Archive for the ‘Unleavened Bread – Matzah’ Category

Passover and Yeshua

“When the time came, Yeshua and the emissaries reclined at the table, and he said to them, “I have really wanted so much to celebrate this Seder with you before I die!” (Luke 22:14-15).

In the recent years, I have begun to hear believers in Yeshua say that he didn’t actually celebrate the Passover with his disciples. After all, how could he be the sacrifice and celebrate the ‘appointed time’ with a sacrifice? There are big-name ministries suggesting that he celebrated at another time and even creating whole feasts because of this idea which ultimately makes null and void Yeshua becoming the ‘sacrificial lamb’ at Passover. The confusion lies in the many traditions that have developed over the centuries regarding Passover coupled with a lot of ignorance and even some arrogance from the nations who have joined Isra’el by separating themselves from the Jewish people, the natural branches.

Did Yeshua really celebrate Passover with his disciples? I tend to take the Scriptures more literally and when Yeshua says that he really wanted to celebrate this particular Passover with his disciples, it was what he meant and did. He was not wishful thinking (another argument I have heard). As indicated by Sha’ul, Yeshua actually celebrated the Passover, was betrayed and then died.

“For what I received from the Lord is just what I passed on to you — that the Lord Yeshua, on the night he was betrayed, took bread; and after he had made the b’rakhah [blessing] he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this as a memorial to me”;  likewise also the cup after the meal, saying, “This cup is the New Covenant effected by my blood; do this, as often as you drink it, as a memorial to me” (1 Corinthians 11:23-25).

In the beginning, God created days from evening to evening. This means that a ‘day’ actually began at sunset. This year, 2020, Passover is April 8 and sunset begins at 7:03 p.m. in Jerusalem (for those who need specifics). That’s when the ‘day’ begins and at the next sunset 7:04 p.m. that ‘day’ will end.

In the days of the Temple during that 24-hour time period, there were two sacrifices – the morning sacrifice and the evening. The evening sacrifice was actually done at 3 p.m. before the next day began. So, with this little bit of knowledge, let’s look at the Passover, the original one in Exodus.

Egypt

When Moshe told the Israelites to take a lamb and put its blood on the doorposts, it would have had to be before sunset on the 14th day of the month. Why? Because by sunset beginning the 14th day of the month, the families should have been their homes with the blood on the doorposts, eating the lamb, the unleavened bread, and bitter herbs. They would have remained in their homes until morning after God delivered the last plague upon Egypt – the death of the firstborn.

Sometime during the daytime of the 14th, Pharaoh told Moshe to leave, to take the Hebrews/mixed multitude and get them out of his country. They loaded up their belongings, took plunder from the Egyptians and left the land of their slavery. By the evening, they were heading toward freedom and the Land of Promise. The memorial to this specific event is the 15th day of the month (Exodus 12). Hence days of Matzah when their bread didn’t rise.

Jerusalem

Fast forward to the Passover of Yeshua. In Luke 22:8, he told his disciples to go prepare for the Passover. Everyone who celebrates the Biblical holy days knows the daytime before the sunset arrives is known as a ‘preparation day.’ So on or around 3 p.m. on the 13th day of the month, there was a sacrifice of a lamb for the seder meal, the sacrifice of preparation.

After sunset, beginning the 14th day of the month, Yeshua reclined at the table with his disciples. He shared one cup of wine with them and they shared it with each other. He explained the sacrifice required to institute the promised new covenant with a second cup of wine and unleavened bread. During the evening meal, Judas leaves. Yeshua and his disciples spend the evening on the Mount of Olives. They sleep. He prays. Judas returns with soldiers who take him to the Sanhedrin to be tried as a criminal, blasphemer.

During the early morning hours, the leaders of Isra’el take Yeshua to Pilate who washes his hands of the ordeal and sends them to Herod. Herod sends him back to Pilate who offers Barabbas to be killed, but the people cry out for Yeshua’s death. By noon, he is taken to Golgotha and hung on the cross. He dies, as the Passover lamb of God, at the evening sacrifice on the 14th day of the month, 3 p.m. Voilá. He can celebrate the Passover and be the sacrificial Lamb.

Because it is ‘preparation day’ for the sabbath of Unleavened Bread, he is removed from the cross and buried quickly. As a memorial to the days of Matzah, our sinless Savior is set free from this life to become in three days’ time the Firstfruits of those who are raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20). The mention of Sabbath in Luke 22 regarding Unleavened Bread cannot be the weekly Sabbath. If it had been, Yeshua would not have been in the tomb three days and three nights and would have effectively nullified his own prophecy using Jonah in the belly of the whale. The sabbath mentioned is the ‘sabbath’ of the beginning of Unleavened Bread as the Feasts of the LORD were called ‘sabbaths’.

In order for Yeshua to fulfill the ‘appointed times’ of his Father, he had to celebrate/become them as they are written in the Scriptures. Though there are many variations today, like Matzah and Passover being one unified celebration, how it happened in the time of Moshe must concur with the memorials described in the Scriptures for Yeshua’s death, burial, and resurrection.

