This Passover was my first to “lead” the Remembering the Story. Here are my notes for our Celebration:
Tonight, we tell a story. Tonight we tell not just A Story, we tell our story. We tell it with words, we tell it with actions, we tell it as we taste, as we search, as we walk free, as we rejoice.
We all know the story, but on this night, we remember, for Yehovah told us to remember and we know that as we do, we are drawn deeper into Him, and the Story He is writing in Us.
There are several parts of this story, and we will tell bits thru the evening. The meal isn’t a sit down and eat it all at once, it’s part of the story and it comes in courses.
We’ll start with remembering that Yehovah desired relationship with someone in His image, and so he said, “Let us make Man in our image”. He took the earth from “without form and void” to lush, vibrant, living, moving – with the sun, moon and stars to determine days, and years and “seasons” which in Hebrew is the word mo’ed usually translated as Feasts or Set Appointments. He filled the earth with good things to eat, beauty, animals, and finally, on the final day of Creation, He made Man in His image, and in the cool of the evening, at the beginning of each day, He walked with Man and they began to Know one another. He also ordained the first marriage, and likely, on that first Shabbat celebrated their union, and His union with them. He filled them with His Other Centered, Unconditional Love and they walked, and talked, and loved and laughed…
But we know, that we have an enemy, who comes to steal, kill and destroy. That enemy is a liar and a thief of the worst sort, and he tempted the Man and Woman, Adam and Eve, and they believed his lies, and disobeyed their Creator… This severed their relationship with the Father – not because He was punitive, but because they no longer trusted Him or His beautiful Love, for they trusted the Liar instead.
And in trusting the Liar, We became his slaves, his captives. We were transformed into his image of self centered existence. We had no hope of living in the Love, that Beautiful Love again… We were stuck. Hopelessly stuck.
Many, many years later, there was a chosen family – who’d been promised they would become as the sands of the sea, Whom Yehovah had claimed for His own, Whom Yehovah had covenanted with. They were stuck in Egypt, working for a human slave owner by the name of Pharoah. We were his captives, we were stuck, and we cried out to Yehovah for Mercy… We cried to Him to deliver us.
Just as “We” – our forefathers, were captives, in need of rescue, so We – you and I, are, daily in need of rescue, for our enemy still prowls the earth, looking for those to devour, doing all he can to keep us in the space of self centered life, of being spoon fed lies that delude us. And so, tonight, with the Hebrews of Old, we sing:
“Deliver Us” – Andrew Peterson
Yehovah made a way for us then, and He has made a way for us now. He gave us instructions that we carried out then, and which pointed to the Way which was to come.
Let’s read them now:
12 Yehovah spoke to Moshe and Aharon in the land of Egypt; he said, 2 “You are to begin your calendar with this month; it will be the first month of the year for you. 3 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 — 4 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. 5 Your animal must be without defect, a male in its first year, and you may choose it from either the sheep or the goats.
6 “‘You are to keep it until the fourteenth day of the month, and then the entire assembly of the community of Isra’el will slaughter it at dusk. 7 They are to take some of the blood and smear it on the two sides and top of the door-frame at the entrance of the house in which they eat it. 8 That night, they are to eat the meat, roasted in the fire; they are to eat it with matzah (unleavened bread) and maror (bitter herbs). 9 Don’t eat it raw or boiled, but roasted in the fire, with its head, the lower parts of its legs and its inner organs. 10 Let nothing of it remain till morning; if any of it does remain, burn it up completely.
11 “‘Here is how you are to eat it: with your belt fastened, your shoes on your feet and your staff in your hand; and you are to eat it hurriedly. It is Yehovah’s Pesach [Passover].12 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 Yehovah. 13 The blood will serve you as a sign marking the houses where you are; when I see the blood, I will pass over [a] you — when I strike the land of Egypt, the death blow will not strike you.
14 “‘This will be a day for you to remember and celebrate as a festival to Yehovah; from generation to generation you are to celebrate it by a perpetual regulation.
