Sin's Death Sentence Must Be Paid
As surely as the snow falls, we know that Yahweh will give us a spring. And with spring we look for green ears of barley. The world today continues to celebrate their New Year on January 1--in the dead of winter. According to Yahweh's calendar, however, the New Year begins in the spring with emerging life, the seed springing forth to bear fruit (Exodus 12:1-2; Leviticus 23:4-5).
The Scriptures tells us to look for the month of green barley ears, for in that month the year begins. The first month brings the time of Passover, which begins the first of the three harvest festivals. Passover as a type has been fulfilled twice. It will continue to be important as it will be held in the future in a new way, according to Yahshua.
There has been much written about Passover. In this lesson, we will look at the Passover event itself, as well as why it originated, what it meant for the nation of Israel, and exactly what it means for True Believers today. Let's look at Passover from the beginning.
Israel had been slaves in Egypt for hundreds of years. Their ranks had grown large and strong. Exodus 1:10 tells us that Israel had now grown to a vast multitude and the Egyptians feared they would join with their enemies during war. The Egyptians therefore set taskmasters and afflicted their Israelite slaves with building cities for Pharaoh. However, the more their tasks increased, the more Israel multiplied and grew stronger.
In Exodus 2:24 we read, "And Elohim heard their groanings and Elohim remembered His Covenant with Abraham with Isaac and with Jacob." Here we have a very important revelation. It is the key to why the first Passover was instituted.
Because of Abraham's implicit faith, Yahweh promised to make from Abraham a favored nation--Israel. When the children of Israel were afflicted in the land of Egypt the stage was set for Yahweh to demonstrate to the entire world then (and recorded for those today who will read His Word and believe), that He alone is the Mighty One of heaven and earth.
The first Passover is recorded in Exodus 12. After it became known he had killed an Egyptian, Moses fled from Pharaoh and found refuge in the land of Midian. There he also found a wife who bore him a son. It was during this time that the Angel of Yahweh appeared to Moses at Mount Horeb.
Yahweh miraculously appeared to Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush that burned, yet was not consumed. For over 400 years prior to this encounter with the Angel of Yahweh, no record exists that Israel had any direct dealings with the Creator.
Here on the mountain Yahweh proclaimed to Moses, "I am He, Yahweh, the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." He went on to proclaim that He would use Moses to lead the children of Israel out of captivity. Upon his return to Egypt, Moses and his brother Aaron asked Pharaoh to let the children of Israel go. For what? That they might serve Yahweh their Elohim in the wilderness.
This is of extreme importance because Yahweh had raised up Israel to serve Him. Yahweh since creation has wanted man to serve Him and to worship Him.
But man in his natural environment has always rebelled against Yahweh and His way of life, ignoring His plan for mankind.
Pharaoh's heart was hardened and he would not let the children of Israel go that they might serve Yahweh. Yahweh's plan of deliverance consisted of 10 plagues. Each would increase the hardness of Pharaoh's heart.
It should be noted that Yahweh did not literally harden Pharaoh's heart, but brought about conditions that showed Pharaoh's true character. He allowed Pharaoh's heart to be hardened. On the other hand, the plagues would show not only Egypt but also Israel that Yahweh's hand was ever-present, ever-powerful and able to deliver Israel from anything or any nation.
Man is obstinate. Look at Pharaoh's unwillingness to let Israel leave Egypt, which led to the Passover. Our unwillingness to let go of sin requires Yahshua's Passover sacrifice to free us from the penalty of death.
Passover Blood to Protect
The final plague Yahweh instituted to free the children of Israel from bondage was the death angel's coming into the land of Egypt. All firstborn of both man and beast were killed. It was at this time that Yahweh instructed Moses about the ordinance of the Passover.
On the tenth day of the first month every man was to take a lamb according to the number or size of the family. They were to keep the lamb until the 14th day of the same month when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel would kill it in the evening.
The lamb had to be perfect and without blemish, a male of the first year. Not only were they to kill the lamb, but to take its blood and put it on the two side posts and on the lintel over the door of the houses where they were eating that night.
Moses instructed Israel to eat the flesh of the lamb in that night, roasted with fire. It was to be eaten along with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They were forbidden to eat it raw or soaked with water. The entire animal had to be roasted with fire.
They were to leave nothing remaining until morning That which was not consumed by morning was to be burned Israel was to eat the Passover with their clothes on, shoes on their feet, staffs at hand, ready to leave Egypt.
In Exodus 12:12-13 Yahweh says, "For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the deities of Egypt will I execute judgment: I am Yahweh. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where you are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt."
We should make special note that Yahweh ordained that the blood would be a token or sign upon the houses and would cause the death angel to pass over.
