Posts Tagged ‘Pesach’

Praise – Hebrew: Hallel

הלל

The Hebrew word hallel means ‘to boast,’ ‘celebrate’ and ‘shine.’ The word is found 165 times in Scripture. The word ‘halleluyah’ comes from hallel and means ‘Praise Yah.’ Psalms chapters 113 to 118 are known as ‘The Hallel.’ These Psalms were sung as prayers by worshipers climbing the steps to the Temple to worship Adonai during the three festival gatherings: Pesach, Shavuot, Sukkot and Hanukkah.

“Let them hallel the name of Adonai, for he commanded and they were created” (Psalm 148:2-5).

“Let them hallel his name with dancing, make melody to him with tambourine and lyre …” (Psalm 149:3).

“The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek Adonai will hallel him; Your hearts will enjoy life forever” (Psalm 22:26).

“Charm can lie, beauty can vanish, but a woman who fears Adonai should be hallel” (Proverbs 31:30).

Hebrew Word Pictures

praise – hallel – הלל

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

ל Lamed – A Shepherd’s Staff means ‘urge forward.’

ל Lamed – A Shepherd’s Staff means ‘urge forward.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for hallel: behold and urge forward, urge forward.

©2022 Tentstake Ministries Publishing

Parashah 36: B’ha’alotkha (When you set up)

Numbers 8:1-12:16

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Tell Aharon, When you set up the lamps, the seven lamps are to cast their light forward, in front of the menorah’” (Numbers 8:1-2).

The Branch

The seven lamps of the Menorah were to cast their light forward. Where the Menorah sat in the Holy Place, the light would shine eastward lighting the Holy Place (Matthew 24:27). Adonai reminds the people that the Menorah was made from hammered gold from its base to its branches to its flowers following the pattern that Moshe saw on the mountain.

The Hebrew word for ‘branch’ is netzer and literally means a ‘shoot or a sprout,’ as in Isaiah 11:1, “But a branch will emerge from the trunk of Yishai, a shoot will grow from his roots.” This verse prophesies that the Messiah would come from the lineage of Jesse, the father of King David. Netzer is the root of ‘Nazareth’ where Joseph and Miryam lived and raised Yeshua. This is why he is referred to as Yeshua of Nazareth and his early followers were known as Nazarenes or ‘branchites’ because they followed the Branch.

Josephus describes the first-century Nazarene movement as being made up of mostly Jewish followers of Yeshua who were concentrated in the area known as Palestine and surrounding regions. They were led by James, the older brother of Yeshua, and flourished between the years 30-80 CE. They were zealous for the Torah and continued to walk in all the mitzvot as enlightened by their Rabbi and Teacher, but accepted gentiles in accordance with some Noachide Laws. In Acts 24:5, Sha’ul is considered the ‘ringleader’ of the Netzarim movement. The term ‘Christian,’ first used in Greek speaking areas for the movement, actually is an attempt to translate the term Nazarene and means ‘Messianist.’

Hebrew Word Pictures
Branch or netzer – נצר – nun, tzade, resh
– life draws near the highest authority

Nazareth or natzrat – נצרת – nun, tzade, resh, tav
– life pulls toward the highest authority of the covenant

The Levite Wave Offering

Levite men served in the Tabernacle between the ages of 25 and 50. After 50, they assisted and purified themselves as part of the calling to the priesthood, but did no work. Each man shaved their entire body with a razor, washed their clothes, cleansed their bodies, and were sprinkled with purification water. Once cleansed, they were presented in front of the Mishkan before the whole nation of Isra’el. The people laid hands on the priests while Aaron offered them to Adonai as a wave offering, set-apart for service in the Tabernacle.  The priests laid their hands on the bulls –– a burnt offering and a sin offering –– while Aaron made atonement for them.

“‘Come out from them and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.’ And, ‘I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.’ Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 6:17-7).

Purifying ourselves like the Levite priests is an essential part of our calling as followers of Messiah if we want to be called sons and daughters of El Elyon. Second Corinthians set our family on the walk of faith that we have today. We had never been taught the difference between ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ or what defiled our body and our spirit.  We assumed that we were holy and pure because we believed in Jesus.  Yet, James says “even demons believe in him … and shudder” (James 2:19).   We are called to more than a belief system, we are called to be part of the family of Adonai. We are instructed to purify ourselves from defilement because the Father has allowed us to be called His sons and daughters. As His children, He wants us to be pure, reverence Him, and bring honor to His family.

Another Year Begins … Pesach

“Adonai spoke to Moshe in the Sinai Desert in the first month of the second after they had left the land of Egypt. ‘Let the people of Isra’el observe Pesach at its designated time.  On the fourteenth day of this month, at dusk, you are to observe it – at its appointed time’” (Numbers 9:1-3).

Two years have passed since the Israelites left Egypt. They have received Adonai’s commandments and spent an entire year making His Mishkan. It’s now time to begin the annual cycle of His ‘appointed times.’ The Israelites were to eat the Pesach lamb, breaking none of its bones, with matzah (unleavened bread), and maror (bitter herbs). Nothing was to remain until morning.

