THE PASSOVER - PESACH
The Historical Aspect of the Passover
This event originated on the night when the angel of YHWH passed over the land of Egypt. Due to Pharaoh’s “hardened heart,” the firstborn sons were slain. This sad event occurred immediately prior the children of Israel leaving their bondage under the leadership of Moses.
A male lamb, without spot or blemish was killed on the 14th of Nisan, being the day before the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called “the day of preparation.” The lamb had to be slain and “roasted” on Passover "between the evenings", that is, between sundown and dark. The lamb was brought into the house four days earlier. The Torah (Five Books of Moses) tells us that not one bone of the lamb was to be broken.
The lamb was roasted with fire, then it was eaten with bitter herbs. What was left had to be burnt. The roasting of the lamb signifies judgment. The bitter herbs represent the sins of Israel.
The blood of the lamb was to be smeared (painted) on the doorposts and the lintel. It would be this blood, which covered Israel and spared them from the final plague against Egypt. At midnight on Passover, the angel of death slew all the first born males of men and animals alike. However, when he saw the blood on the doorposts and lintel, he "passed over" that house and did not slay the first born. All Ten Plagues were against Egypt and its elohim.
Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. When YHWH goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down. “Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. When you enter the land that YHWH will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to YHWH, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” Then the people bowed down and worshiped. The Israelites did just what YHWH commanded Moses and Aaron.
The Passover occurred on the 430th anniversary of the promise Yahuwah gave to Abraham. “I will make you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great and you shall be a blessing”. Exodus 12:21-28
The Passover celebrated Elohim's great deliverance of His people from Egyptian slavery.
Elohim had told His people that He was going to execute severe judgment upon the Egyptians. He was going to send the angel of death throughout the land and execute the firstborn son of every Egyptian family.
So Moses said, “This is what YHWH says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again. But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any man or animal.’ Then you will know that YHWH makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. Exodus 11:4-7
Then and only then would Pharaoh release Elohim's people from their four hundred years of enslavement.
Now YHWH had said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely. Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold.” (YHWH made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people.) Exodus 11:1-3
But YHWH's people could escape the judgments.
Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. Exodus 12:7
“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn—both men and animals—and I will bring judgment on all the elohims of Egypt. I am YHWH. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt." Exodus 12:12-13
The blood was applied completely over the doorposts and lintel! It formed the letter Chet – new beginning, life (Chai). After the angel of death passed over, Israel was delivered by passing through the blood of the lamb, through the door (the way) to life. What a beautiful object lesson this was of Calvary!
The Passover is a symbol of Yahushua Messiah
It is the perfect fulfillment of the Passover Lamb who was sacrificed in behalf of YHWH’s people on the day of Passover.
Through the blood of Yahushua Messiah, a person escapes the judgment of Elohim.
YHWH accepts the blood of the substitute sacrifice as full payment for the sins committed by a person.
The Passover is His sign or prophetic picture of the coming Savior, of His salvation and redemption.
John 1:29 The next day John saw Yahushua coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of Elohim, who takes away the sin of the world!"
1 Corinthians 5:7 Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Messiah, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
Galatians 1:4 [Messiah] who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our Elohim and Father,
Ephesians 5:2 and live a life of love, just as Messiah loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to Elohim.
Titus 2:14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
1 Peter 1:18-19 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Messiah, a lamb without blemish or defect.
The Passover is traditionally celebrated by Jews through an annual meal (Seder)
This Jewish meal consists of unleavened bread, bitter herbs, vegetable, apple-nut-spice-wine mixture, shank bone and egg.
Haroseth - A mixture of chopped walnuts, wine, cinnamon and apples that represents the mortar the Jewish slaves used to assemble the Pharaoh's bricks.
Parsley - Symbolizing Springtime, it is dipped in salt water to remind us of the tears of the Jewish slaves.
Egg – another symbol of Springtime. (added after the House of Judah returned from Babylon)
Shank Bone - Symbolic of the sacrificial lamb offering, the bone can come from whatever the family is eating, such as the leg bone of a roasted turkey.
Bitter Herbs - Freshly grated horseradish reflects the bitter affliction of slavery.
During the Seder, 4 glasses of wine are poured to represent the 4 stages of the exodus:
A fifth cup of wine is poured and placed on the Seder table. This is the Cup of Elijah, an offering for the Prophet Elijah (Eliyahu). During the Seder the door to the home is opened to invite the prophet Elijah in.