This word "passover" is "pesah," from No. 6452 in Strong's Concordance Hebrew Dictionary. It is the root of the word "passover," which we normally read in the Scriptures and can refer to the Passover meal, the festival or the sacrifice.
Yahweh had ordained that it was by blood that He would save His people and deliver them from the land of Egypt. The death angel's passing through Egypt at midnight destroying all the firstborn was the final blow to Pharaoh and the Egyptians and caused them to release Yahweh's people.
In the New Covenant Yahshua the Messiah, as an unblemished Lamb became our perfect sacrifice for sin. His blood, just as the blood on the door posts, protects anyone under it from everlasting death, 1 Corinthians 5:7; Isaiah 53:7-8.
His death was one of the most horrible a person could undergo. He was brutally beaten, whipped by leather thongs containing bits of metal, stuck all around His head with a ring of thorns, then yanked to a post and impaled with nails in the wrists and feet. As he hung in agony, a soldier thrust a sword through His side, seeing blood gushing from His battered and nearly unrecognizable body, Isaiah 52:14.
He did all of this voluntarily, so that we might have a chance for everlasting life, Psalm 103:2-3; Isaiah 53:5; and 1 Peter 2:24. Yahweh could not have sent a more precious, valuable sacrifice in all of creation. That is how much He loves you and wants you to repent and turn form your sins! And Yahshua was willing to undergo all of it--for you!
Egypt represents more than just a geographical country. In allegory, Egypt represents the world of sophisticated pagan worship of a multiplicity of pagan deities. It represents the society into which we were born and are presently living. Even as Yahweh's people Israel became slaves and servants of Pharaoh, we also have become slaves and servants to this worldly system.
Redemption Only Through the Blood of the Lamb
- Who does your Bible say is presently in charge of this world? (2 Corinthians 4:4).
NOTE: Egypt represents our bondage to the world, with Pharaoh a type of Satan. In Hebrews 11:25-27, Paul draws this analogy beautifully in speaking of the character of Moses. "Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of Yahweh, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Esteeming the reproach of Messiah greater riches than the treasures in Egypt...by faith he forsook Egypt." Israel was in sin for a season while in Egypt, until Moses, a type of Messiah, delivered them.
- What does Paul say about our human, fleshly bodies in Romans 8:21?
NOTE: Paul brings to our attention that we are but mortal humans and will one day pass from this life. As children of Yahweh, however, we have a glorious future, same verse.
- What does the writer of Hebrews say in 2:15? Notice verse 14 speaks of the Savior, Who became flesh and blood so that He could pay the ransom price as well as to show us the way to live as human beings.
- What was one of the benefits when the Savior became a human being? Hebrews 2:17.
NOTE: As the Passover Lamb, Yahshua paid the price for our redemption.
- What is the meaning of the word succour? Verse 18.
NOTE: Bondage can mean more than physical restraint. It can be addiction or a wrong desire such as lust that drives us to do things that are not proper or right. There is a bondage of the soul that is sin. In Romans 5:12, we are told that through Adam sin entered the world and death also as a result of sin, so that death passed onto all men for all have sinned.
- Does man know by natural instinct that which is holy, just and good? Proverbs 14:12.
NOTE: By himself man cannot find his way out of the treadmill of this world's society. As Israel cried out to Yahweh by reason of their affliction and bondage, so the souls of men continue to cry out to Yahweh by reason of their bondage unto sin.
- Did Yahweh choose Israel because they were great in numbers and strong in faith? Deuteronomy 7:7.
NOTE: Just as Yahweh was able to deliver Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, He is able to deliver His people form the bondage of sin ad the treadmill of this world.
Israel Experiences Some Plagues
It would be valuable to read the chapters of Exodus 1-12 to get the drift of the occurrences that led to the freeing of the children of Israel. Notice the number of times that Pharaoh promises to release the children of Israel as soon as the plague is lifted, only to go back on his word and keep Israel in bondage. It should be observed that the Bible expression that Yahweh hardened Pharaoh's heart really means He brought about conditions to let the true nature of Pharaoh show through. He was stubborn and unwilling to release Israel, who had become slaves to the Egyptian government. "The same sun that melts the wax also hardens the clay."
- What was the attitude of Pharaoh when Moses and Aaron first went to him demanding the release of the Israelites? Exodus 5:2. For a better understanding of the term "to know Yahweh," what does the Bible say in 1 John 2:3-4?
- The plagues became progressively severe. The first plagues were more a matter of inconvenience, but they soon became perilous. Were the magicians of Pharaoh able to perform the same miracles as Moses and Aaron? Exodus 7:9-12. Notice that even here, Aaron's rod showed more power than that of the Egyptians.
