Matt: 26:18 “My appointed time is near, I am going to celebrate the Passover with My disciples”
Pesach: The season of our freedom – celebrated for one day.
Lev 23:4-5 “These are the appointed times of יהוה, set-apart gatherings which you are to proclaim at their appointed times. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between the evenings, is the Passover to יהוה.”
[On the 14th it is a full moon. YHWH (God) lights up all the nights of the happy feasts or joyous celebration.]
Exo 12:2 “This month is the beginning of months for you, it is the first month of the year for you”
With this YHWH established the Scriptural (Biblical) calendar. The Jews use two calendars: The Biblical and the secular. Christians, for the most part, only use the Babylonian calendar.
What is Passover?
Passover speaks of freedom from bondage and a new beginning, and isn’t that what Yeshua came to give us? Passover is a beautiful revelation of Yeshua. Of all the Biblical Feasts there are move references to Passover in the New Testament [Renewed Covenant] than any other Feast.
The Festivals are like a cycle of sanctification that we go through year after year and it starts with Passover.
The Passover was instituted in Egypt, just before YHWH smote the firstborn of Egypt, Israel had to take the blood of the Passover lamb and apply it to the doors of their houses, so that YHWH would pass over when He saw the blood and not let the destroyer enter.
Let us read the account as Moses relates it in Exodus 12: Verse 3
“Speak to all the congregation of Yisra’ĕl, saying, ‘On the tenth day of this month each one of them is to take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.”
[The idea was to scrutinize the lamb as it had to be spotless. The family also had to care for it away from the other animals. It became like a dear pet in the house which they got to love and then it had to be sacrificed. Just like Yeshua who was so dearly loved by the huge crowds who followed Him and all whom He healed and delivered.]
Exo 12:4 ‘And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next to his house take it according to the number of the beings, according to each man’s need you make your count for the lamb.”
[Each person had to eat His fill and nothing was to be left over. A lamb for a household, but Yeshua, the Lamb of YHWH, died for the sins of the whole world.]
Exo 12:5 ‘Let the lamb be a perfect one, a year old male. Take it from the sheep or from the goats.”
[Rom 5:17 For if by the trespass of the one, death did reign through the one, much more those who receive the overflowing favour and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life through the One, יהושע Messiah.]
Exo 12:7 ‘And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.”
[If they painted the sides and tops, they wrote the Hebrew letter “Chet” which has the numerical value of eight and speaks of life or a new beginning.]
Exo 12:8 ‘And they shall eat the flesh on that night, roasted in fire – with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.”
[In one night, Yeshua was condemned, crucified and buried]
Exo 12:9 ‘Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire, its head with its legs and its inward parts.”
[The Gospel, likened to meat, should not be watered down, like by traditions of men.]
Exo 12:10-29 ‘And do not leave of it until morning, and what remains of it until morning you are to burn with fire.” ‘And this is how you eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Passover of יהוה.”
‘And I shall pass through the land of Mitsrayim (Egypt) on that night, and shall smite all the first-born in the land of Mitsrayim, both man and beast. And on all the mighty ones (gods) of Mitsrayim I shall execute judgment. I am יהוה.” ‘And the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I shall pass over you, and let the plague not come on you to destroy you when I smite the land of Mitsrayim.”
‘And this day shall become to you a remembrance. And you shall observe it as a festival to יהוה throughout your generations – observe it as a festival, an everlasting law.” ‘Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. Indeed on the first day you cause leaven to cease from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that being shall be cut off from Yisra’ĕl.”
‘And on the first day is a set-apart gathering, and on the seventh day you have a set-apart gathering. No work at all is done on them, only that which is eaten by every being, that alone is prepared by you.”And Mosheh called for all the elders of Yisra’ĕl and said to them, “Go out and take lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and slaughter the Passover lamb.”
“And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin, and you, none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.” “And יהוה shall pass on to smite the Mitsrites, and shall see the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, and יהוה shall pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to smite you.”
“And you shall guard this word as a law for you and your sons, forever.” And the children of Yisra’ĕl went away and did so – as יהוה had commanded Mosheh and Aharon, so they did.”And it came to be at midnight that יהוה smote all the first-born in the land of Mitsrayim, from the first-born of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the first-born of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the first-born of livestock.”