15 “‘For seven days you are to eat matzah — on the first day remove the leaven from your houses. For whoever eats hametz [leavened bread] from the first to the seventh day is to be cut off from Isra’el. 16 On the first and seventh days, you are to have an assembly set aside for God. On these days no work is to be done, except what each must do to prepare his food; you may do only that. 17 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. 18 From the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day, you are to eat matzah. 19 During those seven days, no leaven is to be found in your houses. Whoever eats food with hametz in it is to be cut off from the community of Isra’el — it doesn’t matter whether he is a foreigner or a citizen of the land. 20 Eat nothing with hametz in it. Wherever you live, eat matzah.’”
21 Then Moshe called for all the leaders of Isra’el and said, “Select and take lambs for your families, and slaughter the Pesach lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop leaves and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and smear it on the two sides and top of the door-frame. Then, none of you is to go out the door of his house until morning. 23 For Yehovah will pass through to kill the Egyptians; but when he sees the blood on the top and on the two sides, Yehovah will pass over the door and will not allow the Slaughterer to enter your houses and kill you. 24 You are to observe this as a law, you and your descendants forever.
25 “When you come to the land which Yehovah will give you, as he has promised, you are to observe this ceremony. 26 When your children ask you, ‘What do you mean by this ceremony?’ 27 say, ‘It is the sacrifice of Yehovah’s Pesach [Passover], because [Yehovah]passed over the houses of the people of Isra’el in Egypt, when he killed the Egyptians but spared our houses.’” The people of Isra’el bowed their heads and worshipped.”
There was a Lamb, there was unleavened bread, there were bitter herbs…
Maybe not the best meal in the world, but it all had a deeper meaning.
First lets deal with the Leaven – which we are not to eat, nor even have in our homes…
What are some “yeasty” foods that are to be removed??
We all have been told that Leaven is equal to sin, and well it may be, but our Messiah repeated several times that we were to beware of the Leaven of the Pharasees.
Will someone read Luke 12: 1-3?
1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.
3 Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
The Rabbis created a tradition called the Bedikot Hametz to be performed last night the beginning of the 14th day of Aviv, in the home. The Mother of the house would clean out all the Leaven, save a few crumbs, which she hid. The Father would take the children thru the house, with a candle, and a feather, and a napkin and would search for the leaven, till they found it, and used the feather to sweep it into the napkin to be burned. I hear Yeshua’s words re-interpretting this tradition. He tells us that the leaven of hypocrisy which is hidden, will be found. What was hidden in the dark closet will be found… Beware.
So, with our physical actions on this day – we clean our home of the leaven and leavening products, but as we do this, we also search our hearts, for that is what this all points to, and we remove the leaven of hypocrisy and evil from our hearts.
1 Cor 5:6-8
6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Messiah 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.
We are going to take a few moments to think about, and write down the “leavened products” still in our life. Where do we still agree with our enemy? where is our hypocrisy? What do we want Yehovah’s consuming fire to destroy? We will put them in this box, and will burn it as a physical reminder of the Spiritual Reality that He will refine us and continue to complete the work in Us that He started!! I know, this is tough… it’s a hard thing to allow the Spirit’s Light penetrate the dark corner’s and expose what needs to go, and I know that takes time, but I encourage you, this week of Unleavened Bread, to be willing to submit to His Refining Fire.
Next, we’ll talk about what we are to eat.
Bitter Herbs – These bitter herbs remind us of the bitterness of slavery from which we are delivered. They remind us of the bitterness of the pagan gods and worship from which we were rescued from. They remind us of the bitterness of our choices, when we choose to believe the Liar, rather than our Lover. Let’s take a few minutes to consider what are our “Task masters”? What are we crying out to Yehovah to be delivered from? What external forces are to be drowned in the sea? Write it down, and later we will “drown” them by fire also.
