Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Reason Three to Celebrate Passover
This essay is an excerpt from our book titled “Reasons for Christians to Celebrate the Biblical Feasts.” It is available from amazon.com, barnesandnoble .com, other book retailers as well as from our own web site at www.moedministries.com.
When we talk about celebrating Passover, we think of the Passover meal or Seder. The Passover meal is the time when the story of the Exodus is told. It is the story of God remembering His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is the story of God’s judgment on the gods of Egypt. It is the story of God’s redemption. It is the story of the Patriarch Joseph’s empty grave. It is the story of crossing the Red Sea. The story of Passover began before the actual day of Passover and extended until they safely crossed the Red Sea.
Likewise the observance of Passover begins days before the actual Passover Seder. In fact, the Passover meal or Seder is the last thing that happens on the day of Passover. Jesus celebrated His final Passover with His disciples one day early, though. He knew that on the actual day of Passover, He would be the Passover lamb for the world. He celebrated the Passover Seder early to pass on instructions to the disciples about the changed but continued observance of the events of Passover. In fact, the observance of His last Passover Seder wasn’t the most important event of those days, but it pointed to those events. What are those events leading up to Passover?
Before Passover those observing the Passover chose a lamb. They examined the lamb carefully to be sure it was without blemish. The Hebrew word for the phrase without blemish is tamiym which also refers to a morally upright character. Jesus presented Himself to the temple on the fourth day before Passover. He submitted to the questions of the Pharisees, Sadduccess, Scribes and Herodians. They all questioned Him and could find no fault with Him.
Those observing they had to clean out their houses and make sure there was no leaven. Jesus cleaned His house as well. He went to the temple, the house of His Father, and cleaned house by driving out the crooked moneylenders and merchants that cheated the pilgrims who came up to Jerusalem for the Feast.
The Passover lambs had to be bound to a stake, taken before the altar and slain. The priests caught the blood and poured it out at the foot of the altar. This all began at 9:00 a.m. or the third hour. Jesus was bound to His stake at the third hour. The sacrifices went on all day long until the hour of the evening sacrifice the ninth hour or 3:00 p.m. At that time, the high priest slays the last Passover lamb and states, “It is finished.” On that Particular Passover, darkness covered the land from the sixth until the ninth hour. At the ninth hour, Jesus cried out, “It is finished,” and yielded up His spirit.
At His last Passover meal, Jesus gave instructions to remember Him during this meal that is all about remembrance. Like the story of the Exodus, the telling doesn’t stop with the slaying of the Passover Lamb; it continues into the days following. It continues through His burial as the Feast of Unleavened bread begins. It continues three days later when He rose from the dead which just happened in that year to be the Feast of Firstfruits.
We can observe the Passover by telling this story. Telling the story of the Passover of Jesus’ death which just happened to parallel exactly the events at the temple. Telling the story of His burial as the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins. Telling the story of His resurrection on the Feast of Firstfruits. Telling the story of the Promise of our own glorified bodies represented by the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. We can tell the story as we go through the Passover Seder telling the story of the first redemption and letting it add meaning and significance to the second redemption.
Let’s not diminish His sacrifice by failing to recognize all the prophecies fulfilled in those days. Our God is great and mighty doing marvelous works. Let’s proclaim them all!
Psalms 118:26-29 NKJV 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We have blessed you from the house of the LORD. 27 God is the LORD, And He has given us light; Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar. 28 You are my God, and I will praise You; You are my God, I will exalt You. 29 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
Shalom and be blessed
Dan and Brenda Cathcart
Please visit our web site at www.moedministries.com