Christ our Passover Lamb
The Scripture is the witness of the Messiah
Yeshua spoke to the religious leaders “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39).
John 15:26: “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”
In Jn.8:18: “I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.”
Hebrews 10:7: “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come -- in the volume of the book it is written of Me-- to do Your will, O God.’” (a Quote of Psalm 40:6-8)
Throughout Yeshua’s (Jesus’) ministry He used what God gave Israel previously to identify him as their Messiah. Besides certain miracles that only the messiah could do there were numerous other ways to know who the messiah is. The whole Old Testament with its teaching on the Tabernacle and its Feast days were given so that Israel could recognize who the messiah is when He comes. The feasts are found in Lev.23 “These are My appointed feasts, holy seasons of the LORD, which you are to proclaim at their appointed times” These were types of Christ as Paul states in Col.2:17 they are a shadow of things to come. Christ came, He is the substance; the law was the pattern, Christ is the reality, the fulfillment. 7 feasts were part of their calendar that they were to continually keep. Lev. 23:5 “On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the LORD'S Passover. The calendar begins with Passover it ends with tabernacles, Lev. 23:34 “The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD.” The seventh feast day lasts for 7 days.
The Jewish calendar was civil and it was a religious, and it was based on agricultural seasons. Many of these were agricultural feasts. In Israel you have two rainy seasons called the former and later rain. At the end of the spring rain you had a harvest that was for grain, at the end of the Autumn season you had a harvest which was for fruit. But you also have a long hot summer in Israel in between both harvests. Agriculturally Israel is reliant on a water supply because it doesn’t rain much in summer.
These feasts are symbolic of Christ. The feast days were broken up into 2 cycles-- the spring season are 4 feasts grouped together taking place within 50 days--a summer break to prepare for the fall harvest season and the 3 fall feasts. The 4 spring feasts found in Lev.23 were fulfilled in Jesus’ first coming and He fulfills the three autumn holidays in his 2nd coming. This why they are grouped in this order. The fall feasts are, feast of trumpets, Day of atonement, feasts of Booths or gatherings, all to be fulfilled in his 2nd coming (taking place in a 2 week period).
Jesus fulfilled these feasts by his life and ministry. The unleaven bread- was Christ’ life with no sin. The Passover - Christ sacrificed as the lamb. The first-fruits- His resurrection 3 days after the Passover. Pentecost-Jesus sending the Holy Spirit within 50 days of the Passover. All of these were fulfilled in Jesus’ first coming. Jesus fulfilled the 4 spring holidays in his first coming and fulfills the three autumn feasts in his 2nd coming. The fall feasts are, feast of trumpets, Day of atonement, feasts of Booths or ingatherings, which takes place in a 2 week period
(Leviticus 23:2), their calendar was to be rearranged according to the Passover. 3,500 years ago they were told to remember these feasts days as sacred assemblies, as a memorial. God gave Israel spring feasts are fulfilled in Christs first coming and the fall feats are fulfilled in his second. We are now in the time of summer preparing for the fall harvest which will concentrate on Israel.
John 4:35-36 “Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.” The harvest continues from the time of Pentecost through the church age.
Besides using literal examples in stories to illustrate truth (such as in parables) types and symbols were often used in his ministry. When He came to be baptized by John to be revealed to Israel John introduced him as the lamb who takes away the sins of the world. Identifying him with Isaiah 53. Four times in the New Testament we are told He is the lamb.
Even though John was not as educated as the Pharisees when he talked about the light of the world he understood Judaism and the Scripture, he meant the shekinah glory of God that appeared in Genesis before the sun or the moon.
In John 8:12 Jesus says “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
He uses the same language for Jesus who tabernacled among us in Jn.1:14. Who took on flesh and dwelt among them and they saw his glory. Relating himself to the light in the tabernacle, the shekinah glory revealed to Israel in the Old Testament.
John 1:4 “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” The lamb is the light of the New Jerusalem that comes down out of heaven after the Millennium (Rev.21:23) the sun is not needed (Rev.22:5) just as it was before it was created in Genesis.
At the temple when they were celebrating the feasts of tabernacles and pouring out the water on the steps. John 7:37-38 “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” Speaking of the Spirit that would be given
Yeshua (Jesus) draws on the imagery of Ezekiel 47 as it points to the Millennium. Also Isa. 44:3-4 “For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring; They will spring up among the grass like willows by the watercourses.” The rain being poured out is a type of the Holy Spirit. In biblical symbology, different liquids represent the Holy spirit in different functions.
