(Pesach): Feasting For Freedom
And ye shall observe this thing [Passover] for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever:.. And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? that ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord 's Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt... (Exodus [Shemot] 12:24,26-27).
Understanding the Passover (Pesach) Season
G-d declared Passover (Pesach) to be a permanent celebration for all eternity (Exodus [Shemot] 12:2,6,13-14). Historically, Passover (Pesach) celebrates G-d's deliverance of the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt (Mitzrayim), where they were slaves to the Egyptians (Exodus [Shemot] 2:23-24; 6:5-8; 13:3,14).
The spiritual application that G-d wants us to understand is this: Egypt (Mitzrayim) is a type of the world and the world's system. Its ruler, Pharaoh, was a type of satan (Ha satan). The bondage people are in when they live according to the ways of the world's system is sin (John [Yochanan] 8:34).
Historically, the children of Israel were delivered from the bondage in Egypt (Mitzrayim) by putting the blood of a lamb upon the doorposts of their houses (Exodus [Shemot] 12:2,6,13). Spiritually, this is a picture of the Messiah Yeshua and how those who believe in Him are delivered from the bondages of sin and the rule of satan (Ha satan) in their lives. Yeshua is the Lamb of G-d (John [Yochanan] 1:29). Yeshua is also our Passover (Pesach) (1 Corinthians 5:7). Those who followYeshua are the house of G-d (Hebrews 3:6; 1 Peter [Kefa] 2:5). The doorposts are our hearts. It is only through trusting by faith (emunah) in the shed blood of Yeshua (Jesus), our Passover (Pesach), that we are free from the bondage of sin (Galatians 4:3-5,9; 5:1; 2 Peter [Kefa] 2:19). This is because the blood of Yeshua redeems us from sin (Leviticus [Vayikra] 17:11; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; 1 Peter [Kefa] 1:18-19; 1 John [Yochanan] 1:7; Revelation 1:5).
During Passover (Pesach), the head of each household was to take a lamb of the first year on the tenth day of the first month known as Nisan and set it aside until the fourteenth day (Exodus [Shemot] 12:3-6). In the evening of the fourteenth day, at exactly 3:00 p.m., the lamb was to be killed (Exodus [Shemot] 12:6). The blood of the lamb was to be sprinkled on the lintel and two side posts of the household door. The lamb was to be roasted with fire, with bitter herbs, and with unleavened bread, and the entire household was to feast upon the body of the lamb (Exodus [Shemot] 12:7-8). The people were instructed by G-d to eat the lamb with haste and to be dressed and ready to leave Egypt (Mitzrayim) at the midnight hour. This would be the fifteenth day of Nisan (Exodus [Shemot] 12:10-11).
At midnight on that fateful evening in Egypt, death passed through the land. Every house that did not have the token of the blood on the doorposts and lintel suffered the judgment of G-d (Exodus [Shemot] 12:12-15). The Hebrew word for Passover is Pesach, which means "to pass or hover over." This word speaks to us about two things. First, it shows the passing over in judgment from death and sin to life in Yeshua. Second, it tells us about allowing, by faith (emunah), the blood ofYeshua to hover over our lives and give us divine protection from the evil one (Ha satan).
God's Commandments (Mitzvot) for Passover (Pesach)
- Passover was the beginning of months (Exodus [Shemot] 12:2). Spiritual Application (Halacha). Nisan is the first month of the religious calendar. ReceivingYeshua into our lives is the beginning of a New Covenant (Brit Hadashah) relationship with G-d (Jeremiah [Yermiyahu] 31:31-33; John [Yochanan] 3:5-7; Romans 6:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Passover is the first of the feasts. Likewise, repenting of our sins (teshuvah) and believing in the shed blood of Yeshua is our first step in our walk (halacha) with G-d.
- The lamb was hidden for four days (Exodus [Shemot] 12:3,6).
Messianic Fulfillment. G-d commanded Israel to take a lamb on the tenth day of Nisan and set it aside until the fourteenth day. These four days were fulfilled by Yeshua during the Passover (Pesach) week. Remember, Yeshua is the Lamb of G-d (John [Yochanan] 1:29). He entered Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) and went to the temple (Beit HaMikdash), which was the house of G-d, and went on public display there for four days from Nisan 10 to Nisan 14 (Matthew [Mattityahu] 21:1,9-12,17-18,23; 24:1,3; 26:1-5).
Eschatologically, these four days that the lamb was hidden is prophetic of the people's expectations that the Messiah would come 4,000 years from the creation of Adam as part of the 7,000 year plan of G-d to redeem both man and the earth back to how things were in the Garden of Eden (Gan Eden) (Mishnah, San Hedrin 97-98). These four days are prophetic of the Messiah Yeshua being hid from the world and not coming to earth for four days or 4,000 years from the creation of Adam. A day is understood to be prophetic of a thousand years, based upon Psalm (Tehillim) 90:4 and Second Peter (Kefa) 3:8. Linking Psalm 90:4 to each day in creation, G-d ordained each day in creation to be prophetic of a thousand years of time and the entire redemption to take 7,000 years to complete from the fall of man in the Garden of Eden (Genesis [Bereishit] 1:1,5,8,13,19,23,31; 2:1-3).
- The lamb was to be without blemish (Exodus [Shemot] 12:5).
Messianic Fulfillment. Yeshua was the Lamb of G-d (John [Yochanan] 1:29) without spot or blemish (1 Peter [Kefa] 1:18-20). During the crucifixion week, Yeshua was examined by many in fulfilling this Scripture, including:
- The chief priests and elders (Matthew [Mattityahu] 21:23)
- Pilate (Matthew [Mattityahu] 27:1-2,11-14,17-26)
- Herod (Luke 23:6-12)
- Annas the high priest (Cohen HaGadol) (Luke 3:2; John [Yochanan] 18:13,24)
- Caiaphas the high priest
- (John [Yochanan] 11:49-53; 18:13-14,19-24,28)
- Judas (Matthew [Mattityahu] 27:3-10)
- The centurion (Matthew [Mattityahu] 27:54)
- The repentant thief (Luke 23:39-43).
