Pesach (Passover)

Pesach is the celebration of God’s delivering the Israelites out of bondage by the Egyptians. Pesach means to pass over. The Israelites were instructed to sacrifice an unblemished lamb and spread the blood onto the doorpost so the Angel of Death would pass over their homes.

Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

(Exodus 12:13)

In Leviticus 23, God provides the Israelites with the feasts that they need to proclaim as holy convocations, a holy assembly for God.

On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the LORD’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it. But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD for seven days. The seventh day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it. (Leviticus 23:5-8)

Yeshua the Passover Lamb

The Passover of Exodus 12 was a foreshadowing event of the coming of Yeshua (Jesus). Yeshua is the unblemished sacrificial Passover Lamb.

Therefore purge out the old leaven [sin], that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

( 1 Cor 5:7)

Isaiah 53:7 says that “He was led as a lamb to the slaughter.” Yeshua is described as a lamb over 43 times in the New Testament.

Exodus 12: 5 states “Your lamb shall be without blemish…”, Yeshua fulfills this as noted in 1 Peter 1:19, “the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

Yeshua is the Passover Lamb. He shed His blood so that when we apply it to the doorposts of our heart, the Angel of Death passes over.

Connecting the Events

Exodus & The Last Supper

      During the Last Supper, Yeshua took a cup of wine. In a traditional Seder, four cups of wine are taken. The Messiah compared His blood to the wine. As He took the cup, He was accepting His fate. He also knew He was signing his own death warrant. He had accepted the will of the Father in order to reconcile the world.

      As in other wills, there are no beneficiaries until some-one dies. The New Testament (New Will) wasn't sealed until Yeshua's death. Yeshua indirectly was saying to Judas: they can come and take me now. Yeshua said He wouldn't drink of the wine again with His followers until He could enjoy it with them in heaven.

     When Yeshua dipped the sop and gave it to Judas, He actually was participating in an ancient Passover tradition of dipping greens or parsley into salt water. This has been done for some 3,500 years; it is called the "Kwas" ceremony. Traditionally it represents the hyssop dipped into the blood basin in Egypt and applied to the door post and lintel.

     One of the Hallel Psalms sung on this holiday is Psalms 118:22-29. One line of it says: "The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner." How true. The psalmist foresaw a thousand years before the event that the cornerstone of the Jewish faith was to be refused by the builders of the faith (Jews). Since the Messiah was to become the cornerstone of the faith, He also was to become the basis on which everything else derives its meaning. A strong cornerstone is the foundation of a solid structure. It is recorded in the New Covenant that after a particular Passover Seder (the Last Supper) they sang the traditional Hallel psalms.

     Another of the key elements of this time of feasting is the removal of chametz from the home and property. Chametz means leavened bread or bread made with yeast. The leaven represents sin. The removal of chametz commemorates the fact that the Jews left Egypt in a hurry and did not have time to let their bread rise. In effect, they left their “sin” behind. In place of the leavened bread, Matzah is eaten. Matzah is also known as Lecham Oni or the bread of affliction. Today, Jews search their houses for any leaven and remove it, or burn it, before Passover Feast begins. Thus, symbolically removing sin from their lives.

      In the New Covenant, the Messiah compared Himself with this bread when He celebrated the Passover. The parallels are worth noting. Yeast is a symbol of sin. It swells, ferments and decays. The Messiah was not puffed up; neither was the matzah. Both have holes from having been pierced. The stripes on the matzah arc reminders of the stripes on the Messiah's back from the whippings he suffered. During the Passover Seder (supper), three pieces of matzah were placed in. a cloth. The middle piece was broken, as was the Messiah's body. Half of the matzah is hidden and awaits discovery. Isn't this how it is with the Messiah? Anyone truly seeking Him will find Him. The middle piece is called the Afikomen. Afikomenos in Greek means "I have come." It also means "I will return."

     Another biblical symbol is the pascal lamb. The shank bone of a lamb is displayed at the Seder. As you will remember from the Passover story, God said:

"Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence ... About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: And all the first-born of the land of Egypt shall die ... they shall take to them every man a lamb .. . your lamb shall be without blemish ... and they shall take of the blood and strike in on the two side posts and on the upper door posts of the houses ... and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt" (Exodus 11,12).

     Note that the blood of this lamb was to be applied to the upper door (lintel) and to the two side posts. Even the blood was required for deliverance from the death angel. How much like a lamb was the Messiah. He was meek like a lamb and He offered no resistance.

     Bethlehem, where Yeshua was born, was the city in which sacrificial lambs were raised. He was sacrificed at Passover time. His Last Supper was a Passover Seder. Even the commemoration of His Last Supper is really a miniature Passover Seder.

     Traditional observance of this occasion by Jews should be called the feast of the "unleavened bread" because there is no passover lamb present, no sacrifice, and no blood of atonement. However, practices such as reclining on a couch, the kittel (white gown), and the four cups of wine have no special merit in God's sight, since they merely were embellishments added by Rabbis.