Soon Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, will be upon us! This post is designed to help you prepare for Passover in a meaningful and creative way as we celebrate our deliverance from Egypt, from our sin, our lawlessness (1 John 3:4), through the blood of The Lamb, Yeshua/Jesus into a Spirit-led, lawful life as we learn to walk in holiness.
In the days leading up to Passover, we rid our home of any leaven, or foods and products with yeast in it. Leaven symbolizes sin that so easily entangles us and spreads to others (Hebrews 12:1). The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian, non-Jewish ekklesia/assembly to celebrate Passover remembering Yeshua/Jesus is our perfect Passover lamb who came to take the leaven or sin of the world (John 1:29). So why are they (and we) continuing to break God’s instructions? He writes this in 1 Corinthians 5, upon learning of sin within their church body. He similarly reminds the Galatian church, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9). Because we have been spiritually adopted into God’s family, or grafted-into His family tree and now considered apart of Israel, according to many writings of the Apostle Paul (Romans 8, 11; Ephesians 2:11-19; 3:6; 4:17-24; Galatians 3:26-29; 4:6-7), we ought to also celebrate Passover as a reminder of our Messiah’s sacrifice as well as the prophetic implications of this meaningful feast. One fine day in the future, like the First Exodus, there will be a ‘Second Exodus’, delivering us from the worldly culture. To learn more about the Second Exodus, click here.
Passover, also known as the ‘Feast of Unleavened Bread’, is the first Feast of the LORD (Exodus 12:1-15:21; Leviticus 23; Deuteronomy 16:1-8, 16) and is a big deal to Him. We even see in the Messianic Era, or when Jesus reigns and rules on Earth for 1,000 years, the Feast of Unleavened Bread/Passover is celebrated, according to Ezekiel 45:18-25; 46:9. Furthermore, when Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22), He was referring to Passover and participating in the holy holiday at that moment.
Should you desire to want to celebrate the death and resurrection of our Messiah, attached here is a Passover guide, created by Ira Malone, my friend and founder of Torah for Christians Ministries. Ira also has penned a list of what he does for Passover to help you celebrate this special time (see below). At that bottom of this post, I have attached pictures providing you ideas to decorate your table for Passover.
Here is the list of things participants (particularly people who host need—I sent this to someone who asked):
You and the participants watching, or whoever is there with you, will need the following:
• The elements: matzah, bitter herbs (parsley preferably), sweet apple mixture (charoset), horseradish sauce (maror), kosher Passover wine (or grape-juice)
For the sweet apple mixture: chopped up apples, chopped walnuts, cinnamon, maple syrup for extra sweetness, if desired.
• For me (Ira), I traditionally cook a leg of lamb (maybe two) in a slow cooker: I chop up an onion and place it in the slow cooker, I make incisions in the lamb, season it with mustard (to take away any gaminess), salt and pepper, rosemary, paprika, garlic, etc., gluten free (kosher for Passover) soy sauce, and slow cook for eight hours.
• Food! I usually have various veggies on the side, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, a salad with gluten free dressing, and an unleavened desert.
• A lamb bone for the plate (you can ask your local butcher for a bone—or just get a lamb steak with the bone in it, cook the lamb steak, and cut off the bone).
• Plates, utensils, wine glasses (leave one for Elijah), bowl for water (for the hand washing ceremony), a towel, a bowl for salt water (when dipping the bitter herb into the bowl of salt water), center Seder plate for the elements, a pillow, a clothe for the Afikomen (middle Matzah), speakers for music, Tallit (if you want to wear one), candles and candle holders, gas lighter.
Please be sure to read through the Haggadah carefully before commencing just so you don’t forget anything.
As the story of the coronavirus plague infects various media outlets, our concerned minds, and loved ones’ bodies, while also preparing for Passover, I found myself exploring how the story of Exodus foreshadows an even more significant story of the Second Exodus, which the Bible tells us will one day overshadow the story of the first Exodus causing people of the future to not even talk any longer about the story of Moses and the Israelites fleeing Egypt. Have you heard yet of the Second Exodus? Keep reading to learn more.