- The lamb was of the first year (Exodus [Shemot] 11:4-7; 12:5).
Spiritual Application (Halacha). G-d always distinguishes between the believers and the world (Exodus [Shemot] 12:29-30). This can be seen in the examples that follow. The firstborn of both man and beast was to be set aside and given to G-d (Exodus [Shemot] 13:2,11-13). The theme of the firstborn runs throughout the Bible. Cain was set aside for Abel (Genesis [Bereishit] 4:1-8); Ishmael for Isaac (Yitzchak) (Genesis [Bereishit] 16:1,11-12,15; 17:17-19); Esau for Jacob (Ya'akov) (Genesis [Bereishit] 25:19-26; Romans 9:8-13); and Egypt (Mitzrayim) for Israel.
Spiritually, G-d gave us these examples to teach us that the firstborn after the flesh (that which is natural) is set aside to bring forth the firstborn after the spirit (that which is spiritual). In this process, G-d distinguishes between the first or natural birth and the second or spiritual birth. The first birth constitutes us as sinners and the second birth makes us believers and children of G-d (John [Yochanan] 1:12; 3:1-7; Romans 9:8-13; 1 Corinthians 15:22; 15:45-47).
Messianic Fulfillment. Yeshua was the firstborn of Mary (Miryam) naturally, and the firstborn of G-d spiritually (Matthew [Mattityahu] 1:21-25; Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:15,18; Revelation 3:14).
- It is a male (Exodus [Shemot] 12:5). Spiritual Application (Halacha). It was through one man's sin that sin came into the world (Romans 5:12; 1 Timothy 2:12-14). Because Adam, the first male, sinned, so a male, Yeshua, must die to atone for that sin (Romans 5:17-19).
- It is a lamb for a house (Exodus [Shemot] 12:3-4).
Spiritual Application (Halacha). G-d's intention was that all (households) experience salvation. The lamb was a lamb for the house. By believing in the Messiah Yeshua, we become members of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10; Ephesians 2:19). Salvation for a household is available to all who believe in the Messiah, Yeshua, the Lamb of G-d (Genesis [Bereishit] 7:1; 18:16-19; Joshua [Yehoshua] 24:15; John [Yochanan] 4:46-54; Luke 19:5-10; Acts 16:15,31; 18:3,8).
Messianic Fulfillment. There is a progressive revelation of the Lamb in the Bible. First, there is a lamb for a house (Exodus [Shemot] 12:3-4; second, a lamb for a nation (John [Yochanan] 11:49-52); and finally, a lamb for the world (John [Yochanan] 1:29).
Genesis (Bereishit) 22 is known in Hebrew as the Akeidah, or the binding of the sacrifice. In Genesis (Bereishit) 22:7, Isaac (Yitzchak) asked, "Where is the lamb?" The lamb that Isaac (Yitzchak) asked about is Yeshua (Isaiah [Yeshayahu] 53:7).
- A Passover (Pesach) lamb was to be killed between the evenings (Exodus [Shemot] 12:6).
The biblical day goes from evening to evening, from sundown to sundown, which is roughly 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Genesis [Bereishit] 1:5,8,13,19,23,31). The day (6:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.) is divided into two 12-hour periods. The evening runs from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. The morning runs from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Each 12-hour period is divided into two smaller portions. From 6:00 a.m. to noon is the morning part of the day. From noon to 6:00 p.m. is the evening part of the day. The phrase, "between the evening" (from Exodus [Shemot] 12:6) refers to the period of the day that goes from noon to 6:00 p.m., which is exactly 3:00 p.m. This would be the ninth hour of the day, counting from 6:00 a.m.
The Biblical Day
Evening Morning |---------------------------|---------------------------| 6 p.m. 6 a.m. 6 p.m. Morning Evening |--------------|------------| 6 a.m. Noon 6 p.m. |---------------------|-----| 6 a.m. 3 p.m. 6 p.m. |---------------------| The 9th hour of the day = 3 p.m.Messianic Fulfillment. Yeshua died at the ninth hour of the day (Matthew [Mattityahu] 27:45-50). This would be exactly 3:00 p.m. (the ninth hour, counting from 6:00 a.m.).
- The whole assembly shall kill it (Exodus [Shemot] 12:6).
Spiritual Application (Halacha). Every person who has ever lived on planet Earth and sinned is guilty of killing Yeshua because He died for all sinners (Romans 3:10,23). No human being had the power to take His life (John [Yochanan] 10:17-18). Therefore, Yeshua laid down His life for us by His own free will. There has been a misplaced accusation over the years that the Jews were the people who killedYeshua. As a result, they have suffered horrendously over the centuries. To my beloved Jewish friends who are reading this book, I ask you with sincere repentance (teshuvah): Please forgive those who are ignorant of the truth. The truth is that I killedYeshua, as did everyone who ever lived on planet Earth, because He died for my sins! (Romans 5:8,12)
Messianic Fulfillment. A whole congregation of people was involved in the death ofYeshua. The Gospels of Matthew (Mattityahu), Mark, Luke, and John (Yochanan) show how the Sanhedrin, the priests, the Romans, and the people of Israel all clamored for the crucifixion of Yeshua and for His blood to be shed (Matthew [Mattityahu] 27:17,20-22,25; Acts 4:26-28).
- The blood must be applied to the door (Exodus [Shemot] 12:7,13,22).
Spiritual Application (Halacha). Those who believe in the Messiah are the house of G-d (Ephesians 2:19; I Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 3:6). The only way into the house of G-d is through the shed blood of the Messiah Yeshua, who is the Door (John [Yochanan] 10:7-9).