According to His grace and mercy, Adonai added an instruction for Pesach. If anyone had become ‘unclean’ from touching a dead body or had to travel at Passover, they were allowed to observe it on the fourteenth day of the second month. However, anyone who was ‘clean’ or not traveling and failed to observe Pesach at its ‘appointed time’ would bear the consequence of their sin. This same rule applied to the foreigner as well as the native born as the ‘appointed time’ is not only for Isra’el, but for everyone who join with them in worshiping the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The Sukkah of Elohim

“A cloud covered the tabernacle, that is, the tent of the testimony; and in the evening over the tabernacle was what appeared to be fire, which remained until morning” (Numbers 9:15).

While the Israelites camped in the wilderness, Exodus chapter 16 records that they had tents, but they were also covered by the sukkah of Elohim. His cloud covering kept them cool during the day and His fire warmed them at night. Whenever the cloud of His sukkah lifted, the Israelites would pack up and travel. When the cloud of His sukkah over them stopped, they stopped. If the cloud of His sukkah continued both day and night, they would travel days, weeks or months until it stopped. This cloud and fire sukkah allude to the Millennial Kingdom in Jerusalem and Mount Tziyon.

“Adonai will create over the whole site of Mount Tziyon and over those who assemble there a smoking cloud by day and a shining, flaming fire by night; for the Glory will be over everything like a huppah. A sukkah will give shade by day from the heat; it will also provide refuge and cover from storm and rain” (Isaiah 4:5-6).

A huppah or ‘chuppah’ is a bridal canopy symbolizing Elohim’s presence at a wedding. It is said the Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh hovers above it sanctifying the space below. A huppah is made of a square cloth of satin or velvet; sometimes even a large talit or prayer shawl is used. It is supported by four wooden posts held by four men. The wedding ceremony is conducted under the huppah representing the new ‘home’ being established, and after the wedding ceremony, some rabbis invite couples to stand inside to recall their own weddings.

According to the first-century Rabbi Akiva, the Israelites did not actually build and live in sukkot made of wood and vegetation. Rather they resided in sukkot made of the supernatural ‘clouds of glory.’ The observance of sukkot today remembers, but does not reenact, this dimension of the Exodus. The sukkot constructed and inhabited today symbolize a very different kind of sukkah that sheltered our ancestors in the desert.

According to Rabbi Eliezer, a sage of the first and second centuries, if our annual dwelling in sukkot reenacts the real sukkot (booths) in which the Israelites resided in the wilderness, then the conception of the commandment and its experience works differently. A real sukkah is a fragile and impermanent structure, a ‘temporary dwelling’ as rabbinic halacha would later define it. The Israelites, in this view, were vulnerable and insecure throughout the years of wandering, exposed to the elements and susceptible to attack. On Sukkot, we move out of our solid and enduring houses to reenact this experience of vulnerability and instability [needing to put our complete trust in HaShem].

“We know that when the tent which houses us here on earth is torn down, we have a permanent building from God, a building not made by human hands, to house us in heaven” (2 Corinthians 5:1).

Silver Trumpets

“Make two trumpets; make them of hammered silver.  Use them for summoning the community and for sounding the call to break camp and move on” (Numbers 10:1).

For an Israelite, the blowing of the silver trumpets was important. The sound let them know if they, as a nation, were to assemble at the Tabernacle or only the leaders were to come. When it was time to move camp, the sounding of the trumpet would let each tribal group know when to set out. When there was war, the trumpet sounded the alarm so ‘I Am’ would remember them and save them from their enemies.

The same holds true for the ‘blowing’ at the Yom Teruah. Each of the four blasts of the trumpet or shofar has a purpose and meaning.

Tekiah means to ‘blow or blast.’ It is a medium length blast with a low to high pitch transition having a hard, short push on low pitch, slight sustain on high pitch, sometimes ended with a short, pushing higher pitched burst.  This tekiah is used to gather Adonai’s people together. It was probably the sound used in Joshua 6:5 when the Israelites assembled at Jericho.

Shevarim means ‘broken.’ It consists of three blasts each low-to-high pitch sounded three in a row. The shevarim is a call to repentance. This was probably the blast used in Isaiah 58:1 because the ‘brokenness’ of the blasts signified the need for ‘brokenness’ in the hearts of the children of Isra’el.

Teruah is the battle warning or alarm blast. It consists nine or more rapid one-second pitch bursts like stacatto. The teruah is probably the sound heard when Gideon attacked the Midianites in Judges 7:22. It is most likely the trumpet sound that will begin the ‘Day of Adonai’ as prophesied in Joel 2:1-2.

Tekiah Gadolah is the long, great blast or the Great Shofar. It is similar to the tekiah, only the high note at the end is sustained for the longest possible breath ending with a violent, short, pushed-out breath of an even higher-pitched note. The tekiah gaolah is the blast of resurrection hope prophesied in Isaiah 26:19 and 1 Corinthians 15:53-54.

The Travels Begin

From the time the Israelites left Egypt until they arrived in the Promised Land 40 years later, they made numerous stops. They stopped at Ramses in Egypt, Sukkoth near the Egyptian border, Etham on the edge of the desert, Pi-Hahiroth near the Red Sea, Marah where the water was bitter, Elim where they had wells and palm trees, the desert of Sin where they received manna and quail, Rephidim where Moshe strikes the ‘Rock’ and water gushes out, and the Sinai Desert where they received the commandments of Adonai.

