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Pesach

April 10, 2014

Meeting Times [מוֹעֵד H4150] – (Seasons)
The sun, moon, and stars indicate set appointments when Yahweh will show up to interact with His people. The Older Covenant feasts, Yahweh’s meeting times (seasons), are determined by the cycles of the moon. The word translated feasts is the Hebrew word, מוֹעֵד Moed. Moed means a divine appointment. In other words: a fixed time or season, specifically a festival.

Moed [מוֹעֵד H4150]
• At this set time – Genesis 17:21, 21:2; Exodus 9:5
• At the appointed time – Genesis 18:14
• An appointed season – Exodus 13:10; Numbers 9:2, 9:3, 9:7, 9:13; Deuteronomy 16:6
• An appointed place (tabernacle / tent of the congregation) – Numerous Exodus, Leviticus passages.

In Greek: Chronos [χρόνος G5550] — time either long or short – time.
Kairos [καιρός G2540] – a fixed and definite time – season.

It is not for you to know the timesG5550 or the season G2540 . . .” – Acts 1:7
But of the times and the seasons . . .” – 1 Thessalonians 5:1

The Moedim were times when Yahweh appointed a מִקְרָא Miqrao. A miqrao is something called out. In other words: a public meeting, an assembly, a holy convocation, a reading, or a rehearsal. In other words, the feasts are a dress rehearsal for the coming of Yeshua. The moedim of Israel have a practical, a symbolic, and a prophetic application.

Miqrao [מִקְרָא H4744]
• A holy convocation – Exodus 12:16; Leviticus 23:2-8; Numbers 28:18, 28:25, 29:12
• An assembly – Numbers 10:2; Isaiah 1:13, 4:5
• A reading – Nehemiah 8:8

The Three Commanded Moedim
Deuteronomy 16:16 – “Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed.

The Three commanded Moedim are:
• Pesach (Passover), including Chag Ha’Matzoth (Unleavened Bread) and Reishit Katzir (First Fruits)
• Shavuot (Pentecost)
• Sukkoth (Tabernacles)

The Seven Moedim are:
• Pesach (Passover)
• Chag Ha’Matzoth (Unleavened Bread)
• Reishit Katzir (First Fruits) Begins on the third day after Pesach.
• Shavuot (Pentecost)
• Yom Teruah (Trumpets)
• Yom Kippurim (Day of Atonements)
• Sukkoth (Tabernacles)

The First Holy Day
Date Of Moed: 14th Day of 1st Month (Nisan – March / April)
Key Scripture: 1 Corinthians 5:7 – “For our paschal lamb, Yeshua, has been sacrificed.
Key Word: Salvation
Actions: Lamb is killed and roasted. Lamb is eaten by the family.
Prophetic Fulfillment: Yeshua’s Crucifixion

Passover, or Pesach, is the first of the seven feasts commanded by Yahweh. The word translated feasts is the Hebrew word, Moed [מוֹעֵד H4150]. Moed means a divine appointment that is at a fixed time or season; specifically a festival. Yahweh’s covenants of promise are from everlasting to everlasting, and Pesach is one of His most important covenant ordinances. The Pesach celebration includes the feast of Chag ha-Matzoth, or Unleavened Bread, and also the feast of Reishit Katzir, or First Fruits. The celebration is divided into two parts: the first two days commemorate the exodus from Egypt and the last two days commemorate the splitting of the Red Sea and entry into Midian. Pesach symbolizes deliverance from Egyptian bondage and redemption by the blood of the Lamb. This moed was fulfilled in Yeshua’s first coming when He was crucified as a payment in full for our sins.