- The body of the lamb must be eaten (Exodus [Shemot] 12:8-10).
Spiritual Application (Halacha). Both the body and blood of the lamb speak of the body and blood of Yeshua (Matthew [Mattityahu] 26:26-28). We spiritually eat of the body of the Lamb (Yeshua) when we eat of His body (today represented by the bread), which spiritually is the Word of G-d (Luke 11:3; 4:4). By following the Word of G-d and obeying the commandments (mitzvot) of G-d with sincerity of heart, we eat (spiritually) of His body.
- It must be eaten the same night (Exodus [Shemot] 12:8). Yeshua was crucified, suffered, and died the same night.
- It must be eaten with unleavened bread (Exodus [Shemot] 12:8). Leaven speaks of sin (1 Corinthians 5:6-8). Unleavened bread is without sin. As believers, we are instructed to live holy (unleavened) lives before G-d (Leviticus [Vayikra] 11:44; 19:2; 1 Peter [Kefa] 1:15-16).
- It must be eaten with bitter herbs (Exodus [Shemot] 12:8).
Spiritual Application (Halacha). To those who have accepted the Messiah into their lives, bitter herbs speak of two things. First, they speak of the bondage and burdens we experience while living in this world (a type of Egypt) before we accepted Yeshua into our lives. This burden of sin is placed on us by satan (Ha satan) when we yield to his lies and deception, and then sin because of our own evil desires. Second, the bitter herbs speak of the bitter things that come into our lives after we accept Yeshua and attempt to follow Him on a daily basis.
Messianic Fulfillment. For Yeshua, dying on the tree was a bitter experience because He had to pay for man's sin with His sinless life.
- The lamb must be roasted in fire (Exodus [Shemot] 12:8).
Spiritual Application (Halacha). Fire speaks of judgment, refining, and purification. Our faith (emunah) is judged and tested by fire so it can be refined and purified and come forth as pure gold (Zechariah 13:9; James [Ya'akov] 1:12; 1 Peter [Kefa] 1:7; Revelation 3:18).
- It must not be sodden with water. The gospel (basar) of Yeshuamust not be watered down (Mark 7:9,13; 2 Timothy 3:5).
- The head, legs, and other parts of the lamb must be eaten.
- The lamb must be eaten in haste (Exodus [Shemot] 12:11).
Spiritual Application (Halacha). Bible believers must be quick to leave Egypt (the influences of the world) and run toward the life that is in the Messiah (Luke 19:5-6).
- It must be eaten with our loins girded (Exodus [Shemot] 12:11). Our loins being girded speaks about our hearts' desire to eagerly serve and obey G-d. Our spiritual loins are the truth of the Word of G-d (Ephesians 6:14). Scriptures that speak about our loins being girded include the following: First Kings (Melachim) 18:46; Second Kings (Melachim) 4:29; 9:1; Jeremiah (Yermiyahu) 1:17; Luke 12:35; Ephesians 6:14; First Peter (Kefa) 1:13.
- Shoes must be on our feet (Exodus [Shemot] 12:11). Shoes on our feet speaks about our walk with God. Scriptures that speak about shoes being on our feet include the following: Isaiah [Yeshayahu] 52:7; Nahum [Nachum] 1:15; Romans 10:15; Ephesians 6:15.
- A staff must be in our hand (Exodus [Shemot] 12:11). A staff in our hand speaks about the believer's authority in the Kingdom of G-d by the name of Yeshua (Matthew [Mattityahu] 28:18-20). Scriptures that speak about a staff being in our hand include the following: Genesis (Bereishit) 38:17-18; Exodus (Shemot) 14:16; Judges (Shoftim) 6:21; First Samuel (Sh 'muwel) 17:39-40; Second Samuel (Sh 'muwel) 3:29; Second Kings (Melachim) 4:29; 18:21; Psalm (Tehillim) 23:4; Isaiah (Yeshayahu) 10:24; 14:5; Mark 6:7-8.
- It is the L-rd's Passover (Exodus [Shemot] 12:11).
Spiritual Application (Halacha). If we follow Yeshua with all of our hearts, we will pass from death to life, and from judgment to divine protection (John [Yochanan] 5:24; 1 John [Yochanan] 3:14; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Psalm [Tehillim] 91).
- It is a memorial (Exodus [Shemot] 12:14; Luke 22:1,7-8, 13-15,19).
Spiritual Application (Halacha). Passover (Pesach) is a memorial or a remembrance (Luke 22:1,7-8,13-15,19). There are two elements of remembrance:
- G-d remembers us (Genesis [Bereishit] 8:1; 9:1, 5-16; 19:29; 30:22; Exodus [Shemot] 2:24-25; 3:1; 6:2,5;
- 32:1-3,7,11,13-14; Leviticus [Vayikra] 26:14,31-33,38-45; Numbers [Bamidbar] 10:1-2,9; Psalm [Tehillim] 105:7-8,42-43; 112:6). In fact, G-d has a book of remembrance (Exodus [Shemot] 32:32-33; Malachi 3:16-18; Revelation 3:5; 20:11-15; 21:1,27).
- We must remember G-d (Exodus [Shemot] 13:3; 20:8; Deuteronomy [Devarim] 7:17-19; 8:18; 16:3; Numbers [Bamidbar] 15:37-41).
- It is to be observed at the going down of the sun (Deuteronomy [Devarim] 16:2,6). This was fulfilled by Yeshua at His crucifixion (Matthew [Mattityahu] 27:45-46).
- It is the place where G-d would put His name (Deuteronomy [Devarim] 16:2,6).
Messianic Fulfillment. The place where G-d has put His name is Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) (2 Kings [Melachim] 21:4). Yeshua was crucified in Jerusalem (Yerushalayim).
- Not a bone of the lamb was to be broken (Exodus [Shemot] 12:43-46).
Messianic Fulfillment. Not a bone of Yeshua was broken on the tree (John [Yochanan] 19:33).