After the Pesach, the Israelites packed their tents to set out on their first journey, moving out in their tribal units as directed by Elohim. The lead group was Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. The Tabernacle was taken down and Gershon and Merari carried it. They were followed by Reuben, Simeon, and Gad. The descendants of Kohath packed and moved the sanctuary so the Tabernacle could be set up when they arrived. Ephraim, Manasseh and, Benjamin followed the Kohathites. Dan, Asher, and Naftali brought up the rear. Each tribe was under their own banner and chosen leader.

The Ark of the Covenant went ahead searching for a place for them to stop. Before it moved, Moshe would speak these words: “‘Arise Aonai!  May your enemies be scattered! Let those who hate you flee before you!’ Whenever the Ark stopped he said: ‘Return, Adonai of the many, many thousands of Isra’el!’” (Numbers 10:35)

“Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered; let those who hate him flee from his presence. Drive them away as smoke is driven away; like wax melting in the presence of a fire, let the wicked perish in the presence of God. But let the righteous rejoice and be glad in God’s presence; yes, let them exult and rejoice” (Psalm 68:1-3).

Selah
The Ark of the Covenant searched for a place for them to stop.

Tav’erah – The Place of Burning

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing,  so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life” (Philippians 2:14-16).

After a three-day walk, the people began complaining. Imagine traveling through a wilderness and having to carry every belonging, including the Tabernacle and all its gold accessories and heavy furnishings. It wouldn’t take long for the reality of the desolation to kick in. There may have been some excitement anticipating the journey to the Promised Land, but the inconveniences would begin to make any normal person whine.

The Egyptians who joined the Hebrews when they left Egypt became greedy for an easier life. They had not been slaves and life in the wilderness was not what they expected. They remembered the supply of meat, fruits, and vegetables. The mixed crowd of Israelites and foreigners had not counted the cost to follow Moshe.

However, they forgot one important detail; they were not ordinary people trekking through the desert. Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh was keeping them cool during the day with His sukkah cloud, warming them at night with His fire and quenching their thirst from the ‘Rock’. Even the manna continued to appear on the ground in the morning dew. They gathered it and ground it in mills or pounded it into paste with a mortar and pestle. They cooked it in pots and made loaves that tasted like honey cakes. In spite of this, they kevetched. They came to the entrance to the Tabernacle, family after family, and whined to Moshe.

The complaining made Elohim angry –– so angry that His fire broke out against them and consumed the outskirts of their camp.  The fire that had been their warmth and protection suddenly became a curse. Moshe cried out to Adonai to release him from the burden of so many people. He was not their ‘father,’ and could not provide what they needed.

A Portion of Elohim’s Spirit

As a prophet of El Elyon, Moshe had been given a portion of Adonai’s Ruach. The Ruach Elohim enabled him to stand before Pharaoh, lead the children of Isra’el through the Red Sea, and build the Tabernacle. Yet, Moshe is miserable when dealing with the Israelites and “carrying them like a father in his arms or as a nurse carries a baby” (Numbers 11:12).  

“Adonai came down in the cloud, spoke to him [Moshe], took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy leaders.  When the Spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied – then but not afterwards” (Numbers 11:25).

Adonai instructed Moshe to choose 70 men that he considered leaders in Isra’el.   Moshe gathered the men and placed them around the Tent of Meeting. The Ruach Elohim came down on those who appeared at the Tabernacle, along with two men, Eldad and Medad, who should have gone to the Tabernacle, but did not.  All 70 prophesied in the camp. Joshua asks Moshe to stop Eldad and Medad from prophesying, but Moshe replied, “Are you so zealous to protect me?  I wish all of Adonai’s people were prophets!  I wish Adonai would put his Spirit on all of them!” (Numbers 11:29)

Moshe’s words prophesy to the new covenant. According to Ezekiel and Sha’ul, Isra’el and all nations who join with her will be filled with the Ruach Elohim.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God” (Ezekiel 24:26-28).

“For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 4:7-8).

This group of 70 leaders became the foundation for the Sanhedrin or Bet Din HaGadol –– ‘The Great Court.’  After Moshe laid hands (semicha) on Joshua passing the leadership of Isra’el on to him, the Sanhedrin had its official beginning. As men within ‘The Great Court’ passed away or became unfit for service, new leaders were ordained. The ordinations continued from Joshua to the elders to prophets like Ezra and Nehemiah to ‘The Great Assembly’ to the sages. It was not until several hundred years after the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE that the Sanhedrin dissolved.

“The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Yeshua so that they could put him to death” (Matthew 26:59).

“The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest” (Acts 5:27).

During the days of Yeshua, the Sanhedrin still made legal decisions for Isra’el. The high priest ruled over the court system, but had become corrupt.

Kivrot HaTa’avah – Graves of the Greedy

“Has Adonai’s arm grown short?  Now you will see whether what I said will happen or not”
(Numbers 11:23).

When Moshe and the 70 returned to camp, the Israelites cried out for meat. Moshe felt inadequate and could not imagine how much meat would be enough to satisfy their greedy hearts.

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh sent a wind that brought quail from the sea and let them fall near the camp. He sent so much quail they covered the ground three feet high and were about one day’s trip from each edge of the camp. The Israelites were surrounded by quail. They went out and gathered quail for days. The least amount that anyone gathered was ten heaps. While the meat was still in their mouths, before they had even chewed it up, ‘I Am’ struck the people with a plague. Many people died and were buried in the place named ‘Graves of the Greedy.’

