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This is an insightful teaching about Passover and Yeshua (Jesus). The author is Avram Yehoshua from the Seeds of Abraham ministry in Israel. …

This is an insightful teaching about Passover and Yeshua (Jesus). The author is Avram Yehoshua from the Seeds of Abraham ministry in Israel.

Please feel free to visit our website at FirstCenturyBelievers.com to see more teaching's and other christian support resources.

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  • 1. PASSOVER AND JESUS by Avram Yehoshua www.SeedofAbraham.net In the days of Yeshua (the Hebrew Name of Jesus) as caravans of Jews made their way to Jerusalem each year for the Passover celebration (Ex. 23:14-17) the men, women and children would sing praise to God. They would sing the Psalms of Ascent, Psalms 120-134. These Psalms glorify God as Creator and the Redeemer of Israel, the One Israel can trust in, Jerusalem as His city and Israel as His people. As excitement mounted the closer they came to Jerusalem, the city that would harbor all the hopes and pain of the Jewish People, thoughts would turn toward the First Passover. The greatest redemp- tion that God had ever done was to free Israel from Egyptian slavery by slaying all the first-born in the kingdom of Egypt. The Hebrew first-born were spared or saved from death by the blood of the lamb (Ex. 12:12-14). This great deliverance set in motion a yearly celebration, a time to remember and to re-experience that mighty deed of God. The Hebrew word zahar ‫ זָכַר‬means to remember or memorial and it has pro- found significance. When we Jews sit down to eat the Passover meal, we envision ourselves back at the First Passover. God commands that we tell our children that we who are alive today, (even 3,500 years after the First Passover), were delivered out of Pharaoh’s Kingdom (Ex. 13:8). This is known as corporate identity (one body). All Jews are one with each other, past, present and future. When Abram paid a tithe to Melchizedek (Gen. 14:17-20), Heb. 7:1-10 makes the rabbinic point that the greater priesthood is that of Melchizedek, in comparison to the Levitical. The writer understood corporate identity declaring that Levy was ‘in the loins’ of Abram at the time, giving a tithe to one greater than he…yet Levy would not be born for another 120 years. When the Apostle Paul speaks of taking the physical reminders of Yeshua’s Body and Blood (1st Cor. 11:23-34), we are told that as often as we do it, we are to remember His death. What the Apostle is presenting in Hebraic terms is that we are not only to identify with Yeshua in His death (Rom. 6; death to self), but of special importance, that we are to understand that we too are there with Yeshua, at what I have come to call the Second Passover, receiving the bread and wine from Him and also being crucified with Him in a very painful and humiliating death. We are to consider ourselves as having been ‘in the loins of the Apostles’ or more exactly, Yeshua. We are to re-experience that moment of time and its significance by entering into it by the Spirit of the Holy One, whenever we take the Body and the Blood. The Passover that Yeshua celebrated before His death is a picture of the sacred banquet that is seen in Luke 13:28-30 and Rev. 19:6-9. God the Father, in Yeshua, and Man at that Passover table were eat- ing and fellowshiping together. It’s the strongest possible picture of friendship. In the ancient Middle East, if two hostile enemies ate at the same table they had to become the closest of friends. That is how powerful table fellowship is. We who were once enemies of God because of our rebellious Adamic nature, are now friends of God because of the table fellowship with Him at the Passover, and look what it is that we are eating…the True Heavenly Food, the Lamb of God. The Apostle Paul would tell us that the Body and the Blood are living reminders to us that Papa God is our Friend. He’s the kind of friend that will help us whenever we need any kind of help. It also shows us the kind of love that we must have for the Body of Messiah that also takes His Body and Blood. In other words, when I take communion, I must realize that I am to forgive and love all those who call themselves believers in Messiah Yeshua, just as His Blood and Body have made it possible for me to