- There was to be an explanation of the service (Exodus [Shemot] 12:25-28).
Messianic Fulfillment. Yeshua explained each part of the Passover (Pesach) as He did the service (Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
- The Egyptians were spoiled at the Exodus (Exodus [Shemot] 12:31-36).
Messianic Fulfillment. Satan was spoiled when Yeshua entered hell and rose again (Colossians 2:15).
- You must be circumcised to eat the Passover (Exodus [Shemot] 12:48; Joshua [Yehoshua] 5:2-10).
Spiritual Application (Halacha). The physical act of circumcision was only a picture of the inward or spiritual circumcision that G-d wanted us to have (Romans 2:28-29; 1 Corinthians 15:46; 2 Corinthians 4:18). God has always desired for His people to be circumcised in the heart (Deuteronomy [Devarim] 10:12-16; 1 Corinthians 7:18-19; Galatians 2:3; 5:2-3; 6:12-15; Ephesians 2:11-13).
- The Passover (Pesach) feast was to be a holy convocation, and no work was to be done (Exodus [Shemot] 12:16). Spiritual Application (Halacha). A believer finds true rest in ceasing from his own works and resting in the finished work of Yeshua, G-d's Passover (Pesach) Lamb (Genesis [Bereishit] 2:1-2; Matthew [Mattityahu] 11:28-30; John [Yochanan] 17:1-4; 19:30; Hebrews 3:14-19; 4:1-10).
- The Passover (Pesach) must be killed outside the gates of the city (Deuteronomy [Devarim] 16:5).
Messianic Fulfillment. Yeshua was crucified outside of the city walls of Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) at a place called Golgotha (John [Yochanan] 19:16-19; Hebrews 13:10-13).
- There is healing power in the lamb (Exodus [Shemot] 15:26).
Messianic Fulfillment. Yeshua is the Healer sent from G-d (Psalm [Tehillim] 105:36-38; Isaiah [Yeshayahu] 53:1-5; 1 Peter [Kefa] 2:24; 1 Corinthians 11:26-30).
- The Exodus was on eagle's wings (Exodus [Shemot] 19:4).
Scriptures associated with this are Deuteronomy (Devarim) 32:9-13; Isaiah (Yeshayahu) 31:5; 40:31; Luke 17:33-37; Revelation 12:6,14.
- They sang a song of rejoicing to the L-rd (Exodus [Shemot] 15:1,19-21).
Spiritual Application (Halacha). Whenever a believer experiences and understands the meaning of Passover (Pesach), there is a spirit of rejoicing to the L-rd for his or her deliverance from sin, and for experiencing the newness of life in the Messiah. Note: The Passover Seder, which is the service and meal that celebrates the Passover, always ends with songs of rejoicing and the declaration: Next year in Jerusalem! This can be seen in Mark 14:26.
- Israel is the firstborn of G-d (Exodus [Shemot] 4:22-23).
Spiritual Application (Halacha). All those who accept the Messiah Yeshua are called the firstborn of G-d even as Yeshua is called the firstborn of G-d (Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:15,18; Hebrews 12:22-24).'
Did Yeshua have a Passover Meal?
Today there are 15 steps in the Passover Seder. In order to understand if Yeshua had a Passover Seder, we need to know what is done during a Passover Seder. Therefore, I will list the 15 steps to the Passover Seder and explain what is done in each part. By doing this, we can determine ifYeshua had a Passover Seder prior to His crucifixion.
Before I begin to explain the 15 steps to the Passover Seder, I would like to comment on one aspect of it. During the Seder, a cup of wine is brought forth with this blessing: "Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine." During the Feast of Passover (Pesach), Yeshua said, "I am the true vine" (John [Yochanan] 15:1). Isaiah (Yeshayahu) tells us that G-d had a vineyard and that vineyard was Israel (Isaiah [Yeshayahu] 5:7). The choice vine planted in the vineyard was the Messiah (Isaiah [Yeshayahu] 5:2).
THE SEDER SERVICE
- Kaddesh and the first cup.
During the Kaddesh, the first of four cups of wine is blessed and drunk. This first cup of wine is called the cup of sanctification. Before the wine is drunk, a blessing is recited: "Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine."
- U-r'chatz (the washing of hands).
No blessing is recited.
- Karpas (this word means "parsley, green herbs").
This refers to the place in the Seder when the celebrants dip a green vegetable in salt water and eat it (John [Yochanan] 13:26-27). The oldest will sit on the left side of the table and will dip the sop. From this, we can conclude that Judas was the oldest disciple. The youngest will sit on the right side of the table. Benjamin (Benyamin) was the youngest of Jacob's (Ya'akov's) sons. Benjamin means "son of my right hand" in Hebrew.
- Yachatz (the breaking of the bread).
The middle piece of three pieces of bread, or matzot, is ceremonially broken in two.Matzah (plural is matzot) is unleavened bread. The larger piece is wrapped in a napkin and set aside as the afikomen, the matzah that is eaten at the end of the meal. This can be seen in Luke 22:19.
- The Maggid (the telling of the story of the Exodus).
The Maggid concludes with the second cup of wine, which is called the cup of wrath.Yeshua partook of this second cup at the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:42-44). In telling the story of the Exodus, each person is to see the Exodus as if G-d personally redeemed them! This is based upon Exodus (Shemot) 13:8.
- Rachtzah (the washing of hands with a blessing).
- Motzi (the blessing over bread).
- Matzah (the Matzah is blessed and eaten).
In John (Yochanan) 13:23, we can see that the disciples were leaning or reclining. Passover (Pesach) is called the season of our freedom. On this day, you are freed from the slavery of Egypt (Mitzrayim), symbolizing the bondage of sin, and you are seen as a king. Kings traditionally recline at their meals, and so celebrants reclined during portions of the Passover Seder. The believers in Yeshua are kings and priests before G-d (Revelation 1:6; 5:10).