Jesus also used the supply of miraculous manna from heaven for Israels traveling the desert to the Promised Land as representing himself. John 6:31-35 “Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.V:48-50 “I am the bread of life. “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead.”This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.”V.51”I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
We are told by Paul Jesus is our unleaven bread, leaven is s a symbol of sin.
He said that Abraham saw the meaning of his visitation, and pointed to himself as the one Abraham knew. John 8:56-58 “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” This happened in Gen 22 when Abraham was going to sacrifice his only son and God called out to stop him and Abraham prophesied that God would provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two, Father and Son looked to the future for the fulfillment, as the God the Father would send his only Son to be the lamb. It was on this very mount that Jesus was sacrificed as the Passover lamb, Mt. Moriah. This spans Matthew calculates as 3 X14 generations (42 generations) until Christ came (Mt.1:17).
Matthew 26:2 “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”
God established a calendar for Israel so certain seasons might have spiritual significance. Our attention focuses on the event-the killing of a lamb. The Passover feast that Israel celebrated became our communion, our cup of blessing--the churches memorial. Jesus began his ministry at Passover and ended His ministry as the lamb of God on at Passover. The last supper is a Passover service (the feast of Pesach), the Passover Seder (meal) takes about 4-5 hours. The night of 14th, Yeshua ate the last supper.
Passover is mentioned 50 times in the Old Testament 27 times in the New Testament it is the most mentioned feast of all 7. In Passover you are to begin by purging out the leaven.
Old Testament - Exodus 12:14-20 and 13:3
New Testament - 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 and 1 John 1:9
In a Messianic Sedar there are 4 cups of wine at the Passover service three cups we find fulfillment in Christ. The first is a thanksgiving cup where the service begins.
At the first cup - the cup of thanksgiving represents Jesus on the cross suffering, his hands and feet are pierced.
The2nd cup represents the 10 plagues that fell on Egypt to release Israel from her bondage through Moses and Aaron that set Israel free. At the second cup 10 drops of wine are poured out on the plate representing the 10 plagues that were God’s judgment on the false gods of Egypt.
The third cup is redemption of the first-born. Without the shedding of blood there would have been no redemption.
The 4th cup is the cup of praise which finishes the Passover service, it is related to Elijah coming again.
At the pascal meal there 3 requirements roasted lamb, unleaven bread and bitter herbs. All should be remembered. Some of these items are commanded in Scripture -- others were added by tradition to enhance the ceremony; all have biblical significance. In our communion, we are to remember our sin and how bitter it is, confess and repent if necessary. Then we are to remember the sinless lamb who took away our sins and forgave us by being judged in our place.
unleaven bread and wine and the Aphikomen ceremony
Jesus said he was BREAD: Jesus born in Bethlehem (House of Bread) and called himself the bread of life. The rabbis say that the Afikomen is imperative because the Seder cannot end until each participant has eaten a small piece of it. In doing so they are remembering the lamb. The bread Jesus broke at the last supper was unleaven bread required at Pesach.
Just as the Jews who were in bondage carried the weight of sin -Pharaohs work on their backs, God gave them the unleaven bread to be carried out of Egypt on their back after they were freed by the blood of the lamb. For Israel putting away the Leaven was in the feast of unleaven bread symbolizes the breaking the hold of bondage and slavery that Egypt had on them as a people. They became a new people, a new nation in freedom who were to walk with the Lord. They did not put away leaven in order to be redeemed; rather, they put away leaven because they were redeemed. This same principle applies to the redeemed of the Lord of all the ages. Salvation is of grace, “not by works, lest any man should boast.”
Yachatz ceremony is part of the central observance of the Passover. There are 3 pieces of unleaven bread (Matzah) wrapped in a white cloth container with 3 compartments (called the matzah tash- its embroided with the word matzo on it). The 3 matzahs wrapped in white linen (Yachatz) are called the unity. The father reaches into the three in one bag called the unit takes out the middle matzah and breaks it in two, leaving the smaller piece and the larger piece is wrapped in a separate cloth to be HIDDEN. The part that is hidden is called the APHIKOMEN, or the bread of affliction. In Jewish tradition the children are later to seek it and if they find it they bring it to the father and get a reward after the meal. The piece is reunited with the other Matzot (and eaten) right after dinner.
In a messianic Pesach the matzot explains the tri-unity-- the father--the son (middle matzah) and the Holy Spirit (the comforter). The middle piece of unleaven bread represents the 2nd person of the triune God, the Son of God come out of heaven become man. As Jesus said in Jn.6 “I am the bread that has come down from heaven.” The ceremony describes the gospel; the death burial and resurrection the middle matzah is removed from the bag showing Jesus came to earth was broken and wrapped in cloth being buried, then the piece of the aphikomen, represents the dessert. The word means, “that which comes” later or the one who comes again.
After the Passover meal- The APHIKOMEN- The finding of the broken matzah is timed with the 3rd Cup, the cup of redemption. Isa. 53:4 “yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.v:7 “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; he was led as a lamb to the slaughter.” The lamb is the bread of affliction.
Isa.63:8-9 “...So He became their Savior. In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel (messenger) of His Presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bore them and carried them all the days of old.”
The middle Matzoh that was previously taken out of the white linen, broken and wrapped in another linen symbolizes Jesus’ body that was broken and wrapped in strips of linen and put in a tomb hidden from our view. His children come and find that He is risen. Symbolizing the resurrection of the bread of life. This shows His resurrection and being eaten as His life shared with all who believe.
This is fulfilled in the resurrection John 12:32 “If I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.” After Jesus had died and rose, he draws the people to himself.
Jesus used the matzoh - the aphikomen to represent not only the Passover lamb, but His own body.
Matt. 26:26-29 “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” It is here we see the suffering Messiah of Isa.53 and other scriptures clearly. It is broken as a symbol of Jesus’ body “TAKE, EAT, THIS IS MY BODY.”
Paul describes the unleaven bread as fulfilled in Christ 1 Cor.5: 7-8 “Cleanse 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. Now, when Paul spoke this to us all, the Jews knew exactly what he was talking about. Be cleansed in order to keep the Passover. He says in the next verse: v.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.” In communion we are to search ourselves to see if there is any sin in us.
John 6:55-56 “For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.”
We have SPIRITUAL REDEMPTION BY HIS Body broken and His BLOOD shed. This last Passover became the Lord’s supper, and is now our communion service. They understood this as a covenant meal.
When are partaking of communion we are participating in something very ancient, older than 2,000 years ago, but 3,500 years ago. As Passover is connected to the unleaven bread, we now partake of the one who had no sin. John 6:35 “I am the bread of life; he that comes to me shall never hunger, and he that believes on me shall never thirst.”
One of the more significant parts of the seder plate is the SHANK BONE of a lamb (Hebrew -z'roah) meaning arm. This represents the strong outstretched arm of the Lord by which he freed his people from Egyptian bondage. In Isaiah 53:1: “Who has believed our report and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” As believers Christ is our Passover we have all been rescued by the arm of the Lord.
It is required that no bone can be broken on the lamb, coinciding with John 19:32-36 that tells us that they did not break Christ’s legs on the cross for when they came to him he had already died.
It was in the last 3 of the 6 hours on the cross that God judged the sins of mankind on Christ. As introduced by John, He is the lamb who takes away the sin of the world, the sin bearer (Matt. 27:45; Mk.15:33; Lk.23:44-45) “Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.” Darkness in this respect coincided with judgment. The lamb is roasted representing God’s fiery judgment. At the same time Yeshua was being sacrificed the Passover lamb in the temple was being sacrificed according to the law.
The third CUP -This is the cup of redemption is taken with a small piece of unleavened bread. [The bread is the afikomen that was hidden during the ceremony but later found]. It is usually a lengthy blessing.
Speaking ahead of what would transpire tomorrow Jesus explains the significance of the Passover they had been keeping for 1500 years. Luke 22:14-20 “When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;” for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves;” for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.”
Paul in 1 Cor.10:16 calls this communion “the cup of blessing.” Mt 26:27-28: Then He (Jesus) took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” After the blessing is said, the cup becomes the new covenant.
Paul writes in1 Cor. 11:23-26 “the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.”
It looks to the past and the future, back at what he has done and looks forward to when He comes.
Jesus identifies the symbols as being Himself, and promises -that HE IS COMING AGAIN.
Exod.12:21-23- Each family killed the lamb by the door. THE BLOOD was applied by they’re dipping the hyssop into a basin of blood and touched the lintel, the top and each side post. The original Passover centuries before becomes a picture of the suffering Messiah with the crown of thorns on his head both hands outstretched and his feet pierced with nails.
In the Passover the blood was not to be touched by hands. In the New Testament the blood only works when it is applied by faith; it was applied only once to give freedom. We stay behind the blood until Christ comes again and takes us to the promised land of heaven.