Unleavened Bread – This is a proactive command. We aren’t to fast from Bread! We are to eat, consume, live on Unleavened Bread this week! We know from our instructions in Exodus, that this reminds us of the haste in which we had to leave Egypt, having had no time to allow our bread to rise. We also know that Paul reinterprets that to mean we are to walk in Sincerity and Truth. In addition, I believe the biggest reminder of the Unleavened Bread we eat is that we are to consume our Savior’s words, actions, life, salvation. What does it mean to consume Him?? What does it mean to “Take, eat, this is My body, which is broken for you”??
[At this time, while standing, go and eat a bit of the matzah and bitter herbs.]
“Behold the Lamb” – Andrew Peterson
Lamb. We have several Lambs in Scripture to look at – each one tells us a bit about our Messiah.
The first Lamb in our story was the one Yehovah killed in the Garden, in order to clothe Adam and Eve. The word used in Genesis is “Labash” and means, to dress, or to clothe. Did you know that in Judges 6:34, the same word is used…”But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet;” The Spirit of the Lord “Labash” Gideon. He Clothed Gideon. Just so, our Passover Lamb clothes us.
The next Lamb in our story is the ram, caught in the bushes, when Abraham was asked to sacrifice His son on the very mountain where Our Messiah was crucified
[Children act it out as it’s read]
Gen 22:1-14 CJV
1 After these things, God tested Avraham. He said to him, “Avraham!” and he answered, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love, Yitz’chak; and go to the land of Moriyah. There you are to offer him as a burnt offering on a mountain that I will point out to you.”
3 Avraham got up early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, together with Yitz’chak his son. He cut the wood for the burnt offering, departed and went toward the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day, Avraham raised his eyes and saw the place in the distance. 5 Avraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey. I and the boy will go there, worship and return to you.” 6 Avraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on Yitz’chak his son. Then he took in his hand the fire and the knife, and they both went on together.
7 Yitz’chak spoke to Avraham his father: “My father?” He answered, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “I see the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”8 Avraham replied, “God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son”; and they both went on together.
9 They came to the place God had told him about; and Avraham built the altar there, set the wood in order, bound Yitz’chak his son and laid him on the altar, on the wood.10 Then Avraham put out his hand and took the knife to kill his son.
11 But the angel of Yehovah called to him out of heaven: “Avraham? Avraham!” He answered, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Don’t lay your hand on the boy! Don’t do anything to him! For now I know that you are a man who fears God, because you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 Avraham raised his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in the bushes by its horns. Avraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering in place of his son. 14 Avraham called the place Yehovah Yir’eh [Yehovah will see (to it), Yehovah provides] — as it is said to this day, “On the mountain Yehovah is seen.”
This Lamb was a substitution for Isaac through whom the blessing and covenants made to Abraham would be passed on. Just as Yeshua is the substitution of the wages of sin is death, for us, the remnant to whom those blessings and covenants were made. This Lamb was the “lamb which God Himself will provide”.
Lastly, we have the Passover Lamb. The death angel is on his way and has claimed the firstborn. But there is a way, there is a sign, there is safety under the Blood.
On the 10th day, the Passover lamb was brought into the home, and inspected. It was to be without spot or blemish. Our Messiah rode into Jerusalem on that day, on the back of an donkey, which had never been ridden, and spent the next few days, in the Temple – being inspected and questioned. Was there a spot? Was there a blemish, on this, our Passover Lamb??
On the 14th day, before sunset, we were to sacrifice the lamb, drain it’s blood, and, using Hyssop, paint the door posts with the blood. Across the top, on the sides…
And, on the 14th day, of the month of Aviv, Yeshua was crucified. His blood ran and painted the “door” at his head, dripping to the base and on either side. It renewed and sealed the marriage covenant He’d made with us, but which we had broken. He drank the bitter cup of jealousy, for our God is a jealous God, and we had committed adultery against Him. That cup was ours to drink, but Yeshua drank it instead. (see Num 5:11-31)
The Lamb was to be eaten that night, totally, on this, what was now the First day of Unleavened Bread. Nothing was to be left till morning and Numbers 9:12 tells us that no bone of it was to be broken even after it was roasted.