Other Names For Pesach Include:
•   Chag Ha’Pesach, or the Festival of the Pesach.  This festival was celebrated by the Jews even before the events of the Exodus to welcome the arrival of the spring season. A pesach lamb was sacrificed to Yahweh as token of gratitude for the renewal of springtime.
•   Chag Ha’Aviv, (Hag Ha’Aviv Or Z’man Cheiruteinu), the Spring Festival or the Season of Our Liberation. This festival recounts the arrival of the Hebrews from Egypt to Canaan during spring season marking the new phase of Jewish cultural life.
•   Chag Ha’Cheirut or the Festival of Freedom or Redemption. This festival recounts the entire journey of Jews attaining freedom and redemption from oppression and slavery under the Egyptians.

Included in the celebration are:
•   Chag Ha’Matzoth, or the Festival of The Unleavened Bread.  According to the book of Exodus, the Israelis hastily departed from the tyranny of Egyptian ruler Ramses II and they could not wait for bread to be leavened and rise. So to observe the festive occasion, no leavened bread is eaten during the festival. The unleavened bread eaten during Passover festival is also known by the name matzoh.
•   Reishit Katzir, or First Fruits. The key word describing Reishit Katzir is: Resurrection.  This day represents a time of thanksgiving for the harvest to come. The first sheaf is a promise of larger harvest to come.

Historical Background
Exodus 12:7 – “You shall take some of the blood of the Lamb and put it on the two door posts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.”
Exodus 12:14 – “Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.”
Exodus 12:22 – “Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two door posts with the blood in the basin.
Leviticus 23:5 – “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is Yahweh’s Passover.”
Numbers 9:1-5 – “Thus the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, ‘Now, let the sons of Israel observe the Passover at its appointed time’.”

Pesach is celebrated every year by both Jews and Messianic Jews.  It is the first of the three major festivals with both historical and agricultural significance. Historically, the Feast of Pesach has been an annual holiday in honor of the night when the Lord passed over the homes of the Israelites during the last of the ten plagues.  It represents the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt after 400 years of slavery, the day that the firstborn of the Egyptians were killed, and the day the firstborn of the Jews were passed over.  Agriculturally, it represents the beginning of the harvest season in Israel.  It is well known for being the feast during which no leavened bread, Chametz, is allowed.  In fact, all leavening agents must be completely removed from the entire household. The removal of chametz commemorates the fact that the Jews left Egypt in a hurry and did not have time to let their bread rise. It is also a symbolic way of removing any arrogance or  pride from their souls, as well as symbolizing the removal of sin from their lives.

The Blood on the Door:
Hebrews 11:28 – “You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.”

The Hebrews followed Yahweh’s instructions by placing the blood of a lamb on the lintel and door posts.  The Lintel is the horizontal crosspiece over an opening such as a door, or window, usually carrying the weight of the structure above it. The door posts are the two frames on either side of the door. The blood of the spotless sacrifice was taken from the basin on the ground and put on the lintel and on the door posts of their homes so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel. That night the firstborn son of every family who did not have blood on the door posts was killed. The lamb had to be killed in order to get the blood that would protect them. Inside their homes, the Israelites ate a meal of roast lamb, bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast.  Externally, it was the actual blood that saved them from the death angel.  Internally, this substitution was appropriated through obedient, humble, submissive faith.

Modern Background
1 Peter 1:18-19You know that you were ransomed with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.”
1 Corinthians 15:20-22 – “But in fact Yeshua has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died so all will be made alive in Yeshua

That Pesach should be fully celebrated by modern believing Christians is attested to by several scriptures, such as the two scriptures above.  Paul, in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8, says: “For our paschal lamb, Yeshua, has been sacrificed.  Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”  The lamb and its blood represents the blood of Yeshua Ha’Mashiach, the Lamb of God, who gave his blood for the sins of all people.  The unleavened bread symbolizes the sinless nature of Yeshua. Now, the Lords Supper is our Pesach remembrance of our new life and freedom from sin. The next time struggles and trials come, remember how Yeshua has delivered you in the past and focus on His promise of new life with him.

The Seder Ceremony
Each spring families celebrating Pesach will kill a lamb without blemish and roast it upon a spit.  The lamb is placed upon the spit with its forearms spread and its hind feet bound together – the same position as Yeshua’s arms and feet were nailed to the cross!

