Archive for the ‘Passover’ Category

The Rehearsal Dinner

During this year’s Pesach seder, my son said he was enlightened to several concepts. This is interesting because he has been celebrating Passover since his birth so whatever jumps out at him is something that should be discussed.

“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!  For I tell you, it is certain that I will not celebrate it again until it is given its full meaning in the Kingdom of God” (Luke 22:14-16).

After reading the above verse, he commented that he had never seen that Yeshua would not celebrate the seder again until it is given its full meaning in the Kingdom of God. The Amplified Version says “I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Both versions clearly state that Yeshua will be celebrating the Passover seder again. My son realized that the fullness of the Feast will only be realized in the Kingdom.

After our seder, I was doing a little study in Matthew 22 about the wedding feast, and the phrase, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” Correctly translated, the verse should read, “Many are called, but few choose.” The Complete Jewish Bible even uses the word, ‘invited’ to convey the idea that many are ‘invited’ to the wedding feast, but ‘few choose to come.’

This Passover was unique because it was held during a ‘plague.’ At the Passover in Egypt, the Hebrews took refuge from the tenth plague in their homes under the ‘blood of the lamb’ while Adonai ‘passed over’ them and took the lives of the firstborn of Egypt. Yeshua used the memorial of Passover to explain his impending death as the firstborn of Adonai, but he was also giving his disciples prophetic vision. He would celebrate the Passover again in the coming Kingdom, His Kingdom, the Messianic Era.

Another unique twist happened after reading the weekly portion in Jeremiah, I suddenly began to see the separation of the sheep and the goats – those who follow the Shepherd of Israel and those who continue to be rooted in other gods and false religions.

Those who follow the Shepherd of Israel, do what he did. They keep the feast of Passover as instructed in Corinthians (1 Corinthians 5:6-9). These sheep understand that there is more to come. There is a Kingdom, a King, and a Wedding Feast.

The goats do something else. The goats are something else.

Passover in is a mikrah or rehearsal dinner. Many are called, but few choose to rehearse. When the wedding feast comes, they may be the guest who is wearing the wrong clothes and be “bound hand and foot, and thrown outside in the dark!’ In that place people will wail and grind their teeth”

My son’s observation was timely. Only a few months before he was talking to me about the coming Kingdom and that he had never heard much about that before. He must have been daydreaming during our daily Bible studies while he was growing up, but ‘for such a time as this,’ his eyes saw the vision of the Kingdom in Yeshua’s words at this year.

Yeshua didn’t fulfill Passover to end it, he fulfilled it so he could bring it to its fullness in the Messianic Era. Until that day comes, Passover is to be remembered by those who have the ‘blood of the Lamb’ on their hearts. The evidence –– they follow the Shepherd. The Bridegroom is returning for his Bride. There is a Wedding Feast of the Lamb. Some will be there; some will be thrown out. There is still time, but this year it seems closer than ever.

© 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 guide/student manual 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 newly revised study guide/student manual includes Scriptures from the Torah, Prophets, Psalms, Gospels, and Letters. It includes activities for families and children that will enhance celebrating the Biblical ‘appointed times’ as well as suggestions for digging deeper into traditional and Biblical Jewish customs surrounding Yeshua In His Father’s Feasts.

If you are doing a group study, a leader’s manual for the revised second edition student manual can be purchased that not only has the answers to the questions, but also ideas for spurring discussions.

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)

“I have learned so many things about the Bible that I never saw before. I loved learning about the fall festivals and I became aware of more and more people teaching about these special times. I especially learned that Christmas and Hanukkah are very different holidays. I am grateful to have done this Bible study.” (L. Herbert)

“My eyes are seeing so much more in Scripture, especially the new testament, after doing this study.” (M. Gravenhorst)

‘Communion’ or Passover

During one of our Shabbat studies, my young daughter asked, “Why do some churches drink wine first and then give you bread while others offer the bread first and then drink the wine?” What an interesting question from an eight-year-old child.  We read Luke 22 and the account of Yeshua and ‘communion’ to answer her question.  