- Could the Egyptian magicians also turn the water of the pools, streams and ponds into blood? Exodus 7;19-22. This was inconvenient, but it was possible to dig around the river and get water that had not been exposed to the air, verse 24.
- The second plague was of frogs, Exodus 8:1-6. Could the magicians of Egypt do the same? Verse 7. Many Bible commentators point out that the plagues were directed against a specific idol or deity of the false religions of Egypt.
- The third plague was that of lice or gnats, Exodus 8:16-19. Could the magicians of Egypt bring up lice upon the land? verses 18-19. What was their attitude? Same verses.
- It should be noted that the three plagues befell the Egyptians and the children of Israel who were dwelling in the land of Goshen. But notice Exodus 8:22-23. Did this fourth plague affect the Israelites? Same verses.
NOTE: Even Israel had to go through the first three plagues and suffer these plagues as well. When we undergo some of the tribulations of the land, we must remember that Israel underwent the three plagues, but was later given protection by Yahweh. We will not always be spared from every calamity on this earth, but will be given special spiritual strength to bear whatever burdens come our way.
- Then comes the fifth plague of murrain, the sixth of boils, the seventh of hail, the eighth of locusts and the ninth of darkness, Exodus 9 and 10. In all of these first nine plagues Yahweh had shown His complete control over the natural creation. His servant Moses announced the successive plagues, then brought them to pass in invincible sequence and increasing severity. Under the pressure of the locusts, does Pharaoh admit that Yahweh is indeed the Mighty One of the earth? Exodus 10:16-17.
- What did Moses tell Pharaoh in Exodus 4:23? What Yahweh had promised, He is able to deliver and the tenth plague should have been no surprise to Pharaoh. What did Joshua tell Israel about their stay in Egypt? Joshua 24:5-7. Were the Philistines in awe of the power of Yahweh, the Elohim of Israel? 1 Samuel 4:8. Note that the Psalmist recounts these events as well, Psalm 78:43-51.
They Were, and We Can Be, Delivered
Israel's agony in Egypt, and their ultimate deliverance by the power of Yahweh's might, is brought to us every time we read or recite the Ten Commandments. Israel's years in bondage were filled with harsh treatment. Although Yahweh promised deliverance, Israel did not receive immediate freedom from the servitude of the taskmasters. Notice Exodus 5:20-23.
- Are we to expect immediate results when we pray to Yahweh for His help or intervention in our trials? Same verses.
- Moses uses a strong plea in asking for deliverance of Israel by saying he came to Pharaoh to speak "in Thy Name," verse 23. What was the result of Pharaoh's treatment of the people? Were they delivered?
NOTE: Yahweh is now prepared to show His power by the working of miracles to exhibit His control of His creation. It is not uncommon for things to get worse before they get better so that we appreciate the good things all the more.
- Later, when Yahweh was proposing a covenant with his people, how did He remind them of their servitude and bondage? Exodus 20:1-2.
- Forty years later, when most of the old, rebellious Israelites had died off, how did Yahweh reveal Himself to them? Deuteronomy 5:6.
NOTE: Even though the Israelites poised to cross over the Jordan were of a new generation, Yahweh still refers to Himself as the One Who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.
- In Exodus 20:1-2, we learn that Yahweh introduces Himself as the One Who brought Israel out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. He has delivered His people from the hand of the Egyptians. They are now a redeemed people, but they are not yet sanctified. Remember, sanctified means "set apart for a holy purpose." Israel had to pass by Sinai to get the Ten Commandments and make themselves a part of the covenant with Yahweh. What was the response of Israel to the proposal of Yahweh's Covenant? Exodus 24:3. Did Israel repeat their acceptance of the proposal? Exodus 24:4-7.
- In giving Israel the Covenant Law again, note the slight difference in the Fourth Commandment as shown in Deuteronomy 5:12-15, contrasted with Exodus 20:8-11.
NOTE: Even the new generation born in the wilderness of Sin was considered by Yahweh to have been brought out of Egypt.
- Is the Messiah our pattern to follow? 1 Peter 2:21. Was He ever called out of Egypt? Matthew 2:15.
NOTE: Matthew relies upon the account in Hosea 11:1 to establish that Egypt is a type of the world and as an example, Yahshua was called out of Egypt. Historians point out that the early believers thought of the Exodus, with its miracles, as a type of redemption (1 Corinthians 10:1-5 and John 6:49-51). The Rabbis also believed that it foreshadowed the Messianic age when all its miracles would be re-enacted.
