The Passover

Part 1

 Isaiah 53:1-6:

“Who has believed our report and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.”

“He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him. He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”

“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressionsHe was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Himand by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him, the iniquity of us all.”

This article will focus on the next Feast listed in Leviticus 23, The Passover.

Leviticus 23:4:

"These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord's Passover."

As stated in earlier articles, I am trying to show the correlation between the things which take place in heaven, and the things which take place on the earth. The Passover is no different. The Creator instituted these Feasts as a sign between Him and His people. They represent the plan of the Creator's for mankind. As with everything the best way to explain this is to start at the beginning.

The story of the Passover can be found in the book of Exodus. Due to the length and amount of scriptures I will not be quoting them all. I will however give you the names of the books, and the scripture numbers so that you may look them up.

The Israelites were being held in bondage in Egypt. The Creator sent Moses to free His people.

Exodus 6:7-8:

"I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Issac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage; I am the Lord."

After a number of plagues Pharaoh still did not relent and refused to let the Israelites go. So the Creator told Moses that He would place one more plague upon Egypt.

Exodus 12:12:

"For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord."

It was on this day the Creator instituted the Passover festival.

Exodus 12:14:

"So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance."

There were many regulations the Creator commanded the people to do in celebration of the Feast.

Exodus 12:3:

".......On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household."

The lamb was to be without a blemish. On the fourteenth day of the same month they were to kill the lamb at twilight. The blood was then to be put on the door post and on the lintel of anyone who partook of the feast. They were then to roast the lamb and eat it in haste on the same night. For as He said it is His Passover. The blood was to be a sign.

Exodus 12:13:

"Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you: and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt."

This was the first Passover instituted by the Creator for all His people to follow. It was to be a memorial; to the night which allowed them to leave slavery, the night when death passed over the house of those who obeyed the Lord's command.. So the question must be asked, what does this have to do with us in this modern day.

 He told His people they must keep this feast forever.

Exodus 12:24:

"And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever."

In order to fully understand the significance of this day we must first look at the way the Israelites were to keep the feast. They were first to kill a lamb, roast it, and place the blood on their doorposts and lintel. It is the blood and the lamb which we must first study.

Throughout the Old Testament lambs are used as a sacrifice. Let us Begin in Genesis with Abraham. Abraham through his faith became the patriarch of the family of Israel, but prior to this the Creator wanted to see if he qualified for this honor.

Genesis 22:1-2:

"Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, 'Abraham!' And he said, 'Here I am.' And He said, 'Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I should tell you."

So Abraham did as the Creator commanded and journeyed to the place. He and his son built an alter for the sacrifice. Not knowing fully what was happening Isaac said,

Genesis 22-7:

"......Look the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"

Abraham then told Isaac that the Lord would provide. He then bound his son and was about to kill him when the Creator interceded.

Genesis 22:12:

"......Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me."

The Creator then provided a ram for the sacrifice.

Genesis 22:13:

 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.

 It was through this act of faith that Abraham was promised that his descendants would be as the stars in heaven, and all nations would be blessed, because of him.

Genesis 22:15-18:

 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven,  and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son, blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

After the Israelites left Egypt and entered the wilderness The Creator gave Moses what is called the, laws of the sacrifice. These sacrifices were to be offerings to the Creator for the sins committed by the people. These can be found in the book of Leviticus. There were a number of different animals that could be used for the offerings, the lamb was the most prevalent. After the sacrifice was made they were to take the blood of the lamb ,place it in the alter, and then burn it.

As stated before there are many references to this ritual. I will not go into all of them, but if you want a better understanding, you should read them for yourself.

As written in previous articles the Israelites did not obey the laws, and because of this, many could not enter into the land of promise. The ones who did enter continued the rebellious ways of their fathers, and because of this, the Creator took them out of their land and scattered the people throughout the world. In order to keep His promise to Abraham, He left a remnant, a small portion of people, behind and eventually let some return.

So we see that it was due to the sins of the people, that not only were some not allowed to enter the land, but except for a few the land was taken away from them. They were enslaved once more, and lost their identity.

Let us pick up the story in the New Testament. The people living in Israel during the ministry of Yahoshua were the descendants of the people who remained in the land. The religious leaders of the people hated Yahoshua and wanted to kill Him. You can read this story in John 18:19.