“Then, taking a cup of wine, he [Yeshua] made the blessing and said, ‘Take this and share it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on, I will not drink the ‘fruit of the vine’ until the Kingdom of God comes.’ Also, taking a piece of matzah [unleavened bread], 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.’  He did the same with the cup after the meal, saying, ‘This cup is the New Covenant, ratified by my blood, which is being poured out for you’ (Luke 22:17-20, Complete Jewish Bible).

After reading Luke’s account of Yeshua’s ‘last supper,’ we saw there were two cups of wine: one before eating the bread and one after. Reading the verses in context:

“Then came the day of matzah [unleavened bread], on which the Passover lamb had to be killed. Yeshua sent Peter and John, instructing them, “Go and prepare our Seder, so we can eat.” They asked him, “Where do you want us to prepare it?” He told them, “As you’re going into the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house he enters, and say to its owner, ‘The Rabbi says to you, “Where is the guest room, where I am to eat the Pesach [Passover] meal with my disciples?” ‘He will show you a large room upstairs already furnished; make the preparations there.”  They went and found things just as Yeshua had told them they would be, and they prepared for the Seder.  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! For I tell you, it is certain that I will not celebrate it again until it is given its full meaning in the Kingdom of God” (Luke 22:7-16). 

Yeshua and his disciples
Yeshua’s Passover Seder

By reading about the two cups of wine and bread in context, we noticed more details. Yeshua was celebrating a Passover with all of its traditions.  It was a special Passover and Yeshua desired to celebrate it with his disciples. He knew he would not celebrate the Feast again until it was fulfilled in the Kingdom.  Yeshua wasn’t instituting ‘communion;’ he was leading a traditional Passover seder.

The Hebrew word seder means ‘order.’   A Passover seder includes an order to telling the account of the Hebrews’ exodus from Egypt.  It remembers the judgments, the blood of the lamb, and the death of the firstborn.  While leading this memorial, Yeshua instituted the new covenant.   Since our family celebrated the annual Passover, we immediately understood the significance of the two cups of wine and bread.

The first cup of wine, called the Cup of Sanctification, was shared among the disciples which unified them and set them apart as Yeshua’s beloved Bride.  Along with unleavened bread or matzah, a second cup of wine, the Cup of Redemption, is consumed after the meal.  It is Yeshua’s broken body, the matzah of affliction, and his blood of redemption in the wine that are the ‘cup’ and ‘bread’ used for ‘communion.’

Why doesn’t ‘communion’ include two cups of wine when Yeshua used two cups of wine? Where did the ‘last supper’ come from when Yeshua was celebrating a Passover seder?

Origins of Communion and the Last Supper

“Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, he is to be honored with the worship of adoration. “To visit the Blessed Sacrament is … a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1418). 

The ‘Blessed Sacrament’ is a term used in the Roman catholic church for ‘communion.’  It is also called the ‘eucharist’ which means the ‘bread’ and ‘wine’ transubstantiates or literally turns into the body and blood of Christ. According to the catholic church, the ‘eucharist’ or ‘communion’ is not a memorial to Jesus’ work on the cross, but a repeat of his sacrifice every time the ‘eucharist’ is taken. There is no Scriptural basis that Yeshua’s sacrifice was a repetitive act, it was not. It was a sacrifice once and for all time.

“This is the kind of cohen gadol (high priest) that meets our need — holy, without evil, without stain, set apart from sinners and raised higher than the heavens; one who does not have the daily necessity, like the other cohanim g’dolim, of offering up sacrifices first for their own sins and only then for those of the people; because he offered one sacrifice, once and for all, by offering up himself” (Hebrews 7:26-27).

‘Communion,’ one of the church’s deeply-held traditions is not found in the Bible. It is rooted in the catholic ‘eucharist’ developed by Rome and embraced for centuries by the institutional church. Neither Yeshua, his disciples nor the first-century church celebrated ‘communion.’  There is also no Scriptural basis for ‘The Lord’s Supper’ when describing Yeshua’s last meal with his disciples.  He celebrated the Passover, the ‘appointed time’ of his Father for him to die as the Lamb for the sins of all.