- Historically Passover (Pesach) is all about the sacrifice of a spotless lamb whose blood covered and protected the Israelites from the judgment of YHWH, when the Messenger of death “passed-over” them. So they came out of bondage or slavery into freedom through the blood of a spotless lamb.
- The fulfillment of Passover is found in Yeshua’s sacrificial death on the stake (cross) as the Lamb of YHWH. By His blood we are redeemed from the bondage of sin and enter into the freedom of eternal life.
Passover Encompasses the Three Feasts
Passover; Unleavened Bread & First Fruits
According to the Scriptures, Passover starts on the 14th of the first month (Abib/Aviv) and unleavened Bread starts on the 15th of Abib. Passover lasts for 1 day while Unleavened Bread lasts for 7 days. First Fruits falls on the 16th of Abib.
Who May Celebrate Passover?
Exo 12:48 “And when a stranger sojourns with you and shall perform the Passover to יהוה, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and perform it, and he shall be as a native of the land. But let no uncircumcised eat of it. Exo 12:49 “There is one Torah for the native-born and for the stranger who sojourns among you.”
YHWH also had another circumcision in mind. He wants our hearts circumcised, to cut away the flesh of our old nature.
Deu 30:6 “And יהוה your Elohim shall circumcise your heart and the heart of your seed, to love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being, so that you might live”
Why Do We Celebrate Passover?
YHWH already gave the answer even before somebody asked the question:
Exo 12:26 “And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What does this service mean to you?”
Exo 13:8 “And you shall inform your son in that day, saying,‘It is because of what יהוה did for me when I came up from Mitsrayim.”
Seeing that the Festivals were given to us as reminders, we, Gentile Believers in Yeshua, now grafted into Yisra’el, look back at the fulfilment and every year we marvel in the perfect sacrifice of the spotless Lamb of YHWH. Just like Israel we had to believe, and when we applied the blood of the Lamb to the doorposts of our hearts, we were saved from the bondage of sin.
Passover (Pesach) reveals YHWH’s deliverance from bondage and oppression. The divine deliverance from bondage that Pesach portrays has one very important purpose for us: to remember when we came out of the bondage of sin and how Yeshua led us out through His blood.
Looking back, we know that the Israelites came to freedom through the blood of a spotless lamb. And so did we gentile believers in Yeshua. The blood had to be applied by faith believing the word of YHWH and the condition was to stay under the protection of the blood.
Exo 12:22 “And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin, and you, none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.
Exo 12:23 “And יהוה shall pass on to smite the Mitsrites, and shall see the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, and יהוה shall pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to smite you.”
How Do We Celebrate Passover?
The Word gives us a few guidelines which we will look at.
Exo 12:8 ‘And they shall eat the flesh on that night, roasted in fire – with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.”
1. The Lamb
The main feature of the Passover meal was the ROASTED Passover Lamb. Roasting speaks of the fire of affliction. After it was killed, its blood was sprinkled on the tops and sides of the doors of the houses. Then they had to eat of the lamb. Everyone was to partake. The body and the blood of the lamb speaks of the body and the blood of Yeshua, the Lamb of YHWH.
The picture was that the killed lamb facilitated LIFE and the shed blood covered and protected from DEATH.
For 1500 years the Israelites rehearsed the sacrifice of the lamb as they celebrated Passover, and then the time came when John the Baptist said of Yeshua…
Joh 1:29 “See, the Lamb of Elohim who takes away the sin of the world!”
The Passover lamb protected a household in Egypt, but the Lamb of YHWH takes away the sin of the world.
2. Bitter Herbs
They symbol of the bitter life under the bondage of slavery to sin. We can all remember how dead we were in our trespasses and sins in which we used to live, when we followed the ways of the world and the ruler of the kingdom of the air.
No matter how we tried to escape, we could not. We needed to be delivered from the bondage of slavery, just like the Israelites in Egypt.