  • 2. experience the forgiveness and love of Papa God. Daily Reminders Yahveh commands Israel to remember every day what He did for them. Deut. 16:3 states, ‘you must remember every day of your life, the day you came out of the land of Egypt.’ This means that they would envision themselves being delivered by God from Egypt every day, and of course they would be very thankful. God also gave them a daily concrete reminder that reflected their salvation. Every morning and every evening (Ex. 29:38-42) they would sacrifice a lamb with its compliment oblation (grain offering) and libation (wine offering). These sacrifices allowed them twice a day to remember or to ‘re-experience’ the salvation of Yahveh. In those daily sacrifices we see the Body and the Blood of Yeshua. The oblation (fine grain) is the Body and the wine represents His Blood. The daily lamb sacrifice would point to both the First Passover in the past and the Second Passover in the future (Yeshua’s), as well as being an immediate reminder of their Savior Yahveh and how they were saved out of Egyptian slavery. The blood of the lamb is represented by the wine of Passover. That is why the Rabbis say that the wine must be red. To make wine, the grapes must be stomped. To make flour for bread, the whole kernel must be crushed. Yeshua is the grape and kernel (wine and bread) crushed for us that we might be able to sit at the Table and eat the Food of God, Heavenly Food, God the Son Himself. Isaiah 53:10 speaks of this transformation process for Messiah when he says, ‘Yahveh has been pleased to crush Him.’ Matza The bread that God requires us to eat at Passover is a special type of bread that reflects the purity of our Messiah. Israel was commanded to eat this bread at the First Passover (Ex. 12:8, 15-20; 13:3-10) and every subsequent Passover thereafter. This bread called matza ‫( מַצָה‬Hebrew for unleavened bread) would remind them of God’s great deliverance and His desire for them to be holy. Matza is the bread that Yeshua uses to picture His Body when He holds it up and declares that ‘THIS is My Body’ (Matt. 26:26).1 In 1st Cor. 5:6-8, the Apostle Paul struggles to make the Gentile congre- gation understand how even… ‘a small amount of yeast is enough to leaven all the dough, so get rid of all the old yeast and make yourselves into a completely new batch of bread, unleavened, as you are meant to be.’ Leaven or yeast has always been a symbol of sin, especially pride, because pride like yeast puffs one up. That is why the Israelis were commanded to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days. Seven days God wanted Israel to remember that He had delivered them out of Egypt, not to do 1 The Roman Catholic idea behind communion is not biblical. The Roman Catholics actually say that when the priest prays in Latin over their wafer and wine, that the wafer and the wine become the real Body and Blood of Jesus. As such, they actually bow down, do homage and worship the wafer, something that has no biblical foundation. When we take the matza and the wine or grape juice, we are proclaiming in no uncertain terms that we are ‘one’ with Him and that His sacrificial death is sufficient for all our needs, spiritual and physical, pictured in our eating the matza and drinking the wine. It is the presence of the Holy Spirit that ‘makes alive’ His Reality. Yeshua using the matza and the wine means that everything that Yeshua is, is pic- tured in them. He is Salvation and Life and with the Holy Spirit we can enter into His Reality. 2
  • 3. their own thing, but to be a holy people consecrated unto Him. Seven is the number of perfection (Creation week), wholeness and completion, as well as representing holiness. This is why Yeshua, the Sinless One, was able to have Himself represented in the matza, for it pictures sinlessness, purity and holiness. It is without yeast; it’s not puffed up but ‘humble.’ He is the Pure Bread (Matza) that has come down from the Heavens. Any bread with yeast in it pictures Yeshua as sinful. This is why it is so important to have matza for communion. The Never Ending Matza When Yeshua multiplied the loaves for the multitudes (John 6:1-15), the immediate reference was ob- vious to a Jew. God through Moses provided manna (bread) for Israel in the wilderness. As Yeshua performed a similar miracle, He revealed Himself as the Messiah, the King of Israel to the Jewish people who were there (Dt. 18:15-18; Jn. 6:14-15). What this also tells us is that in the Matza (Bread) of Life there is more than enough for all of us just as it was for the Jewish people back there in John 6. After 1,900 years, we who are alive today are still being fed off of the breaking (crucifixion) of the Matza of Life. He continues ‘to multiply’ Himself to feed us. Whenever we take the Body and the Blood, we are to remember that we are back there at the Second Passover with all His followers; past, present and future. Israel is at the Passover Table with her God. We are not only His friend, but because we are eating and drinking of Him we are becoming like Him. It’s a spiritual reality, too, we are what we eat. His Blood is not only a symbol of His death, but of the Joy of our salvation, wine having this double meaning in Scripture. In Ex. 12:14 God declares, ‘This day is to be a day of remembrance for you and you must celebrate it as a feast in honor of Yahveh.’ The word for ‘celebrate’ means ‘to rejoice mightily.’ This is the proper attitude for taking His Body and His Blood. This is the proper attitude for acknowledging what Papa God has done for us in setting us free from our enemies; sin and Death. In ‘discerning Yeshua’s Body’ (1st Cor. 11:29) before communion we must lift up to Him any anger, resentment and jealousy that we might have toward others (as not being able to forgive the other from our heart) and any resistance that we might have to Yeshua Himself (to be fully surrendered to Him and what He might want to accomplish through us). It may not mean that God will take away our re- sentment or bitterness right then and there, but as we continue to look to Him in faith, trusting Him, we know that He will do that and also set us free from any inhibitions against freely offering our- selves to Him. Now we are able to eat of His Body without incurring guilt. It is for these very reasons that we need His cleansing Blood and healing Body. As we yield ourselves to Yeshua, He feeds us what we need to grow into His Image and His Holiness. Helpful in dealing with our stubborn carnality is the scene at the Second Passover (Jn. 13:1-30) where Yeshua washes the Apostle’s feet. Peter strongly objects, but finally consents. Most, rightly under- stand this as a lesson in humility, but do we realize why Peter objected? The only person who washed other people’s feet, was the lowest slave of the house… ‘Every service which a slave performs for his master shall a disciple do for his teacher except the loosing of his sandal-thong.’2 2 Leon Morris, The Rev. Canon, M.Sc., M.Th., Ph.D., Tyndale New Testament Commentaries: Luke (Leices- 3
  • 4. ‘Only non-Jewish slaves were required to perform this menial duty for their mas- ters.’3 The Master of the Universe… had assumed the role of the lowest slave in the land Now imagine when you are angry with someone and the Lord Yeshua begins to wash your feet. He looks into your eyes and asks you to give Him that anger. I dare say that your anger would melt away as awe, gratitude and deep humility overwhelm you. That is how Yeshua transforms us; by His loving service. In this we see that there is nothing that we will ever need that He cannot supply us with. He came to serve us and this service enables us to walk along the Highway of Holiness, giving us what we need to be holy, to be like Him, when we need it. Please realize that Yeshua also washed the feet of Judas, the one He knew would betray Him. He also gave Judas the place of honor at the Passover ceremony, right next to Him (Jn. 13:26). This is the kind of love that Yeshua wants to give us, a love that is strong enough to love our enemies, a love more powerful than hate. We cannot do love our enemies in our own strength. This is our greatest need that Yeshua fulfills and it’s pictured in His Body and His Blood, the First Passover and the daily sacrifices. As we eat of our Messiah we become like Him, to the Glory of Papa God who has wrought this Great Redemption. You see, we’re all a lot like Judas… but oh what a Friend we have in Jesus! ter, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 2000), p. 107. Taken from Strack & Billerbeck’s Commentary on the New Testament with Talmud and Midrash. This rabbinic saying dates to about 250 A.D. but is ‘probably much older.’ 3 I. Howard Marshall, Author; I. Howard Marshall and W. Ward Gasque, Editors, The New International Greek Testament Commentary: The Gospel of Luke (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1978), p. 146. Taken from Midrash Exodus 21:2 (82a); Keth. 96a. 4