- Maror (bitter herbs are blessed and eaten). Maror is bitter herbs. These bitter herbs are symbolized by romaine lettuce and horseradish.
- Korech (the matzah and maror are eaten together).
- Shulchan Orech (the meal is eaten).
- Tzafun (the afikomen that was hidden is found, ransomed, and then eaten).
- Barech (grace after meals).
At the conclusion of Barech, the blessing for wine is recited over the third cup. Then the cup is drunk. This is the cup of redemption (Luke 22:20; l Corinthians 10:16).
Psalms (Tehillim) 115-118 are chanted in special praise to G-d. The fourth cup is now filled, and a door is opened for Elijah (Eliyahu) to enter and proclaim the coming of Messiah.
- Nirtzah (all is finished).
A final song is sung and ends with the phrase, Next Year in Jerusalem! This can be seen in Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26.
The blessing over the bread is as follows: "Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe, who brings forth the bread from the earth." This blessing is a prophecy of the resurrection of the Messiah from the earth because He is the believer's bread (John [Yochanan] 6:47-51). G-d brought forth the bread (Yeshua) from the earth following His death (Acts 2:31-33).
Yeshua ate the Passover (Luke 22:15). This Scripture passage refers specifically to the Lamb. Frequently, there were two sacrifices during the Feast of Passover. One lamb is the Passover lamb and the other lamb is called the haggigah or peace offering. These sacrifices are referred to in Deuteronomy (Devarim) 16:2 where G-d required that the sacrifice be from both the flock and the herd. This was interpreted to mean that two sacrifices were needed. The Haggigah (the additional lamb) was offered in addition to the Pesach (the Passover lamb). The Pesach was required, but theHaggigah was not because it was a freewill offering.
During the days of Yeshua, in order to have a Seder, you needed to register at a rabbinical court in the temple (Beit HaMikdash), and you must have at least 10 and no more than 20 people. Each group of pilgrims who came to Jerusalem (Yerushalayim had one representative carrying a lamb without spot or blemish (Exodus [Shemot] 12:4-5). An assembly of at least 10 people (known in Hebrew as a minyan) was required to participate in the ceremony.
Each group of people entered the temple (Beit HaMikdash) with their lamb. They were instructed, "You must slay the lamb, not the priests." The priests caught the blood and ministered the blood according to the Scriptures. The only place where a Passover (Pesach) lamb could be killed was in Jerusalem (Yerushalayim). Therefore, those who couldn't come to Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) to keep the Passover (Pesach), but still wanted to keep the meal, would have to have a substitute for the Passover (Pesach) lamb. That substitute was the shankbone of a lamb. It has a special name in Hebrew: zeroah, or arm. Yeshua was referred to as the zeroah or arm of the L-rd in Isaiah (Yeshayahu) 53:1. The shankbone or zeroah will be a remembrance of the lamb that was slain.
The Passover (Pesach) requirement is that you must eat until you are full. The entire lamb must be consumed before midnight on the fifteenth of Nisan. If you had only 10 people, you would not want to have two lambs because they could not be totally eaten in time. This would violate the commandment (mitzvah) that the lamb was to be eaten before midnight (Exodus [Shemot] 12:8). If you had 20 people, one lamb would not be enough to make everyone full, and this would also violate the commandment (mitzvah) given by G-d. Therefore, if you had 20 people, you would need two lambs.
Once again, Yeshua ate the Passover (Luke 22:15). You can have a Seder without a Pesach (or Passover lamb), but you cannot have a lamb without a Seder. Also, since Yeshua was the Passover Lamb of G-d (John [Yochanan] 1:29), He had to come to Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) from Bethany not only to be the Passover (Pesach) lamb, but also for the Seder (Mark 14:3,12-16). So,Yeshua was having a Passover lamb (Luke 22:15), and it was a Seder. Today, there is no temple (Beit HaMikdash), so the Passover Seder is held on the fifteenth or sixteenth of Nisan. The Seder on the fifteenth is called the First Seder, and the Seder on the sixteenth is called the Second Seder.
In Mark 14:12, it is written, "And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the Passover [thePesach lamb]...." The word translated as first is the Greek word protos, which means "before, earlier, and preceding." Because there was a temple (Beit HaMikdash) in Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) in the days of Yeshua, the First Seder would be on the fourteenth of Nisan, and the Second Seder on the fifteenth. The Seder could be held on either night. Yeshua had His Passover (Pesach) Seder by midnight on the fourteenth of Nisan (remember that the fourteenth of Nisan begins at sundown, which is roughly six hours prior to midnight), and was crucified the next afternoon at 3:00 p.m., which is still the fourteenth of Nisan.
The high priest (Cohen HaGadol) kills the Passover (Pesach) lamb for the nation of Israel at 3:00 p.m. on the fourteenth of Nisan. At sundown, the fifteenth begins, so Yeshua would have to eat His Passover lamb by midnight of the fourteenth of Nisan, which is prior to the time that the high priest kills the Passover lamb for the nation. To further prove this, in John (Yochanan) 18:28, whenYeshua was brought before Pilate, Caiaphas the high priest (Cohen HaGadol) wouldn't enter the judgment hall of the Gentile ruler because he would be defiled and couldn't eat the Passover lamb. So, this event must have taken place on the morning of the fourteenth of Nisan because the high priest had not yet eaten the Passover. If he was defiled, he would be defiled for one day. SinceYeshua had already eaten the Passover by the time He was seized and taken before Caiaphas and Pilate, He had to have eaten the Passover with the disciples on the evening of the fourteenth. Thus, we can see how Yeshua ate a Passover meal and could still fulfill being the Passover Lamb of G-d by being killed at 3:00 p.m. on the fourteenth of Nisan.