3. Unleavened Bread
The Hebrew word for unleavened bread is Matzah. In this context leaven means sin. Yeshua Himself explained the meaning of leaven or yeast when He referred to some of the teachings of the Pharisees as leaven in matt 16:12
Mat 16:12 “Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”
Like leaven in Matzah, this kind of teaching is to be avoided, because a little leaven works through the whole batch of dough, as Sha’ul (Paul) says in 1 Cor 5:6.
When Yeshua took the matzah and blessed it after the Passover mean, telling His taught ones (Disciples) that the matzah resembled His body, He was saying that like matzah, He too, was without sin.
The spiritual application for us can be found in:
1 Cor 5: 7-8
“Therefore cleanse out the old leaven, so that you are a new lump, as you are unleavened. For also Messiah our Passover was offered for us. So then LET US OBSERVE THE FESTIVAL, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of evil and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
Here Sha’ul (Paul) is speaking to us, gentile believers, explaining to us how to keep the Feast and not even debating whether we should or shouldn’t. They (disciples) only added their new-found understanding about the life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Yeshua to their already existing system of praise according to the custom of the Passover.
As we celebrate the Feast, we ponder these truths again..
The Torah [which is the Hebrew for Teaching, or Instructions, and also Covenant] was never destroyed or abolished or cancelled by Yeshua or the disciples.
Mat 5:17-20 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete. “For truly, I say to you, till the heaven and the earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done.
“Whoever, then, breaks one of the least of these commands, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the reign of the heavens; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the reign of the heavens. “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall by no means enter into the reign of the heavens.’
Passover and the Communion
Why did Yeshua say the following in Luke 22:15:
“With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before My suffering”
Because He had a very important thing to do, namely to institute the Renewed Covenant and to show the progression from Passover to Communion.
When I was born again, I thought Communion was just one of those “New Testament” things that you believe and receive. I was so surprised to realize that YHWH is an Elohyim (God) of order and that He had planned the whole story of redemption before He even made the earth and He gave it to His covenant people to rehearse so that they will understand when the fulfilment comes.
Some people wonder whether they should keep Passover or communion. For us as Believers in Yeshua it is a privilege to keep both. We celebrate Passover at the appointed time, as the Word commands and we use communion “whenever”, as in 1 Cor 11:23-26.
Sharing with His disciples the cup and the matzah (unleavened bread), Yeshua proclaimed with prophetic action the breaking of His own body and shedding of His own blood.
The Renewed Covenant and Communion
Luke 22:20 “Likewise the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the renewed covenant in My blood which is shed for you”
In essence Yeshua equated His blood with the token or sign of the New Testament or Renewed Covenant. It is the Renewed Covenant spoken of in Jeremiah 31
Verse 31-33 “See, the days are coming,” declares יהוה, “when I shall make a new covenant with the house of Yisra’ĕl and with the house of Yehuḏah, not like the covenant I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Mitsrayim, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them,” declares יהוה.
“For this is the covenant I shall make with the house of Yisra’ĕl after those days, declares יהוה: I shall put My Torah in their inward parts, and write it on their hearts. And I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.”
In the Feast of Weeks [or Pentecost] we learn that it is the Torah that is written on the heart of everyone who participates in the Renewed Covenant by believing in Yeshua and obeying YHWH’s instructions.
The word “chadasha” in Hebrew means “renewed”, must like the moon (or month). It is renewed with every month.
When Yeshua said: “This is the Renewed Covenant in My blood“, He knew that Yisra’el needed a renewed covenant, because they have violated the covenant made at Sinai.
When a covenant is renewed, sometimes a few of the conditions of the covenant were modified. The Renewed Covenant (New Testament) is just such a modified covenant. The book of Hebrews tells us that the only thing which was modified was that Yeshua fulfilled all the commandments required for temple and sacrificial observances. Yeshua became both our High Priest and our Sacrifice, rendering the commandments concerning the temple and sacrificial system unnecessary.
Just note that this covenant did not nullify the covenants made with Abraham and Moses. It only compliments them.
Mat 26:26 And as they were eating, יהושע took bread, and having blessed, broke and gave it to the taught ones and said, “Take, eat, this is My body.”
The Cup of Redemption:
Exo 6:6 ‘I am יהוה, and shall redeem you with an outstretched arm” [what a vivid picture of our Messiah on the stake (cross)]
1Co 11:26 “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Master until He comes.”