In Hebrew the word for ‘quail’ is selav. A variation of shalah means ‘prosper’ which holds the idea of the wicked prospering even though they are careless, thoughtless, and go astray (Psalm 94:3).

Hebrew Word Pictures
Quail or selav – שלו – shin, lamed, vav
– consume and draw near the binding

Prosper or shalah – שלה – shin, lamed, hey
– consume and draw near, revealed

Hatzerot – The Camp of ‘Sorry’

“Now this man Moshe was very humble, more so than anyone on earth” (Numbers 12:3).

After the burden of the Israelites’ problems became lighter, Moshe’s family begins to attack him. Aaron and Miryam began criticizing his marriage to an Ethiopian woman. They became jealous and demand to know why Moshe was given the highest authority when Elohim had also spoken with them.

The word ‘humble’ is defined as ‘lower in dignity and importance.’ The Hebrew word is anav meaning ‘meek.’ Moshe knew and understood his place as merely a man in the presence of Adonai. He had stood on holy ground at the burning bush and had prostrated himself. He knew he was not worthy of the position given him, but had been chosen by Adonai and empowered to accomplish His will. He was nothing more than an earthen vessel used by Elohim to achieve His plan with His chosen nation.

Adonai would not allow Moshe to be attacked by anyone, especially his own siblings. He lets Aaron and Miryam know that His relationship with Moshe is different from any other man, woman, prophet or prophetess. There would never be another prophet to whom He would speak panim el panim so that their face would become so radiant that it had to be veiled. Moshe was the only faithful person in Adonai’s entire household. 

“‘Listen to what I say: when there is a prophet among you, I, Adonai, make myself known to him in a vision, I speak with him in a dream.  But it isn’t that way with my servant Moshe. He is the only one who is faithful in my entire household.  With him I speak face to face and clearly, not in riddles; he sees the image of Adonai. So why weren’t you afraid to criticize my servant Moshe?’ The anger of Adonai flared up against them, and he left” (Numbers 12:6-9).

When the cloud lifted, Miryam had tzara’at. Her skin was whiter than snow. Moshe and Aaron begged Adonai to heal their sister, but Miryam had iniquity in her heart that needed to be resolved. Adonai healed her, but she had to live outside the camp for seven days for purification. Elohim wanted the Israelites to understand that no one should ever challenge Him regarding His chosen servant and prophet, Moshe.

“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6).

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you” (Romans 12:3).

Yeshua of Natzeret

“However, when he heard that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod as king of Y’hudah, he was afraid to go there. Warned in a dream, he withdrew to the Galil and settled in a town called Natzeret, so that what had been spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he will be called a Natzrati” (Matthew 2:22-23).

“When he entered Yerushalayim, the whole city was stirred. ‘Who is this’ they asked. And the crowds answered, ‘This is Yeshua, the prophet from Natzeret in the Galil’” (Matthew 21:10-11).

“In their synagogue just then was a man with an unclean spirit in him, who shouted, ‘What do you want with us, Yeshua from Natzeret? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are — the Holy One of God!’ But Yeshua rebuked the unclean spirit, ‘Be quiet and come out of him!’” (Mark 1:23-25)

“But he said, ‘Don’t be so surprised! You’re looking for Yeshua from Natzeret, who was executed on the stake. He has risen, he’s not here! Look at the place where they laid him’” (Mark 16:6).

“Now when he went to Natzeret, where he had been brought up, on Shabbat he went to the synagogue as usual. He stood up to read, and he was given the scroll of the prophet Yesha’yahu”
(Luke 4:16-17).

“‘What things?’ he asked them. They said to him, ‘The things about Yeshua from Natzeret. He was a prophet and proved it by the things he did and said before God and all the people’” (Luke 24:19).

“There they nailed him to the stake along with two others, one on either side, with Yeshua in the middle. Pilate also had a notice written and posted on the stake; it read, YESHUA FROM NATZERET, THE KING OF THE JEWS” (John 19:18-19).

“Kefa said, ‘I don’t have silver, and I don’t have gold, but what I do have I give to you: in the name of the Messiah, Yeshua of Natzeret, walk!’” (Acts 3:6)

©2018 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 Torah portion, the weekly readings of the Prophets and New Testament, Study Helps, and springboard for midrash, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.

Parashah 15: Bo (Go)

Exodus 10:1-13:16

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Go to Pharaoh, for I have made him and his servants hardhearted, so that I can demonstrate these signs of mine among them, so that you can tell your son and grandson about what I did to Egypt and about my signs that I demonstrated among them, and so that you will all know that I am Adonai.’ Moshe and Aharon went in to Pharaoh and said to him, ‘Here is what Adonai, God of the Hebrews, says: How much longer will you refuse to submit to me? Let my people go, so that they can worship me’” (Exodus 10:1-3).

This parashah is entitled Bo.  In Hebrew, bo has two meanings: ‘Go’ and ‘Come.’  As Adonai continues to judge Egypt, He is bringing Pharaoh to the point where he tells the Hebrews to ‘Go’ while also preparing the Israelites to ‘Come’ to Him.   This parashah describes the last three judgments on Egypt and ends with Passover.