So, Yeshua, was consumed by death that day. Totally. No bone was broken. And he was laid in a tomb…
“Passover Us” – Andrew Peterson
Remember – the first time this meal was eaten, it was in haste, with sandals on, staffs in hand. There will come a time, when another “exodus” will occur, when Yehovah gathers his Remnant from every corner of the earth. Scripture says that it will be such a great event that people will no longer remember Yehovah by the first Exodus but by the Second one. (Jer 16:14-16) This is why earlier, we stood to eat the matzah and the bitter herbs, why we stood to taste the meal. May we always be prepared for Him to call us from the lands in which He has scattered us!
Now tho, we will sit, recline, and be comfortable Resting In Him, our Messiah, Knowing that He is our Deliverer as we eat and talk of His Redemption.
Let’s Eat this meal, and with our bodies remember our story as we taste and feel and see and smell these things which remind us of our Deliverance, of our story!
[Potentially Discuss during supper Tradition vs Scripture.] There were many Traditions observed by the Priests and people of Yeshua’s time, which we don’t find in Scripture, some of which Yeshua defined… others, he condemned. It takes walking by the Spirit to know what is good to be kept because it was Spirit inspired, and what is not…
A few traditions include the Afikomen or “dessert” – a piece of matzah broken from the middle of three loaves of matzah held and hidden until after the meal. Many believe this tradition pointed to Messiah being broken and buried.
Another is the charoset a spicy sweet apple mixture said to remind us of the morter of the brick, and the sweetness that comes in hard work. It is particularly tasty in a ‘Hillel Sandwich’ – cracker matzah, horseradish bitter herb and charoset, all in one bit.
[Potentially talk about the traditional 4 cups???
In Judaism, there are 4 cups that are drank with this meal
The first is the Kiddish – which is the “Bring You out” cup, reminding us that He promised to Bring us out of slavery and Sin.
The second is the Cup of Wrath, or Plagues – It is not drank. In the same way, we do not drink the cup of plagues or of Death, Yeshua drank it for us!! Neither did the Hebrews experience the Plagues – can anyone tell what those plagues were??
1. Blood 2. Frogs 3. Lice 4. Flies 5. Diseased Livestock 6. Boils
7. Hail 8. Locust 9. Darkness 10. Death of the Firstborn
Matt 25:36-39, 42
8. The Third cup is called Redemption – He has Redeemed us!!
1 Cor 11:22-25
and the Fourth Cup is called – Hallel (Praise) or “I will take you as my people”. ]
Finishing up the evening….
That Marriage Covenant we were talking about earlier? It was shadowed in the marriage of Adam and Eve, as they celebrated their first day together on Sabbath (which Exodus 31:13, and Ez 20:12 & 20 say Sabbath is a sign of our covenant with Him, that He is the one who sanctifies us)
Yehovah began that Covenant with Abraham.
He confirmed it with His people, at the base of Mount Sinai, 50 days after the Red Sea Crossing on the day we call Pentecost (you can find that story in Ex 19-24).
We, of course, broke that marriage covenant, and Yehovah tells us by way of the prophets, Hosea, Isaiah, and Jeremiah, that he Divorced us, respecting our choice of other lovers. But that He would marry us again, He would renew the Covenant of Love. It was that Covenant which Yeshua / Jesus was talking about when he offered the cup to his disciples and said, “This is the cup of my Covenant”. It was that Covenant that He confirmed at Pentecost when He Poured out His Spirit upon He disciples, and it’s that Covenant that will be consummated during the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.
What a day that will be!!!
Lastly, let’s talk a bit about the Feast of Unleavened Bread, one of the mo’ed, or Set Appointments or Feasts of Yehovah. It started tonight at Sundown, and ends 7 days from now, at Sundown.
