Passover/Pesach

Exodus 12:1-20 (Leviticus 23:4-8; Numbers 28:16-25) gives us the full account of the first Passover. Rather than elaborating on all the details of this first Passover that Israel observed in Egypt, the focus of this teaching is to bring out details concerning Passover as it points to Mashiach (Christ) and is applicable to those who believe in Him, Jewish or non-Jewish.

 The first thing we want to note is found in verse 2, “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you” (KJV). This simple line in Scriptures holds a paramount teaching for believers in Mashiach. Herein lies the concept of the work of Mashiach for all who put their faith in Him by accepting Him as their Passover Lamb. The life of Israel begins not at Mount Sinai but here in Egypt while still slaves. The blood of the lamb placed upon their doorposts brings life to those who inside the house and death to those outside of the house who have no lamb’s blood on their doorposts.

First, Passover points to the New Life in Mashaich/Christ.

Passover points to the month of the beginning of the year, we can find a spiritual fact within the salvation process of the believer. Each year, Israel celebrated Pesach on the 14th-15th day of the first month of the year, along with a week of unleavened bread. Paul uses Passover and Unleavened Bread to teach separation from sin:

” Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 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: 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.” [1 Co 5:6-8, KJV]

Notice that Paul refers to Christ/Mashiach as “our Passover” the One Who is “sacrificed for us.” Yeshua/Jesus is our Passover (Lamb), the One sacrificed so that His blood may be applied to the spiritual door of our heart.

Upon this application, we enter into a new walk and a new life with Him. The old way (Egypt) is now to be dead to us and we walk in “newness of life” (cf Romans 6). The concept of a new year for the believer is found in the idea of being a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:16-21) where we have been reconciled to God through Mashiach/Christ.

Second, Passover points us to the true Lamb that covers sin—Yeshua/Jesus.

As Yeshua was walking by the Jordan where John was immersing, upon seeing Yeshua, he exclaims: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world…Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples, and looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:29, 35-36)

Philip also refers to Yeshua/Jesus as the Lamb when explain Isaiah 53 to the Ethiopian Eunuch:

“And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth…Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.” (Acts 8:30-33, 35-38, KJV).

Peter refers to Mashiach/Christ as the perfect spotless lamb:

“And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. (1 Pe 1:17-21, KJV)

Last of all, the book of Revelation uses Lamb in reference to Yeshua Mashiach (Jesus the Christ) throughout the book (5:6, 8, 12, 13; 6:1, 16; 7:9, 10, 14, 17; 12:11; 13:8; 14:1, 4, 10; 15:3; 17:14; 19:7, 9; 21:14, 22, 23; 22:1, 3)

The New Testament makes it clear that Mashaich Yeshua (Christ Jesus) is our Passover (Lamb) and it is by His blood that we are covered and cleansed. As the Lamb of God, He is victorious.

Thirdly, we learn of the importance and truth of circumcision

The argument for non-Jews to be circumcised in the flesh in order to be saved centers not upon legalistic principles as many commentators within the Christian community have suggested but rather find their principles within the Scriptures themselves. Remember that the Old Testament (Tanach) was the Scriptures used by the early Church not the New Testament. Therefore, it would be a natural conclusion for circumcision to be neccessary for one who believes in Yeshua since He is the Passover (Lamb). According to the instructions that God, Himself gives concerning those who qualify to participate in the Pesach Seder (Passover Seder). In Exodus 12:43-49 we find those instructions. In verses 48-49 we find that strangers who wish to join in the celebration, must first be circumcised and that “no uncircumcised person shall eat it” (48) and then in verse 49, God declares one law for both the native Israelite and for strangers. In acts 15, this was the issue.

So the question that was answered by the early Jewish Church was that non-Jews did not have to be circumcised in the flesh first. Why? They understood principles that many in the church have failed to comprehend. Peter makes it very clear as to what Deuteronomy speaks of concerning circumcision. First, God commanded Israel to circumcise their hearts and not to be stiff-necked (Deuteronomy 10:16). To this first point, Peter accurately states “neither our fathers nor we were able to bear” (Acts 15:10), so why put it upon the non-Jews coming to Mashaich as a “yoke on the neck.” Here we find that we are incapable of keeping the instructions of God so that our hearts need to be circumcised. Physical circumcision was a shadow or type to point out how the heart must be circumcised not the physical application. This is readily found within the Scriptures of both Old and New Testaments in that many who were circumcised and of the seed of Abraham naturally were classified as being separate from God because the heart was not circumcised. Secondly, Peter continues the thoughts from Deuteronomy in that it is God who does the circumcision (Dt 30:6) by declaring it to be that “through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved…” (Acts 15:11). Paul deals with this idea in many places. The issue is not circumcision but a “new creation” (Galatians 6:15). Paul explains how God works this circumcision in our lives (Colossians 2:11-15, cf Romans 6:1-14).

Fourthly, the Name of Yeshua (Jesus). In the Gospel of Luke (2:25-32) Simeon filled with the Holy Spirit (yes, before Pentecost) had a word from God (again, yes, before Pentecost) that he would not die until He saw Mashiach (Christ). Upon seeing Jesus he proclaims, “For mine eyes have seen thy salvation” (KJV). The key word here is the word salvation. In Greek this word is soterion, but in Hebrew it would be yeshua as found in Strong’s #3444.

The word yeshua translated “salvation” carries an idea of “deliverance” especially from an enemy. Thus, Jesus (Yeshua) has saved/delivered us from sin, its power, and its consequences (2 Co 1:10; Col 1:13). His Name is more important than just a mere Name given to a person. This Name has power due to its potential in our lives. The fullness of “truth” is to live in accordance to the Name above all names, the Name of Yeshua (Jesus).

Some may not think the Hebrew Name of Jesus (Yeshua) is of any importance, but how wrong that line of thinking is. In fact, much is missed in the New Testament (Brit Hadashah) because of that attitude. In the very beginning of the Gospels

Application

Do we keep Pesach/Passover for the sake of keeping it in its Jewish customs? The answer is partly yes, and partly no. The Jewish ceremony had many elements in it that point directly to Yeshua even if the Jewish people do not recognize it. But the most important aspect of keeping Pesach/Passover is to bring in the work of Yehsua/Jesus in connection to literal deliverance of Israel from Egypt. By allegory, one can see a picture of our deliverance from the power of Satan and his kingdom. These truths need to be in us so that we come out from this world system and be a separate people unto God, learning His ways of life that displaces the teachings we gained while in this world.