Locusts, Locusts, Locusts – Plague 8

“Moshe and Aharon went into Pharaoh and said to him, ‘Here is what Adonai God of the Hebrews says, How much longer will you refuse to submit to me?  Let my people go, so that they can worship me.  Otherwise, if you refuse to let my people go, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory.  One won’t be able to see the ground, so completely will the locusts cover it.  They will eat anything that you still have that escaped the hail, including every tree you have growing in the field.  They will fill your houses and those of your servants and all the Egyptians’” (Exodus 10:3-6).

The judgment of the seventh plague is against three of Egypt’s gods: Set, Anubis, and Osiris. Set, the god of storms and disorder was depicted as an animal with a curved snout, long, rectangular ears, a forked tail, and dog-like body.  He held a scepter which set him apart as a ruler over Egypt, except that he had no power over the eastern wind that brought locusts and disorder to the land.

Anubis,  the jackal-headed god associated with death and embalming, weighed the heart of a deceased person using an ostrich feather to determine its place in the afterlife.  He also protected the fields.  Under his watch, every fruit tree along with its fruit was devoured.  His power had been quenched by ‘I Am.’   Anubis’ authority over the ‘heart’ of man was challenged by the ability of ‘I Am’ to harden Pharaoh’s heart.  Pharaoh’s servants, not Anubis, began to weigh their leader’s heart and found it lacking when it came to the lives of his people and his nation.

Osiris, the central figure in the ‘Order of the Morning Star,’ was the god of the afterlife, underworld, and the dead.  He was depicted with green skin, a beard, and legs partially wrapped like a mummy.   He wore a crown with two large ostrich feathers and held a crook and flail.  With no green thing left in Egypt, it became clear that Osiris had been defeated by ‘I Am.’ 

The day after the plague of hail and fire, Pharaoh learns that locusts will cover his land.  There will be so many locusts that they will eat what the hail and fire have not destroyed. They will fill the houses from Pharaoh’s palace to the poorest Egyptian.  With the prospect of this plague, Pharaoh’s servants begin to rebel against him.

“Let the people go and worship Adonai their God.  Don’t you understand yet that Egypt is being destroyed?” (Exodus 10:7)  

Pharaoh considers what his servants say and calls Moshe and Aaron.  He tells them they may go worship Adonai; however, he wants to know who is actually leaving with them.  Moshe explains that the Hebrews will take everyone, their young and old, their sons and daughters, and their flocks and herds.

Pharaoh’s response: “Adonai will certainly be with you if I ever let you go with your children.  It’s clear that you are up to no good. Nothing doing!  Just the men among you may go and worship Adonai” (Exodus 10:10-11).

The plague arrives by an east wind that blows on Egypt all day and night.  In the morning, the locusts invade more severely than ever before or would ever again.  They completely cover the ground so that it looks black.  They eat every plant growing from the ground and all the fruit on the trees left by hail.  Nothing green remains, not a tree nor a plant in the fields in the land of Egypt.

Pharaoh’s response: ”I have sinned against Adonai your God and against you.  Now, therefore, please forgive my sin just this once; and intercede with Adonai your God, so that he will at least take away from me this deadly plague!” (Exodus 10:17)

Pharaoh calls Moshe and Aaron and confesses he has sinned against Adonai. He asks Moshe to intercede for him as his gods have no power. ‘I Am’ reverses the wind and it blows from the west so forcefully that it drives the locusts into the Mediterranean Sea –– not one locust remained on Egyptian soil.

“But Adonai made Pharaoh hardhearted, and he didn’t let the people of Isra’el go” (Exodus 10:20).

Darkness, Darkness, Darkness – Plague 9

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Reach out your hand toward the sky, and there will be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness so thick it can be felt!’” (Exodus 10:21)

The judgment of the eighth plague is against Ra, the Egyptian god of the sun. He was depicted as a man with the head of a hawk and had a sun disc or halo over his head with a coiled serpent. It is from Ra that catholicism puts halos or shooting rays of the sun on the heads of their saint-gods. Ra was worshiped by the Egyptians as the supreme creator.

Adonai proves the sun god is no match for the deep darkness in the souls of the Egyptians. They spend three days and three nights in the tomb of death’s abyss of darkness.

Pharaoh receives no warning for this judgment. As soon as Pharaoh’s heart is hardened, ‘I Am’ tells Moshe to reach out his hand to the sky.  A darkness that could be felt covers the entire land of Egypt for three days. It is so dark that the Egyptians couldn’t see anything. No one could go anywhere for three days.  In Goshen, however, all of the Hebrews had light in their homes.

Pharaoh’s response: “Go, worship Adonai, only leave your flocks and herds behind – take your children with you” (Exodus 10:24).

Pharaoh permits the Hebrews to leave and take their children with them; however, they must leave their flocks and herds behind.  This is not a sufficient response for Moshe who reminds Pharaoh that in order to worship Adonai they will need their animals for sacrifice.

Pharaoh responds prophetically, not realizing that his own words will return to him.