The Bread and Cups of the Passover Seder
During the celebration of Pesach, three cakes of unleavened bread (matzot) are placed one upon another, with a napkin between each cake. At a certain point in the Seder service, the middle cake, known as the afikomen, or "that which come after," is broken in two. One piece is distributed among the people present, and the larger piece is hidden in a napkin. Toward the end of the Passover Seder, the hidden portion is brought to light and eaten by those surrounding the Passover table. The Messianic understanding is that these three pieces of matzot represent G-d the Father, the Messiah Yeshua, and the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh). The central piece, theafikomen, is broken, a portion is eaten, and the remainder hidden and then brought forth to testify of the death, burial, and resurrection of Yeshua.
During the course of the Seder, the four cups of wine that are served to the people present at the Seder are used in the following manner, and are called:
- The cup of blessing (Luke 22:17; 1 Corinthians 10:16). This cup is called the cup of sanctification, or the Kiddush.
- The cup of wrath (Luke 22:42-44). This cup is not drunk, but is poured out on the table as the plagues of Egypt are recited. Yeshua drank of this cup for us in the Garden of Gethsemane and when He died on the tree.
- The cup of blessing, salvation, or redemption. This cup is filled to overflowing, symbolizing an overflowing salvation (Psalm [Tehillim] 116:13).
- The cup of the kingdom (Luke 22:18,20; Matthew [Mattityahu] 26:28-29). Yeshuaspoke of eating and drinking afresh in the Messianic age with His disciples after His resurrection.
In addition to the four cups of wine served to the people, another cup, called the cup of Elijah (Eliyahu), is also a part of the Seder. This cup is poured out at the end of the Seder. Only Elijah (Eliyahu) himself, or one coming in the spirit and power of Elijah, or the Messiah, was allowed to drink of this cup. When Yeshua referred to Himself drinking of this cup, He was saying in no uncertain terms that He was the Messiah.
How Did Yeshua Fulfill the Passover?
The Feast of Passover (Pesach) was given by G-d to be a rehearsal (miqra) of the first coming ofYeshua. The Passover ceremony was observed in remembrance of the past and in preparation for the future. Many years after the Passover in Egypt, a person named John (Yochanan) the Baptist (Immerser), pointed to Yeshua and declared that He was the Lamb of G-d (John [Yochanan] 1:29). After John (Yochanan), a type of Elijah (Eliyahu) who would prepare the coming of Messiah, proclaimed Yeshua as the Lamb of G-d, Yeshua ministered for three-and-a-half years. At the end of that time, on the tenth of Nisan, the high priest marched out of the city of Jerusalem to Bethany where a lamb was to be slain. The lamb was led back into the city through streets lined with thousands of pilgrims singing the Hallel (Psalms [Tehillim] 113-118). The liturgy for Hoshanah Rabbah says that the Messiah will come to the Mount of Olives and weep over the city. This happened in Luke 19:41. The people also waved palm branches as Yeshua rode into the city on a donkey in fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9. Today, Nisan 10 is known as Palm Sunday in the non-Jewish community.
The lamb that was to be slain by the high priest was led into the temple (Beit HaMikdash) and put in a prominent place of display. Likewise, Yeshua the Lamb of G-d went on public display when He entered the temple (Beit HaMikdash) and spent four days there among the people, the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and the scribes, as the leaders asked Yeshua their hardest questions. Yeshua was questioned in front of the people for four days, showing Himself to be without spot or blemish, fulfilling Exodus (Shemot) 12:5.
On the fourteenth of Nisan, at the third hour of the day (9:00 a.m.), the high priest (Cohen HaGadol) took the lamb and ascended the altar so he could tie the lamb in place on the altar. At the same time on that day, Yeshua was tied to the tree on Mount Moriah (Mark 15:25). At the time of the evening sacrifice (3:00 p.m.) for Passover (Exodus [Shemot] 12:6), the high priest (Cohen HaGadol) ascended the altar, cut the throat of the lamb with a knife, and said the words, "It is finished." These are the exact words said after giving a peace offering to G-d. At this same time,Yeshua died, saying these exact words in John (Yochanan) 19:30. Yeshua died at exactly 3:00 p.m. (Matthew [Mattityahu] 27:45-46,50).
In Exodus (Shemot) 12:8-9, we are told the lamb was to be roasted before sundown. According to the tractate Pesahim in the Mishnah, the lamb was roasted on an upright pomegranate stick. This pomegranate stick is representative of the tree upon which Yeshua died. The lamb was to be gutted, and its intestines were to be removed and put over its head. Thus, the lamb is referred to as the "crowned sacrifice." This is a picture of Yeshua in (Psalm [Tehillim] 22:13-18).
Deuteronomy (Devarim) 16:16 says that all the congregation of Israel was required to be present at the feasts of Passover (Pesach), Weeks (Shavuot) or Pentecost, and Tabernacles (Sukkot). This explains why all were gathered to witness the death of Yeshua on the tree (Matthew [Mattityahu] 27:1-26).
The night of the fifteenth of Nisan, G-d commanded the people to eat the lamb with unleavened bread (matzah) and bitter herbs (maror), their sandals on their feet and their bags packed and on their backs (Exodus [Shemot] 12:6,8,11), for on this night they are to leave Egypt. Likewise, we are to be quick to accept Yeshua into our hearts and leave Egypt, which represents the sin and idolatry of this evil world.
The Feast of Passover in the Gospel of John
There are four recorded Passovers in the Gospel (basar) of John (Yochanan), even as Yeshuaattended the Passover with His parents from year to year (Luke 2:41-42).
- The first Passover Yeshua attended at Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) as an adult is recorded in John (Yochanan) 2:13-17. In these passages, He found the temple (Beit HaMikdash) defiled with money changers. He then declared that "My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer..." (Mark 11:17). The spiritual application (halacha) is this: The believers in Yeshua are G-d's temple and we are not to defile it with sin (1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18). Those who believe in the Messiah Yeshua are the house of G-d (Hebrews 3:6; 1 Timothy 3:15; 1 Peter [Kefa] 2:5).