History of the Exodus
Bible students know that the twelve tribes of Israel relocated to Egypt to escape famine per the invitation of Joseph, Jacob/Israel’s youngest son. After hundreds of years though, long after the days of Joseph, the Israelites lost favor with the Egyptian leadership and became slaves under Pharaoh forced to build many structures, pyramids, etc. The Israelites were treated poorly and repeatedly cried out to God for deliverance from this oppression. Consequently, God sent His prophet, Moses, an Israelite adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter as an infant, to set the Israelites free from the captivity of Egypt. After many plagues and by following God’s instructions to survive such plagues, the grace of God miraculously set free His people from Egypt upon crossing the Red Sea. They then also became known as “Hebrews” for it means “to cross over” or “to pass over” or “to traverse”. Consequently, because of God’s grace, the Israelites or Hebrews were commanded to remember such an event known as Passover and to honor God by keeping His commands (Numbers 15:37-41). To read the story of the Exodus, read Exodus 3-15.
Woven within the Exodus story is an interesting fact that many Egyptians also left Egypt alongside the Israelites upon recognizing the One True Living God during the plagues and evidently wanted to align themselves with Israel and their God instead of the Egyptian gods (Exodus 12:37-38,49). Imagine if numerous plagues transpired in our land and it made the news that authentic, obedient believers in Jesus were spared from the coronavirus and other plagues (being they like the Israelites stayed indoors/at home after marking their doors with the blood of the lamb as their leader, Moses, instructed). Surely that would get the attention of non-believers causing some to want to come into relationship with God through Jesus. Hence why we see many also fled alongside of the Israelites in the Exodus story.
Throughout the remaining passages of Torah, many references instruct the Israelites as well as the mixed-multitude in the ways or laws of God and moreover, how God’s law applies both to the natural Israelite as well as the foreigner who aligns themselves with Israel (Exodus 22:21-24; 23:9; Leviticus 18:26; Numbers 9:14; 11:4; 15:13-16,30; Deuteronomy 10:12-22; 12:12;16:11-14; 26:10-14; 29:9-15).
Similarly, we see in the story of Ruth, Naomi was of Jewish descent, specifically of the tribe of Judah of Israel while Ruth was the dreaded Moabite. However, Ruth aligned herself with Naomi and the Jewish people stating, “Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God..” (Ruth 1:16). No where does Ruth say, “Your people will be my people, your God, my God, but I will keep doing my Moabite thing (rejecting the ways of God).” Instead, the Book of Ruth praises Ruth for abandoning her former lifestyle held captive to sin and crossing over to believe in the One True Living God while becoming an ancestor of King David and eventually Jesus (Ruth 4:13-22; Matthew 1:5-6).
In yet another interesting example, Scripture reveals Caleb was technically a “Kenizzite”, therefore, not a natural Israelite, and yet because he “wholly followed the LORD” was considered of the tribe of Judah and given his inheritance as a son of God (Numbers 13:6,32:11-12; Joshua 14:6-15).