“But Adonai made Pharaoh hardhearted, and he would not let them go.  Pharaoh said to them, ‘Get away from me!  And you have better not see my face again, because the day you see my face, you will die!’” (Exodus 10:27-28)

Moshe answers: “Well spoken!  I will see your face no more!” (Exodus 10:29)

Death of the Firstborn – Plague 10

“Moshe said, ‘Here is what Adonai 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 hand mill, 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 Isra’el, neither against people nor against animals. In this way you will realize that Adonai distinguishes between Egyptians and Isra’el. All your servants will come down to me, will 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)

The tenth and final judgment is against Pharaoh, the god-king of Egypt. He is given a prophetic warning about what is going to happen to his land, his people, and his own family. From the firstborn of Pharaoh to the firstborn of the slave girl to the firstborn of all the livestock, all the firstborn in Egypt will die.

To understand the seriousness of the final plague, it is important understand the hierarchy in Egypt. The firstborn had absolute power within the family unit. Pharaoh was the firstborn of a firstborn who was the firstborn of a firstborn and so on, and through this birthright, he came into power. The judgment against the firstborn was a judgment against a cultural system where the oldest ruled over the youngest and the lower class needed slaves to control and dominate.

Selah
Moshe leaves Pharaoh’s presence “hot with anger.”

The Destroyer

The focus switches from Pharaoh and Egypt to Adonai’s people.  Moshe and Aaron are no longer messengers to Pharaoh, but prophets to the Hebrews. Through them Adonai prepares His people for His Passover and their deliverance from Egypt. He begins by sanctifying time.

“You are to begin your calendar with this month; it will be the first month of the year for you” (Exodus 12:1).

Beginning with the new moon, Adonai’s calendar would begin. There are some who teach the timing of this new moon coincides with the barley being ripe or aviv; however, all of the barley had been destroyed in Egypt and would not have been a credible marker. Along with the moon, Elohim set the stars in the heavens to mark His mo’edim. As an agricultural community, the Hebrews would have understood the new month began with the first new moon when the proper spring constellations were in place. Once the new month was established, they could begin counting the days, sunset to sunset, until the tenth day of the month.

“Speak to all the assembly of Isra’el and say, ‘On the tenth day of this month, each man is to take a lamb or kid for his family, one per household — except that if the household is too small for a whole lamb or kid, then he and his next-door neighbor should share one, dividing it in proportion to the number of people eating it’” (Exodus 12:3-4).

Each family is to take a lamb from their flock and keep the animal until the fourteenth day of the month when the entire community will slaughter it at dusk. They are to take some of the blood and smear it with hyssop on the sides and top of the door frame at the entrance to the house where the family would eat the lamb. It is to be roasted in the fire and served with matzah (unleavened bread) and maror (bitter herbs). Nothing is to remain until morning; leftovers are to be burned up (Exodus 4:6-10).

ח

By smearing blood on the two sides of the door and the top of the door frame, they created the Hebrew letter chet. The Hebrew Word Picture is a ‘fence’ and symbolizes ‘protection in the inner chamber.’ Chet is also the first letter in the word chaim meaning ‘life.’

Hebrew Word Pictures
Life or chai – חי – chet, yod
– protect the finished work

“Sprinkle me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:9).

Hyssop, sometimes translated as oregano, is a Biblical herb that is part of the mint family. It is used for cleansing holy places and objects.  It comes from the Hebrew word ezob which means ‘holy herb.‘ Moshe uses hyssop to sprinkle the ‘blood of the covenant’ on the book of Torah (Exodus 24:8). Hyssop is used to bring vinegar to Yeshua’s mouth when he is on the cross (John 19:29). Today, hyssop grows wild between the stones on the Western Wall in Jerusalem. This same herb is used to spread the lamb’s blood on the doorposts and lintel of individual Hebrew homes, symbolizing a cleansing from all the filth and defilement they encountered while slaves in Egypt.

The Hebrews are also told how to eat the meal and what to wear. They are to have their belt fastened, shoes on their feet, and their staff in hand. They are to eat the meal quickly.

“For that night, I will pass through the land of Egypt and kill all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both men and animals, and I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt.  I am Adonai.  The blood will serve you as a sign marking the houses where you are; when I see the blood, I will pass over you–when I strike the land of Egypt, the death blow will not strike you” (Exodus 10:12-13).

In the movie, The Ten Commandments, the ‘angel of death‘ passes over Egypt.  However, Adonai is the one going to execute the judgment of death.  It won’t be an angel, but the Destroyer or mashkhit. This is not a person, but an attribute of Adonai’s power and the essence of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh. It is actually a verb form, not a noun, and means ‘that which causes destruction.’ Mashkhit is also used for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as well as in reference to the “lion who would destroy the nations” (Jeremiah 4:7). When the mashkhit sees the blood on the house, ‘that which causes destruction’ will pass over that house because it has the ‘fence’ of blood protection.

There are several reasons for Adonai’s Pesach. He wants to once and for all time judge the gods of Egypt and prove their impotence.   He wants to reveal His power over life and death to the Hebrews so they will trust Him as their Deliverer. And, He wants a memorial for their children who would ask questions about the meal and pass on His great deliverance to the next generation.

“When your children ask you, ‘What do you mean by this ceremony? Say, ‘It is the sacrifice of Adonai’s Pesach because Adonai passed over the houses of the people of Isra’el in Egypt, when he killed the Egyptians but spared our houses. The people bowed their heads and worshiped.  Then the people of Isra’el went and did as Adonai had commanded Moshe and Aaron–that is what they did” (Exodus 12:26-28). 