After the meal is eaten, the children search for the Afikomen. The Seder is finished when the children have found the Afikomen and everyone has eaten a piece. Amazing! There are also a number of questions asked regarding the Passover and the youngest child is the one who gets to answer them.
Most of this is extra-biblical. More Rabbinic takanot to deal with. The Biblical command to keep the Passover is to do it all on Passover, the 14th of the month of the Abib. The command is simple: kill the lamb between the evenings (after sunset and before dark), roast it over fire, and eat it in haste with bitter herbs and unleavened bread.
Exo 12:8 ‘And they shall eat the flesh on that night, roasted in fire – with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.
The Holy Week
Yahushua made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the Sabbath Day of the week. This was the 10th of Nisan.
Mark 11:1-11 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Yahushua sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ tell him, ‘The Master needs it and will send it back here shortly.’” They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Yahushua had told them to, and the people let them go. When they brought the colt to Yahushua and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of YHWH!”
“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest!”
Yahushua entered Jerusalem and went to the temple. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
Yahshua cleansed the temple on the next day, the 11th of Nisan, the first day of the week.
Mark 11:12-16 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Yahushua was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. On reaching Jerusalem, Yahushua entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.
The next day, Monday the second day of the week, was declared to be two days before the Passover. This puts the Passover on the fourth day (Wednesday).
Mark 11:17-21 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: “‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. When evening came, they went out of the city. In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Yahushua, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
Mark 14:1 Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Yahushua and kill him.
Yahshua and the disciples eat their last supper together on Passover Day. This would be on the eve of the fourth day (Wednesday).
John 13:1-2 It was just before the Passover Feast. Yahushua knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Yahushua.
Note: The Sadducees (the priestly order), the Karaites and the Samaritans all kept the Passover on Passover evening (the first hours of Passover) according to the Scriptures. The Pharisees had changed the time they kept the Passover while they were in exile in Babylon. Following their own traditions rather than Scripture, they now ate the passover seder on the first hours of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
The Essenes were a devout order of men, which meant that they had to collect their own water which was normally women's work. Therefore the man Yahushua told his disciples to look for was probably an Essene.
Luke 22:10 He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters,
John 18:28 Then the Jews led Yahushua from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness the Jews did not enter the palace; they wanted to be able to eat the Passover.
This was after the Last Supper, on the morning of the Passover, the fourth day, Wednesday.
Since Yahshua died on the same day as the Passover lambs, the time of day becomes significant. Yahshua was crucified at the sixth hour (noon) and he died at the ninth hour (three in the afternoon). On that same day, in the Temple, half a mile away, the slaughter of the Passover lambs started at the sixth hour and ceased at the ninth hour when the High Priest entered and with his arms outstretched said, "It is finished" At the same time Yahshua cried out "It is finished!" and died. Thus the slaughter of Passover lambs was finished with the sacrifice of The Lamb of Elohim!
Yahshua was hung on the tree (cross) on the 14th of Nisan (the fourth day), having entered Jerusalem 4 days earlier on the 10th of Nisan. The Jewish “day of preparation” (for the Passover meal) was on Tuesday/Wednesday the 14th. This is traditionally the day on which the Passover lamb was slain and prepared for the Passover meal to be eaten on the first evening of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
John 19:13-14 When Pilate heard this, he brought Yahushua out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). It was the day of Preparation of Passover Week, about the sixth hour. [Noon]
John 19:31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.
John 19:42 Because it was the Jewish (sic) day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Yahushua there.
Luke 23:50-56 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of Elohim. Going to Pilate, he asked for Yahshua’s body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. The women who had come with Yahushua from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.
Mark 15:42-43 It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of Elohim, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Yahushua’s body.
The Passover was on Tuesday/Wednesday, the 14th of Nisan. Yahshua’s body was in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights, on the 15th, 16th and 17th of Nisan.
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matthew 12:40
Mark 8:31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.
Matthew 27:62-63 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’
After three days, late on the 17th day of Nisan, Yahshua arose and the tomb was empty. This was on the Sabbath. He arose sometime Saturday evening just before sunset. Remember, in the Hebrew reckoning, the night comes before the day on any date.
Messiah was in the grave on three consecutive days which included two Sabbaths: The first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the seventh day (weekly) Sabbath. That’s why Mary did not go to the tomb until the 3 days had passed.