YHVH says, in Exodus 13:16: Have someone read…
“It shall be as a sign on your hand and as frontlets between your eyes, for by strength of hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.”
and, in Exodus 13:9,10
“It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the Lord’s law may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the Lord has brought you out of Egypt. You shall therefore keep this ordinance in its season from year to year.”
Sign on hands, memorial/mark between eyes… sounds vaguely familiar… mark on the hands, mark on the forehead??? Is there a connection??
Last year, as I thought about this Feast, I realized that it begins with the Death of the Passover Lamb, and the Last High Sabbath is the day that Jewish historians say the Hebrews crossed over the Red Sea.
I realized that the very first Week of Unleavened Bread – from Egypt to the Red Sea – showed the entire plan of salvation… It starts with the Passover Lamb, deliverance from bondage, and the choice to follow Him in faith, into the Wilderness… where we travel, day and night, following His Cloud, His Pillar of fire. It’s a faith walk, it’s hard, it can be exhausting, but He provides. The week comes to it’s climax with us “entangled in the land”, with no where to go, and our enemy right behind us, and us waiting on the Lord for His deliverance to come… Finally – we cross over on dry land, and our enemy is ENTIRELY consumed. Isn’t that the big picture? Accepting the Lamb, walking by Faith, trials that test our faith, and eventually all evil consumed?!
The Hebrew word “Sign” is
Breaking the letters down to their beginnings to the Pictograph meanings, and Reading from Right to Left:
letter name – picture – meaning:
Aleph – Ox Head – Strong, Power, Leader, Yoke
Vav – Nail/tent peg, secure, pierce – can also mean hook, join
Tav – Crossed Sticks – mark, sign, signal, monument – can also mean covenant, ownership… and, of special note, just to repeat – the original picture was crossed sticks – Yes, the first “sign of the cross” pun intended!
So, the word “Sign” from Exodus 13, which is to be on our hands, in pictures takes us directly back to the Passover Lamb – THE LAMB of YHVH !!!
The Strong Leader, who was pierced, on a cross, and by so doing secured the covenant and sealed us!!
Let’s consider the Hebrew word for Frontlet??
Breaking it down, reading from Right to Left:
letter name – picture – meaning:
Tet – Basket – Surround, contain, mud – can also mean snake, twist
Vav- Nail/tent peg – secure, pierce – can also mean hook, join
Tet – Basket – Surround, contain, mud – can also mean snake, twist
Pey – Mouth – blow, scatter, Edge – can also mean to speak, to open, the beginning (think “in the beginning YHVH spoke and it was so”), enter, command
Vav – Nail/tent peg, secure, pierce – can also mean hook, join
Tav – Crossed sticks – mark, sign, signal, monument – can also mean covenant, ownership… and, of special note – just to repeat, the original picture was crossed sticks – Yes, the first “sign of the cross” pun intended!
Do you see it?? Red Sea Crossing??? Pharaoh, with his snake hat becomes secured in the mud, when YHVH blew a strong wind, then commanded the waters to fall again, thereby securing a sign, the signal and His ownership over His people that they were His and they were, truly, Free!
Looking forward… That great enemy of ours, the serpent, will be secured,contained, surrounded, in the mud (in the pit?), snake that he is, when YHVH opens His mouth and commands, whereby Securing His Everlasting Covenant of Peace, Securing His ownership, and giving us a sign, a signal that We are HIS and We are Truly Free and the Snake is completely and utterly destroyed, just as Pharaoh was on the bottom of the Red Sea!!!
Now that’s a promise I’ll keep before my eyes and thoughts any
day!!! And that’s a reason to praise Him, to Dance, to worship, to sing!!!
Moses sang a song, Revelation tells us it’s our song!! Now I know why!
“Song of the Lamb” Michael Card
There is another Feast this week, aside from the weekly Sabbath, and that is the Feast of First Fruits. We will be celebrating it, on Sunday for it is to be celebrated on the first day after the Sabbath in the Week of Unleavened Bread.
It is a celebration of the First Fruit of the Resurrection, our Lord and Messiah!!