actually be the Messiah, many now use a chicken leg bone.
They now disregard the need for and mediator:
No need for Moses (we have the law itself directly from God) and
No need for the Messiah, the lamb, or bone, or mediator (we have the law directly from God).
The reason celebrating the Passover is so important is that it reveals the need for the blood, for forgiveness, for the Messiah. The Law can bring us to Yeshua Jesus, but it can’t replace Him or His blood.
- The Matzah – 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 is there no leaven and you eat the Passover clothed and ready to leave?
We live clothed in Christ and no longer see sin as our home. We can’t let 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 Open and Closed Door
John 10:7-10: Then Jesus said to them again, “I am the door of the sheep.
The 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.
- Passover Elements (Part 2)
John 13 begins the Passover, and it continues until the Garden of Gethsemane.
As I go through the elements, I’ll break down what we would call the traditional Seder elements – but I’ll also draw your attention to the changes that were uniquely Jesus
The Jesus Passover was unique for many reasons:
- The Washing of Hands:
What Jesus did when it came to the time for washing is probably the most profound change Jesus made to the Traditional Seder
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.
- Peace – In John 14 Jesus says, “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.
- 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 reference 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 Followed those of the Apostles and Judaism.
In Justin Martyr’s First Apology, the elements of Yehovah’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 Yehovah, 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.
- Passover Elements (Part 3)
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
Four questions are asked about what makes this Passover night different and the answers are the Telling of the Passover Story of Slavery of Pharaoh of 10 Plagues
At the Jesus Passover He Focused On The Future Not Their History In Egypt
In the book of John, in the places Jesus would normally share the story of the First Passover, He revealed who He was as Messiah and talked about the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Appropriately The Traditional Seder story fits nicely with the rather grim 2nd Cup of Wine.
- 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.
- Passover Elements (Part 4)
“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. When we eat the Afikoman, I’ll show you why the Matzah is a beautiful revelation of Yeshua Jesus.
- Charoses & Bitter Herbs
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
- The Sop – Matzah, Charoses, Bitter Herbs Sandwich
– This is a real special part of a Traditional Seder – 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.
You share the sop with a loved one – usually the one seated next to you because the seating at Passover isn’t arbitrary. Those closest to you physically are also your closest friends or family – the ones you trust the most.
So, of course it’s another significant place Jesus flips the tables on the ordinary. Jesus gives the sop to Judas.
Jesus gave it to Judas to identify him as the one who would betray Him.
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
You can find many of the instructions for a Seder meal in the Mishna, which was written by rabbis in the 3rd century who were concerned their oral traditions could be forgotten.
Where did they get the information from about the seder? According to the rabbis, they came to the Jewish believers / followers of Yeshua. By this time there were many Greeks in the growing church. As a result, the most significant part of the Jewish Passover Seder is in Greek.
Eating The Afikomen – eating it was optional because it was dessert.
Since the meal cannot be completed without eating the Afikomen.
The Afikomen, 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 Afikomen (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 Afikomen, 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.
Ironically, the Jewish Seder includes everyone taking a small piece of the Afikomen and eating it, in the same way each of the disciples ate the bread Jesus gave them representing His body.
And obviously, this is another one of the areas that the Jesus Passover sets apart.
And speaking of set apart. For the first time they finally understood what the Afikomen was all about.
Appropriately, the next element was just as special and for the first time they understood just how special!
- 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.” 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. 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 Yehovah 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 Yehovah 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 Yehovah bless you and protect you. May Yehovah deal kindly and graciously with you.
May Yehovah bestow His favor upon you and grant you peace.
Next Jesus massively changes 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 we rencounter Judas. He ate the sop as Jesus’ chosen beloved – he was the bride of Christ in that moment.
And then just like Eve in the first garden, Judas betrayed him. And Jesus said, “with a kiss?” He’s saying, “Isn’t this familiar.”
Was The Last Supper a Seder?
If Jesus crucified when the Passover lambs were being slain in the temple court (He was)
Then the Last Supper occurred before the Passover lambs were killed,
Some say, that 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.
- 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 reason. 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 Isaiah:
“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.
- It may be where The Tree of Knowledge Of Good And Evil was.
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.
- At the Feast of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) Two Goats Are Sacrificed.
- 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.
- The End is the Beginning
To understand anything fully, 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.
But first, I know some of you like to peek at the last chapter to see how it ends before you decide if you should read it or not, 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 Yehovah Elohim 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 Yehovah Elohim made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.”
