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Jesus the Passover Lamb

Yeshua the Passover Lamb!

People of Faith all over the world have recently celebrated either Easter, March 31 this year, which I prefer to call Resurrection Sunday, or the Jewish Feast of Passover, which began sundown March 25.  Personally this holiday, to include the celebration of the Passover Seder, is the most important holiday to me.  I love to celebrate the Resurrection of Yeshua through the Jewish Passover Seder because Yeshua our Jewish Messiah is the Passover Lamb and the fulfillment of the Passover.

For some unexplainable reason this year’s celebration of the Passover Seder impacted me significantly, which has led to this writing.  Before I delve into the significance of this year’s Passover for me, let me begin by sharing some personal background information.  I share this information because it may be relevant to your understanding of the depth of passion in which I write this brief on Yeshua the Passover Lamb.

After receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in the late 70’s the first thing I said was “I should have been raised Jewish.”  I had no idea why I would have made such a statement until recently. Beginning in 2005 and through 2008 I had been prophesized that I had Jewish blood by three different people, of which all where Jewish and one of them was an Israeli Jew.

During the late 70’s until the late 90’s I lived in Deerfield, Illinois a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, which gave me much knowledge and insight into the Jewish faith.  Then in the middle of 2007 I was privileged to live in Israel until the end of 2008.   It may be of significance to note that in the beginning of 2007, I was prophesied that I would go to Israel and not want to leave as it felt like home to me.  The truth was I had already gone to Israel in 2006 and was soon to leave on my second trip in January of 2007 before actually relocating there in the middle of 2007.  In January 2010, I relocated to Uganda, where I continue to live as a missionary and study and teach Hebrew roots.

I want to state that I do not believe it is ‘coincidence’ that I have been living in Uganda during these past years.  Even though I had been ministering on short-term yearly mission trips to Uganda since 2002, it was not until AFTER my time in Israel that I began living in Uganda.  As only God can arrange, I was connected to a group who felt impressed by God to study our Hebrew Roots.

This has been a rich experience as it has ‘connected’ the dot’s so to speak, by answering many questions regarding Christianities Hebrew roots.  Not only that, even though I had been a believer since the early 70’s and was filled with the Holy Spirit at the end of the 70’s, I struggled for so many years with doubt at unbelief.  It wasn’t until I went back to the beginning and studied my Hebrew roots that I have been able to ‘overcome’ in the area of doubt and unbelief as I saw more clearly, which a Hebrew perspective, how God delivered His covenant people.  If God delivered them, He would surely deliver all His children from their captivity and bondages.

Now the statement I made so many years ago makes sense and a great big YES, I would love to know for sure if I have Jewish ‘blood.’  However, whether I do or do not have Jewish blood isn’t of utmost importance.  The fact that I HAVE Hebrew roots, is of utmost importance and every one who comes to faith in Jesus or Yeshua, which means the ‘way of salvation,’ also has Jewish or Hebrew Roots.

Let me begin by saying that God initiated this feast as He instructed Moses to celebrate the Passover in remembrance of God’s deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt.  As Christians we have been given Communion to remember what Christ has done for us on the cross, which we can do anytime.  However, I might add that there is great benefit for Christians to also remember God’s deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt, through the Passover Seder because the New Covenant writers place the account of Jesus’ death and resurrection within the Passover festival.

Passover is celebrated on Nisan 14 on the Jewish calendar and it is the same day the Hebrews first ate of the Passover meal as described in the book of Exodus.  This is normally in the spring, as does the resurrection of Yeshua.

In Luke 22:15:  Jesus says “with fervent (earnestly, eagerly) desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”    Note how strong the language is used in this scripture.  We can imply that God is very sincere about His relationship with us, and His involvement in our lives.

John 13:1  “Now before the feast of the Passover when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.”

Jesus knew that in a few hours he would suffer and die and what His death would mean for these disciples whom he loved and for those through the years who would believe in His death burial and resurrection.

John 17:20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their words, that they all may be one, as you Father are in Me and I in You.  That they also may be one in US, That the world may believe that You sent me!” Further down in verse 24, we read Yeshua says, “I DESIRE that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me. For you loved Me before the foundations of the world

To further grasp the revelation of Yeshua as related to the Passover Seder and Resurrection Sunday READ: Eph 1:3-14.   I have identified (8) promises of God from this passage.