Therefore, whoever eats the Lord’s bread or drinks the Lord’s cup in an unworthy manner will be guilty of desecrating the body and blood of the Lord!” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

Drinking the ‘cup’ in an unworthy manner desecrates the body and blood of Yeshua. Could it be that the ‘eucharist’ is really about “trampling underfoot the blood of Messiah and insulting the grace of God” and holds  great punishment? (Hebrews 10:29).

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord, until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:25).

Every time we drink wine and unleavened bread, we are not only to be proclaiming Yeshua’s death until he returns, but we are to be participating in the Passover memorial.  Not once in all the years I attended church was I taught this.  Not once.  This is because ‘communion’ has catholic roots and all church denominations have embraced those roots. The catholic mass is always about sacrifice and death, not the hope in the resurrection and proclaiming Yeshua until he returns.  

So let a person examine himself first, and then he may eat of the bread and drink from the cup; for a person who eats and drinks without recognizing the body [of Messiah] eats and drinks judgment upon himself. This is why many among you are weak and sick, and some have died! If we would examine ourselves, we would not come under judgment” (1 Corinthians 11:27-31).

In church ‘communion,’ there is only one cup, the Cup of Redemption, that is poured. Becoming sanctified and set apart for God through introspection, repentance, and forgiveness has become lost in the catholic.  They drink one cup and eat the bread to be justified,  but they do not share in the Cup of Sanctification.

Sha’ul understood the significance of the Cup of Sanctification. It is the cup that sets us apart as God’s holy people in the community of believers. He states that how we treat our brothers and sisters in the Body of Messiah has a direct effect on how weak and sick we become; how we may even die an early death!  We receive judgment because we don’t examine our motives and actions within the Body of Messiah. Even Yeshua said that when you offer a gift at the altar you need to be at peace with your brother. This sanctifies our bodies, His Body.

So if you are offering your gift at the Temple altar and you remember there that your brother has something against you, leave your gift where it is by the altar, and go, make peace with your brother. Then come back and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).   

The Corinthians had already begun to dismantle God’s ‘appointed time’ of Passover into a ‘communion’ food fest at their weekly gatherings.  They were to ‘keep the Passover’ as Yeshua did with two cups of wine. They were to ‘keep the Passover’ with the unleavened bread of truth and sincereity while proclaiming the Yeshua’s death until he returned.  They were to ‘keep the Passover’ with the matzah of purity in the unity of faith and honoring one another as co-heirs in the Kingdom (1 Corinthians 5:8).

The Answer to My Daughter’s Question

Yeshua never meant for the ‘appointed time’ of his Father –– Passover –– to be relegated into a few minutes of eating a wafer and a sip of wine on a daily, weekly or bi-weekly basis. He never meant for one cup of wine, the Cup of Sanctification, to be dismissed as unimportant because the focus would become Redemption only. Because churches celebrate a catholic ‘communion,’ the bread and wine have have lost their entrinsic purpose. Yeshua celebrated Passover with his disciples on the night he instituted the new covenant, setting apart his disciples as his Bride with the Cup of Sanctification and paying the Bride price to redeem them with his body and blood, the Cup of Justification.

The reason the wine might come first and then the bread or vice versa is because the seder of Passover has been lost.

©2016 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.  

The Passover – Pesach

“This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD — a lasting ordinance” (Exodus 12:14).

And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians’” (Exodus 12:27).

Blood on the doorpost and lintel

The LORD’s Passover is the first annual Feast of Adonai. It is the memorial to the extraordinary account of God’s judgment on Egypt’s gods and Israel’s miraculous deliverance from a life of slavery. The Passover began Israel’s physical redemption as God’s holy nation. They were to remember their salvation from death and bondage to life and freedom in the ‘appointed time’ called Pesach.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Passover or Pesach – פסח

Peh פ – A Mouth means ‘to speak.’