- The second Passover feast is recorded in John (Yochanan) 5:1-15. Although the particular feast is not specifically mentioned here, we know that it is either Passover (Pesach), Pentecost (Shavuot), or Tabernacles (Sukkot) because Yeshua went up (aliyah) to Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) to observe it (Deuteronomy [Devarim] 16:16). By knowing what Yeshua did in these passages and what these feasts teach us, the evidence suggests it was Passover. This Passover reveals Yeshua as the Healer of men's bodies and souls; the Forgiver of sin; and the Healer of disease. In the Egyptian Passover, Israel was to feed upon the body of the lamb. As they did, they were saved from the destruction of Egypt and their bodies were healed (Exodus [Shemot] 12:13; Psalm [Tehillim] 105:26,36-37). Thus healing is associated with Passover, and at this Passover, Yeshua healed an impotent man.
- The third Passover is found in John (Yochanan) 6:1-13. At Passover, the children of Israel ate the flesh of the lamb, sprinkled the blood on the door, and ate unleavened bread. Thus the bread and the lamb's body were eaten by all at Passover. In these passages, Yeshua is the Bread of Life, the unleavened bread, and the heavenly manna.
- The fourth Passover is Yeshua's sacrificial death on the tree. He is the Lamb of G-d and the Unleavened Bread, dying despite having never sinned.
In the book of John (Yochanan), in the first Passover, Yeshua is the Temple Cleanser (the spiritual temple is the physical body of the believer). In the second Passover, Yeshua is the Healer of body and soul. In the third Passover, Yeshua is the Bread of Life. In the fourth Passover, Yeshua is the Lamb of G-d slain for the sins of the whole world.
The Egyptian Redemption is a Foreshadowing of the Messianic Redemption
The G-d of Israel's historical redemption of His people from Egypt is a type and foreshadowing of the Messianic Redemption in the end of days. Orthodox Jews call the regathering of both houses of Israel in the end of days the Ingathering of the Exiles or the Messianic Redemption . TheIngathering of the Exiles / Messianic Redemption is a fundamental and foundational belief of Orthodox Judaism. Orthodox Judaism prays three times a day for the Ingathering of the Exiles / Messianic Redemption . The Ingathering of the Exiles / Messianic Redemption is also one of the 13 articles of Jewish faith.
One of the many prophecies of the Ingathering of the Exiles / Messianic Redemption or the restoration of both houses of Israel in the writings of the prophets is found in Ezekiel ( Yechezekel ) 37:15-24 as it is written:
The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. And when the children of they people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not show us what thou meanest by these? Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in thine hand ... And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen whither they have gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel ... and David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes and do them.
Who is Ephraim / Joseph or the House of Israel?
According to Orthodox Jewish understanding of the end of days, Ephraim / Joseph or the house of Israel who is mentioned in the prophecy of Ezekiel ( Yechezekel ) 37:16, 19 are the ten lost / scattered tribes from the Northern Kingdom of Israel who will be reunited with the Jewish people of the Southern Kingdom ( house of Judah ). The Talmud states in Yebamot 16b-17a that the ten tribes of the scattered Northern Kingdom in their places of exile in the end of days will be regarded as having the status of "Gentiles" ( goyim ) as far as keeping the Torah and halacha are concerned.
In the Talmud in Yebamot 16b it is written: Rab Judah said in the name of R. Assi: If at the present time a heathen betroths [a daughter of Israel], note must be taken of such betrothal since it may be that he is of the ten tribes.
However, the halacha (accepted belief of Orthodox Judaism) regarding the ten tribes of the scattered Northern Kingdom ( house of Israel ) is that they will in the end of days:
- Embrace the Torah
- Celebrate the Sabbath ( Shabbat )
- Observe the Biblical festivals of Leviticus ( Vayikra ) 23
- Reunite with the Southern Kingdom of Judah ( house of Judah )
- Return to the land of Israel (specifically the mountains of Israel or the West Bank) along with Judah prior to the coming of King Messiah ( Mashiach )
Furthermore, there are Orthodox Jewish organizations today that are doing research to locate and identify the present descendents of the ten scattered tribes of the historical Northern Kingdom. Brit-Am ( Brit in Hebrew = covanent and Am in Hebrew = people) founded by an Orthodox Jew named Yair Davidy who lives in Jerusalem, Israel, is one such organization. Based upon the biblical characteristics of the location of the ten scattered tribes in their exile in the end of days, history, archeological evidence and the traditional Orthodox Jewish perspective of the ten lost tribes based upon what is written about them in the Talmud , Yair Davidy has concluded that many of the present descendents of the ten scattered tribes of the Northern Kingdom are practicing the religion of Christianity. He has published these findings in several books that he has written and also in his ministry magazine.
What is fascinating about this Orthodox Jewish research is that, based upon careful examination of the writings in the New Testament ( Brit Hadashah ) including the words and teachings of Yeshua , the apostle Paul ( Rav Sha'ul) and the apostle Peter ( Kefa ), the same conclusion can be drawn. When accepting Yeshua as Messiah ( Mashiach ), some of the descendents of the historical Northern Kingdom become a part of future Christianity.
The Northern Kingdom and the New Testament ( Brit Hadashah )
When they accept Yeshua as Messiah ( Mashiach ), the New Testament ( Brit Hadashah ) links some of the historical descendents of the Northern Kingdom (ten scattered tribes) to Christianity. In Hosea ( Hoshea ) 1:9, the Northern Kingdom is called lo-ammi (not my people), but in Hosea (Hoshea ) 1:10 they would be called in a future time, " sons of the living God " and be reunited with the house of Judah in the end of days Hosea ( Hoshea ) 1:11). The believers in Yeshua as Messiah ( Mashiach ) are linked with the prophecy of the destiny of the Northern Kingdom in Hosea ( Hoshea) 1:9-10.