1)     We are BLESSED WITH EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS….in Yeshua

2)     We are CHOSEN in HIM (God) BEFORE THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD…that we should be holy and without blame before Him in Love.

3)     We are predestined to ADOPTION AS SONS…. according to the good pleasure of His(God’s) will.

4)    To the PRAISE of the GLORY by which we are ACCEPTED in the BELOVED (Yeshua).

5)     In Yeshua we have REDEMPTION through His blood

6)     In Yeshua we have forgiveness of sins according to the riches of HIS grace.

7)     In Yeshua He is made to ABOUND toward us in all wisdom and prudence.

8)    We were SEALED with the Holy Spirit (Pentecost) who is the guarantee of our inheritance. 

 

Passover not only has great value to the Jew, but also for Christians because the meaning of Yeshua’s atoning death is explained by means of Passover.  The hope of redemption, which was and is supported by the Passover Seder celebration, finds its fulfillment in the sacrifice of Yeshua, the true Passover Lamb.   As we remember how God heard the cry of the Israelites and delivered them, we can also remember that through Yeshua, God hears our cries and HE WILL deliver us as well. He is faithful and true.  God is good and in His goodness He DOES good because goodness DOES!

Therefore, the sacrifice of Yeshua on the cross at the time when Passover lambs were sacrificed absolutely links the Jewish and Christian Passovers.  Yeshua’s death represents the fulfillment of Jewish Passover and initiates the Christian observance of Communion. 

The significance of the death and resurrection of Yeshua has become more real through the Passover because it gives an explanation that brings life and meaning to the totality of God’s intentionality in loving us.  The Passover celebration is one of the most important of all Jewish feasts and since the departure of the Israelites from Egypt numerous generations have retold this story.  In fact the Passover Seder is all about the retelling of the story of the Jewish people’s deliverance and redemption from Egypt.  This re-telling of the story of ‘deliverance and redemption’ becomes even more important for Messianic believers and it should be for all Christians.

There is an explanation or meaning of Christ’s death found in the Passover sacrifice, and the Passover Seder celebration. Remember, the earliest Christians were Jews. They were familiar with Jewish customs and feast, including Passover, and explained, especially the meaning of Christ’s death, by means of Passover symbolism.

This historical tradition of the Passover Seder (Seder means order) is the retelling of the story, which brings to a fuller and richer EXPERIENCE for me and maybe for you, each time we partake of communion.  Everything during the Seder is done in a specific order, which is very important.  I believe the re-telling of the Passover story, reminds us of God’s intentional involvement with His people.

Exod. 20:1,2: tells us that God refers to Himself as  “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”   It was through God’s action of redemption that He brought the Jewish people out of slavery and called them to be His own people.  “I will take you to Me for a people and I will be to you your God.”

God did NOT say I am the Lord God who created the Heavens and the earth.  Take some time and ponder that in your heart. Our God is a God who ‘earnestly desires’ to have relationship with us! When I remember the story of the Passover I am reminded of God’s great love for us for Jesus is the fulfillment of the Passover.

 

PREPARATION FOR THE SEDER

 

Exod. 12:15,  says, “For 7 days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses.”  This is where spring cleaning came from (my mom always did spring cleaning.  We should take time to seriously assess our own lives and see what areas (leaven- sin) from our lives need to be cleaned out.  Let us put far from us the leaven of sin in our hearts.  We are to do this before taking communion.

Passover actually marks the beginning of the Jewish year and is the first feast, followed by Pentecost (Shavuot) 50 days later (called the counting of Omar).  In celebrating the Jewish feasts one is always looking forward to the next feast…not looking back.  God is present forward, not present past.

The three spring feasts (Passover, First Fruits, and Shavuot) are fulfilled in Yeshua and the three fall feasts (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur(the Day of Atonement) and Trumpets (Feast of Tabernacles) will be fulfilled at Yeshua’s second coming.