“On that day you are to tell your son, ‘It is because of what Adonai did for me when I left Egypt. Moreover it will serve as a sign on your hand and as a reminder between your eyes, so that Adonai’s Torah may be on your lips, because with a strong hand Adonai brought you out of Egypt.  Therefore, you are to observe this regulation at its proper time, year after year’” (Exodus 13:8-11).

The traditional Passover meal was developed to ensure the authenticity of the memorial celebration. Within the haggadah (Telling) booklet, a child asks four questions about the night and why it’s different from all other nights.  The father answers each question by explaining what Adonai did when He delivered their ancestors out of Egypt. Each of the items on the seder (Order) plate are a sensory reminder of the events for the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Adonai’s Pesach was about more than just delivering the Hebrews from a culture of death. It was about redemption, buying back His treasured possession from Egypt.  Though the sign of the blood kept the firstborn of the Hebrews alive, the Pesach ended the prophecy –– to the exact day –– given to Abraham of Elohim delivering his descendants from oppression and slavery and bringing them back to the Land of Promise.

At midnight on the 14th day of the month, by the light of the full moon, mashkhit kills all the firstborn of Egypt –– from the firstborn of Pharaoh to the firstborn of the prisoner in the dungeon to the firstborn of the livestock.  Pharaoh is awakened by horrendous wailing as every house in Egypt has a family member die, including Pharaoh’s firstborn son, his heir. Reeling from the cloud of death, the Egyptians want the Hebrews out of their land as quickly as possible.  They don’t want Adonai to kill them too.

Pharaoh’s response: “Bo.”

“Up and leave my people, both you and the people of Isra’el; and go, serve Adonai as you said.  Take both your flocks and your herds, as you said; and get out of here!  But bless me, too!”
(Exodus 12:31-32)

Blessings are only bestowed upon the obedient, and Pharaoh has not been obedient. He does not admit his sin nor does he repent. He has hardened his heart against Adonai. He has not listened to the cries of his own people or the wisdom of his servants. He has not accepted his humanity in presence of the Adonai. He has not willingly submitted to Adonai’s command to let His people go. Only because of his sorrow at the loss of his firstborn, he relents. However, soon after the Hebrews leave Egypt, he is arrogantly chasing them down.  He has cursed Abraham’s children and has brought the curse upon himself, his family, and his nation. 

The First Mo’ed – Pesach

“This Pesach will be a day for you to remember and celebrate as a festival to Adonai from generation to generation you are to celebrate it by a perpetual regulation” (Exodus 12:14).

The Hebrews have hope for the first time in centuries.  They have been given a calendar created by Adonai Himself.   On this calendar,  two dates are circled: one for bringing an animal into their house and another for slaughtering and eating it.  Though the Pesach will be a one-time deliverance from Egypt, it will be remembered annually.  They aren’t going to remain as slaves or be destroyed by Pharaoh; they will become and remain for all time, through all their generations, Adonai’s chosen people, the nation of Isra’el (Jeremiah 33:19-22). 

“This is the regulation for the Pesach lamb; no foreigner [non-Jew] is to eat it.  But if anyone has a slave he bought for money, when you have circumcised him, he may eat it.  Neither a traveler nor a hired servant may eat it.  It is to be eaten in one house.  You are not to take any of the meat outside the house , and you are not to break any of its bones.  The whole community of Isra’el is to keep it.  If a foreigner staying with you wants to observe Adonai’s Pesach, all his males must be circumcised.  Then he may take part and observe it; he will be like a citizen of the land.  But not uncircumcised person is to eat it.  The same teaching is to apply equally to the citizen and to the foreigner living among you” (Exodus 12:43-49).

Adonai gives Pesach instructions for foreigners who desire to take part in the memorial, as many Egyptians have become god-fearers through the judgments. Any foreigner living among the Hebrews must become a citizen of Isra’el through circumcision of the flesh.   No uncircumcised person may take part in Pesach, even uncircumcised Hebrews.

According to Adonai, circumcision and the faith it symbolizes is necessary for becoming a citizen of Isra’el. This wasn’t about converting to Judaism as Judaism didn’t exist at this time. It wasn’t about a conversion process as was the problem in Galatia. Circumcision in Egypt allowed the foreigner to take part in Adonai’s mo’ed with His chosen people, as one adopted into His family. For Adonai, circumcision is not a religious act,  it is a sign of joining the faith covenant He made with Abraham. ‘Signs’ are very important to Adonai; the ‘sign’ of the lamb’s blood on the doorpost and lintel made the difference between life and death.

Yeshua and Pesach

On the night of Judas’ betrayal, Yeshua celebrates a Pesach seder with his disciples.   The evening begins as every seder does with a memorial to the Hebrews’ deliverance from Egypt.  However, as his seder progresses, Yeshua uses two of the cups of wine and the matzah to renew the marriage covenant that had been broken by the Israelites in the wilderness. The disciples share the first cup of wine, the Cup of Sanctification, setting them apart as Yeshua’s betrothed bride.  As with every Jewish marriage betrothal, there is a bride price. Yeshua takes the second cup of wine, the Cup of Redemption and a piece of matzah and explains the payment for his bride will be his broken body and blood –– his very life (Luke 22:17-20).

