Well the Passover is still being celebrated and next it will be the Easter celebration. But what was Passover? It is what my last post was about. It was a remembrance of the release from captivity for all the nation of Israel. God’s miraculous power and the way He designed the release was all a foreshadow of the coming messiah. Everything that the nation of Israel was told to do was to point to a future event.
Now we know that Jesus sat at a Passover when he had his “last supper.” This was all part of the plan and signs to those that had spiritual eyes and ears. The Jews that understood all the prophecies of the prophets could draw a picture and confirm that Christ was indeed who He claimed to be. The fulfillment of the prophecies all culminated with His hanging from the cross and the resurrection. However, how could so many Jews celebrated Passover and not understand that the messiah had indeed come and He is coming back again? Well for many Jews, just as many non-Jews, the Passover is just another ritual. They are remembering the past, however, have no idea that this pointed to Christ and His ministry on this earth. How can they know if they have not searched for the truth, like many of us? This is when you will see the many symbols within the Passover and why they were told to celebrate in this manner. God wants to reveal Himself to all of us that are seeking.
At the Seder table you can see the symbols of Christ everywhere. It is rich with the pictures of Him. The matzo, as I stated is unleavened bread and leaven was always referred to in a symbolic mannerm, as sin. This is why God foreknew that this would be Christ sitting at His own Seder before He was crucified and passing this. Breaking it into pieces to share with each of his disciples and saying, “Take eat, this is my body which is broken for you.” Now He told them as they ate, they should no longer do this as a remembrance of their release from Egypt, but in remembrance of Him” This is why He also took the cup, which is standard with four glasses of wine. As the Jews had done year after year, they drank the cups in remembrance of the release from bondage as Hebrew slaves. Now Christ told them to drink of this cup, for this is now my blood shed for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” He told them that this would be the New Covenant that was being instituted by the shedding of His own blood. This was the lamb replacing the lamb that was sacrificed at twilight on Passover. When Christ was crucified it was at the exact time that the High Priest was making the animal sacrifice in the temple. This was all part of God’s plan.
When you look at the matzo, you will see that it is striped with lines. It also has pierce markings throughout. This is done with a tool to keep it from forming bubbles as it bakes. This also is a picture. The prophet Isaiah, lived approximately 500 years before Christ came to earth, However when you read Isaiah 53, you will read every prophetic sign that the prophet pointed out. This includes the stripes and piercings. ( Isaiah 53:5)”He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace and by His stripes we are healed.“
We can see that the Lord knew that what He was telling the disciples was that up until this point you have celebrated Passover in remembrance of the past. That was just a picture. This is now the New Covenant and you will celebrate the Passover with new meaning. I AM the Passover.My blood being shed for you will cause the Angel of Death to pass over you upon death. You will not suffer the second death.
Now when you look at the lamb shank bone on the Passover table, you can remember what Christ has done. “He was led like a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7)
The Jews were required to sacrifice the lamb, however the temple was destroyed in 70 AD and no sacrifice could be made anyway. But we know this to be true because the sacrifice had already been made.
The cup is placed at the head of the table for Elijah. The prophet that would be the forerunner of the Messiah. He was the one who would announce His coming and did so through John the Baptist. This cup is always waiting for the prophet and the children go and check the door to see if the messiah has arrived.
The most amazing part of the Seder is the Afikoman. The matzo is broken into three pieces and hidden in the linen. The Afikoman is the middle piece. It is a picture of Christ wrapped in linen and hidden in the tomb.The father takes the middle piece, symbolic of Christ, the second part of the Godhead,(the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) and breaks it in two pieces. (His body broken for us.) The larger piece of the Afikoman is taken and hidden somewhere until later when the children will try and find it. “Seek the Lord while He may be found.” (Isaiah 55:6)At the end of dinner this piece is broken into smaller pieces and shared with every person at the table. Hence, Christ sharing himself with His followers. He did this symbolically when He passed the broken pieces around the table and told them to “take eat, this do in remembrance of Me.”
The third cup of wine at the Seder is the Cup of Redemption. It is the new covenant that Christ shared with His disciples. This He said, “is the new covenant made with my blood. As you drink, do this in remembrance of Me.”
The disciples had a keen understanding of what Christ was saying, because they knew that He was telling them that a new covenant was being established, however, they did not quite understand that He would have to literally die.
At the Seder the bitter herbs are eaten. This is symbolic of our own bitter lives before release from the captivity of sin. We also remember the suffering of the Messiah as we eat them. The horror of our own sin, placed upon Him. The Father could not even look upon Him, because He bore our sin as He hung from the cross. This is when Christ felt abandoned, “my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” What a desolate feeling of loneliness He must have suffered on our own behalf, at that moment.
The salt water that the herbs are dipped into, are symbolic of the tears of our own bondage to slavery and how much we suffered before finding our redemption in Christ.
A wonderful book for believers to use for a Seder is called,Celebrate the Feasts, by Martha Zimmerman. There are quite a few on the market now, but for a christian version, you may look in a Christian bookstore, or even a Messianic bookstore. The Passover is a rich experience and it is so incredible to finally receive a greater revelation of what our Lord actually did for us.
Now after you had experienced a Seder, you may say, as I did; “How is it the Jew does not see their Christ is the center of this whole dinner?” Well, because, they only have half of the story. Just as Gentile believers cling to their traditions and have no understanding of Old Testament practices and why these were so important. The Jew that has not come to know what Christ actually did accomplish, will not be able to see that He indeed fulfilled everything that their own prophets foretold. It is only as they learn of Christ that they can actually see He is the purpose of the Passover. So once again, I encourage Gentile believers to learn about the Lord’s festivals so that your eyes will also be opened and you can open the eyes of others.