I am in Tonopah, Nevada for a few days with my husband, a professional engineer, who is on a consulting job for a gold mine near here. Pretty neat, huh? This picturesque small town nestled amid the mountains in the “high country” between Las Vegas and Reno, near the California border, was the perfect setting to observe the beautiful full “Passover” moon last night. My husband and I read the Passover story from Exodus 12, particularly verse 14, “So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.” (NKJV) Should this verse be ignored as it seems to be by many churches? What does it mean to us as Christians today?
“Passover” was the night described in this chapter where God struck dead the firstborn children and animals of all the Egyptians, but “passed over” the Israelites who had, by God’s decree, slain an unblemished lamb at twilight and put its blood on their doorposts. When the death angel saw the blood, he “passed over” that house and allowed their firstborn to live! This is why the Jewish people to this day observe the anniversary of this mighty miracle wrought by Yahweh to free His people from slavery! I was pleasantly surprised to see on the news this morning that President and Mrs. Obama even observed a “seder” (Passover meal) at the Whitehouse last night with a number of guests.
We know that our Lord Jesus Christ, Yeshua, completely fulfilled the Passover by His death on the cross and the shedding of His blood as the final sacrifice needed for our salvation! This is the fundamental core doctrine of all Christians who believe in salvation by grace. But, knowing that Christ fulfilled this event, wouldn’t it be great to use this holy day as a teaching tool for our children, as mentioned in Exodus 12 by God? I remember we used to have a special meal of lamb on this night, as did the Israelite people of old, and we put a little stuffed lamb by each child’s plate signifying that Jesus is the Lamb of God. They remember the event to this day!
Some would argue that we are not Jewish, hence we need not observe any of these ceremonies because Christ fulfilled the ceremonial laws! I quite agree that He did; however, let us remember that the Jewish people are descended from only one of the twelve tribes of Israel (thirteen actually, as the sons of “Joseph” were actually divided into two tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh, by his father Israel, known as Jacob, when he gave them the inheritance before his death). There are twelve other tribes, known as the “lost tribes” which have been integrated into other societies throughout the world. You may very well be an Israelite! Does that surprise you? Well, without getting into the devisive teaching of whether or not there are two “houses”, the House of Israel and the House of Judah, as mentioned in the Word, let us just say that observing some sort of “Passover” remembrance is certainly not wrong, and a wonderful opportunity to thank and praise our Heavenly Father for His wondeful miracle of letting His people go from the land of Egypt! Besides, as children of God, born into His family through conversion and the New Birth, we are by adoption the seed of Abraham and may rightfully claim all of the privileges and blessings promised to him so many years ago! I love Isaiah 41:8, “But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the descendants of Abraham My friend.” (NKJV) This verse speaks about Jacob (Israel) being “God’s chosen”. It says nothing about only the tribe of Judah being His “chosen”. This blesses me, because I know I am “God’s chosen” and have the right to partake of His blessings!
The Apostle Paul states in Romans 11:1, “I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.” (NKJV) Any who are physically or spiritually descended from one of the tribes of Israel can claim all the promises God made to His people through Abraham and later Moses. God (Yahweh) sent His Son, Jesus (Yeshua), to be that blood sacrifice and sin offering necessary for our atonement. Thus, He fulfilled Passover and the Day of Atonement when He was crucified on the Cross just before Passover. He then arose at the end of the Sabbath (the Bible speaks about the dawning towards the first day of the week, which would be Sunday, when the women discovered the empty tomb). We are not sure exactly when He arose, but the word “dawning” is also translated “dusking” in the original Greek text, indicating He probably came forth at the end of the Sabbath, around sundown. As you are probably aware, the Jewish days begin and end at sundown. When I think of Jesus fulfilling the atonement required for righteousness, the Passover observances, as well as the Sabbath, I get very excited and want to shout and sing! I know this blog is supposed to be about music, and I see a whole symphony of music played in this story! Happy Passover and Resurrection Sunday, everyone! Be blessed in Yeshua’s Name!