Passover is a beautiful, spiritual lesson for all of us. We were brought up in the world and although in it, are not to be a part of it. Yahweh calls us out of "Egypt" to become followers of His Son, Yahshua the Messiah, and to walk in His footsteps. This is all the more evident as we review the Fourth Commandment in Deuteronomy 5:15. In our unconverted state we were much like ancient Israel, in bondage to the ways of the world. It is only when we become converted to Yahweh's way of life that we become heirs of the Kingdom and inherit eternal life. We are redeemed from the ways of the world when we accept the shed blood of Yahshua the Messiah. However, we are still an unregenerate people, and though we are redeemed, sanctification comes through living the way the Captain of our salvation did, Hebrews 2:10.
The Lambs That Save
We, as believers and observers of Yahweh's Word, remember and observe the Passover on the first scriptural month of every year. We do not take a lamb, slay it and eat it according to the Old Testament. Instead, we keep the Passover as shown us by the example Yahshua the Messiah gave us. Ever since the taking of the forbidden fruit by Adam and Eve in the garden, mankind has been in bondage. Mankind through Adam rejected the Tree of Life and chose instead the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thus cutting himself off from Yahweh. Only a few throughout history have chosen to walk with Yahweh. Yahshua came to this earth in the form of a man to deliver mankind from our present bondage. Yahshua did many miracles and wonders as a man on earth, yet not all believed that He was the Messiah. Even the religious leaders of His day rejected Him, as did the majority of His fellow countrymen. Only those who saw through the eyes of faith perceived that this Man, Yahshua of Nazareth, was truly the Son of Yahweh, the promised Messiah.
- Did Yahshua keep the Passover wit His disciples? Matthew 26:18-20. What does Mark say about the Passover? Mark 14:12-18. Notice the comments by Luke in 22:8-14. Read John 13, noting the opening verse.
NOTE: There are some who contend that Yahshua did not partake of the Passover with His disciples, but instead took of something called the memorial supper. Note carefully, however, the number of times both He and His disciples make specific mention of the Passover and their desire to observe it.
- While the disciples were eating, what did Yahshua give them? Matthew 26:26. What did He say it symbolized? Same verse. What is the meaning of "this do in remembrance of Me?" Luke 22:19.
- What else did He give His disciples and what did He say it symbolized? Matthew 26:27-28.
NOTE: Yahshua Himself instituted a new meaning for the cup and the bread. Passover had always pointed to the sacrifice that He would Himself make some day. Now, on the eve of His impalement, He shows His disciples a higher meaning of the Passover observance.
- Years later, the Apostle Paul discusses the Passover in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. What is the purpose for observing this special time, now that the Messiah has been resurrected and is sitting at Yahweh's right hand? See verses 24 and 25, last part of each.
- Paul summarizes Yahshua's words in 1 Corinthians 11:26. Does Paul tell us to keep this observance often? Same verse.
NOTE: Some have taken this verse to mean that we should partake of the bread and the cup often. However, this is a memorial supper and it should be observed at the proper time to commemorate an event that happened once, just as we observe an anniversary, Exodus 13:10. Paul says it was the same night that Yahshua was betrayed, verse 23. Some translations read, "Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup" we show the Master's death until He comes. It is like saying whenever you celebrate your wedding anniversary, be sure to serve cake. An anniversary or memorial is celebrated once a year.
- Paul warns us to be very careful that we have the correct reverential attitude when partaking of the Memorial Supper, 1 Corinthians 11:27-34. Many of the converts were accustomed to a pagan, drunken, frivolous celebration and were not prepared for the sacred and solemn, yet uplifting festivals of Yahweh. What can be the result if one eats and drinks of the Memorial in an unworthy manner? Verses 28-29.
- Notice the number of times the word "bread" is used, verses 23, 26, 27 and 28. This shows that the doctrine of "transubstantiation"--being changed to the actual body of flesh of the Messiah--is in error. The bread is a symbol of the flesh of Messiah to remind us of the beating (as bread is kneaded) that He took that night before He died for the sins of the world.
- The passage in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 is to show the utter disregard the Corinthians held for the Memorial of the Savior. The affluent came and began eating before some of those who were servants were able to join them. When the latter arrived, often there was nothing left, verse 21. The entire observance is much like attending a funeral of Yahshua. It is to be very solemn and introspective as we review our lives of the past year. What does Paul say we bring upon ourselves if we observe this commemoration in an unworthy manner? Verses 29-30.
- Does Yahshua say He will again partake of the Passover in the future? Matthew 26:29; Mark 14:25. Note that Luke mentions both the bread (Luke 22:16) and the cup (verse 18). Obviously the Passover will be held in the Kingdom with a deeper and more meaningful commemoration than every before.