Due to the betrayal of Judas, Yahoshua was taken into custody bound and sent to the court of Pilate. Pilate could find no fault with Him so he went back to the High Priests and asked what they wanted to do with Him.

John 19:14:

"Now it was the Preparation day for the Passover."

Before I go on I must clarify a point. The Passover is not a Sabbath day. There is a feast which begins right after the Passover called The Feast of Unleavened Bread. It begins on the day after The Passover, and this day is a Sabbath. Also the Israelites did not begin the days, the way we do. In our culture a day begins and ends at midnight. The Israelite's days were from sunset to sunset.

Yahoshua was hung on the cross on a preparation day. A Preparation day is a day before a Sabbath day, whether it be yearly or a weekly Sabbath. Since no work is to be done on a Sabbath Day it was customary for the people to prepare themselves the day before. In this case the Preparation day was the day before the first day Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is the day of the Passover. He was crucified on the Passover.

John 19:31:

"Therefore because it was the Preparation Day, that bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath {for that Sabbath was a High day}."  

For more clarification turn to Exodus 12:16 or Leviticus 23:6-7.

The sun was setting. It was the Passover and the people did not want bodies hanging on a cross on the First day of the Feast of Unleavened bread, because it was a Sabbath day.

John 19:33:

"Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Yahoshua and saw that He was already dead they did not break His legs."

He was then carried to a tomb and laid to rest. John 19:39-41.

John 20:1:

"On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb."

Mary came to the tomb very early Sunday morning. The sun had not yet risen and the body of Yahoshua was already gone. So what does all this mean? Yahoshua was crucified on the Passover, the day the people were to sacrifice a lamb as an offering to the Creator. The lamb in this ritual was a symbol for Yahoshua. The Bible interprets it's own symbols, how does it interpret a lamb?

John 1:29:

"The next day John saw Yahoshua coming toward him, and said, 'Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the whole world'."

The Passover celebration pointed to the day the Messiah would die for our sins. Just as the Israelites were brought out of physical slavery, the death of the Messiah brought us out of spiritual slavery.

Matthew 26:28:

"For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."

It is with the shedding of His blood that we are able to have eternal life. Just as when the Israelites put blood on the door posts and death passed over their house. So it is with the blood of the Messiah. We shall not die forever, but made alive. The lamb in the Passover ceremony was a shadow of the Messiah. That is why He said;

Matthew 5:17:

"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill."

He was the fulfillment of this feast. We can now be assured our sins are forgiven. As wonderful as that news is there is still more to this feast of the Passover. I showed in earlier articles that there were two Deities at work; the Creator and the Word [John 1]. Yet if you read the Old Testament closely only one of them is speaking to the people. The One, who spoke to the people, was the Word, who later was born of man, and became Yahoshua.

When He walks the earth and begins His ministry, He begins to speak of the One who sent Him. He calls Him His Father. This Being, the Father, was never mentioned until Yahoshua spoke of Him. Why was this?

Due to the sins of the people the one known as the Father cut Himself off from the people.

Matthew 11:27:

".....Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and He to whom the Son wills to reveal."

Go back to Exodus chapter 40. This is the story of the Tabernacle being erected. Notice verse 3.

Exodus 40:3:

"You shall put in the ark of the Testimony, and partition off the ark with a veil."

The only one's who were allowed to enter this part of the temple were the High Priests. It was cut off from the people. Now let us go back to Matthew.

Matthew 27:50-51:

"Yahoshua, when He had cried out again with a loud voice, yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom."

It is because of His sacrifice that we are no longer cut off from the Father. It is through Yahoshua that we now are able to know the Father. The veil was split. He no longer hides from us. It is because of His death that we are able to have access to our Father, our sins forgiven, and our wounds healed. It is because if His sacrifice that we now have the opportunity to enter the coming Kingdom of God. The Passover is The Good News.

There is so much more on this subject that I can only scratch the surface. I implore you to study the Passover on your own. Until next time I shall leave you with this;

Hebrews 9:23-25:

"Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;"

1 Corinthians 15:55:

"O Death where is your sting? O Hades where is your victory."

This is only the beginning of the Passover story. I will continue with it in my next article. Until next time my friends please take care.