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The Story of Passover

  • The story of Passover goes all the way back to the beginning, to the very orchard of Eden itself, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the forbidden tree. Because of their transgression, our original ancestors incurred the plague of death and were exiled from the Divine Presence, though God graciously promised to heal them through the coming Seed of the woman – the Savior who would crush the head of the serpent and break the fangs of his venomous sting (Gen. 3:15). Soon after making this great promise, God clothed our primordial parents with the skin of a sacrificed lamb (Gen. 3:21), linking their coming deliverance with the “Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world” (1 Pet. 1:18-20).

     

     

    The very first "Passover" was in the garden. And the story of Passover extends to the world to come, wherein the redeemed paradise of God we will celebrate the victory of the Lamb who was slain for our redemption (Rev. 5:12-13). The Sabbath that occurs immediately before Passover is called Shabbat HaGadol in Hebrew), which is historically associated with the selection of the sacrificial lamb four days before the time of Passover (Exodus 12:1-6). The New Testament notes that it was four days before Passover (Nisan 10) when Yeshua, Christ Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, signifying His Messiahship, in fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey" (Zechariah 9:9). During this time, when the pilgrims had come to select a lamb for their Passover sacrifice at the Temple - they saw Yeshua and cried out: hoshiah na (in Hebrew), meaning "please save" or "save now" (in English this phrase was translated from the Latin to form "Hosanna!"). The people spontaneously began singing Psalm 118:25-26 in anticipation of the great Messianic hope.

     

     

    During the Passover (seder) we begin our retelling the story of the Exodus when the question is sung: (Mah nistanah ha-lailah ha-zeh mikol ha-leilot)? How does this night differ from all other nights? This is the central question of Passover, asked for thousands of years, and the answer is always the same: “We were slaves, but God redeemed us from our bondage by the blood of the lamb.” Note again that there were not many lambs, but the LORD told Israel: "You shall keep it (i.e., the Passover lamb) until the fourteenth day of this month when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall slaughter him at twilight (Exodus. 12:6). Each family put their trust in God’s uniquely appointed sacrifice to be delivered from the plague of death.

     

     

    The message of Passover applies to each of us: "In each and every generation an individual should look upon him or herself as if he or she (personally) had left Egypt." Indeed the very First Commandment is to accept the reality of our personal deliverance by the LORD: "I AM the LORD your God,, who brought you (singular) out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery" (Exodus 20:2). Note that the Hebrew word "Egypt" is mitzraim (Hebrew), a word that means "prison, enclosure, or straights," from the verb tzur (Hebrew) meaning "to bind or confine" (the Yiddish word tsuris, “trouble,” comes from the same root). On the other hand, the Hebrew word for salvation is Yeshua (Hebrew), from a root that means to "make wide," to "release from constraint," to deliver or set free. It is noteworthy that God began the Ten Commandments by identifying Himself as our Redeemer and Deliverer rather than as our Creator, because the purpose of creation is to be set free by means of God's redemptive love given through Yeshua, Christ Jesus the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8; 1 Peter 1:18-20; Ephesians 1:4). Are you preparing a place for the Lamb of God within your heart?

     

     

    The great story of our redemption is revealed on two levels in Scripture - one that concerns the paradise of Eden (the universal level), and the other that concerns the paradise of Israel (the particular level). Therefore Yeshua, Christ Jesus is both rightly called the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29) and “the Messiah our Passover Lamb who has been sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7). Likewise, he is both called the “Seed of the woman,” and “the Son of David”; the “Second Adam,” and the “King of the Jews,” and so on. The story of Israel’s redemption in Egypt, therefore, serves as an allegory of both the universal salvation promised in Eden (i.e., the lamb slain from the foundation of the world) as well as the revelation of the sacrificial ministry of Yeshua, Christ Jesus as Israel’s promised Messiah. Yeshua, Christ Jesus is both the Savior of the world as well as Israel’s true King and Deliverer.

     

     

     

    The message of Passover applies to each of us: "In each and every generation an individual should look upon him or herself as if he or she (personally) had left Egypt." Indeed the very First Commandment is to accept the reality of our personal deliverance by the LORD: "I AM the LORD your God, who brought you (singular) out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery" (Exodus 20:2). Note that the Hebrew word "Egypt" is mitzraim, a word that means "prison, enclosure, or straights," from the verb tzur meaning "to bind or confine" (the Yiddish word tsuris, “trouble,” comes from the same root). On the other hand, the Hebrew word for salvation is yeshuah, from a root that means to "make wide," to "release from constraint," to deliver or set free. It is noteworthy that God began the Ten Commandments by identifying Himself as our Redeemer and Deliverer rather than as our Creator, because the purpose of creation is to be set free by means of God's redemptive love given through Yeshua, Christ Jesus the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8; 1 Peter 1:18-20; Ephesians 1:4). Are you preparing a place for the Lamb of God within your heart, friend?

     

    Jesus said in John 5:46 "For if you believed in Moses, you would have believed in Me. for he wrote of Me."


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Julie Schneider
Julie Schneider

So inspiring! And interesting! Thank you so much for such wonderful food for thought! 

April 10, 2017