“Go into the city, to so-and-so,” he replied, “and tell him that the Rabbi says, ‘My time is near, my talmidim and I are celebrating Pesach at your house” (Matthew 26:18).

The word ‘time’ in this verse is the Greek kairos and means ‘opportunity,’ ‘fitting time,’ or ‘season.’ The NIV translates the the word as ‘appointed time,’ following the idea of ‘season’ or moed pointing to the Feasts of the LORD. The Amplified Bible states clearly that Yeshua is to keep the ‘appointed time’ of Passover with his disciples.

“He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time [to suffer and atone for sin] is near; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples” (Matthew 26:18 AMP).

In These Days

With so many non-Jews entering the Commonwealth of Isra’el, it is important to know and understand the Scriptural foundation for the Feasts of the LORD and Yeshua’s centrality to them all. It is also important to know and understand the Jewish traditions that have developed over the centuries and discard them if they nullify a commandment (Mark 17, Isaiah 29:13). However, it is also important that when non-Jews begin to discern the difference between helpful traditions or nullifying traditions that we do not create new traditions or doctrines that effectively nullify the very commandments we are trying to obey.

For example, without a Temple there can be no sacrificial lamb. This doesn’t mean you can’t eat lamb at Passover, but it does mean you should not sacrifice a lamb for Passover. There is only one place for sacrifice and that is the Temple in Jerusalem. Until there is a Temple in Jerusalem, no sacrificing lambs or goats or anything else. Another example, when the Hebrews ate their Passover meal, they were told to have their staffs in hand and sandals on their feet in order to leave quickly. By the time of Yeshua, the children of Isra’el reclined at their tables because they were no longer enslaved. To wear sandals and hold a staff is a wonderful teaching tool, but if we have been set free from sin and death through the blood of the Lamb, we should relax and enjoy the seder, even reclining if you are so inclined.

Finally, may we never forget that Isra’el was called to be a light to the nations and from them came the Light of the World. It is possible to embrace the traditions of the Jewish people (without breaking any commandments) and learn more about the God of Isra’el and His Son, Yeshua of Nazareth by celebrating the Passover with a seder. As non-Jews, we are called to make them envious of the Light of the World, and we cannot do that if we are implementing all manner of nonsense into the ‘appointed times’ as they were given by Elohim.

“Get rid of the old hametz, so that you can be a new batch of dough, because in reality you are unleavened. For our Pesach lamb, the Messiah, has been sacrificed.  So let us celebrate the Seder not with leftover hametz, the hametz of wickedness and evil, but with the matzah of purity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8).

©2020 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts

Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts is a personal or group in-depth study that reveals the shadows and realities of the Messiah in the prophetic visions in the Feasts of the LORD. It will fill in the holes of your Bible when reading the words ‘Jewish feast’ or ‘the feast of the Jews.’  This study will illuminate often-overlooked phrases and idioms that allude to the ‘appointed times’ of God.

Both the prophet Micah and King Solomon state that without prophetic vision and knowledge, God’s people perish. Studying the Biblical holy days will revive the searching soul and bring insight and understanding into the complete salvation found in Yeshua – his past, present and future work.

This study includes Scriptures from the Torah, Prophets, Psalmes, Gospels and Letters. It includes activities for families and children that will enhance celebrating the Biblical ‘appointed times’ as well as sgugestions for digging deeper into traditional and Biblical Jewish customs surrounding Yeshua In His Father’s Feasts.

May be purchased on amazon.com

Reviews:

“This is the best Bible study I have ever done. I can’t seem to put it down and I am learning more and more about my faith everyday. I have been a believer for 60 years and I am learning truths I was never taught in church. I even asked my pastor if he knew all of this and admitted, he did not.” (M. Graves)

“I have been growing in my faith from reading and studying the Feasts in this guide. Thank you for your faithfulness to Yeshua!” (S. Corben)

“Few Christians understand that the context for the Jewish Messiah of the New Testament of their Bibles is the culture and language and history of the nation of Israel. This book helps explain why that culture, language and history is necessary knowledge for understanding the identity of the Messiah and how knowing the Jewish Messiah enlarges the understanding of the Biblical feasts. Good, basic foundational information from which to launch further study. Very enjoyable and eye-opening.” (W. Lopez)

“Loved it. Will keep going back for future Wisdom that truly matters.” (J. Banta)

Feast of Unleavened Bread – Matzah

“These are the LORD’s appointed festivals, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their ‘appointed time’s: the LORD’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month.  On the fifteenth day of that month the LORD’s Festival of Matzah Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work” (Leviticus 23:4-7).

The seven days of Unleavened Bread follow the Passover as a memorial to the Exodus when the Israelites were set free from    slavery.  The first day of unleavened bread, when Israel left Egypt, is   the exact day that Jacob and his family entered Egypt centuries earlier.  The Exodus marked the end of the prophecy given to Abraham that his descendants would be enslaved in a foreign land for 400 years (Genesis 15:13).  Through the blessing of the God, Jacob’s family of 70 had grown to over one million. 

After losing his firstborn son and the firstborn of all of his kingdom to death, Pharaoh set the people of Israel free.  God made the Egyptians favorably disposed to the Israelites so they were more than willing that the Israelites take whatever they wanted from livestock to gold just so they would leave their land.  For seven days the children of Israel  traveled from Egypt to Sukkoth during which time they ate only matzah. 

