The events leading up to and the story of Passover is found in Exodus six through thirteen and has New Testament counter parts in Luke 22, John 6, 1 Corinthians 5 and 11. In this post I am going to do my best to hit the highlights, expound on certain points and show us how Jesus is the fulfillment of Passover and the joy of celebration. I want to say at the outset, you do not have to celebrate Passover, I am not getting legalistic and I am not trying to put us back under law. We are free to celebrate or not to celebrate The Feasts of the Lord. This year will be the first year since I first learn of the Jewish roots that I will be participating in a Passover celebration and I am excited about it. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 KJV “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us; (8) Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
The Passover, for the believer is a double celebration. As ones grafted in we celebrate the children of Israel being freed from bondage and also being free from the penalty, power and pollution of sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus! As mentioned last week, God is God all the time but He has set up three celebrations each year for us to take part in and Passover is one of those celebrations. Passover begins the feast calendar which is in spring, the civil calendar starts at Tabernacles which is in the fall. It is interesting to note that God’s calendar begins with seasons that represent life and the Gregorian calendar begins in the deadness of winter.
Before we get into Passover, we first must recognize the man God raised up and how he set the path for freedom. God never does anything alone, He always raises up a man or woman to partner with Him. In the case of the liberation of His children that man was Moses. Just as it will be with Jesus so it was with Moses, Jewish boys were ordered to be killed and Moses’ mom put him in a basket and Pharaoh’s daughter found Him in the river. Moses was raised Egyptian but always knew who he was. After it was found out he murdered an Egyptian he fled to the wilderness. After God set him apart he left to go face Pharaoh and God appointed his brother Aaron to speak for him. As the story progresses Pharaoh would not listen to Moses so God released a series of Plagues on the land of Egypt; water turns to blood, frogs, lice, flies, death of cattle, boils, hail and fire, locusts, darkness, and the death of the first born. It is important to note that God made a distinction between the land of Goshen where his people resided and Egypt, none of the plagues came to the land of Goshen (Exodus 8:23; 9:4, 6, 26; 11:7). The very first mention of healing in the Bible is found in Exodus 15:26 KJV “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee; which I have brought on the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.”
Passover is a season of the beginning of miracles the month of Nissan and Iyar are both months where the manifestation of physical and emotional healing are very present. Passover is a time to receive and walk out freedom and receive new levels of freedom from bondage and to be healed. Scripture says that we go from faith to faith and glory to glory, the feast calendar is set up to facilitate that rise each year. There are always new levels of freedom, revelation and healing to receive each Passover and it’s not always something for us, we also receive to be able to minister to others and that’s what the feasts are about.
Each plague represented God’s authority and dominion over the Egyptian gods. Each god was a protector of something each plague from God destroyed. This shows the love God has for us and His desire to see us be free.
As we get into the Passover, we aren’t given much information in Scripture as to the order and formalities of the meal, these came around 70AD. Jesus’ Passover meal constituted the four cups, bitter herbs, matzo (unleavened bread), and haroset (a mixture of apples, nuts and honey) and the singing of Psalms 113-118 known as the Halel. If you choose to celebrate Passover be free in how you choose to celebrate it and what you incorporate, my only admonishment is that you make sure to include both the Jewish and Messianic symbolism’s as this is a double celebration.
[Exodus 12:1-28 KJV ] The Passover happens in the first month, the month of Nissan and it is observed on the tenth day. Verse seven says, “And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two sides of the posts and on the upper door post of the houses where they shall eat.” Every Jewish man made the sign of the cross on his doorposts, a foreshadowing a Yeshuah, Jesus the Messiah being our final Passover lamb, it is because of Him that we celebrate the feast. Verses eight through ten speak of roasting the lamb and not leaving any till morning, this is a sign of prosperity. You boil food for leftovers, you roast to eat now and not worry about tomorrow. Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew six, take no thought for tomorrow, for what you shall eat or what you shall wear. Verse thirty-three, “but seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you”. Celebrating the Passover and partaking of roasted food breaks of the poverty spirit that is present in the people of God. As you eat, as you fellowship, allow the poverty mindset to be broken from you and ask God to rework your mind to a mindset of increase and provision!
The blood over the doorposts kept the children of Israel safe from losing their first born and the blood of Jesus is a seal for not only our salvation but our healing, prosperity and family life as well. Verse 24, “And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons forever. (25) And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the Lord will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. (26) And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean you by this service? (27) That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD’S passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped. (28) And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.”
John chapter six is set at the time of one of Jesus’ three Passover celebrations (2:13; 6:4 and 11:55). Passover centers around bread, getting the leaven out is a picture of getting sin out of our lives. But in John six Jesus feeds five thousand in a green pasture, this is a picture of Jesus as shepherd, just as Moses watched over Israel, it is also during this time Jesus says He is the bread of life. Many of the key events and key teachings of Jesus’ ministry happened in line with celebrating the feasts. There are four cups at Passover; sanctification, plagues, redemption (our communion cup), and praise. Jesus prayed in John 17, sanctify them with your truth, your Word is truth. John 1:1 and 14 KJV, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (14) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” Jesus is our sanctifier, redeemer, and the object of our praise. The entire Passover meal is a celebration of our great savior Jesus Christ.
I encourage us, not in a legalistic observance but in a spirit of joy and celebration to get a Messianic Passover Haggadah, prepare a feast and invite friends and family over to celebrate Jesus our Passover lamb. As Jesus was crucified at Passover, He was resurrected on the Feast of Firstfruits, which is why He is called the first born (or firstfruits) of many brethren.
There is so much rich symbolism in Passover especially with what has been added since 70AD but one of the most beautiful pictures of Jesus is found in the Afikomin. The Rabbis don’t exactly know how this tradition got started but this is it, you break a piece of Matzo and put it in a folded napkin and the leader of the meal hides it. Whoever finds it gets a prize and enjoys the last piece of Matzo as their dessert. The broken piece of Matzo symbolizes Jesus, whose body was broken for us, the napkin is the empty tomb and finding it is the resurrection. The death and resurrection of our Messiah is pictured in a wonderful celebration, so why not reclaim this feast of the Lord as our celebration of our savior?
Resources to help prepare for Passover: