Pesach: Passover

I Corinthians 5:7 & 8

7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Last Update: 4/22/16

Would you like appropriate background music?
Click Here, and ENJOY!

Passover 2016 begins sundown April 22nd....

Of all the Bible holy days, Pesach is the one most commonly observed. Pesach begins on the 15th day of the Bible month of Abib (Exodus 23:15). Keep in mind, the Jewish calendar day begins at sunset the night before. Because of this, the first seder is eaten after sunset on the 14th. The following day is Passover. The day after that is the first day of Unleavened Bread, and is a "sabbath" or "high day", whatever day of the week it falls on. The first day of the week following the seventh-day sabbath during Unleavened Bread is the third of the seven scriptural feast / fast / festival called Firstfruits *_*

The origin of Pesach is found in the Bible story of the children of Israel's exodus from Egypt after generations of slavery. This story is told in Exodus 1-15, with specific passover observances instituted in chapters 12-15.

The name "Pesach" (PAY-sahch, with a "ch" as in the Scottish "loch") comes from the Hebrew root Peh-Samech-Chet meaning to pass through, to pass over, to exempt, or to spare. It refers to the fact that the LORD Jehovah "passed over" the houses of the Hebrew children--those who were obeying the commands given to Moses from God. In English, the holy day is known as Passover. "Pesach" is also the name of the sacrificial offering (the passover lamb) that was made on this holy day.

Probably the most significant observance today related to Pesach involves the removal of chametz (leaven; sounds like "hum its" with that Scottish ch) from our homes. This is in fact not for Passover itself, but rather the seven days of unleavened bread that immediately follow Passover, called The Feast of Unleavened Bread. This commemorates the historical fact that the children of Israel leaving Egypt were in a hurry and did not have time to let their bread rise. Leaven is symbolic of the "puffiness" (sin, arrogance, pride) unconfessed in our souls.

Here is where "the traditions of man" make passover a burden..."Chametz includes anything made from the five major grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats and spelt) that has not been completely cooked within 18 minutes after coming into contact with water. Orthodox Jews of Ashkenazic background also avoid rice, corn, peanuts, and legumes (beans) as if they were chametz. All of these items are commonly used to make bread, thus use of them was prohibited to avoid any confusion...." et cetera, et cetera.

Well, according to God's Word, we are to remove the LEAVEN, which is a representation of SIN, specifically, PRIDE. The orthodox Jews take great pride in their traditions (as do all religious mankind, amen? Oh me?), but God did not say "no grain". He said "no leaven". Leaven would include yeast, baking soda, baking powder, or anything that causes bread to "rise".

Again, the traditions of man:
"The orthodox process of cleaning the home of all chametz / leaven in preparation for Passover is an enormous task. To do it 'right', you must prepare for several weeks and spend several days scrubbing everything down, going over the edges of your stove and fridge with a toothpick and a Q-Tip, covering all surfaces that come in contact with foil or shelf-liner, etc., etc., etc. After the cleaning is completed, the morning before the seder, a formal search of the house for chametz is undertaken, and any remaining chametz is burned."

They are concentrating so much on the labor that they seem to be totally missing the spiritual significance!!! While I'm cleaning the leaven from our home, concentrating especially on the kitchen and dining area, I am praying for the LORD to reveal any unconfessed sin in my heart. We explain this to our children before sending them on a traditional "leaven hunt"... it's not a matter of looking for breadcrumbs, but a picture of how we should search our hearts for sin in order to worthily partake of the Lord's passover. What a wonderful time together in communion with the LORD instead of a time of drudgery house-cleaning *_*

The unleavened bread eaten during Passover and the week following is called matzah. Matzah is unleavened bread, made simply from flour and water and cooked very quickly. This is the bread that the Hebrew children made for their flight from Egypt. Full-sized matzahs are about 10 inches square and make an excellent bread substitute during Passover and through the Feast of Unleavened Bread (the seven days following Passover). You can find matzah suitable / kosher for Passover at most grocery stores.

It is VERY interesting... the matzah is "unleavened" (without "sin"). It is also striped, pierced, and bruised during its manufacturing. And then during the seder, the middle of the three is broken.

The prophet Isaiah foretold in chapter 53 verse 5 that the Messiah would be "wounded for our transgressions", "bruised for our iniquities", and that "with His stripes we are healed"....

Jesus told His disciples at "The Last Supper", which we know from Scripture to have been an early Passover Seder (Matthew 26:17, Mark 14:12, Luke 22:7 & 8), that the unleavened bread represented His own body... sinless; soon to be striped from scourging, pierced in the crucifixion, bruised for our transgressions... broken for us. This is the new testament or new covenant, that we do this (the beautiful elements of Passover) in remembrance of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, our Passover Lamb. Likewise, the fruit of the vine / grape juice Jesus said was representative of His blood, shed for us on the cross as the Lamb of God was sacrificed to take away our sin, to redeem us from slavery to that sin.

Luke 22:19, And [Jesus] took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

(also found in Matthew 26:26, Mark 14:22, and I Corinthians 11:24)

Why is this so important to a Christian, Gentile family? Because Jesus Christ, Whom John the Baptist proclaimed "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world", was crucified ON PASSOVER. The perfect Lamb-- without spot or blemish-- my Redeemer gave His sinless life's blood for my sin!

I John 2:2, "And he [Jesus] is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

The death of the sinless Lamb of God at Calvary on Passover is of eternal significance to the whole world, whether we realize it or not.

We partake of the church ordinance called "The Lord's Supper" -- the two elements of the Passover Seder -- as often as our local church holds this special service. But the entire Passover Seder points to the Messiah, the Lamb of God! So we also observe Passover in remembrance of Him. Frankly, every day of the year should be in remembrance of Jesus Christ, amen?

On Pesach, we have a special family meal filled with Bible study and tradition to remind us of the significance of the God-ordained, Bible holy day. Although only the lamb, the unleavened bread, and the bitter herbs -- and the fruit of the vine in the New Testament -- are in the Bible, each of the traditional elements also points to Messiah. This meal is called a seder, from a Hebrew root word meaning "order," because there is a specific set of information that should be discussed in a specific order. An overview of a traditional seder is included below:

The Pesach Seder
Kaddesh, Urechatz,
Karpas, Yachatz,
Maggid, Rachtzah,
Motzi, Matzah,
Maror, Korech,
Shulchan Orech,
Tzafun, Barech,
Hallel, Nirtzah

Now, what does that mean?
1. Kaddesh: Sanctification

A blessing over the juice of the fruit of the vine in honor of the holiday, traditionally: "Blessed art Thou LORD our God, King of the Universe, Who createst the fruit of the vine. Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, Who hast chosen us for Thy service from among the nations.... Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Who hast kept us in life, Who hast preserved us, and hast enabled us to reach this season." Each of the four cups of grape juice in the Old Testament represented the blood of the lamb -- a lamb for each house -- applied to the doorposts. In the New Testament, the grape juice represents the blood of the Lamb, applied to the doorposts of the heart of God's people at salvation.

The grape juice is drunk, and a second cup is poured.

2. Urechatz: Washing
A washing of the hands without a blessing, in preparation for eating the Karpas.

3. Karpas: Vegetable

A vegetable (usually parsley) is dipped in salt water and eaten. The vegetable symbolizes the lowly origins of the Jewish people; the salt water symbolizes the tears shed as a result of our slavery to sin before salvation. Parsley is a good vegetable to use for this purpose, because when you shake off the salt water, it looks like tears.

4. Yachatz: Breaking

The middle of the three matzahs on the table is broken. Part is returned to the pile, the other part is wrapped in cloth and set aside for the afikomen (see below). This is the point in the last supper where Jesus told His disciples:
Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
(I Corinthians 11:23-26; Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19)

5. Maggid: The Story

A retelling of the story of the Exodus from Egypt and the first Passover. At this point we also go over The Lord Jesus Christ's last Passover with His disciples.

At the end of the maggid, a blessing is prayed over the second cup of grape juice, and it is drunk.

6. Rachtzah: Washing
A second washing of the hands, this time with a blessing, in preparation for eating the matzah. The washing is a good time to remind our children and ourselves of the importance of spiritual as well as physical purity, as taught us in the Word of God -- the BIBLE (Ephesians 5:26).

7. Motzi: Blessing over Grain Products
The ha-motzi blessing, a blessing for bread or grain products, is prayed over the matzah.

8. Matzah: Blessing over Matzah

A blessing specific to matzah is prayed, and a bit of unleavened bread is eaten. Again, the unleavened bread of the Old Testament represented the haste with which the children of Israel made preparation to leave Egypt. The unleavened bread of the New Testament represents the sinless body of Messiah which was striped, bruised, and finally pierced -- broken for us at Calvary.

9. Maror: Bitter Herbs

A blessing is recited over a bitter vegetable (usually raw horseradish; sometimes romaine lettuce), and it is eaten. This symbolizes the bitterness of slavery -- to Egypt (OT) and to sin (NT). The maror is traditionally dipped in charoset, a mixture of apples, nuts, cinnamon, and grape juice, which symbolizes the mortar used by the Hebrew children in building during their slavery.

*Note that there are two bitter herbs on the traditional seder plate: one labeled Maror and one labeled Chazeret. The Maror is used for the step identified as Maror, and Chazeret should be used in the Korech, below.

10. Korech: The Sandwich
Rabbi Hillel, a great Jewish sage of old, was of the opinion that the maror should be eaten together with matzah and the lamb in a sandwich. Those celebrating Passover today traditionally eat some maror (horseradish or romaine lettuce) on a piece of matzah, with some charoset and lamb.

11. Shulchan Orech: Dinner
A festive meal is eaten. I prepare lamb as the children of Israel in the Exodus ate... made "kosher" through the salting process, and roasted / grilled.

12. Tzafun: The Afikomen
The piece of matzah set aside earlier is eaten as "dessert," the last food of the meal. Different families have different traditions relating to the afikomen. Some have the children hide it, while the parents have to either find it or ransom it back.

The most amazing thing about Afikomen to me is the name itself. It is the only "Greek" word in the traditional Jewish seder. When Jesus spoke of the bread representing His body, it was the piece He broke according to Luke 22:19--
And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

The word Afikomen is Greek for "He came"....

13. Barech: Grace after Meals

The third cup of juice is poured, and birkat ha-mazon (grace after meals) is recited. This is similar to the grace that would be said on any Shabbat / Sabbath. At the end, a blessing is said over the third cup and it is drunk. The fourth cup is poured, including a cup set aside for the prophet Elijah, who is supposed to herald the Messiah, and is supposed to come on Pesach to do this. The door is opened for a while at this point (for Elijah).
NOTE: who was the voice of one crying in the wilderness, preparing the way of the Lord Jesus, heralding His arrival and proclaiming Him the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world? John the Baptist *_*

14. Hallel: Praises
Psalms 113-118 are read, recited, and/or sung. A blessing is prayed over the last cup of juice, and it is drunk.

15. Nirtzah: Closing
"Ended is the Passover seder,
according to custom, statute, and law.
As we were counted worthy to celebrate it this year,
so may we perform it in future years.
Oh pure God in Heaven above,
restore the congregation of Israel in Your love.
Speedily lead Your people to Zion in joy.
Next year in Jerusalem!"

A simple statement that the seder has been completed, with a wish that next year, we may celebrate Pesach in Jerusalem (i.e., that the Messiah will come... RETURN... within the next year). This is traditionally followed by various hymns, some of my favorites being "When I See the Blood" (words below), "God Hath Provided the Lamb" (words & music on my testimony page), "God's Perfect Lamb" (words & music below), and "Nothing But the Blood of Jesus".

When I See the Blood
Words & Music: John G Foote & E.A.H.

Christ our Redeemer died on the cross,
Died for the sinner, paid all his due.
All who receive Him need never fear,
Yes, He will pass, will pass over you.

When I see the blood, when I see the blood,
When I see the blood, I will pass, I will pass over you.

Chiefest of sinners, Jesus will save;
As He has promised, so He will do;
Oh, sinner, hear Him, trust in His Word,
Then He will pass, will pass over you.

When I see the blood, when I see the blood,
When I see the blood, I will pass, I will pass over you.

Judgment is coming, all will be there.
Who have rejected, who have refused?
Oh, sinner, hasten, let Jesus in,
Oh, He will pass, will pass over you.

When I see the blood, when I see the blood,
When I see the blood, I will pass, I will pass over you.

O great compassion! O boundless love!
Jesus hath power, Jesus is true;
All who believe are safe from the storm,
Oh, He will pass, will pass over you.

When I see the blood, when I see the blood,
When I see the blood, I will pass, I will pass over you.

**Only those who know the Old Testament record of the first Passover understand the JOY of being "passed over", as used in the Bible and in this God-honoring hymn of the faith.

The ingredients of the traditional seder plate:

Lamb: Represents the lamb offering, whose blood was spread with hyssop on the door posts and lintels, and whose flesh was eaten. The orthodox Jews do not have a Temple any longer and choose to use a lamb bone representing the sacrifice. Our family has lamb, prepared kosher, and remembers the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world... our precious Messiah! We also keep in mind that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost, according to I Corinthians 6:19.

Parsley, dipped in salt water: Represents the lowly origin of the children of Israel -- slavery, and for the Christian it represents the lowly origin of our life before salvation..."all of our righteousness is as filthy rags"; "there is none that doeth good, no, not one".

Matzah, the unleavened bread: Represents the rush the Hebrew children were in preparing to depart Egypt. As Christians we are told by Christ that the bread is representative of His body, broken for us. And again, the matzah is without leaven (leaven being representative of SIN) and the matzah is also striped, bruised, and pierced.

Horseradish, the bitter herbs: Represents the bitterness of slavery.
in the Old Testament: Slavery to the Egyptians. (Exodus)
In the New Testament: Slavery to sin. (Romans, Galatians, Hebrews)
This is eaten with the Charoset.

Charoset - apple, nut, cinnamon, & grape juice mixture (see recipe below!): Represents the mortar of the buildings the Hebrew slaves were forced to make. The main ingredient being apple, it brings to mind the prayer of the psalmist, "Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings". Charoset is a sweet mixture, and it makes me think of the sweetness of forgiveness and victorious life in Christ!

Egg: Represents new life... II Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

Plus again, the 4 glasses of grape juice. We use Welch's Red 100% Grape Juice.

Recipe for Charoset

This fruit, nut, cinnamon, and grape juice mixture is eaten during the seder. It is meant to remind us of the mortar used by the Jews to build during the period of slavery. It should have a coarse texture.

4 medium apples, 2 tart and 2 sweet (preferably, 2 granny smith, 2 red delicious *_*)
1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted, raw almonds
1/2 cup grape juice
1 T. cinnamon

Shred the apples. Add all other ingredients. Allow to sit for 3-6 hours, until the juice is absorbed by the other ingredients. Serve on matzah. Goes very well with horseradish and lamb in the Hillel Sandwich *_* (see step 10)

One of the traditional parts of the Jewish Pesach is the "Haggadah", a compilation of the scripture passages that are to be read throughout the seder. We each bring a Bible to our Passover seder, then give the references throughout the meal.

I saw a sad "warning" under "Buying a Haggadah" -- the scroll with the scriptural readings for Passover:
The Jews were warned to watch out for Christianized versions of the haggadah, since the Christian "last supper" was a Pesach seder. One Jewish FAQ site reported that many Christians recreate the ritual of the seder, and the haggadahs that we use for this purpose (which, again, I am privileged to use my Bible) interpret the significance of both the Old Testament and New Testament Passover. We speak of the paschal lamb as a prophecy of Jesus in fulfillment of the lamb's blood on the doorposts in Egypt.

**They KNOW. We don't even realize in most churches that "The Last Supper", the church ordinance of "communion" was a Passover seder (again, as recorded in Matthew 26:18, Mark 14:14, Luke 22:8), but the Jews know it! God in His perfect plan had "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world" sacrificed ON PASSOVER! OH, how I long for the day when Jesus Christ -- Messiah -- the only begotten Son -- Emmanuel: God with us -- is ruling and reigning from the Temple in Jerusalem, and the eyes of the whole world are open to the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth....

I hope that by seeing this explanation of the Passover you will have gained a new appreciation for its significance-- historically in Egypt, historically in Jerusalem at the "Last Supper" and at CALVARY, and spiritually in what each part so beautifully represents. SHALOM!

God's Perfect Lamb
Ron Hamilton

God spoke to Israel, "Bring Me a sacrifice,
Morning and evening, ev'ry day.
Offer a spotless lamb, without a blemish.
This is the command you must obey."

Sing Hallelujah! Praise to Jehovah!
Worship the God of Abraham!
Sing Hallelujah! Praise to Jehovah!
Once for all is slain God's perfect Lamb!

Daily the lambs were brought. Daily the blood was shed,
Laid on the altar built by man.
Then at the perfect time, God said to Israel,
"I will now provide the perfect Lamb."

Sing Hallelujah! Praise to Jehovah!
Worship the God of Abraham!
Sing Hallelujah! Praise to Jehovah!
Once for all is slain God's perfect Lamb!

At God's appointed time, Jesus, Messiah, came
To make the sacrifice for all sin.
No longer bring a lamb, Jesus has paid the price,
Clap your hands and let your psalms begin!

Sing Hallelujah! Praise to Jehovah!
Worship the God of Abraham!
Sing Hallelujah! Praise to Jehovah!
Once for all is slain God's perfect Lamb!

Midi file created with NoteWorthy Composer

4/4/4 I've printed church bulletins, and although the company who supplied bulletin "blanks" -- with photos on the front and a devotional on the back -- is considered very conservative, I couldn't help but notice that their photo for communion / The Lord's Supper in April of '04 had a chalice and a loaf of bread. Here is the photo:

Okay, so you just read about the spiritual significance and beauty of the elements of Passover, the Lord's Last Supper. What is wrong with this picture???

Not meaning to be picky, but if this loaf of YEAST bread is to represent the body of Christ, then it is to be assumed that Jesus was only a man... that He had leaven, SIN, in His body.
He did not.

I found this very frustrating. We show our ignorance and apathy to God's Word when we allow MAJOR mistakes like the photo above to happen. I pray that the LORD will open our eyes to the Truth of His Word as we seek to know and serve Him!

Another question to answer:
Why is it that, as in 2008, "Easter" is in a totally different month than Passover?
"Easter" is an ungodly fertility festival at spring, the dawning of the year, named for the goddess of the dawn. Easter is the first full moon after the vernal equinox.

Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits are commanded in the books of the law, the observance of which uses the Scriptural, lunar-based calendar months. Passover is to be kept the first full moon following the first new moon of spring. So to be biblically correct, on which day should Biblical Christianity celebrate Resurrection SonDay? Search the Scriptures....

In closing, I would admonish you in Jesus' own words:
John 5:39, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
The written Word is all about the Living Word, from cover to cover. The Living Word is Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father, God with us. He became flesh and dwelt among us, lived as our example, gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice: the Passover Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world!

Do you know the Passover Lamb as your Saviour from sin?
Ask God the Father to forgive you of your sin for His only begotten Son Jesus' sake, accepting His blood atonement at Calvary to pay for your sin. That's why He came. That's why He died, His sinless body broken and His sinless blood shed. The Lord Jesus Christ died as the PAYMENT IN FULL for the sin-debt of the world (John 1:29; Romans 6:23; I Timothy 1:15; I John 2:2). Won't you ask Him to forgive you and cleanse you of your sin and save you today?

Back to
Celebrate SPRING
Our Devotionals

Sign Our Guestbook *_*View Our Guestbook *_*


JMS Designs *_*

Kosher for Passover horseradish by:
Silver Spring Gardens

Though nothing was directly quoted, much information was learned from Judaism 101 & Friends of Israel

The Christian Counter