Passover and Easter . . .

I have over the past few months been studying more about the Feasts of Israel.

So, we gentiles are about to celebrate Easter. If we have been raised  in a family devoted to the Christian faith, then we know that Easter is about the sacrifice Jesus made for us at Calvary. We are aware of His death and resurrection. Unlike most of the world, it’s not just about chocolate overload and bunny rabbits.

Passover and Easter are so inextricably interwoven. Passover being the celebration of the Hebrews deliverance from Egyptian tyranny. Easter being the celebration of the world’s deliverance from eternal death.

Victor Buksbazen, in his book The Gospel in the Feasts of Israel, says this:
“In the light of the New Testament we obtain a full understanding of the Passover, while the deepest meaning of the Lord’s Supper cannot be fathomed without the historic background of the Jewish Passover.

Passover and Easter generally coincide, usually March or early April. The central point in Jewish history is their deliverance from Egypt. The central point in the Christian faith is Calvary.

Jesus and His disciples, in the upper room, were celebrating Passover, and it was at this time  that it obtained its deepest significance.”

Passover and Easter

Jesus, the Lamb of God, became the sacrificial lamb of the Passover. He shed His blood, all of it, just as the Passover lamb had to be prepared. My understanding of the significance of the Hebrews not being able to be subjected to blood in the Old Testament, because it was so unclean, is that in our bloodlines sin is carried from generation to generation, and Jesus had not as yet borne that sin at Calvary. Have you ever wondered why the woman in the Gospels, with the issue of blood, only came up behind Jesus to touch the hem of His cloak? I think it was because she had no place even being  close to everyone because of her uncleanness, but she was so desperate for healing that she thought that if she just touched the hem of His garment (not Him, for that would have been against the law of Moses) then she could be healed. And she was!

The bread and wine on the table at Passover are very significant. The bread (afikomen) is shared by all, but some of it is hidden away and brought out again at the end of the meal. This is also a symbol of the broken body of Jesus at His death, and His resurrection.

And Jesus took this bread, blessed it and broke it, and said:
Take, eat; this is My Body, which is broken for you: do this in remembrance of Me.

The wine is a symbol of the blood of the lamb that was wiped over every door post of the Hebrews, so that they were saved from the angel of death. It is also very symbolic of the blood that Jesus shed for us that saves us from eternal death.

And Jesus drank of this wine after blessing it, and said:
This cup is the New Testament in My blood: do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.

“Jesus Himself, was the final reality of what the Passover lamb sought to convey originally. It is His blood that saves Jew and Gentile alike from the death of sin and eternal condemnation and makes the believer a child of God” ~ V. Buksbazen.

The preparation for the Passover lamb was thorough. It had to be slain and prepared outside of the camp. All its blood had to be drained. Not one bone was to be broken. All of it had to be consumed.

Jesus celebrated Passover, then He walked out of that warm comfortable room and became the ultimate Passover for our sins.

He was crucified outside the city. His entire blood supply was shed. Not one bone was broken. Unreal considering where they put those nails. He gave His all.

God the Father had to turn away from His Son as He laid all the sin of the world on Him. Jesus cried out for His Father, and then as He declared that all was finally accomplished, He hung His head and died.

For you. For me.

There has never been and never will be any greater sacrifice.

SOME SCRIPTURES PERTAINING TO THIS ARTICLE
Exodus 12 / Psalm 22 / Psalm 34:20 / The Hallel sung at the end of the Passover meal: Psalms 113-118 / Matthew 9: 19-22 / Matthew 26:17-30 / Luke 22: 7-28 / John 19 and 20 / 1 Corinthians 11: 23-33

Redemption . . .

When God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son, it was a test. This type of sacrifice was a common practice amongst the people (who worshipped idols) where Abraham had lived before God directed him to leave and seek the promised land, so he obviously did not see anything odd in doing this.

Abraham is known as the Father of Faith, so his assurance from God that he would become the father of a great nation was at the forefront of his mind as he climbed the mountain with his beloved son confident that God would not go back on His word.

And He didn’t.

Because Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son for love of Yahweh, at the same time knowing, by faith, that God was about to do something extraordinary, God was willing to sacrifice His Son for the redemption of mankind.

Fast forward to the first Passover.
“Judaism and Christianity are as inseparable as seed and flower or tree and fruit. In the light of the New Testament we obtain a full understanding of the Passover, while the deepest meaning of the Lord’s Supper cannot be fathomed without the historic background of the Jewish Passover.

Israel’s deliverance from Egypt is the central point in Jewish history and worship, even as Calvary is the central point in the Christian faith, for on Calvary the work of redemption was accomplished for every believer.

Passover, the story of deliverance, is the harbinger of a greater redemption yet to come, the vehicle of the undying Messianic hope. It was in the upper room (where Jesus and His disciples  celebrated the Passover) that it at last obtained its real meaning and deepest significance”

(Excerpts from “The Gospel in the Feasts of Israel”, by Victor Buksbazen)

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Blood sprinkled on the doorposts on the night of the first Passover to save them from the angel of death ~ Jesus’ blood shed for our deliverance from eternal death.