Yeshua spoke of himself as the door to the sheepfold in John 10:1-8: “I am the door. Anyone who does not enter by me is a thief and a robber.” “I AM THE DOOR, BY ME IF ANY MAN ENTER IN, HE SHALL BE SAVED AND GO IN AND OUT TO FIND PASTURE.”Here we again see the symbolism; when man was first driven out of the garden a cherubim was placed at the east of Eden, and to guard the way back in, there was only one way in (Gen 3:24). During the Exodus journey the 12 tribes of Israel camped around the tabernacle, inside is where the sacrificial blood of atonement would be brought. There was only one way into the Tabernacle was through the tribe of Judah camping at the entrance located on the east. Jesus is of the tribe of Judah, He is the door, the way.
1 Pet. 1:19 we have been purchased “with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” Heb.9:11-10:18 the offering of Jesus’ sinless blood fulfills Passover.
After the meal is eaten the first part of the ‘Hallel’ is sung, comprising Ps.113:1-14:8. After the third cup the second portion of the ‘Hallel’ is sung, consisting of Ps.115:1-118:29. Mt.26:30 “And when they had sung an hymn’ they went out to the Mount of Olives” (Mk.14:25; Mt.26:29).
The Levites killed the lambs at the signal of the silver trumpets sounded by the priests. The Levitical choir sings the Hallel, (118:25) “Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD [Hoshia Na-- Hoshanna] O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD.” These are the very words that were cried out through the streets of Jerusalem before He was crucified as Jesus rode into the city on a donkey in fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9.
Later in this song it prophesies of the lamb tied to the altar of wood. Vs.27-28 “God is the LORD, and He has given us light; bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar. You are my God, and I will praise You; you are my God, I will exalt You.” The altar was the cross and the final sacrifice was Yeshua.
The next feast was fulfilled 3 days after it is the feast of first fruits.
He offered his body- unleaven bread- his sinless blood, his life and fulfilled Passover, as the lamb. The feast of first fruits is the first day of the week after the Sabbath so this was Sunday after the Passover. He was the first fruits risen to eternal life 1 Cor.15:20. There were two types of resurrections, one like Lazarus who died again and Christ who is the only one of his type until the resurrection, raised to eternal life never to die again.
Paul writes in 1 Cor. 15:20 “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” The feast of the first fruits would occur on the first day of the week (this would be Sunday) the high priest would go near dawn, at prior to sunrise into the Kidron valley that is between the mount of Olives and Zion the temple mount. He‘d go into the Kidron valley precisely at sunrise and look for first bit of the grain offering coming out of the earth. And exactly at sunrise he would ceremoniously harvest this first sprout of grain and bring it into the temple and wave it before the Lord. The gospels tell us Jesus rose at about dawn, the very time the high priest was bringing the first fruit into the temple. Jesus became first fruit of the resurrection unto eternal life. This is the meaning of the Passover and first fruits, that is our celebration of the gospel, Christ’s death burial and resurrection.
Col 1:18 “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”
After his resurrection Jesus met two disciples on the Road to Emmaus and then began to converse (Luke 24:27) “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. V.44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” “To him all the prophets give witness”
JESUS CHRIST (Yeshua Ha Mashiach) is the FOCUS of the SCRIPTURE.
When Jesus died and rose again on the third day he fulfilled 3 of the feasts in Lev.23 (4th feast was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when he sent the Holy Spirit and it became the birth of the church). The last feast Jesus fulfilled is Pentecost, the feasts of weeks (Hag Hashacout Lev.23:15-21) This is the last of the group of 4 spring feasts which occurs 7 weeks after Passover.(7 weeks one day after Passover they are observe the Feast of Weeks. This was celebration of the giving of the law in Exodus 19. This is one of the three (of the seven) feasts that were required for every able-bodied male to attend.
John 15:26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” This feast becomes the Birth of the Church Acts 2:1-4. Where now Jews and gentiles could unite together without any restrictions.
The spirit was given instead of the law, the law brought death now because of the Messiahs sacrifice the Spirit brings life.
This is the only feast where leaven is allowed to be baked in the bread. 2 loaves of leaven bread represents sinners, both the Jews and the Gentiles brought together, we are all saved the same way. Paul used the feast days throughout his first epistle to the Corinthians and referred to it elsewhere in his writings.
Eph 2:11-16 “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh-- who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands--that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.”
Speaking of the gospel “which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel” (Eph. 3:5-6).
One must believe in the sacrifice of Passover in the lamb of God (the gospel) and first-fruits to be able to celebrate the feast of weeks.