Samech ס – A Prop means ‘to support.’

Chet ח – A Fence means ‘protect.’

The Hebrew word picture for pesach: to speak, support, and protect.

For hundreds of years the descendants of Jacob were enslaved in Egypt building Pharaoh great cities. They were oppressed with hard labor –– digging clay for making bricks and gathering straw in the fields. They were shown no mercy by their Egyptian overseers. In spite of the oppression, their numbers increased. Pharaoh became afraid of the Hebrew population and commanded the midwives to kill all Hebrew baby boys as they were born, but because they feared God, the midwives let the boys live. Pharaoh then ordered his citizens to throw any Hebrew baby boy into the Nile River.

One infant boy from a Levite family was placed in a papyrus basket and floated in the Nile River. He was found by Pharaoh’s daughter who named him Moses, or Moshe in Hebrew, which means ‘pulled out of the water.’ She located his mother and paid her to nurse him. When he was old enough, he left his mother and went to live in Pharaoh’s house as a prince of Egypt.

As an adult, Moshe struggled with what he saw happening to his people, the Hebrews. In a moment of anger, he killed an Egyptian overseer who was beating a Hebrew slave. When word of it spread to Pharaoh, he feared for his life and ran to the land of Midian, on the northwest Arabian peninsula, and became a shepherd. He married Tzipporah, the daughter of a Midian priest, and they had two sons, Gershom and Elieazer.

God heard the cries of the Hebrew people. He saw their bondage and heard them groan. Speaking through a burning bush, Adonai called Moshe to become the deliverer. He told Moshe to go to Pharaoh and tell him to “Let My people go.” However, God warned Moshe that He would harden Pharaoh’s heart. He wanted Pharaoh to understand through the death of his firstborn son that Israel is the firstborn of Adonai. Ready with a staff in his hand and the memorial name of God –– the Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh –– Moses started out for Egypt. Moshe met his brother Aaron during his journey, and together they returned to Egypt to confront Pharaoh.

Egypt was culture of death. Their plethora of gods and goddesses glorified death. Pharaohs were immortalized in great pyramid tombs filled with symbols of death. The Egyptian ‘holy book’ for immortalizing those who passed on was called the Book of the Dead. So God gave them what they worshiped and honored the most -– death.

Adonai judged each of the gods of Egypt through plagues: blood, frogs, lice, flies, cattle disease, boils, hailstones, locusts, and darkness. The people of Egypt suffered. The priests of Egypt suffered. The land of Egypt suffered. Still, Pharaoh would not relent and set his Hebrew slaves free. Adonai’s ‘appointed time’ for redemption had come.

“Moshe said [to Pharaoh], ‘Here is what the LORD says: About midnight I will go out into Egypt, and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh sitting on his throne to the firstborn of the slave-girl at the handmill, and all the firstborn of the livestock. There will be a horrendous wailing throughout all the land of Egypt — there has never been another like it, and there never will be again. But not even a dog’s growl will be heard against any of the people of Israel, neither against people nor against animals. In this way you will realize that the LORD distinguishes between Egyptians and Israel. All your servants will come down to me, prostrate themselves before me and say, ‘Get out! — you and all the people who follow you!’ and after that, I will go out!’ And he went out from Pharaoh in the heat of anger’” (Exodus 11:4-8).

Preparing God’s People

“The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household’” (Exodus 12:1-3).

“Take care of them [the goat or lamb] until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.  Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door frames of the houses where they eat the lambs”(Exodus 12:-6-7).

Though the Hebrews experienced the first three plagues with the Egyptians, God made a distinction between the Hebrews and the Egyptians with the last six plagues. In order to protect His people from the consequence of the tenth plague –– the death of the firstborn –– Adonai had them bring a lamb or goat into their home for four days. It had to be an animal without defect, a first-year male, and enough to feed each household.