The Seder Table usually includes a large Seder plate; and upon the plate are the following: a roasted shankbone of a lamb, a hard-boiled egg, bitter herbs or grated horseradish, charoses (finely chopped apples cinnamon, and nuts mixed with wine), and karpas (parsley, lettuce, or watercress).

Also on the table there should be three matzohs under a cover or a napkin (near the officiating person), Salt Water (accessible to all participants), the Cup of Elijah (a large goblet filled with wine), and a Pillow under the left arm of the leader’s chair (represents reclining).

The woman of the house traditionally lights two white candles to begin the feast, while the leader explains what they mean.  The candles, which represent creation and redemption, symbolize the two witnesses Moses and Elijah.  Moses represents the Law and Elijah represents the prophets, and the Law and the Prophets testify that Yeshua is the Messiah.

The first element of the meal, the three Matzohs, is explained.  Matzoh is unleavened bread made simply from flour and water without any leaven and is cooked very quickly. This is traditionally viewed as the bread that the Jews made for their flight from Egypt, and is also referred to as Lechem Oni or the Bread of Affliction.  There has been much debate about who or what the three Matzos represent.  Some Rabbis say they represent the Kohens or Priests, the Levites, and the Israelites.  Others say they represent Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The middle matzo, therefore, would correspond to Isaac, the miraculously born son of Abraham, who was taken to what would become the Temple Mount to be offered as a sacrifice! (Genesis 18:13-14, 21:1-2, 22:1-18 and 2 Chronicles 3:1).  Christians believe that they represent El Elyon – The Father Mighty God, Yahweh; Ben Elohim – the Son of God; and the Ruach Ha’Kodesh – the Holy Spirit of God.

In the Passover Seder meal the middle matzo is taken and broken in two.  This is the portion that Yeshua broke during the Last Supper when He said, “This is my body that is broken [klaō κλάω G2806]  for you” (1 Corinthians 11:24).  Then:
•   One half of the broken Matzo is wrapped in a white cloth and hidden, to be found later in the meal, so that the children will stay awake.  This portion is called the Afikomen.  We remember that Jesus three times asked his disciples to “stay awake” (Matthew 26:36-46).
•   The middle person of the Godhead was broken for us at Passover, and we remember that hiding the middle matzo is a picture of His burial.
•   Later in the meal, when the children find the Afikomen, we remember that Jesus is risen, no longer hidden in the belly of the earth.

The nation of Israel has been taking the middle matzo, the Afikomen, not understanding that the Matzo that is broken, wrapped in a cloth, buried, and found is symbolic of Yeshua their Messiah.

Next, the roasted shankbone is explained.  The shankbone symbolizes the Passover lamb.  At the time of the Exodus, the blood of this sacrificial lamb was applied to the door posts, and Yahweh passed over the firstborn of the Jews.  Yeshua is the Christian’s Passover Lamb, and the believing Christian’s sins are forgiven and they escape the judgment of Yahweh.

The third element explained is the Karpas, which is a green vegetable that corresponds with the arrival of spring.  Dipping the karpas in the salt water symbolizes how Yahweh brought the Jews safely across the salt water of the Red Sea and made them a new-born nation.  In Yeshua, it symbolizes a Christian’s baptism and spiritual rebirth as a holy nation unto Yahweh.  The karpas also represents the hyssop that was used to put the blood of the Passover lamb on the door posts.  In addition, the salt water reminds us of the salt in the tears that Israel shed while under Egyptian slavery, as well as the tears of our own slavery to sin and the world before Messiah delivers us.

The fourth element explained is the Roasted Egg, a reminder of the voluntary peace offering given on the second day of Pesach.  In the New Covenant, it symbolizes that Yeshua voluntarily offered Himself a sacrifice, thereby making peace with Yahweh and reconciling the world unto Himself.

