Articles about Passover
Articles about Passover
Prioritized Identification with The Lamb
Exodus 12:1-2 states, "This month shall be the beginning of months for you." Though the civil Jewish calendar begins in September, the biblical year was to begin at the month of Nisan (or, March-April). Why did God want the year to begin then? It was to emphasize God's priorities. Passover is the redemption of Israel from bondage, and with God, all things begin with redemption. As Passover was to mark their redemptive beginning, so also faith in Messiah marks the redemptive beginning of those who have believed:
"If any person is in Messiah he is a new creation, old things have passed away, new things have come" (2 Cor. 5:17).
So just as the yearly biblical calendar is to be based upon and oriented around Passover (giving direction and stability to the entire year), our lives need to be based upon and oriented around Yeshua. Redemption in Messiah, the Lamb of God, is the sure foundation upon which all else will properly develop. It is this sure foundation that determines your security that may come throughout the rest of the year.
A Personal Identification with The Lamb
In Exodus l2:3 the lamb to be sacrificed was to be selected "on the tenth day of the month" and kept until "the 14th day of the month" (12:6). Why? During that time the lamb had to be inspected to certify that it was "without blemish" (12:5). For redemption, the lamb had to be flawless. Though the Israelites were anxious to flee bondage, it was better to take the time to insure having a perfect redemption, than to merely make a quick escape from their circumstances...
In the day to come when your son asks you, 'What does this mean?' you shall say to him...
The number four plays a significant role in Judaism. There are the four species of vegetables for Sukkot; four kingdoms in the book of Daniel; four Torah portions in the tefillin; four Matriarchs. At Passover, we find this number in abundance. In the course of the Seder we have four sons, four cups of wine, four expressions of redemption (Exodus 6:6-7) and perhaps the most famous "four" of all: the Four Questions.
As the Seder developed over the centuries, the Four Questions underwent many changes and were altered as different situations arose.1 For example, originally one question dealt with why we ate roasted meat.2 After the destruction of the Temple, that question was deleted and one about reclining was substituted. Today, the Four Questions (phrased as observations) are asked by the youngest child in the family:....
According to God's instructions, the people were to at unleavened bread for seven days after Passover. As such every year prior to Passover house cleaning takes place to remove any leavened products from the home. Traditionally - the mother leaves some bread crumbs around the home:
The cycle of violence between the Jews and the Egyptians continues with no end in sight in Egypt. After eight previous plagues that have destroyed the Egyptian infrastructure and disrupted the lives of ordinary Egyptian citizens, the Jews launched a new offensive this week in the form of the plague of darkness.
Western journalists were particularly enraged by this plague. "It is simply impossible to report when you can't see an inch in front of you," complained a frustrated Andrea Koppel of CNN. "I have heard from my reliable Egyptian contacts that in the midst of the blanket of blackness, the Jews were annihilating thousands of Egyptians. Their word is solid enough evidence for me."
While the Jews contend that the plagues are justified given the harsh slavery imposed upon them by the Egyptians, Pharaoh, the Egyptian leader, rebuts this claim. "If only the plagues would let up, there would be no slavery. We just want to live plague-free. It is the right of every society."..
Have you ever heard a marvelous piece of news that left you thunderstruck and open-mouthed with amazement? Those in the presence of John the Baptist must have experienced exactly that as they listened to his words recorded in John 1:29 - "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"
But what did John really mean? A brief survey of the Lamb and its multi-faceted identity in Scripture and the Jewish world may bring us a deeper understanding of Messiah's fulfillment of John's puzzling words.
The Sacrificial Substitute in Genesis
Sheep are among the earliest domesticated animals in the world, and it is not surprising that they play a prominent role in the ancient nomadic culture depicted in the Book of Genesis.The first references to the Lamb as sacrifice is in the powerful story of Abraham and Isaac. Genesis 22 tells us that God tested Abraham by commanding him,"...Take now your son, your only son Isaac,whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you" (Genesis 22:2).
There is a world of unspoken communication in the exchange between father and son as Isaac asked, "Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" Has there ever been a greater affirmation of faith than Abraham's response? "My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering" (Genesis 22:7-8).
We know that the Angel of the Lord stayed Abraham's hand and that Isaac - a Messianic forerunner in his obedient submission - was spared. But the ram - an adult male sheep - was sacrificed in his stead...
Passover the Feast of Redemption is a day of reckoning! Do you know what purpose it serves? Do you know it is one of the commanded feasts? Do you know it is an eternal feast that we will celebrate in the kingdom?