- Israel kept the Passover as we have seen in Exodus 12. It is mentioned many times in the Old Testament (Leviticus 23, Deuteronomy 16). Our Savior kept it with His disciples as we have seen. Will it be kept in the future as well? Ezekiel 45:21.
NOTE: As we read the account of Passover year by year, we are encouraged and look to Yahweh as our salvation through His Son Yahshua the Messiah. We also look to Yahweh as our Protector. He protected Israel in those plagues that came upon Egypt. We also look to Yahweh as our Protector. He protected Israel in those plagues that came upon Egypt. We in turn look to Yahweh to be our protection in the Great Tribulation that lies ahead.
In Yahweh's Word we find comfort and the promise that He will preserve us and that we truly will not die if we but believe and trust in Him. Yahweh's Passover is meant to be a perfect example of His ability to save His people. The observance should be an encouragement to His people year by year. In keeping Yahweh's feast days we grow not only to love Yahweh's law, but also to realize the deeper meaning in what He is showing us.
Yahshua the New Passover Lamb
Yahshua said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believes on Me has everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world," John 6:47-51.
- How did John the Baptist describe Yahshua? John 1:29-30.
NOTE: John was obviously aware of the Old Testament and quite familiar with the prophecy of Isaiah 53:7. Being an Israelite, the son of a priest, he was also very familiar with the Feast Days and what they represent in Yahweh's plan of redemption.
- Was it the custom of Mary, Yahshua's mother, and Joseph to keep the Passover? Luke 2:41-42.
NOTE: Yahshua came to save mankind from their sins and to deliver humanity from the bondage of sin. In doing so, it was needful that He become our Passover to deliver us from the house of bondage. In the Old Testament, the lamb was sacrificed and its blood put upon the door so that the death angel would pass over and Israel would finally be released from the house of bondage. Similarly, Yahshua came to be our Passover sacrifice to deliver us from the ultimate bondage of the human race: sin. Now we apply the blood to our bodily "temple" (1 Corinthians 3:16) through the Passover observance.
Yahshua will apply His sacrifice only to those who display a repentant and obedient heart. Accepting the shed blood of Yahshua as our Passover, and remembering this supreme sacrifice once a year on its memorial, is pivotal in the True Worshipper's life.
Passover initiates the seven annual commanded observances that depict the plan of salvation for man. By observing these days, the True Worshipper not only obeys Yahweh and receives a blessing now, but also brings his life into proper alignment with the only way to salvation.
Eternal Life in Yahshua's Life
Many churches teach that the sacrifice of the Savior completed the plan of redemption. "Only believe," we are told. Accept the shed blood of the Savior and we are saved with nothing to do on our part. Indeed the Savior did say, "I have finished the work which you gave me to do," John 17:4. That part of His work was to proclaim the Kingdom of the Heavens and train His disciples to continue the work until His return at the end of the age. After training His disciples for 3-1/2 years, the Messiah still had another task: offering His life for the sins of the world. As He hung on the stake, He said, "It is finished," John 19:30.
- What is Yahshua the Messiah doing right now? Hebrews 1:3. Is He now a High Priest? Hebrews 8:1.
- Instead of a High Priest, what does the Apostle Paul call Him? 1 Timothy 2:5.
- The writer of Hebrews also uses this same title. The Messiah is now the possessor of a better ministry in what way? Hebrews 8:6. See also Hebrews 9:15.
NOTE: Eternal life or immortality was not promised in the Old Testament, only life in the physical plane.
- Was the shed blood of the Messiah all that was needed for salvation? 1 Corinthians 15:17. Read also Romans 4;25.
NOTE: Without a living Savior making intercession for us, we would still be in our sins. He is our Advocate, pleading our case before the Heavenly Father so that we may obtain forgiveness.
- Paul tell us that we are justified freely by grace through the redemption that is in Yahshua the Messiah, Romans 3:24. What does faith in the shed blood of the Messiah accomplish for us? Romans 3:25.
NOTE: Paul clearly speaks of sins that are past--believing in and accepting the shed blood of the Messiah is for our sins that are past. The word remission means literally "passing over" of past sins.
- When we sincerely ask forgiveness of sins and are determined not to continue in these transgressions--fully repent and turn away from these sins--then we stand before Yahweh justified. We are, for the moment, just as if we had not sinned. However, human nature being what it is, we are sinning again the very next minute in thought, word or deed. Does the she blood of the Savior save us? Romans 5:10.
NOTE: The word "save" has more than one meaning. It can mean to preserve as one might save money in a bank. It can also mean to rescue as to save one from drowning. Yahshua's shed blood saves us from the penalty of death for our past sins. We are rescued, but we still do not have eternal life. Notice we SHALL be saved by His life. Yahshua had to be resurrected from the dead to give us the Holy Spirit.