The fifth element explained is the Maror, or bitter herbs.  Maror reminds us of the bitter slavery that the Jewish ancestors suffered under the hand of Pharaoh in Egypt.  The eating of maror (horseradish) brings tears to the eyes and also reminds Christians of their bitter slavery to sin and the world and being out of fellowship with Yahweh, the bitter cup that our Messiah drank from to secure our freedom in Him and to restore fellowship with Himself and Yahweh.

The sixth element explained is the Charoses, which symbolizes the color of the mortar used by the Jews to make bricks during their slavery in Egypt, but is also a symbol of the sweetness of Yahweh’s redemption in Yeshua Ha’Mashiach.  As the maror, combined with the charoses are eaten, we are to recall the bitterness of sin in the horseradish, but that the charoses (Redemption in Mashiach) is the antidote for sin. This serves as another reminder of the slavery that Yeshua has delivered us from by His sufferings.

During the Seder meal participants partake of four cups of wine.  Each cup represents one of the four promises that Yahweh made in Exodus 6:6-7:
• The first cup is the Cup of Sanctification, signified by the promise, “I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.”
• The second cup is the Cup of Deliverance, signified by the promise, “I will rid you of their bondage.”
• The third cup is the Cup of Redemption, signified by the promise, “I will redeem you with a stretched out arm and with great judgments.”
• The fourth cup is the Cup of Restoration, signified by the promise, “I will take you to Myself for a people, and I will be your God.”

These four “I will . . .” statements are also the testimony of all who put their trust in Yeshua Ha’Mashiach, that He has fulfilled each “I will”.

The Fifth Cup
A fifth cup is also present, the Cup of Elijah. This cup represents the Cup Of Yahweh’s Wrath that will be poured out against sinners. It is a cup filled to the brim with the perfect wrath of a perfectly just God.

For centuries the Rabbis have debated whether or not this cup should even be included in the Seder, and if so, should the participants drink of it. Unable to solve this quandary, they have concluded that the participants are to drink of the first four cups but they are not to drink the fifth cup. Instead, they are to wait for Elijah the Prophet to come, who will tell them whether or not they should drink it themselves.

The Pesach Seder With Yeshua
The Pesach Seder meal which Yeshua celebrated with His disciples has become the Seder Ha’Mashiach (Lord’s Supper) for Christians. In that meal, Yeshua took the Afikomen and said, “Take and eat, this is My body.”  Then he took the third cup, the Cup of Redemption, and said, “This cup is My blood of the covenant poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26, Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-23, and Luke 22:19-20.)

The Afikomen also means “I have come, and I will come again.”  When Paul said, “For as often as you eat of this bread and drink of this cup, you proclaim Yeshua’s death until he comes” he meant that as we partake of the body and blood of Mashiach, we proclaim redemption through His sacrificial death during His first coming at Pesach, the Passover, until He comes again at His second coming.

Mark 14:25 –“Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
During his final Pesach celebration with his disciples, on the eve before his crucifixion, Yeshua only drank the first three cups but passed over the fourth cup.  If he had partaken of this fourth cup, he would have been under Yahweh’s protection.  He deliberately passed over this cup in order to allow scripture to be fulfilled.  He could not both be under Yahweh’s protection and at the same time be crucified.

Upon completing the Seder, Yeshua and his disciples walked to the place of the Gethsemane to observe the night of watching, or night of vigil, called Leyl Shimurim [ליל שמורים] in Hebrew.  This night is so named because it represents the night before the Exodus from Egypt when all the Hebrews stayed awake, watching to see if the Angel of Death would, indeed, pass over their homes and firstborn.  It also represents the night during the Exodus when they watched all night to see what deliverance Yahweh would provide from Pharaoh and his army.  It is today a night of vigil to see if Yahweh’s final deliverance will come that night.

The Cup Of Wrath
Matthew 26:36-45Yeshua keeps vigil in prayer while the disciples sleep.
It is during this vigil that Peter, James, and John were unable to stay awake on this night, but Yeshua did!