With anti-semitism infiltrating the community of believers in the first centuries, the Pesach seder was reduced to ‘communion.’   It is no longer used to teach children about Adonai’s deliverance of the Hebrews from slavery.  It has even lost the fullness of what Yeshua offered those who would trust in Him: a betrothal,  a bride price, and the marriage feast in the coming Kingdom. To understand the prophetic vision of Pesach, it is important to keep it as Adonai commanded, whether an Israelite or a foreigner.  It was to be a perpetual memorial throughout all the generations of Isra’el –– not just until the Messiah came.

Sha’ul, the apostle to the foreigners to the covenant, tells the Corinthians, a gentile congregation, to “celebrate the Pesach seder” (1 Corinthians 5:8). It is the way followers of Yeshua remember his death until he comes again, not that his death ended the celebration. A proper and complete Pesach seder celebrated in truth as a memorial to Yeshua’s work on the cross will unveil the eyes of the Jewish people and renew their covenant relationship with HaShem.

“Get rid of the old chametz [leaven], 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 [Pesach] Seder not with leftover chametz [leaven], the chametz of wickedness and evil, but with the matzah of purity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8). 

The Second Mo’ed – Matzah

“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 12:17-18).

Pesach is bound to Matzah (Unleavened Bread) through the exodus from Egypt.  Both memorials include the removal of chametz from the house and eating bread without leaven. Chametz literally means ‘soured dough.’  In ancient times, leavening was done through a starter dough called chamtez.  Some of this starter dough or ‘soured dough’ was mixed with flour creating a leavened dough. Leavening a loaf of bread with ‘soured dough’ is a process that takes about 24 hours. The Hebrews didn’t have that much time so Matzah would remind them how quickly they left Egypt. During the seven days of Matzah, the Israelites were to eat only unleavened bread.  

By removing the chametz from their homes, the Israelites were literally throwing away the ‘lump of dough’ and had to eat unleavened bread for seven days until a new started could be created ((1 Corinthians 5:7).

“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).

Like Pesach, Matzah is a perpetual regulation to be celebrated from generation to generation because it is the memorial to the exact day the Hebrews were set free from Egyptian slavery.  Matzah marked the end of the prophecy that Abraham’s descendants would be oppressed and enslaved for four generations. It is also the exact day, 400 years later, of Isaac’s ‘weaning’ and the start of the oppression suffered beginning with Ishmael and Esau. Through the blessing of Adonai, the nation of 70 that entered Egypt had grown to 600,000 men, not including women and children.

“All the people of Isra’el did just as Adonai had ordered Moshe and Aharon. On that very day, Adonai brought the people of Isra’el out of the land of Egypt by their divisions” (Exodus 12:50-51).

Pidyon Ha-ben – Redemption of the Firstborn

“Set aside for me all the firstborn.  Whatever is firstborn from the womb among the people of Isra’el, both of humans and of animals belongs to me…. When Adonai brings you into the land of Canaan, and gives it to you, you are to set apart for Adonai everything that is first from the womb.  Every firstborn male animal will belong to Adonai.  Every firstborn from a donkey, you are to redeem with a lamb, but if you choose not to redeem it, you must break its neck.  But from people, you are to redeem every firstborn son” (Exodus 13:1,11-13).

Because Adonai protected the firstborn of the Hebrews, they became His possession and needed to be redeemed back to their families.  Firstborn sons of the Hebrews were redeemed with a lamb. In the wilderness, Adonai takes possession of the Tribe of Levi in place of the Israelites’ firstborn sons. The difference between the number of Israelite firstborns and the Levites were ‘bought back’ for five shekels of silver each (Numbers 3:40-51).

“With a strong hand Adonai brought us out of Egypt, out of the abode of slavery.  When Pharaoh was unwilling to let us go, Adonai killed all the firstborn males in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of humans and the firstborn of animals.  That is why I sacrifice to Adonai any male that is first from the womb of an animal, but all the firstborn of my sons, I redeem.  This will serve as a sign on your hand and at the front of a headband around your forehead that with a strong hand Adonai brought us out of Egypt” (Exodus 13:14-16).

Yeshua, the Firstborn

“He will call to me, ‘You are my father, my God, the Rock of my salvation.’ I will give him the position of firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. I will keep my grace for him forever, and in my covenant be faithful with him” (Psalm 89:27-29).

“When the time came for their purification according to the Torah of Moshe, they took him up to Yerushalayim to present him to Adonai (as it is written in the Torah of Adonai, ‘Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to Adonai’) and also to offer a sacrifice of a pair of doves or two young pigeons, as required by the Torah of Adonai” (Luke 2:22-24).

“Grace and shalom to you from the One who is, who was and who is coming; from the sevenfold Spirit before his throne; and from Yeshua the Messiah, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the earth’s kings” (Revelation 1:5).

“Also he [Yeshua] is head of the Body, the Messianic Community — he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might hold first place in everything. For it pleased God to have his full being live in his Son and through his Son to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace through him, through having his Son shed his blood by being executed on a stake” (Colossians 1:18-20).

©2018 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 Torah portion, the weekly readings of the Prophets and New Testament, and springboard for midrash, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.

‘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.