- Can mankind approach the Heavenly Father by himself? What did Yahshua tell His disciples in John 14:6?
NOTE: There is a specific way that we must follow to attain eternal life. Read also Ephesians 2:18 and John 10:7 and 9.
- Nicodemus did not understand that human beings cannot inherit the Kingdom of Yahweh. What did Yahshua tell him? John 3:3-5. Paul tell us the same thing in 1 Corinthians 15:50.
NOTE: The Kingdom of Yahweh is of a spirit realm, not of space and time. Matter is not a part of the spiritual realm and so we must be changed to enter into that glorious realm. This is the thrust of Paul's letter in 1 Corinthians 15:51-58.
- Most Christians do not comprehend the plan of salvation as clearly as shown us by Yahweh in His seven annual Feast days. All they know is the Messiah died for the sins of the world as told in John 3:16. Ancient Israel was saved (redeemed) from the death of the destroying angel, but even though they were redeemed, they were not a holy or sanctified people.
Accepting the shed blood of the Messiah is only the first step of redemption. To be rescued by the Messiah's blood from a headlong pursuit of death dictates that we should embark on a different way of life, or else we will be right back to the same condition. What does Yahweh say about His Sabbaths? Ezekiel 20:12. Notice they are plural. Not only does the weekly Sabbath that comes around every week outline the plan of redemption, but also the annual Sabbaths that fall at three special cycles during the year.
- What does Yahweh say in Ezekiel 20:11 about His statutes and judgments?
NOTE: To "live in them" carries the sense of having life imparted because of obedience to them. Pay attention to Ezekiel 20:19-20. Through the keeping of His Sabbaths we will get to know Him and His love, His might and power, and can have a part in His Kingdom.
Yahshua Magnified Passover Symbols
Many in Christianity teach or say, "The Savior died to save sinners." This statement is nowhere found in the pages of any good translation of either the Old or New Testaments. A dead Savior cannot save anyone. The Messiah died to pay the penalty for our sins. It is only through a living, resurrected Yahshua that we have everlasting life. Living does not come fro the non-living.
- What does Yahweh's Word say about the human race and our ability to be sinless? Romans 3:23. What are the wages of sin? Romans 6:23. What is Yahweh's remedy? Romans 5:8-10.
- What was John the Baptist's description of the Savior? John 1:29, 36. What does the Apostle Peter refer to Yahshua as? 1 Peter 1:19.
NOTE: Yahshua is the sacrifice in the Old Testament pointed to, and He fulfilled precisely what the Old Testament indicated.
- Paul was preaching to a Gentile assembly. Perhaps no assembly had more varied background nor had more problems than did the Corinthian assembly. What did he say to them in 1 Corinthians 5:6-8? What did he specifically call the Savior? Verse 7.
NOTE: Why does Paul refer to the keeping of Old Testament annual Feasts to make a point with a Gentile assembly? Why would Gentiles be told to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in verse 8 if these holy days were done away? Notice Paul does not tell them to keep Easter, as this was a pagan celebration. (Write for further information found in our booklet on Easter.)
- Did the Messiah keep the Passover as a child and go to Jerusalem with Mary and Joseph? Luke 2:40-42. Did they keep it every year? When Yahshua began His ministry did He still keep the Passover? John 2:13, 23.
- Did the Savior keep the Passover with His disciples on the night before He was impaled? Matthew 26:17-21. Did they actually eat a lamb? Verse 21 and Luke 22:14-16.
NOTE: Some people contend that Yahshua did not partake of the Passover. But the Bible clearly states the disciples made preparations for the Passover supper and Yahshua said that with great desire He wanted to eat of the Passover before He suffered, Luke 22:15, and that He would not eat of it again until the Kingdom came.
- Did the Jews who had rejected the Messiah keep the Passover a day later than Yahshua and the disciples? John 18:28.
NOTE: Even today the Jews keep a Seder service at home, but observe the Passover at the beginning of the 15th on the first day of Unleavened Bread. By keeping Passover one day late, the Jews did not recognize the significance of Yahshua's being put to death as the Lamb of Yahweh. Thus, they do not recognize Him as the promised Messiah.
- Read John 13:1-5. It was the time of Passover, verse 1. "Supper being ended" is better rendered "supper being laid." Satan entered in full control of Judas, verse 2. What did Yahshua do then? Verses 4-5.
NOTE: Just before His death, Yahshua carefully institutes a new ceremony of washing the disciples feet. Instead of telling His disciples that He would be put to death in a few hours and they no longer would observe the Sabbaths, Yahshua begins to wash the feet of His disciples.
