The Message of Passover
At the moment we are in the church’s time of lent, a time to give up something in preparation of celebrating Easter. This lent time I would suggest comes from the time of preparation on the Jewish calendar the preparation for the time of the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement, which occur later in the year. [Leviticus 23:27] I fully agree we should prepare ourselves for these two events and that is what the time of Easter represents, an event in history. But first came Passover the event that occurred some three thousand years ago and was fulfilled by Yeshua. This feast is and was never just an event in time but a whole story of sacrifice, presentation, understanding and behaviour before the Lord.
Back in the book of Leviticus we can read about the many offerings that were to be presented to the Lord and each tells its own story or purpose in how we are to act and present ourselves before the Lord. We look at the Cross of Yeshua and say this covers all, but covers what? One author has written a book outlining the thirty offerings that the sacrifice of our Lord died for. The cross is more than just a sacrifice it paints a picture of all that has been taught within the scriptures and of the things that the Lord requires of us. [2 Timothy 3:16]
The very first Passover sacrifice brought death to the Egyptians [Exodus 12:29] and to this day the Jewish mourn for their loss within the Passover ceremony. The second Passover brought life to all who would believe by the first born of the Father. [Hebrews 1:6] There were people saved at first Passover and only the blood of the Lamb saved them. By the placing of the blood of the Lamb on their doorpost and entering in to that home through that circle of blood could they be saved, [Exodus 12:23] just as we are saved today by the new and living way [Hebrews 10:20] by placing the blood of the Lamb of God by which we are washed clean. [Revelation 7:14]
Works or leading good lives did not save the Israelite people in ancient Egypt. They had done nothing to deserve being set free from their bondage; their freedom only came at a price and by the grace of God. When we read through the scriptures we see the offerings to the Lord had to be perfect and without blemish or in the case of a harvest offering it had to the first of the crop. Yeshua was perfect, without sin [Hebrews 7:26] and was the first-born the first-born was always presented before God the Father. [Nehemiah 10:36]
As the angel of death hung over the people of Egypt it still hangs over us today, all will die but then all can live if only we would look to the Cross and be washed clean by the Blood of the Lamb of God. Passover starts with a cleansing of the house of all leaven, which we know the Israelites had to leave all leaven behind in their haste to leave. The point of this is leaven is a symbol of sin [1 Corinthians 5:6-7] and the same grace that had saved them on that terrible night, was also directing their lives and how they were to live in the life the Lord was now leading them. In this time of preparation before Passover arrives, we too should be searching our hearts and our lives to seek out those things that are not of God. [! Corinthians 11:26-29] People give up this or give up that during Lent, but we can give up all we want but unless we give up the one thing that is keeping us separated from God, it means nothing. According to the Word there is one main thing we are all required to do and that is repent and give up sinning and then and only then will God hear our prayer and forgive us and heal our land. [2 Chronicles 7:14] As the blood of Abel cried out from the ground to the Lord [Genesis 4:10] for what had happened to him, so too does the Blood of Yeshua cry out for the repentance of all who persecuted Him and for all who would follow as we are all guilty of His death. [Romans 3:23]
Joseph a follower of Yeshua claimed the body of Yeshua to ensure it did not hang on the cross over night and become a curse. [Galatians 3:13] This fulfilled scripture that the Passover Lamb had to be consumed on the first day with none left over. [Numbers 9:12] The death of Yeshua was painful and slow but it did not end there as on the third day He rose unto Glory [Hebrews 12:2] and the story continued. He became the first fruit from the dead [1 Corinthians 15:20] and presented Himself to the Father, perfect and whole and without blemish. [1 Peter 1:19] The Bible tells us of the Feast of First Fruits, which occurred Biblically on the first day of the week. [Leviticus 23:39] Our first fruits example - Yeshua rose on the first day of the week and set the standard for us all to follow. When we are Born Again we become a type of first fruit, as a baby from the womb beautiful and perfect and yet to sin. And it is in this state that we are to come before the Father full of love and repentance and with a joy in our hearts as a child seeing the wonder of the world for the first time. [Matthew 18:3]
But again this is only the start of the journey for us. As the Israelites marched across the wilderness they were lead by a cloud by day and fire by night. [Psalm 78:14] The cross is but the start of a journey that lasts a lifetime and takes us, like Yeshua, to be with the Father in Heaven. The cloud and fire was the power of God leading them on to the Promised Land as the Holy Spirit was given to us to do the same. [John 14:26] Yeshua’s sacrifice on the cross is our cloud by day and the fire by night and with Him in our lives we may never walk in darkness again but by the light of the Lord. [John 8:12]
Like all journeys we have to take food, the Israelites left Egypt with unleavened bread, [Exodus 12:39] the bread they had in the wilderness was given them by God and the bread of Life that we now live by is pure and without leaven, sinless. And it is by this bread our lives should revolve around. [John 6:31-35] This started at the Passover in Egypt and continued throughout every Passover since. Yeshua our unleavened bread principle is what we should all live by. “In the week of Passover you shall eat bread without yeast.” [Exodus 13:6] It is by the bread of Life we should live, it is only the Bread of Life that sustains us on this journey we are on. Only His Bread gives us the energy to continue through all the troubles we may encounter and it is only His bread that gives us eternal life. [John 6:35]
We do not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. [Deuteronomy 8:3] And His word gives us the symbols to focus our lives, our thoughts and our hearts upon. The First Fruits show us how we are to present ourselves to the Father, pure and spotless. The Word also tells us to be aware of the leaven that can pollute our lives and possibly turn us from the narrow path. [1 Corinthians 5:7] Then of course there is the Cross and the Passover Lamb, which was needed because we fail with the first two, as there is only One who is perfect and sinless who would meet the requirements of the perfect sacrifice for our sins. [Hebrews 9:14] As we come up to Passover let us give thought to the message given to us throughout scripture summed up in 1 John 1:5-9;
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.