After caring for the animal four days, the Hebrew family was to slaughter it at twilight when the sun is below the horizon and a soft glowing light emanates from the sky. They were to put some of the lamb’s blood on the sides and tops of the door frames where they were going to eat the meal.

In the Hebrew alphabet, the eighth letter is chet representing the number 8 and ‘new beginnings.‘ The Hebrew letter picture for chet is a ‘fence,’ meaning ‘protect.’ The manner in which the blood was placed around the sides and top of the door formed the letter chet protecting the Hebrews with a ‘fence’ so they would have life and a ‘new beginning.’

ח

“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt” (Exodus 12:12-13).

The Hebrews remained in their homes and the blood on their doorposts was a ‘sign’ for Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, the Destroyer. When He saw the blood, He would ‘pass over’ the firstborn son who was in the home and protected by the blood while allowing the firstborn sons of Egypt to die.

“This is how you are to eat it [the meal]: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover” (Exodus 12:11).

Adonai’s Passover meal consisted of roasted lamb, bread without leaven, and bitter herbs. The Hebrews were not to break the bones of the Passover lamb or take any of the meat outside of their homes. They were to eat it in haste. He also gave specific instructions: no foreigner, slave or traveler was allowed to eat the meal unless they were circumcised. After being circumcised, they would be considered the same as a citizen of Israel and could take part in the memorial.

“At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well.  Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead” (Exodus 12:29-30).

Pesach is to be celebrated throughout all the generations of the people of Israel wherever they lived. In Joshua chapter 5, the Israelites celebrate Pesach in Gilgal after taking flint knives and circumcising all the men who had come out of the wilderness. In 2 Kings chapter 23, King Josiah destroys all the high places and idols in Israel, and the nation celebrates Pesach in Jerusalem for the first time since the days of the Judges. In Ezra chapter 6, when the Israelites return from captivity in Babylon, everyone who renounced the pagan practices of the nations celebrated the Pesach. Ezekiel chapter 45 prophesies about Pesach being celebrated in the Messianic Era by putting blood on the door frames of the Millennial Temple, on the four corners of the Altar, and on the supports of the gate to the Inner Courtyard.

The ‘appointed time’ of Yeshua

“He [Yeshua] replied, ‘Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, “The Teacher says: My ‘appointed time’ is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house’” (Matthew 26:18).

The ‘appointed time’ of Passover was celebrated by Yeshua in the upper room with his disciples. Using two cups of wine and unleavened bread from the traditional Passover seder, he began to renew the covenant given to Israel at Mount Sinai (Luke 22). However, in order to institute the new covenant, there had to be the shedding of blood –– His blood.

Another cup of wine, a third cup, was also poured at a traditional seder to remember the plague judgments on Egypt with the final one being the death of the firstborn. Yeshua didn’t mention this cup of wine at his seder probably because he knew the cup of judgment –– death –– was upon him as the Lamb of God. Even though he prayed earnestly for his Father to allow this cup to ‘pass over’ him, he knew he had to complete his ‘appointed time.’ There would be no lamb’s blood on the doorposts of his Father’s house to protect his life. His blood was going to be poured out.

Isaac, Abraham’s beloved son, experienced the ‘pass over’ when the blood of a ram saved him from death (Genesis 22). The ‘binding of Isaac’ became the prophetic vision of redemption for God’s people. When God allowed the firstborn sons of the Hebrews to live through the plague of death with the substitute sacrifice of a lamb, He again revealed His plan of redemption. When Yeshua hung on the cross, he drank the seder’s final cup, the cup of completion. Crying out the words, “It is finished,” Yeshua fulfilled the ‘appointed time’ of Passover and the redemption of Israel and the world began.

“For Messiah, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival” (1 Corinthians 5:7).

If you are interested in celebrating the Passover, use our Passover Haggadah booklet. A Children’s Haggadah with pictures to color, mazes and word searches complement the Passover Haggadah.

 For more about Yeshua fullfilling the ‘appointed times,’ purchase Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts.

©2000 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.