In First Peter ( Kefa ) 2:10, through belief in Yeshua as Messiah ( Mashiach ) those who were formerly called lo-ammi (not a people) are once again called " sons of the living God ". Notice that this corresponds to the prophesied destiny of the Northern Kingdom based upon Hosea ( Hosea ) 1:9-10.
In Romans chapters 9-11, the apostle Paul ( Rav Sha'ul ) links the "Gentiles" to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. In Romans 9:24, the apostle Paul ( Rav Sha'ul ) links the "Gentiles" with the prophecy of the Northern Kingdom in Hosea ( Hoshea ) 1:9-10, where those who were called lo-ammi (not a people) are now called " children of the living God " (Romans 9:25-26). In Romans 10:19, the apostle Paul ( Rav Sha'ul ) quotes from the Torah in Deuteronomy ( Devarim ) 32:21 where it prophesies that a future people who would become " not a people " would be used by the G-d of Israel to provoke Judah to jealousy. Finally, in Romans 11:11, the apostle Paul ( Rav Sha'ul ) links those who were formerly " not a people " (the Northern Kingdom) as being "Gentiles" who would provoke Judah to jealousy in the end of days.
In Isaiah (Yeshayahu) 44:1-5, it was prophesied that when the G-d of Israel would outpour His Holy Spirit ( Ruach HaKodesh upon the descendents of Jacob in the end of days that they would SAYand subscribe / pledge allegiance that they are descendents (surnamed) from the house of Israel (Northern Kingdom).
Yeshua taught and linked His death on the tree to the purpose of regathering the lost sheep of the Northern Kingdom unto Him and their reuniting with the house of Judah in the end of days. In John ( Yochanan ) 10:14-19, Yeshua said that He is the "good shepherd". By making this statement,Yeshua is making an allusion to Ezekiel ( Yechezekel ) 34:11-15, 23; 37:24 where the "good shepherd" would restore and reunite both houses of Israel. In John ( Yochanan ) 10:16, Yeshuasaid that He has other sheep (Northern Kingdom) who were not of the sheepfold of Judah (Southern Kingdom) for whom He would die and lay down His life so that there would be one sheepfold (John ( Yochanan ) 10:16; 11:52-53).
In first century Judaism there was an expectation from what is written in the Torah and the Prophets that the Messiah would reunite both houses of Israel (Isaiah ( Yeshayahu ) 49:5-6). For this reason, in Acts 1:6, Yeshua was asked by His disciples ( talmidim )) when He would restore the Kingdom to Israel (reunite both houses of Israel). Yeshua answered the question and said that both houses of Israel would be reunited through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit ( Ruach HaKodesh ). He also said that the message of the restoration and reunification of both houses of Israel would be preached in all the world as a witness (Acts 1:8). The apostle Paul ( Rav Sha'ul ) also preached the message of the restoration of both houses of Israel in Acts 26:6-7.
The Messianic Redemption Is Like the Egyptian Redemption
The prophets of Israel teach us that this outpouring of the Holy Spirit ( Ruach HaKodesh ) to gather both houses of Israel will happen in the end of days prior to the second coming of King Messiah (Mashiach ). This began in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost ( Shavuot ) and culminates in the end of days when Yeshua will reign over both houses of Israel (House of Jacob -- Luke 1:33) during the Messianic Era. The prophets of Israel liken the future redemption of both houses of Israel to the historical Egyptian redemption but on a global scale. In Micah ( Michah ) 7:15 it is written:
According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I show unto him marvelous things.
In Hosea ( Hoshea ) 2:14-15 it is written:
Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortable unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor [trouble] for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.
In Ezekiel ( Yechezekel ) 20:34-36 it is written:
And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm [historical Passover language], and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt , so will I plead with you, saigh the Lord God.
All Believers in Yeshua Have Been Redeemed From Egypt
When doing a Passover Seder, you are supposed to see yourself as if you are personally being redeemed from Egypt. In Exodus ( Shemot ) 13:8, it is commanded that you shall show your son "in that day [future] saying, This is done because of what the Lord did unto me [past] when I [personally] came forth out of Egypt." In First Corinthians 10:1-4, the apostle Paul ( Rav Sha'ul ) reminds the followers of Yeshua as Messiah ( Mashiach ) to have the mindset that they and their fathers were redeemed from Egypt. In Exodus ( Shemot ) 15:1 it says, "I will sing " (future). This reminds us that there will be a future redemption to come that will be like the historical Egyptian redemption. Those redeemed in this future redemption will sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb (Revelation 15:3).
For a greater understanding of this future Ingathering of the Exiles / Messianic Redemption or the restoration of both houses of Israel (members of Christianity and Judaism) in the end of days, I would encourage you to read the book that I've written on this subject entitled, " Restoring the Two Houses of Israel ".
The Conclusion of Passover ( Pesach)
In concluding our study of Passover ( Pesach ), we can see that the G-d of Israel gave Passover (Pesach) to His people so we could understand the death of Yeshua on the tree during His first coming, as well as understand our personal spiritual salvation in Yeshua from Pharaoh and Egypt (who is liked to satan [ ha satan ] and the kingdom of sin and darkness). Furthermore, the historical Egyptian Passover was also given by the G-d of Israel so we could understand the future redemption of His people (both houses of Israel who are today called by the corporate names of Christianity and Judaism) in the end of days when they will return to the land of Israel (specifically, the mountains of Israel or the West Bank). This redemption will take place in the end of days prior to the coming of King Messiah ( Mashiach ). Because of the historical deliverance from the bondage of Egypt, our personal salvation in Yeshua as Messiah ( Mashiach ) and our future redemption from exile in the nations of the world and return to the land of Israel in the end of days, Passover ( Pesach ) has been given by the rabbis the appropriate title of the "Feast of our Freedom !!!".