THE PASSOVER CONNECTION
By Verna Crowther, 03.04.19
Written for “ONE NEW MAN” web page: https://www.vernasstudycorner.ca/one-new-man/
Yeshua did more than merely 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. This is why all believers/followers of Jesus Christ/Yeshua Ha-Mashiach need to understand the roots and connection of PASSOVER to their faith, and honour Passover, by partaking of the PASSOVER FEAST. “It’s not only a celebration of Israel’s freedom, but a celebration of our freedom through Messiah. It is a celebration of our salvation in Messiah” (Goldberg, Message From the Bema, 17.03.18).
When we connect the dots from the original Passover occurrence 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, it becomes evident that this was a precursor to the Messiah’s sacrifice for humankind, which now provides salvation for those who believe. Just as the blood on the doorpost provided protection from destruction, so now the shed Blood of Jesus Christ/Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, covers those who believe and surrender their lives to His Lordship.
The ultimate and final deliverance of His people, the remnant, is still to come, evidencing yet another layer of prophetic fulfillment at Messiah’s return. There will be much bloodshed when He returns to bring justice, however, it will not be HIS blood. The grand finale of the “passing over” will occur when, by God’s sovereign Hand, the Enemies of Israel are wiped off the face of the earth, and “death will be swallowed up in victory” (Isa.25:8; one needs to read all of Isaiah chapter 25 and 26 to get the fullest understanding of this component). That shed blood will, on the GREAT DAY of THE LORD also cause God’s people to be passed over, as Yahweh’s wrath is dispensed upon those who rejected Him. While those will be subjected to the second, and final death, God’s remnant, and all true believers will be passed over, spared from that second death, free to enter their eternal destiny with their SAVIOUR, LORD and MASTER in the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
Back to how this connects to all believers and why all believers should honour Passover …. .
In celebrating/keeping Passover, we are, in addition to honouring what Yahweh DID for His people 3500 years ago, acknowledging what that means for all true believers/followers not only today, but in the future, for the eternal outcome. When we get that connection from the blood on the doorposts to Christ’s sacrifice as having become the Passover Lamb to provide our very salvation, it then takes on new meaning – a personal meaning – and it should take on new life – i.e., PASSOVER is not just for the JEWS; PASSOVER is not just for religious zealots; it IS relevant; it has real meaning for our very own lives, this day, and is that which has made provision for our eternal destination.
It is because it has real meaning – lasting relevance – that Yahweh legislated Passover as an official holiday to always be honoured: “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). This was spoken to the Jews at that time – yes; but it would ultimately include all who come to honour Yahweh through the Son of God, as the One and Only True God – THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, and JACOB/ISRAEL. So this is not just about Israel/Jews; this is about all believers. If you believe that Jesus/Yeshua died for your sins and rose again, and you accept Him as Your Lord, Saviour, Master, & King; then it applies to you, dear soul.
Yes, the Passover Seder includes a central plate with ingredients that Scripture does not precisely outline; however the Seder plate includes ingredients designed to symbolize a specific aspect of the original Passover experience which is meaningful. 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 of lambs being made. Bitter herbs include parsley and horseradish, depicting the bitterness of the many years in slavery. We who believe in Messiah know, of course, 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 Jesus/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. For Messianic believers in Yeshua, the 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 ). Listening to, and watching Tsarfati’s teaching on this youtube video will be especially useful/helpful to those less familiar with this tradition, for he explains it in detail.
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 Messianic believers, this is seen as 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. . .
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:
15 “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”.
Jewish Passover celebrations always include a re-telling of the Exodus story in what is known as the Haggadah,and wraps up with worship, blessings, and dancing. The singing of “Dayenu,”*(see f.n. below) is traditional, 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 ).
“Remember this day, on which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage. For by a strong hand Adonai brought you out from this place. No hametz may be eaten” (Ex.13:3). There is a consistent theme of Yahweh calling His people to remember what was done for them. Just as Yahweh requires the Israelites to keep Passover in remembrance of what was done for them in that time, Jesus/Yeshua, just before His crucifixion, instructs His disciples to “Do this in memory of Me” (Lk.22:19). Passover was never intended to be just one isolated incidental event. It would be historic, repeated, and with eternal consequences.
Also, when we look at the text again, “Remember this day, on which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage. For by a strong hand Adonai brought you out from this place. No hametz may be eaten” (Ex.13:3), we glean from this that in addition to the instruction to remember what Yahweh has done, is the advisement to eat no hametz/yeast/leaven, which is synonymous with sin, and understand that the lesson here is as that of 2 Cor.7:1, where Paul says to his people: “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Rabbi Calev Goldberg, addresses this when he says: “It’s the time of year to wipe the slate clean . . . Adonai wants to remove the leaven of sin from our hearts . … .. this is part of sanctification” (Goldberg, “Beginning of Months and Appointed Times,” Message, 17.03.18).