***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 Yehovah Elohim 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 4,000 years 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, Yehovah-Tzva’ot [God Almighty or the Lord of Hosts/Angels] is His name; and your Redeemer [Go’el] is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.” Isaiah 54:5
And this is where the story of Passover become the Exodus. This is the fast-forward version:
The Jews were slaves in Egypt, God heard their groans, and sent Moses to deliver them from Pharaoh. There were plagues, the blood of lambs on their doors, a hurried final meal without leaven, and a death angel killing the first-born in every home that did not have blood on the door.
If you were there it would be impossible to forget. But God wants 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 Yehovah went out from the land of Egypt.
It is a night of solemn observance to Yehovah for bringing them out of the land of Egypt.
This is that night of Yehovah, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations.” (All Israelites in future generations must keep watch on this night, since it is dedicated to Yahweh.)
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 Yehovah, 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. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.” (Hebrews 10:10–12)
The phrase “take away” in verse 11 is translated from the Greek root [periaireo], which does convey the idea of removal. This is consistent with the use of “atonement” in the Old Testament, as the Levitical sacrifices foreshadowed the final sacrifice of Christ.
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.
- Out of the Grave – The Jerusalem Exodus
Yeshua Jesus is in the Grave (Hades) for 3 Days. What’s Happening During Those 3 Days?
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.”
Jesus was fulfilling 353 prophecies – And All those prophets are in the room – Everyone who had died since the time of Adam and Eve are there in Hades and Yeshua is preaching to them.
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 – they were the first eyewitnesses – they walked with Him in the garden.
- Yeshua was the one that made his face shine.
- .. would surely share how He was the one who walked with them 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, everyone, to his own way; And Yehovah 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.
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 Firstfruits. 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 Yeshua 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 resurrected dead people are in the field and they’re waving back.
Parents had just told their kids the story of Moses and Joshua and Jericho at their Seders and suddenly there’s an earthquake and rocks are falling, and dead people are walking around them.
The living are standing in the field with barley in their hands. And all the real historic people from the First Passover in Egypt and every saint since are celebrating their resurrection.
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 Yehovah 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 Yehovah went out from the land of Egypt.”
This same host is now leaving Hades for Heaven.
Where Moses could not lead them – Yeshua Jesus has – The Promised Land with no sorrows is just a short walk away.
Now, let’s fast forward 50 days to Pentecost
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 got the walking dead out of their minds, they have to come back for the Feast of Weeks/Pentecost.
What do they see in the streets?
Jews running everywhere early in the morning speaking foreign languages and they have “flames of fire above their head”. Then Peter gets up to preach – not surprisingly he’s feeling rather bold –
His sermon: You killed Jesus. Repent and be baptized? The crowds only reasonable response is: Yes please.
- The Second Exodus
“Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says Yehovah, “that it shall no more be said, Yehovah lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but,
Yehovah 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 the Jews call 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.
The Unending Passover
The Jewish morning begins with the “Modeh Ani” prayer (“I thank”), which is thanking God for waking you up and for another day of life.
מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ חַי וְקַיָּם, שֶׁהֶחֱזַרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי בְּחֶמְלָה. רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶךָ
|Modeh anee lefanecha melech chai vekayam, she-he-chezarta bee nishmatee b’chemla, raba emunatecha.|
|I thank You, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me; Great is Your faithfulness.|
It’s kind of a bookend prayer that connects to their evening prayers, which often end with the phrase, “Into your hands I commit my spirit” (from Psalm 31:5) at the end of their prayers.
The idea is that as we go to sleep, we entrust our spirit for safe-keeping to God who is Almighty.
So, Passover/the Cross is connected to the evening prayer prayed by so many Jews, because this verse was the same verse that Jesus cried out while dying on the cross (Luke 23:46).
Was that tradition part of His life so much that it was His last thought before closing His eyes and taking His last breath on the cross?
This is Psalm 31:1-5
“In you, Yehovah, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commit my spirit; (בְּיָדְךָ, אַפְקִיד רוּחִי) deliver me, Yehovah, my faithful God.”
The Hebrew word for, “I commit,” is “אַפְקִיד” [afkid] and is closer to the idea of entrusting or depositing – and reclaiming it later.
The English word “commit” is really vague. There really isn’t the idea of a future return of what you are committing.
|“Into Your hands||I entrust/commit||my spirit;||You will redeem me, Yehovah, God of truth.”|
|An open hand||deposited as a trust||Wind, breath|
The Midrash says: “When one entrusts his fellow with an object, even if he gives it to him when it is brand new, it will be returned to him in a tarnished condition.
When, however, God is entrusted with the spirit of man, He is entrusted an object which is tarnished and weak, and He returns it fresh and healthy, as if it were brand new.”
So, Passover in its simplest form is God reaching out His hand to you, asking you to trust Him with your life. We look at His faithfulness and our unfaithfulness, we give up everything expecting an exodus from all that was to all that He has for us.