- Did all disciples calmly allow Yahshua to wash their feet? John 13:6-8. Did Yahshua impress upon Peter and all the disciples that footwashing was a necessary part of the New Testament Passover? Verse 8. Did Yahshua say that those acknowledging Him as their Master should also wash one another's feet? Verses 12-16.
NOTE: Foot washing come before the partaking of the emblems of the body and blood of the Savior. It is an act of humility to show we are truly willing to serve the brethren.
- Did Yahshua clearly command the disciples to wash one another's feet? John 13:14-15. Are we to practice what He did? 1 Peter 2:21. Were His disciples to pass on this observance to others? Matthew 28:19-20.
- What New Testament Passover symbols were introduced by the Savior the night in which He was betrayed? Luke 22:15-20; Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-24.
NOTE: Unleavened Bread is always to be used in celebrating the Passover. The bread symbolizes Yahshua's body and it was without leavening, leavening represents sin. The cup contained the fruit of the vine. Some think the fruit of the vine is grape juice, while others think it means wine.
None of the evangels made a clear distinction of which it should be. There are those who have done studies and say that it was definitely grape juice, wine would never be used at Passover. Others say they have studied it and it has to be wine because grape juice could not be kept that long. It would start natural fermentation and turn to wine or vinegar. They claim that wine is the way that grape juice was preserved in the days before refrigeration and pasteurization. The skin of the grape has a leavening agent on it, and that's what starts the natural fermentation.
We here at Yahweh's Assembly in Messiah offer both wine and grape juice as the cup that accompanies the unleavened bread. Since the scripture does not give an absolute one way or the other, we allow brethren to make their own choice on which one they prefer.
Exactly When Is Passover?
A recurrent problem and perennial controversy has been the exact time to observe the Passover. Christianity in general keeps the Memorial Supper on Sunday morning...(breakfast?). The churches also keep December 25 to remember the anniversary of His birth. Nowhere, however, are we told to remember his birth or to celebrate a special day once a year in memorial to His birth.
We are commanded to remember His death, 1 Corinthians 11:26. By observing Yahweh's calendar we commemorate His death at Passover once every year and keep it "the same night in which He was betrayed."
- Note that Exodus 12:3 tells Israel to select a lamb according to the size of the family. What are they told to do with the lamb? Verse 6.
NOTE: The word "until" means "up to the point of." When people send xmas presents and label them "Do not open until xmas," we understand that when xmas comes they are to open the package. They do not wait until the day is over to open the package. In the same manner, we understand that the unblemished lamb was to be kept by Israel until the point when the 14th of Abib begins, which is after sunset of the 13th.
- When was all this activity to begin? Same verse.
NOTE: The last three words in the King James are from the Hebrew "ben ha arbayim" and are better translated "between the evenings." This has been rendered "at dusk" or "twilight" by most versions. It is understood to mean the time between the setting of the sun and total darkness, a period of about 40 minutes. Rabbis have of late, however, interpreted this to mean the decline of the sun from afternoon to sunset. Thus, the Jews keep Passover as the 14th is ending and just before the 15th begins with the setting of the sun.
Many Bible commentaries refer to the Jewish custom as their source of explanation. However, the Karaites and Samaritans contest this later Rabbinical interpretation and observe Passover as the 13th had ended and the 14th began at sunset. Because the Jews keep Passover at the wrong time, they do not enjoy the full meaning of sacrificial death and, therefore, reject Yahshua as the promised Messiah.
- Is Passover considered to be one of the seven annual Feast Days? Exodus 12:14.
NOTE: To believers today, Passover commemorates the death of the Messiah. We observe His death much like any funeral. Strictly speaking, it is not a High Sabbath. It is, however, to be remembered as a memorial of His death and is to be observed as a feast to Yahweh forever, same verse.
- In giving the Covenant to Israel, Yahweh began with the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20. However, Israel was terror-stricken and refused to listen to the voice of Yahweh lest they all die, Exodus 20:18-20. Yahweh then gave Moses the words of the Covenant, which are in chapters 21-23. The ratifying of the Covenant is covered in chapter 24.
Note Exodus 23:14-17, where Yahweh speaks of the three times or cycles (seasons, revolutions, recurrences) of the year His people are to keep a Feast to Him. Is Passover mentioned here? See also Deuteronomy 16:16.
NOTE: Days of Unleavened Bread are preceded by the Passover.
- In Deuteronomy 16:6, we are given a better understanding of the proper time to observe the Passover. Going down of the sun is translated "going in" by Rotherham. The lamb was to be sacrificed at the sun's "going into" the horizon. When do days change according to the Bible?