Why His death and not His birthday? He never had anything to say about His birthday or that we should remember or celebrate it (christ-mass). It is through His death that we received life, and so many blessings!
Let us proclaim them together…
* Yeshua was punished, that we might be forgiven [Is 53:4]
* Yeshua was wounded, that we might be healed [Is 53:5]
* Yeshua was made sin with our sinfulness that we might be made righteous with His righteousness [Is 53:10]
* Yeshua died our death, that we might receive His life [Heb 2:9]
* Yeshua was made a curse, that we might enter into a blessing [Gal 3:13]
* Yeshua endured our poverty, that we might share His abundance [2 Cor 8:9 and 9:8]
* Yeshua bore our shame, that we might share His glory [Matt 27:35]
* Yeshua endured our rejection, that we might have His acceptance with the Father [Matt 27:46]
* Yeshua was cut off by death, that we might be joined to Elohyim (God) eternally [1 Cor 6:17]
* Our old “man” was put to death in Him that they new man might come to life in us [Col 3:9]
Shadows and Fulfilment
Let us look at a few of the shadows of the Passover and how Yeshua fulfilled them.
The lambs for Passover were reared in Bethlehem
Yeshua the Lamb of YHWH was born in Bethlehem
Bethlehem is Beit Lechem in Hebrew, which means ‘house of bread’.
Yeshua, the Bread of Life, was born in the House of Bread.
The lambs were led to the temple 4 days before Passover, on the
10th of Abib (or Nisan). They came with a procession of people singing from Psalms 113-118 dancing and waving palm branches.
In Matt 21 we read about the triumphal entry of Yeshua being led into the city by a procession of singers and people shouting proclamations about Him. Fulfilment of Zech 9:9 ‘your King comes to you…riding a donkey’.
Cleansing of the homes of leaven:
Exo 13:7 “Unleavened bread is to be eaten the seven days, and whatever is leavened is not to be seen with you, and leaven is not to be seen with you within all your border.”
Cleansing of the temple by Yeshua:
Matt 21:12 “And יהושע went into the Set-apart Place of Elohim and drove out all those buying and selling in the Set-apart Place, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who sold doves”
The lambs are being scrutinized in the temple area for 4 days to make sure they are without spot or blemish.
Yeshua was tested in the temple by the Pharisees and Teachers of Torah.
Matt 21:23; Matt 22:15; Luke 23:14
Pilot and Herod proclaimed Him without fault and blameless.
Luke 23:14b A Lamb without blemish
1 P 1:19
During the Passover meal 4 cups are taken (Jewish tradition). The 3rd is the cup of Redemption – I will redeem you with an outstretched arm.
Yeshua hung on the stake (cross) with outstretched arms and so redeemed us.
The middle matzah (Jewish tradition) [which points to the Mediating Priest – Yeshua] is broken and eaten. And the 3rd cup is drunk.
Yeshua instituted the communion. Read Matt 26:26 ; Luke 22:14
“Take this bread, this is My body broken for you. This cup is the renewed covenant in My blood”.
Ex 12:46 gives the command: no bones of the lamb shall be broken
Yeshua died before they needed to break His legs [John 19:31-34]
The blood of a spotless lamb was to be applied to the door posts of their houses
The blood of Yeshua is applied to the door posts of our hearts.
Yisra’el came out of bondage into freedom through the blood of a spotless lamb
We do the same!
The Passover lamb was killed to save a household
The Lamb of YHWH was crucified for the sins of the world.
The Passover lamb was sacrificed each year
Yeshua our Passover Lamb was sacrificed once for all. Heb 7:27b
The High Priest sacrificed the Passover Lamb.
Yeshua became the High Priest and sacrificed Himself as the Lamb of YHWH.
The Passover lamb was tied to the altar at the 3rd hour (9am)
Yeshua was crucified at the 3rd hour (9am)
At the ninth hour (3 pm) the High Priest killed the lamb and he said “It is finished”.
At 3 pm Yeshua breathed His last saying, “It is finished”.
Click here to learn why we celebrate Passover and not Easter/Ishtar.