“They baked matzah loaves from the dough they had brought out of Egypt, since it was unleavened; because they had been driven out of Egypt without time to prepare supplies for themselves” (Exodus 12:39).

Soured Dough – Chametz

“You are not to eat any chametz with it; for seven days [of Unleavened Bread] you are to eat with it matzah, the bread of affliction; for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste. Thus you will remember the day you left the land of Egypt as long as you live” (Deuteronomy 16:3).

‘Leaven’ in Hebrew is chametz and literally means ‘soured dough.’   In ancient times, leavening was done through a soured starter dough.  The starter was a mixture of flour combined with water and allowed to sit for several days, souring the dough.  A portion of this soured dough could be mixed with other flour creating a leavened dough.  Then, a little more flour is added to the lump of starter to keep the wild yeast from dying.   By removing the chametz from their homes, the Israelites were literally throwing away a ‘lump of dough’ in order to start over with a new batch.    

“Get rid of the old lump, so that you can be a new batch of dough, because in reality you are unleavened…” (1 Corinthians 5:7).

Yeshua used the leaven of ‘soured dough’ to symbolize the false teachings and traditions of the elders that diluted the truth of the Scriptures.  Just as a little leaven infects a whole loaf of bread, centuries of false teachings and manmade practices had contaminated the Word of God. 

This is what happened to the Israelites in Egypt.  Centuries of other gods and Egyptian culture had infiltrated their lives and their faith.   God commanded His people  to remove all ‘soured dough’ from their homes because He desired that His people would leave behind the leaven of Egypt and become decontaminated from the ways of that nation.  For seven days they were to eat nothing but the ‘bread of affliction’ and search their souls.  They were to turn away from everything that had soured their hearts and minds in Egypt’s culture of darkness and slavery.

The Bread of Affliction

Within the symbolism of the ‘bread of affliction,’  there is the idea of death and decay.     As the little yeasty bugs puff up the dough by souring it, they are actually dying and decaying.  If the dough is allowed to rise too long, those little guys run out of energy and the loaf flattens or ‘dies.’ This is the essence of the new pure lump of dough.   Once there has been affliction, the death of those yeasty bugs that puff up the dough with pride and unbelief, there must be created a new lump that brings forth humility and faithfulness.

When making unleavened bread or matzah, it is important to prick the dough.  This allows all air and steam to escape and keep the dough flat.  As it bakes, it turns brown between the piercings giving the bread the appearance of stripes.  In the traditional Passover seder, a piece of matzah is broken and half, wrapped in a white cloth and hidden.  It is called the afikomen and means ‘that which comes after.’ 

After the Passover supper, Yeshua uses the afikomen to reveal himself as ‘the coming one.‘   He broke the pierced and striped bread, his  personal ‘bread of affliction,’ and gave it to his disciples to eat.  He was arrested during the night, beaten in the morning, and hung on the cross in the afternoon where his broken and afflicted body died.  (Mark 10:45).

“Also, taking a piece of matzah, he made the blessing, broke it, gave it to them and said, “This is my body, which is being given for you; do this in memory of me” (Luke 22:19).

Preparation Day

“It was Preparation Day [for Unleavened Bread], and the Jews did not want the bodies to remain on the stake on Shabbat, since it was an especially important Shabbat. In the vicinity of where he [Yeshua] had been executed was a garden, and in the garden was a new tomb in which no one had ever been buried.  So, because it was Preparation Day [for Unleavened Bread] …, and because the tomb was close by, that is where they buried Yeshua” (John 19:31, 41-42).

The day these events took place was the Preparation Day for Unleavened Bread, known as a ‘high sabbath,’ but different from the weekly Sabbath.  Because sunset was approaching and the Feast of Unleavened Bread was arriving, Yeshua was immediately taken from the cross, rubbed with myrrh, wrapped in linens and placed in a tomb.   He was buried hastily and his  ‘appointed time’ in the grave began.  For the first three days and three nights of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Yeshua lay dead, left to decay in a tomb. 

“You are to observe the festival of matzah, for on this very day I brought your divisions out of the land of Egypt. Therefore, you are to observe this day from generation to generation by a perpetual regulation” (Exodus 12:17).

The Feast of Unleavened Bread was a permanent regulation to be celebrated through all generations to remember Israel’s hasty exodus from the land of Egypt.  The ‘appointed time’ of matzah was fulfilled by the hasty burial of Yeshua, the unleavened  bread from heaven, ‘the coming one.’  Paul tells the Corinthians that believers in Messiah are to remove the ‘soured dough’ lump of false teachings and celebrate the festivals of Unleavened Bread (and Passover) not with the puffed up bread of wickedness and evil, but with the matzah of purity and sincerity in the Truth of God’s Word. 

For our Pesach lamb, the Messiah, has been sacrificed.  Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with leaven of vice and malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened [bread] of purity (nobility, honor) and sincerity and [unadulterated] truth” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8, The Amplified Bible).

©2010 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.  For a hard copy of this blog post,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.  

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