 

THE PASSOVER SEDER

 

During the Passover meal the story is read from a booklet called the Haggadah, which means, “the telling.”   Exodus 12 is where we read of the Passover being instituted.

1)     Unblemished lamb – tied up in house for 4 days before sacrificing

2)     “Eat with unleavened bread and bitter herbs”

3)     “Eat it with belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. You shall eat it in HASTE.  It is the Lord’s Passover.”  The idea is to be ready to leave Egypt and slavery.  We must be quick to turn from our sin and leave it and the worlds system behind.  James 4:7: “Therefore submit to God, RESIST the devil (immediately) and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners and purify your hearts you double minded.”

Candle Lighting – The oldest woman of the house lights the 2 candles, just as in Shabbat, and begins with a prayer.   It is through the woman that the seed shall come forth that will be a light to the world.  Gen. 3:15  “And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her Seed, he shall bruise your head and you shall bruise His heel.”

Jesus came forth through the seed of a woman, just as prophesied in Gen 3:15, pure and undefiled.  Despite Satan’s attempt to stop the seed of the woman from coming forth, God still protected His people for these 4000 years. God kept that seed of Adam’s son, Seth pure all the way to Noah, and Noah’s pure seed through Shem, and was passed down to Abraham.  God then made a covenant with Abraham, promising to give him a nation through his seed Isaac. Through Isaac would come the Messiah, the Anointed One.

Mary, the woman prophesied in Gen 3:15 4000 years previously, was of pure seed, and was conceived by the Holy Spirit of God, birthing Jesus (Yeshua), the Son of God.  Yeshua was then raised by both parents who came from the pure lineage of Adam, through Seth, through Noah, through Shem, through Abraham, and through King David.

 

4 CUPS OF WINE  Exod. 6:6&7     (wine is symbolic of joy) Christians should be the most joyful people alive!  WHY…because what God SAID HE would do, HE WILL DO IT!  Hebrews 11:6  “But without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that HE is and that He is a rewarder of those who DILIGENTLY SEEK Him.”


 

God lets Moses know that He has “heard their cry” (Exod. 3:7-9).  God gives Moses five promises to tell the children of Israel.  The promises are listed in Exodus 6:6-8.

1) “I will bring you out from under the burden of the Egyptians

2) “I will rescue / deliver you from their bondage” (we can remind God of His truth.) Isaiah 41:10

3) “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments”

4) “I will take you as My people into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”

5) “I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the Lord.” (we are His inheritance)

 

Let me encourage you that these promises are for all of humanity when we choose to ‘cross over” from doing things our way and to obeying God’s way.  When we cross over into God’s family through His Son, Jesus Christ, we become His inheritance.  I like that.  These promises in Exod. 6 remind me of the promise found in Ephesians 1.

God heard the cry of the His covenant people and called Moses to deliver them out of Egypt into the Promised Land.  God wanted His Bride, the Hebrew nation, to know Him personally, just as Moses knew Him. God’s desire was for the Israelites to worship Him in the desert on their way to the Promised Land“Thus says the Lord God of Israel; ‘Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.” (Exodus 5:1).

 

FIRST CUP is the cup of sanctificationRomans 1:16 – through His blood we are justified and through his Grace and Power we are sanctified. Sanctification or Kiddish in Hebrew means to set apart or to be made holy. Drink the cup in remembrance of our sanctification process as we pursue holiness.

 

SECOND CUP is the cup of Rescue / Deliverance and is taken to remember the deliverance from the bondage of slavery as well as the suffering of the Egyptians during the 10 plagues.  The Jewish people are sensitive to the suffering of others.

  1. Some dip their finger in the cup and let a drop fall to the plate 10 times, signifying the 10 plagues.
  2. The Messianic or believer can drop the wine or juice for different burdens or areas in our life we are believing God to heal, deliver and free us from.
  3.  Drink the cup in remembrance that God WILL deliver you from bondage.

 

The FIRST TWO cups are taken before the meal and the SECOND TWO(THREE) cups are taken after the meal – symbolic of desert which is the resurrection of Jesus to the Messianic. 


 

Before eating the meal there are 4 other items to be discussed.

