PASSOVER CELEBRATION: commandment & tradition, 02.04.19
Amir Tsarfati, “Jesus and The Passover,” Behold Israel, Dec. 31, 2015
Dayenu, Wikipedia Definition, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayenu
3500 years ago when the angel of the Lord was instructed (Ex.12:23) to pass over the homes that had the blood of the Lamb on their doorposts, no one had any idea of the full implications of what this meant, and how it symbolized the ultimate deliverance, not only of the Hebrews, but of all humankind.
“Remember the former things of old:
For I am God—there is no other.
I am God, and there is none like Me—
10 declaring the end from the beginning,
from ancient time, what is yet to come,
saying, “My purpose will stand,
and I will accomplish all that I please.”
The Passover was the first holiday instated by Adonai: “This day is to be a memorial for you. You are to keep it as a feast to Adonai. Throughout your generations you are to keep it as an eternal ordinance” (Ex.12:14). It required them to remember what Yahweh did for His people when He brought them out of Egypt. When the traditional Jewish family keeps Passover today, they remember what Yahweh did for them, and they honour Him by following the instructions given to them: “eat the meat that night, roasted over a fire. With matzot and bitter herbs . . . . roasted with fire” (Ex.12:8,9).
It is for this reason that all Passover Seders include a central plate with these very ingredients on it. There is a shank bone (to represent the Passover Lamb) without meat on it, because there is no Temple and there are no more sacrifices. Bitter herbs include parsley and horseradish, depicting the bitterness of the many years in slavery. We know now that Christ is the Passover Lamb: ”Get rid of the old hametz, so you may be a new batch, just as you are unleavened—for Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast not with old hametz, the hametz of malice and wickedness, but with unleavened bread—the matzah of sincerity and truth” (1 Cor.5:7,8). “When the veil was lifted off Paul’s eyes, he was able to see what the meaning of the Passover lamb really was . . . .” (Amir Tsarfati, https://youtu.be/e-Vw4nk8sZ4?list=PLFExJF2KBSH2g_1LO6rL41IOwMlK023vN ); and see from this (previous) statement by Paul that the Jewish and Gentile believers of the day maintained this Passover Celebration in honour of Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, in addition to the original deliverance from the bondage of enslavement to Egypt. In the same way, believers in Messiah should be remembering what Yeshua did for all humankind by offering Himself up as the ultimate Passover Lamb, “the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29).
At the Passover Seder Table, in addition to Matzah and bitter herbs, there is a mixture of apples, dates, and cinnamon, which represent the mud bricks that the Hebrew slaves were required to build with. This building of structures represents the homes Yeshua is preparing for His followers: “In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to Myself, so that where I am you may also be” (John 14:2,3). I like the way Amir Tsarfati puts it: “Yeshua is now the general contractor of a huge building site. . . .” (https://youtu.be/e-Vw4nk8sZ4?list=PLFExJF2KBSH2g_1LO6rL41IOwMlK023vN ).
There is also a bowl of salt water on the table. The parsley is dipped into the salt water, a reminder of the hyssop that was dipped in the blood of the lamb, and how Moses touched the Red Sea with his staff before the waters were parted (Amir Tsarfati, https://youtu.be/e-Vw4nk8sZ4?list=PLFExJF2KBSH2g_1LO6rL41IOwMlK023vN ). For believers in Messiah Yeshua, this is reminiscent of the tears Yeshua shed when, at the triumphal entry, “As He drew near and saw Jerusalem, He wept over her . . .” (Lk.19:41).
The wine at the table, of course, represented to the Hebrews originally, the Blood on the doorposts; now, for believers in Yeshua, the Blood shed by the pure spotless Lamb. . .
“Now when it happens that your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ You are to say, ‘It is the sacrifice of Adonai’s Passover, because He passed over the houses of Bnei-Yisrael in Egypt, when He struck down the Egyptians, but spared our households’”(Ex.12:26,27). It is on this basis that the Passover Seder still includes the telling of the story at the Supper Table, and the children are to ask questions about the story, so parents can ensure their understanding. The Haggadah is the Hebrew/Jewish book which tells the story. How much more should believing households encourage children to discuss and ask questions regarding the shed blood of Messiah Yeshua. Would it not be a much richer, meaningful tradition/exercise than easter eggs and bunnies?
Passover Seder wraps up with worship, blessings, dancing. The singing of “Dayenu,”*(see f.n. below) which means “It would have been enough.” “It would have been enough even if He stopped Pharoah, but He did more – He parted the Red Sea” (Amir Tsarfati, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-Vw4nk8sZ4&feature=youtu.be&list=PLFExJF2KBSH2g_1LO6rL41IOwMlK023vN
When Yeshua, at the Last Supper shared Passover with His disciples, it not only reinforced the original event, but set in place the ongoing tradition of Communion:
“I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
16 For I tell you, I will never eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
17 And when He had taken a cup and offered the bracha, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves.
18 For I tell you that I will never drink of the fruit of the vine from now on, until the kingdom of God comes.”
19 And when He had taken matzah and offered the bracha, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body, given for you. Do this in memory of Me.”
20 In the same way, He took the cup after the meal, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you”.
Yeshua did more than keep Passover; He became the Passover Lamb. He became that ultimate and perfect sacrifice which satisfied the Father’s redemption plan for the sins of humankind. How much more Passover should mean to us who believe in Messiah! What would be the rationale for ignoring the command “to observe this event as an eternal ordinance, for you and your children”(Ex.12:24). On what basis would “christian” leaders determine that this was no longer necessary?
- *f.n.: Dayenu (Hebrew:דַּיֵּנוּ) is a song that is part of the Jewish holiday of Passover. The word “Dayenu” means approximately “it would have been enough for us”, “it would have been sufficient”, or “it would have sufficed” (day in Hebrew is “enough”, and -enu the first person plural suffix, “to us”). This traditional up-beat Passover song is over one thousand years old. The earliest full text of the song occurs in the first medieval haggadah, which is part of the ninth-century Seder Rav Amram. The song is about being grateful to God for all of the gifts he gave the Jewish people, such as taking them out of slavery, giving them the Torah and Shabbat, and had God only given one of the gifts, it would have still been enough. This is to show much greater appreciation for all of them as a whole. The song appears in the haggadah after the telling of the story of the exodus and just before the explanation of Passover, matzah and the maror”(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayenu). Also if you watch the youtube reference (above), you can watch Marty Getz sing “Dayenu”.
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