The Passover lamb slaughtered outside camp/city confines ~ Jesus crucified as the Lamb of God at a place called Golgotha, outside of the city of Jerusalem.

All the blood drained from the Passover lamb ~ All Jesus’ blood was shed, for when the soldier pierced His side only water flowed.

Not one bone of the Passover lamb was to be broken ~ Not one bone in Jesus’ body was broken.

There are so many things related to each event, referred to as Types in the Old Testament of things to come.

Finally another word from Mr Buksbazen ~

“Jesus Himself was the final reality of what the Passover lamb sought to convey originally. It is His blood that saves Jew and Gentile alike from the death of sin and eternal condemnation and makes the believer a child of God.”

You can read the account of the Passover in Exodus chapter 12 and the account of Jesus’ death in the Gospels of Matthew chapters 26,27,28  or Mark chapters 14,15,16 or Luke chapters 22,23,24 or John chapters 13-21.

 

Ephesians . . .

Paul’s prayer in this first chapter of Ephesians in verse 17 is that ~

The God of our Lord Jesus Christ ~ the Father of glory ~  May give to us a Spirit of wisdom ~ and of revelation ~ in the knowledge of Him.

He then goes on to write in verses 18-21 about  ~

1. The Hope of God’s calling upon our lives ~

This is eternal life.

2. The Riches of the Glory of God’s inheritance that we have in Him ~

This is forgiveness, healing, provision, peace and comfort, and so much more.

3. The surpassing greatness of God’s Power toward us who believe ~

This is His love, mercy and grace.

These three things are ~

In accordance with the working of the strength of God’s might, which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Jesus from the dead, and seated Him at His (God’s) right hand in the heavenly places ~ Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.

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God’s strength and might is what raised Jesus from the dead, therefore ~

Any Hope we may have in our future is guaranteed through God’s strength and might that is so great He can even raise souls from the dead. Even ours when our bodies die.

Therefore, Salvation through Christ, and Eternal life.

The riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, is comforting. Because of Jesus’ great sacrifice, He inherited the seat at the right hand of God the Father, where He  continually intercedes for every one of us. When we accept what Jesus did for us and Who He Is, we become inheritors of the same riches and glory.

Salvation, healing, our sins forgiven, and eternal life with Jesus and God the Father and Holy Spirit.

God’s amazing greatness and power and ability to do astounding works for us is outmatched by no-one. He created us. We turned away from Him, our Maker, and sinned, and He in His great love and mercy, put a plan into place to redeem us, to save us, to give us the opportunity of reclaiming our eternal life.

So, if we accept Jesus as our Saviour, we can be assured of a future of ~

Hope ~ given to us from God’s great abundance of riches ~ and

Love, and mercy and grace ~ Our inheritance ~

Along with all other believers ~ in the Glory of God ~ and eternal life in the presence of that amazing Glory.

“By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” ~ Ephesians 2:8

Prayer for Salvation ~ Click on the link at the top of this page.

The Lord’s Prayer . . .

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In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 6, Jesus taught us how to pray. But we take this prayer as just that. A prayer. When it is so much more than that.

It is a recipe for HOW to Pray.

Our Father Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Your Name ~

First thing to do when we come to God in prayer is to recognize Him for exactly who He is. God. Worthy of praise and honour beyond measure. He sacrificed His only Son for us so that we could be free, forgiven and enter into salvation and eternity with Him. To Hallow, is to Revere. Tell Him He’s wonderful, mighty, amazing, beautiful, and spend time worshipping Him.

Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven ~

Pray that the revelation of His kingdom become real in our hearts and/or those we are praying for, and that His Will be done in our lives. Ask Him to help us get rid of distractions in our lives so that we can focus on what HE wants us to do for the furthering of His Kingdom. How to use our talents and abilities for the spreading of the Gospel. How to give Him our WHOLE heart.

Give us this day our daily bread ~

Pray for needs to be met as far as food and shelter go. But also pray for a desire to read His Word. A passion to delve into scripture and discover for ourselves the promises of God. Pray for revelation and inspiration as we read what will set us free from the bonds that can so easily envelop us.

And forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us ~

Bring any sin to Him and ask for and believe for forgiveness. Be repentant and ask the Lord to strengthen our resolve to stay clean before Him. Pray for those who have hurt us and that we may still be holding a grudge against. We may not like them or even ever want to associate with them again, but God commands us to forgive. As He forgave us. As Jesus forgave us and those who crucified Him. Unforgiveness only ever ends up hurting the one who holds it in his/her heart.

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil ~

Ask God to help us to be able to handle the times of temptation. When those desires that are our most annoying weaknesses come upon us. Pray for His strength and  protection from the enemy, who deceives us into thinking it as all right to sin. And pray for God to deliver us from any evil lurking around the corner that may be waiting to assail us. Protection on the journey to and from work, or on holiday. Protection from the flu’ season. Protection from any unforseen financial disasters. And the list goes on.

For Yours is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory ~

Recognize that it is Him, God, that we receive our life from, and that ultimately it is Him that we will answer to when we stand before Him one day and that it is His Kingdom we strive for, His power we will see working in our lives and that all is done for one purpose only . . .

His Glory! . . . Amen!