Just as the cleaning of cupboards and emptying out of any products made with leaven is directed in Jewish homes, so for us is the cleaning out of our earthly vessels, which includes our thought-life, desires, etc. as well as overt actions. What requires cleansing is the heart and the mind, the intentions, motives and desires.
“We need to cast off our bad habits,” Goldberg teaches (Message, 17.03.18); lust, pride, issues of the heart that we struggle with . .. crucify the flesh . … keep your eyes on Yeshua. What we do in the natural we need to do in the supernatural – in the Spirit – clean out the dirt in our lives, get rid of the uncleanness. It’s a good way to remember that we are a holy people set apart” (Goldberg, 17.03.18). Yes. And this is a most practical connection point that we can each make with what Passover can mean for us personally.
It should be our desire to walk in holiness, honouring Him for what He has done, for “do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor.6:19,20); and “Therefore Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor.6:17,18). This most pertinent connection reveals that God’s expectations of obedience, righteousness, holiness has not been altered from OT to NT. God still wants a people set apart unto Himself.
The requirement in Exodus of the innocent lamb . . . . . “Your lamb is to be without blemish, a year old male. . . . . slaughter it at twilight” (Ex.12:1-3,5,6) is analogous to “the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). In order for the sacrifice to satisfy the Father’s requirements, there could be no physiological imperfection, no stain, no disability, no sin, and “in Him was no sin” (1 John 3:5). So it is that at the end of the age when the world is thrust into the time of great tribulation, it must be the One and Only sinless being who can deliver the judgments upon the earth:
2 “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?”
3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.
4 . . . . . Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”
6 . . . 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, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
7 Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.
What more than this should be needed to provoke a desire to honour God the Father for what He had done for the Israelites, to honour Him for what that would mean for future generations who would be in turn saved because of those who believed in the God of Israel? In addition to which, after the Father then sent His Son to earth to cover us all with His blood, bringing salvation, healing, and freedom from all manner of bondages, couldn’t we all sing
“Dayenu”? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayenu – see *f.n.: Dayenu). How could it be that anyone could believe, and fail to honour God the Father and God the Son for what was done for all who would believe?
The connection for every believer in Jesus Christ/Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, to Passover, seems very clear indeed, for He alone is “worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals;” He is the One Who was “slain, And has redeemed us to God by Your blood” (Rev.5:9). Our PASSOVER LAMB is worthy, for He “was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing! Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (Rev.5:12,13).
Another connection to be made is the parallel of pain in the sacrifice of the lamb which the family had nurtured, cared for, and come to love, with that of the Father’s agony in sending His only Son to suffer and die on the Cross for an undeserving wicked humanity. Amir Tsarfati, www.beholdisrael.org, (https://youtu.be/e-Vw4nk8sZ4?list=PLFExJF2KBSH2g_1LO6rL41IOwMlK023vN), explains it this way: “the difficulty/pain of having to kill and eat the perfect little lamb that the entire family became attached to provides a comparison to the agony of the Father when His Son was sacrificed for humankind on the cross.” We are called to remembrance, at Passover, of what the Father sacrificed in order for humanity to inherit salvation/eternal life, and what the Messiah, Son of God sacrificed Himself so that we could inherit and become joint heirs with Him in the Kingdom of Heaven. We are called to appreciate what this sacrifice on our behalf cost Him, and what it means for us. Surely, we should be willing, in return for what was done, and will yet be given, to us, to give up sinful lifestyles, fleshly urges and temptations, to live lives that honour Him!
To make the connections from what was done on our behalf, to what it should mean in our own personal lives, is to be humbled, reduced to selflessly living for Him, for “He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Cor.5:15).
© 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
Scriptures quoted are either from NKJV or TLV:
1 John 3:5
Rabbi Calev Goldberg, “Beginning of Months and Appointed Times,” Message, 17.03.18, http://www.bethshechinah.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/2018-03-17_The_beginning_of_months_and-Gods_Appointed_Times_Rabb_Calev_Goldberg2.mp3
Amir Tsarfati, “Jesus and The Passover,” Behold Israel, Dec. 31, 2015
Dayenu, Wikipedia Definition, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayenu
- *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”.
All photos by Verna Crowther, unless otherwise specified.
© 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.