Upon such spiritual concepts of an “enlarged Israel” consisting of natural born children of God as well as adopted children of God already been hinted at in the Law and Prophets, the Apostle Paul builds on such concepts in his writings as well. In Romans 2:28-29, Paul explains to the Gentile Romans that what God has been after from the beginning is people’s hearts and if one has received the Spirit of Holiness, also referred to as the Holy Spirit or “Spirit of Adoption” in Romans 8 as well as in Galatians 4:6, that they are likened to a spiritual Jew. In Romans 11, the Apostle explains Gentiles who believe Jesus is Messiah and have received His Spirit are grafted into God’s olive tree further symbolizing they have been embraced or made one in God’s family tree. Likewise, in Galatians, another letter written to Gentiles, Paul clarifies believing Gentiles are adopted into Abraham’s lineage and considered heirs to the covenants God made with His natural children (Galatians 3:26-29). In prior verses found in Galatians 3:15-18, Paul explains God’s covenant with Abraham, a covenant that came prior to the Mosaic Covenant at Mt Sinai where God’s instructions were formally given and documented, that no one can alter God’s covenants or do away with them, rather each new covenant is built upon the previous ones providing a clearer story of God’s love. He further clarifies as newly adopted children of God, heirs to God’s covenants of promise, we don’t strive to earn our salvation or adoption by obeying God’s laws, but just the reverse, we strive to obey our Abba Father BECAUSE we are His kids and heirs with an inheritance. Moreover, when we love God and love others as the law teaches us to do, we are fulfilling God’s laws of love. In a different letter to Gentiles, but with the same message, the Apostle Paul explains in Ephesians 2:11 and onward, that these newly adopted sons and daughters of God must stop self-identifying and behaving as Gentiles, but rather recognized they are now apart of the enlarged Israel having become citizens of Israel and members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:11-19;3:6; 4:17-24). Paul strives to teach that while there is a genetic difference as well as gender differences physically, spiritually we are one in the same viewed as God’s children.
Meanwhile, many years later, we see the Apostle John advocating for believers in Jesus, not specifying only Jewish believers or Gentile believers, but rather ALL believers, to obey God’s laws as an expression of their love for God and as means to distinguish who is truly apart of God’s family, enlarged Israel, seeming to reiterate Jesus’ teaching of you will know them by what they do, their fruit (1 John; Revelation 12:17; 14:12; Matthew 7).
The Soon Coming Second Exodus
Now that we understand the overall story of the First Exodus, the concepts of being aligned with or adopted into an enlarged Israel, having been given God’s Spirit of Adoption, the Spirit of Holiness, which seals us as legit sons and daughters of God and consequently, causes us to want to obey our Abba Father, we can explore other Biblical passages indicating an even greater story will unfold often referred to as the Greater Exodus or the Second Exodus.
Select verses inspired by the Holy Spirit, penned through the prophet Jeremiah, indicate that the LORD will cause ALL of the remaining members of Israel to miraculously return to the land of Israel once again. In fact, the prophet explains it will be such a huge ordeal that the original exodus story won’t even be discussed any more, but instead, this miraculous moment will be remembered (Jeremiah 16:14-17; 23:3-8). Today, Jews and Christians alike celebrate Passover still referencing the first Exodus so obviously this event of the Second Exodus has not transpired yet.
Furthermore, Jeremiah pens in Chapter 3 verses 14 through 18, that the LORD will gather His people, Israel, individually stating “one from a city, two from a family” which Jesus also expressed in His interpretation of two will be in a field, one will be taken, or two in a bed, one will be taken in Matthew 24:31-41.
Likewise, the prophet Isaiah speaks to the same event in Isaiah 11 as well as Chapter 43 and others. Additionally, the prophet Ezekiel seems to describe the same event in Ezekiel chapters 36 through 37 as does the Apostle Paul in his writings found in 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4-5.
In other words, numerous passages throughout the Bible indicate that God’s people in covenant, whether of Jewish descent or Gentile descent, are gathered to Mount Zion/ Jerusalem, if they are not already there, on the day the Lord returns. To read specific passages, check out my article “Where Are We Raptured To?” .Therefore, it would appear, based off a plethora of Biblical clues, that at some point in the relatively near future, there will be a Second Exodus of people being miraculously gathered from proverbial Egypts or Babylons to the land of Israel, specifically gathered to Mount Zion/Jerusalem.
As we celebrate Passover this 2020, may our vision of the future become made clear looking forward to the greater, Second Exodus!
To download a complete Passover/Pesach Guide created by Ira Malone of Torah for Christians Ministries, click here.