Mark 14:33-34 – “Yeshua took Peter, James, and John with him and began to be very distressed and troubled.  And Yeshua said,My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch’.”
Luke 22:44 – “And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.”

Yeshua is so overcome, so terrified, and so deeply distressed, troubled, and grieved (even to the point of death) that his sweat is like drops of blood falling to the ground.  This extremely rare condition, called hemohidrosis, is only known to have occurred in healthy individuals who knew their death was imminent and who knew that there was nothing they could do to prevent it.
• The word translated distressed is ekthambeō [ἐκθαμβέω G1568] which means: to be thoroughly terrified.
• The word translated troubled is adēmoneō [ἀδημονέω G85] which means: to be troubled, to be in great distress or anguish, to be depressed.
• The word translated deeply grieved is perilypos [περίλυπος G4036] which means: exceedingly sorrowful.
• The words translated point of death are heōs [ἕως G2193] and thanatos [θάνατος G2288]. Both are direct translations of their meanings.

Matthew 26:39 – Yeshua prayed, saying “Abba Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not as I will, but as you will.”
Mark14:36 – Yeshua prayed, saying “Abba! Father! All things are possible for you; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what you will.”
Luke 22:42 – “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

What, then, caused Yeshua to experience such great terror?   In his humanity, he fully realized that it is he who must drink that fifth cup, that cup of Elijah.  It is he who must take Yahweh’s wrath upon himself so that his bride and all who would place their trust in him would not have to. It is he who would have to drink to the last drop that bitter cup, the fifth cup, to secure our freedom from bondage, sin and death.

The Fulfillment
John 3:17 – “For Yahweh did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

The crucifixion and resurrection of Yeshua has fulfilled the four promises given in Exodus 6: 6-7:
• Yeshua has brought us out from under the yoke of Satan’s bondage (Matthew 11:29-30)
• Yeshua has set us free from slavery to sin (Galatians 5:1)
• Yeshua has redeemed us from death to eternal life (Galatians 3:13)
• Yeshua has taken us to be his bride, and will protect us from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

Jeremiah 25:7-17 tells us that Yahweh pours out a cup of wrath upon those who do not listen to his counsel; a cup that they must drink to the last drop.  David prays for this cup to be poured out in Psalms 69 and 79:
Psalm 69:24 – “Pour out your indignation upon them and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them.”
Psalm 79:6 –“Pour out your wrath upon the nations which do not know you, and upon the kingdoms which do not call upon your name.”

The final fulfillments may be found in both Isaiah and Revelation:
Isaiah 63:1-4 –Yeshua comes from Edom and Bozrah, his apparel stained with blood, on the Day of Vengeance during which his wrath is poured out upon those who have rejected him.
Revelation 14:9-10 –“If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of Yahweh, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation.”

Conclusion
There is a pattern of dress rehearsals that are represented by the Moeds of Yahweh. This Moed, Pesach (Passover), was fulfilled in Yeshua’s first coming when He was crucified as a payment in full for all sins, as testified by every believing Christian. The nation of Israel and the Jews have been celebrating Pesach for almost three thousand years, understanding that it symbolizes their Exodus from Egypt and yearly covering from sin, but failing to understand its greater symbolism that Yeshua their Mashiach has completely saved them both from bondage to Pharaoh and bondage to sin.

Romans 8:1 – “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Yeshua Ha’Mashiach.”
Time and again the Bible speaks of a cup of wrath which will be poured out against sinners. The cup of wrath was ours to drink, but in an indescribable act of compassion, Yeshua chose to intervene and take our wrath upon himself. Yeshua drank the cup of Yahweh’s wrath to the last drop

Revelation 20:15 – “Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
The cup is now empty. Will you place your faith in Yeshua so that your name can be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and so you can have eternal life? Or will you continue to deny his sacrifice and drink Yahweh’s cup of wrath at the Great White Throne of Judgment? The choice is yours. Choose wisely!

May your Pesach celebration be blessed.

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