By David Hocking
April 6, 2008
Greetings!

PASSOVER BEGINS AFTER SUNDOWN ON APRIL 19TH!
All over the world Jewish people will be celebrating Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread beginning April 19th.  The details are found in Exodus 12-13.  In Exodus 12:14 we read "And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever."  In the New Testament, I Corinthians 5:7-8 reads: "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: 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."Here is a brief outline of a Messianic Passover taken from the following passages:  Exodus 12:1-20; Leviticus 23:4-8; Deuteronomy 16:1-8

The word "Haggadah" is Hebrew for "story" or "narrative" or "showing forth."  Add the meal, and it is called the "Seder" which means "order."
Here are the items on the Seder plate:

  1. Karpas, parsley, used for "dipping."  It reminds us of the arrival of spring when new growth begins.  The Passover marks the end of slavery, but the beginning of a new of freedom, both physically and spiritually.
  2. Zeroa, shank bone of a lamb, reminds us of the central theme of sacrifice in the celebration of the Passover. 
  3. Moror, bitter herbs, reminds us of the bitterness of slavery under the Egyptians, but also of the bitterness of life without true freedom and redemption. 
  4. Charoset, sweet mixture of nuts, apples, and wine, reminds us of the mortar used in building in Egypt, the sweet taste reminds us of God’s kindness which makes slavery easier to bear. 
  5. Chazeret, horseradish, used for the second "dipping" 
  6. Betazag, roasted egg, symbol of a "Festival Offering" offered in the temple on each of the three required festivals to attend, Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.  Also called the "Chaggigah", also a symbol of mourning over the loss of the two temples.

THE FOUR CUPS OF WINE Exodus 6:6-7

  1. The Cup of Sanctification (Thanksgiving)  "I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians"
  2. The Cup of Judgment (Plagues)   "I will rid you out of their bondage"
  3. The Cup of Redemption (Blessing)  "I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments"
  4. The Cup of Praise  "I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians."

The meal begins with the "Brechat HaNer", the blessing of the candles, the lady of the house lights them, reminds us that the Messiah was the Seed of the woman to bring light to the world.

  1. The "Kiddush" the first cup of sanctification and thanksgiving, everyone drinks of it. 
  2. The "Urchatz" the washing of the hands, probably the place where our Lord washed the disciples’ feet John 13:1-17 
  3. The "Karpas", parsley dipped in small bowl of salt water, represents the tears shed in Egypt and the Red Sea, both of which are salty, everyone eats the parsley dipped in salt water.
  4. The "Yachutz" breaking of the middle matzah, symbolizing our Lord’s death, being broken for us, matzah is "pierced" and "striped" and "unleavened", hidden (His burial) and later to appear resurrection), afikomen, "dessert"
  5. The "Maggid"  "telling of the story of the Exodus" 
  6. The Four Questions
    1. Why is this night different from all other nights when we can eat regular bread, but on this night, only unleavened bread?
    2. Why do we eat only bitter herbs?
    3. Why do we dip two times?
    4.  Why do we recline while we eat?
  • The "Makot" (slayings), the cup of plagues.  The use of the finger reminds us of the "finger of God" mentioned in Exodus 8:15. 
  • "Zeroa" (shank bone), reminds us that our Messiah is the Lamb of God!
  • "Sulchan Orech" (dinner is served)
  •  "Afikomen" Breaking of Bread, after dinner.
  • The third cup, the Cup of Redemption
  • The Cup of Elijah filled and the door opened
  • The fourth cup, The Cup of Praise

      ON SUNDAY, after the week in which Passover occurs, the Jewish people celebrate "FIRSTFRUITS",  the first crop (barley) was cut and brought.  50 days later (Sunday) the second crop (wheat) was brought, Pentecost in Greek, Shavuot in Hebrew.  I Cor. 15:20-23, the Resurrection is being pictured by the celebration of "FIRSTFRUITS"!

      And, as Jews around the world will say: "NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!"

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