Haven’t read Part 1, yet? Then click here >http://wp.me/p1guqw-2G
Each household was to take a lamb on the tenth of the month (Nisan) for the purpose of guarding the household from death. Blood from the slaughtered lamb was to be put on the doorposts and lintel of the home as a sign to the Angel of Death to pass over the home. The Blood was a sign to the destroyer of the redemptive sacrifice that was made for the home, and like that sign of the blood on the doorpost, the redemptive blood of God‘s sacrifice, Jesus Christ, His firstborn and only Son, was made for ALL who accept Him as Savior and Lord. It is a sign of the pass over from death His blood freely gave us with all fullness of mercy and grace. For those who have accepted Christ as their Savior, we have been marked by Christ’s blood, which covers us with His sufficient grace. Without the sign of the blood upon our lives we are lost without hope and in turn are left to the chains of eternal bondage that death imposes upon the lost, hardened heart.
Today, Messianic and non-messianic Jews, celebrate Passover in remembrance of the deliverance or Exodus out of Egypt. In Exodus 12:24-25 the people are given a command by God to observe the Passover feast forever. Verse 27 states: “you shall say ‘It is a Passover sacrifice to the LORD who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes. ‘” For the most part the Jewish nation, as a whole, has kept the ordinance. However, among those who do observe Passover, there is a difference: whether or not they recognize Jesus, Yeshua, as the promised Messiah of Old Testament Scripture.
Preparations for Passover are very strict and thorough. The actual meal itself is called a Seder. Homes are prepared with the removal of leavened bread. During the seven days of Passover only unleavened bread is to be eaten. Unleavened bread is bread without yeast. The unleavened bread symbolizes the haste in which the Israelites came out of Egypt. They were even told to eat with their loins girded (meaning their outer robe was to be tucked into their belt), their sandals on their feet and staff in hand. They were to be ready to travel, to leave, on a moments notice. The unleavened bread also has a Scriptural meaning. Leaven represents pride, sin and unbelief. The unleavened bread represents a purification from defilement of pride, sin and unbelief.
There were specific instructions on the preparation of the lamb. First, it was to be a year old lamb without blemish. The lamb actually represents Christ and His sacrificial atonement for sin; He was without blemish or in other words without sin. The Israelites were given a specific time span on when to kill the lamb. As mentioned earlier, they were instructed to place the blood on the doorposts and lintels. Of course finding an unblemished lamb is difficult today for a modern observation of the Passover due to the urbanization of families.
Preparations in the heart also had to be made. Just like Gentile Christians, Messianic Jews are under the New Covenant. (Messianic Jews are Jews who recognize and believe in their hearts that Jesus Christ was and is who He says He was, i.e. the Messiah.) The New Covenant emphasizes that unconfessed sin and pride (leaven) defiles the soul and disrupts our relationship with God. Any unconfessed sin or pride causes us to miss out on the blessings of God that He has promised we will have.
In Corinthians 5:6-8 we see the words: “Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ, our Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” The blood that was placed on the doorposts and lintels signifies that the household had been purged of every unclean thing, meaning preparations had been made of cleaning out any and all leaven in the household. Our hearts must be purged of any sin. Acknowledging our sins to God and accepting His Son as Savior satisfies the condition of ridding our life of the leaven, but we still need to confess any sin in our life, because it keeps us from being in the right relationship with the Father. Christ’s sacrifice, and our acceptance of Him as Lord and Savior, makes us unleavened since we are covered by the blood He shed on the cross.
Preparations of the Herald are also made in the home that is celebrating Passover. This means that the head of the house sits across from an empty seat in hope that Elijah, the prophet, will come heralding the coming of the Messiah. Sadly, non-messianic Jews continue to wait for Elijah, when John the Baptist, who came in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17) has already heralded the Lamb of God (John 1:29).
The actual Seder meal is divided into four parts. The Seder begins with the woman of the household reciting a blessing and lighting candles. The blessing (Messianic form ) states: “Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us through faith in Yeshua the Messiah, the Light of the world, and in His Name we kindle the Passover Lights.” The head of the household then begins the Seder making sure that everyone present has a cup of the “fruit of the vine” (grape juice or wine). The cup of the “fruit of the vine” has great significance in that it is drunk a total of 4 specific times during the Seder as a remembrance of the blessings of redemption from Exodus 6:6-7.
First Cup Section
The First Cup Section signifies Sanctification. The first cup is blessed with a recitation of a blessing. “Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.” Then the Urchatz or washing of hands is performed in which the head of the household leads. At the Last Supper, Jesus himself girded with a towel began to wash the Disciples feet and then wiped their feet with the towel (John 13:5). Throughout the First cup the head of the household leads the people with a series of recitations from Scripture. The head leads with a comment and verse and is followed by the others in attendance reading from the Haggadah (like an order of service).
Next they eat the Karpas (parsley or celery dipped in salt water). Eating the bitter herbs is done to identify with the bondage and the redemption from the bondage. The Karpas is eaten after another blessing and then the head leads in more recitation. The final part of the First Cup is the Echad. The Echad stands for unity and is signified by the threefold Matzah plate. The head takes out the middle piece of bread and breaks it in half, and then takes one half to place back on the plate, and the other piece, the Afikomen, in a napkin which he hides, only to be found by a child during the third cup. The Afikomen is hidden until the third cup because this signifies that the Messiah was raised on the third day. The head leads in the final recitation of the first cup and ends with “Glory to God for Yeshua is our Echad, even salvation in our Unity”, followed by the people: “Behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in Unity.”
Tomorrow, Part 3. Come back tomorrow as I will explain the significance of the remaining cups, and share with you how every time we participate in Communion we are actually participating in the Third cup of the Passover.