1)   Unleavened Bread – 3 pieces place in a cloth and the middle one is taken out and wrapped in cloth and hidden.  We as believers identify the middle matzah as symbolic of Jesus. The matzah is stripped and holes in it

2)   Bitter Herbs (parsley dipped in horseradish) – remembrance of the bitterness and misery of slavery.  We take them to remind us of God’s great Power of redemption…for you and me!  Roman 1:16

3)   Salt water to remind us of the tears, and bitterness of slavery and that through our trials we can be drawn closer to God.

  1. James 1:2-4: Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials.
  2. Romans 8:18: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed
  3. Phil 3:8: I count all things to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Jesus…

4)   Charoset (the brown apple mixture with nuts)

  1.                                                                i.      The mixture signifies the clay mixture used to make the bricks and the hard labor.
  2.                                                              ii.      It also symbolizes the sweet hope of the fulfillment of God’s promise to deliver his people from the bondage of slavery.

 

Numbers 9:11:  “eat together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs (parsley and horseradish) as a sandwich (called the Hillel sandwich) Hillel means to praise!

 

A shank bone is passed around the table symbolizing the blood of the lamb that was put on the side doorpost and lintel as a protection from the 10th plague.

I Cor. 5:7  “For even Christ our Passover is scarified for us.”


 

AFTER THE MEAL

 

AFIKOMAN – Desert. After the meal the youngest child looks for the hidden and broken half of the matzah called the afikoman. To the believer this broken piece of matzah symbolizes the breaking of the body of our Messiah who is our high priest. 

When the matzah was wrapped in linen cloth it spoke prophetically of the wrapping of the body of Jesus in linen after the crucifixion.  When the broken and wrapped matzah was hidden, it symbolized Yeshua’s being hidden in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea (Mat27:57-60).   When the matza is found, it signifies the stone that was rolled away by an angel (Matt 28;1-2).  Then the wrapped piece is taken out and unwrapped, reminding us of the resurrection of Yeshua! 

 

THIRD CUP is the cup of REDEMPTION – (Mat. 26:27-39)  “This is my blood which has been shed for YOU!”  The matzah is broken in to small pieces and everyone may partake. This signifies to the believer that we partake of the Bread of Life, Yeshua (John 6:35).  Jesus made this afikoman (desert) the symbol of His broken body as a sacrifice for our sin.  This is where Yeshua instituted Communion as a memorial, fulfilling of the meaning of Passover.  We eat the bread and drink the cup as we remember that Yeshua redeemed us on the cross.

 

Each of us must find Messiah for Himself…. Jesus is the bread of Life our true and full desert. 

 

FOURTH CUP is the cup of RESTORATION or PRAISE (In traditional Seder this cup is EMPTY and is symbolic of the Spirit of Elijah). Jesus says He will not drink of the cup of restoration until the coming of the Kingdom) (MATT 26:29)

BUT WE DRINK IN PRAISE OF THE ONE WHO REDEEMS AND RESTORES US.   For the kingdom of God is AT HAND NOW!

a)                           Eph 1:6 to the praise of the glory of His grace by which He made us accepted into the BELOVED

b)                           I will take you for my people and we look forward to when Christ returns and we partake in the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:9)

 

FIFTH CUP is the cup of Elijah – (In traditional Seder this is the fourth cup) this cup is empty and it refers to Malachi 4:5 & 6  “He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers.”   

a)                           It is prophesied that the spirit of Elijah will come to prepare

the way of the Messiah.  It is customary to open the door to invite the spirit of Elijah in. 

b)                           John the Baptist came to prepare the way of Jesus first coming and the Spirit of Elijah will also prepare the way for Jesus second coming.  It is not one person this time but a spirit upon specific people who will proclaim the message to prepare the way….  Even so come Lord Jesus…

c)                            The spirit of Elijah also comes against the spirit of idolatry in the world and in our lives today.  Elijah fought Baal – idolatry 1 Kings 18

 

The Passover is complete even as our salvation and redemption is complete in Yeshua. We can also completely trust that our God will deliver us and keep us during the difficult times we now face and increasing pressures the end times will bring.  WHY?  God is faithful and God is good and He does good!   Blessed be our Lord God who is good and who does good.  Who is faithful and true!

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