Passover (also named Pesach in Hebrew) comes this year on the evening of April 17, 2011. For those keeping the Jewish Diaspora calendar it will be observed on the evening of April 18, 2011. The slight difference is based on differences in perceiving when the New Moon occurs and the beginning of the month of Nisan; however, there is also the difference between the Pharisaic tradition of keeping Passover on the 15th of the month (the first day of Unleavened Bread) and Moses actually instructing us to observe the Passover on the 14th at twilight. In the ancient texts, the word that is translated as twilight is the Hebrew word erev. Erev means evening and is understood in Hebrew as the beginning of the day. This is different from our Western mindset where as the day begins at midnight. According to the Scriptures, the day begins and ends when the evening comes. So if we are commanded to observe the Passover on the 14th of Nisan at erev, then it is to be the evening following the 13th. This is a full day before the Pharisees observed it. This is also why the Messiah and His disciples appeared to keep the Passover prior to the Pharisees. Yeshua actually kept the Passover with His disciples according to the Law of Moses, not as the Pharisees had instructed.
I know this is confusing to new Messianic believers, but it is important. We want to join Yeshua and His disciples in keeping the Passover. I know it is traditional for the Jews to keep Passover as they have for the last millennia, but Yeshua criticized this particular tradition saying, "You prefer the traditions of the elders to the commandments of God."
There is nothing wrong with traditions or culture as long as it is not contrary to a commandment of God. Observing the Passover on the 15th of Nisan (Aviv) as opposed to the 14th is in DIRECT conflict with the commandment.
Rabbinical Judaism teaches explicitly that Passover is observed on the fifteenth day of the month. They connected it to the Feast of Unleavened Bread although there is no Scriptural basis to do so.
Not only does Rabbinical Judaism connect and combine the two observances (Passover and Unleavened Bread), they add an additional day. According to Moses, Unleavened Bread is seven days long beginning on the 15th. The last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread should be the 21st of the month. But the Pharisees and Rabbis of today add one more day to include the 22nd.
There are even more complications. The 15th and the 21st are supposed to be High Sabbath days. Judaism ignores the High Sabbath on the 21st and observes it on the 22nd. Moses instructed us to neither add to nor take away from the Lord's instructions. This is exactly what the Pharisees did. This is also why the Messiah warned us about the Pharisees saying, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees."
If you think this is more of a mess than you wanted to know about, just wait. There is a third observance Moses instructed us to do. It is called the Feast of First Fruits. It always occurs on the first day after the first (weekly Sabbath) after the Passover. Therefore it is always after the 14th, after the weekly Sabbath that follows, generally somewhere during the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. However, Judaism (the Pharisaic tradition) uses the High Sabbath on their Passover instead of the weekly Sabbath as their basis for calculating the Feast of First Fruits and the Feast of First Fruits always occurs on the 16th. On top of that they essentially ignore the holiday completely.
For us who follow the Messiah's example, we observe the Feast of First Fruits to remember Yeshua's resurrection. If you recall, He was resurrected on the first day after Sabbath. He was the "first fruits" of many brethren.
Passover is so important that if one is unable because of uncleanness or travel to observe it on the 14th of the first month, it is to be kept on the 14th of the following month, Numbers 9:10-14 As Yahweh began to prepare His people Israel to be released from the bondage of Egypt, He told Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you,” Exodus 12:2.
Deuteronomy 16: 1 reveals this month as Abib, the beginning of the year and first of the months in Yahweh's calendar. Abib in Hebrew means “Green Ears” of barley. Abib comes in the spring when the warming sun brings vegetative life back to the earth in the northern hemisphere. Pass over falls in this month, reminding us of the renewal of our life as portrayed by the time of our Messiah's sacrifice.
Because the Passover season ushers in the holy times of Unleavened Bread, Satan continues his attempts to influence well-meaning people to follow teachings and practices outside the Bible. Not only does the Adversary confuse us as to the proper month, but he attempts to delay the proper day Yahweh's people should observe.
By listening to those who ignore the plain teaching of the Bible, some are led astray to keep a day the Scriptures do not honor. Surely the Word will tell us plainly which day we are to keep for Passover! Yahweh would not make the proper time difficult to figure out.First Biblical Passover
The seven Annual Holy Days were already programmed early in Yahweh's grand plan for mankind back at creation. He said: “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons and for days, and years” (Gen. 1: 14).
The word “seasons” in this verse does not refer to the four seasons' of the year – spring, summer, fall and winter – but is from the- Hebrew moed. The word moed (Strong's No, 4150) means “appointed time,” and is connected with Yahweh's Feasts, His spe cial times of the year. On the other hand, the Hebrew word eht means seasons of the year as we see in Deuteronomy 11: 14 and Leviticus 26:4.
There are those who contend that we should follow the Jews and keep the same days they do, as they have been observing the Feast days for some 4,000 years. The problem is that the Jews no longer follow the Bible in the special times that they observe. They have written their own rules missing from Scripture, and to day they keep Passover a day late. However, they do have a “Seder” service that they keep at home with the family at the start of the 14th. They then go to the synagogue on the 15th for a supper, which they call “The Passover,” even though a day too late.
It would be well to review chapter 12 of Exodus to get the story flow of the first Passover. All Passovers must conform to the first example given us. Exodus 12:3-5 tells us that a lamb without blemish was selected on the tenth day of Abib and was to be kept until the 14th. Verse six reveals that each family was to slay its lamb: “And you shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.”