NOTE: Deuteronomy 23:10-11 gives an example of when uncleanness ends. What do also Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31; Leviticus 23:32, 11:24-25 and 22:6-7 say?
- The preparing of the lamb for Passover was to be done in a prescribed manner, Exodus 12:8-9. It probably was necessary to shave all the hair off the sheep or goat lest the acrid smoke taint the flesh.
The animal had to be cut open, the entrails cleaned with water, then stuffed back in the body cavity and placed upon a spit to roast It could not be boiled in water but was roasted over the fire. This would take several hours even by those skilled in such preparation. They were then to eat of it with unleavened bread.
If all this began at sunset ending the 14th of Abib, the 15th of Abib would commence. Up to what day of Abib were they to keep the lamb? Exodus 12:6.
NOTE: If the process began at sunset, by the time they were ready to eat they would be keeping Passover on the wrong day, not the 14th.
- Were the Israelites to eat of the lamb the same night or the next day? Exodus 12:8. Would the destroying angel pass through the land the night of the 14th, or would it be the next night, the 15th? Exodus 12:12.
NOTE: Leviticus 23:5 clearly states, "In the fourteenth day of the first month at even [between the evenings] is Yahweh's Passover." After sunset of the 14th would bring us to the 15th. Therefore, the Passover is to be observed as the 13th ends at sunset and the 14th begins. Pay special attention to Exodus 12:8, where we find the words "eat the flesh in that night," not the next night. Also, verse 12 reads, "I will pass through the land of Egypt this night," not the next night of the 15th for verse 6 refers to the 14th.
- Israel kept the Passover in the wilderness as recorded in Numbers 9:1-14. When were the Israelites to keep the Passover? Verse 3. Were they still to keep it according to the rites and ceremonies given them in Exodus 12?
NOTE: Verses 3 and 5 both plainly state that Israel was to keep the Passover "on the fourteenth day" of the first month Abib. "At even" in both verses is better translated from "ben ha arbayim" as "between the two evenings," or at dusk or twilight. The only way one could keep the Passover on the 14th [after the sun had set] and accomplish all the related rites and ceremonies would be to observe it after the sun set on the 13th, as the 14th began. Nowhere does the Bible say to keep Passover on the 15th.
- Were the people allowed to go out of their houses at night on the 14th of Abib while still in Egypt? Exodus 12:22.
NOTE: Undoubtedly there was much anguish in those houses of Egypt where the blood had not been applied to the door. Lamenting the death of the firstborn carried throughout Egypt, verse 30. With death in the air, the people were undoubtedly stricken with fear and would not venture out-of-doors until daylight came. Even though the Pharaoh may have called Moses to come by night, it is only conjecture that Moses left at night to visit Pharaoh. Moses was several hours away from the palace of Pharaoh at Tannis. At daylight the Israelites burned the remains of the lambs.
- Did Yahshua and His disciples observe the Passover in the beginning of the 14th, the day before the High Sabbath? Matthew 26:17-20; John 19:14, 31.
- The blood upon the doorposts and lintel offered protection from the destroying angel. Smearing the blood on the door was not an arduous task. But what made those inside eligible for redemption? Did it have value to those in Egypt? Exodus 12:13.
NOTE: There were no magical powers in the blood on the door. It was a tangible symbol indicating those inside understood the basis for redemption, namely, one life sacrificed for saving another life. The people inside showed their belief and reliance on Yahweh's Word--an external sign of an internal faith. So it is with the keeping of Passover today. It shows your belief in the ransom price Yahshua has paid for your redemption and mine.
Passover has always been for Israelites. Anyone wishing to partake of the Passover was required to be circumcised, Exodus 12:43-49. In the New Testament it is for those who have been immersed into the name of Yahshua the Messiah. Paul refers to the Body of Messiah as Israel in Galatians 6:16.
How often should we partake of the bread and the cup which are symbols of the Savior's blood and body? Exodus 13:10. How often did the Messiah partake? Luke 2:42. The disciples? Luke 22:14-15. Note also 1 Corinthians 11:26.
Because the day, according to the Bible, begins at sunset, Passover is observed annually as the 14th of Abib begins just after sunset. This is the anniversary of the original Passover in Egypt and also the anniversary of the Savior's death.
Passover is the beginning of Yahweh's plan of redemption. We are to be totally broken up over our past sins and ask Yahweh's forgiveness because we accept the shed blood of the Lamb and are determined not to sin any more. The next step is to observe the seven days of Unleavened Bread that follow the Passover. This is a review and "housecleaning" of all the doctrines and beliefs so that we no longer offend Yahweh in word, thought and deed. It is to learn of His ways. The next lesson will deal with the next annual observance, the Days of Unleavened Bread.
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