Passover is the first of the High Holidays of the Lord. The first of the holidays that occur in the Spring also called the Spring feasts. Passover is on the fourteenth of the first month of the Hebrew calendar, in the month Abib or Nisan ( in the Gregorian calendar March or April ). This holiday begins the Passover feasting period, which is actually made up of three holidays – Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits.
Passover is the day that the angel of death came and killed all the firstborns in Egypt and those who did not have the blood of a spotless lamb on their doorposts and lintels. Passover is the day when Jesus was killed on the cross, as the perfect blameless sacrifice lamb for our sins.
Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23: 5 – 8
5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between the evening times is the Lord’s Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of this month is the feast of unleavened bread to the Lord; seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread. 7 And the first day shall be a holy convocation to you: ye shall do no servile work. 8 And ye shall offer whole-burnt-offerings to the Lord seven days; and the seventh day shall be a holy convocation to you: ye shall do no servile work.
Matthew 26: 17 – 20
“17And on the first day of Unleavened Bread the taught ones came to יהושע, saying to Him, “Where do You wish us to prepare for You to eat the Pĕsaḥ?” 18And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near. I am to perform the Pĕsaḥ at your house with My taught ones.” ’ ” 19And the taught ones did as יהושע had ordered them, and prepared the Pĕsaḥ. 20And when evening came, He sat down with the twelve.”
How to Celebrate the Passover
How do we celebrate Passover? The 14th of Nisan – usually in the months of March or April is Passover. On this day we usually read scriptures from the Exodus story, the Last Supper, and a few Psalms. Have a joyous dinner and take communion, following Jesus’ example at the Last Supper.
One of the things that are most prevalent about Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread is the command to rid our homes and dwellings of everything that contains leaven. All baked goods, dry goods, drinks, and condiments that contain yeast, baking powder, and baking soda should be used up and/ or thrown away before Passover begins. As well as, cleaning the areas where these items may have been eaten and might still be on the floor and in the cabinets.
Shemoth (Exodus) 12: 15
“Seven days ye shall eat unleavened bread, and from the first day ye shall utterly remove leaven from your houses: whoever shall eat leaven, that soul shall be utterly destroyed from Israel, from the first day until the seventh day.”
Qorintiyim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 5: 6 – 8
6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 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: 8 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.
All leavened food products should be avoided for the duration of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. We see that yeast and leavening are a symbol of sin, and is a reminder that we should be diligent at removing sin from our lives.
Passover is a feast day and a reflection day. The next day, 15th of Nisan is the first day of the seven day holiday of Unleavened Bread, and the first and last days are sabbath rest days, where we are not to do any work.
Shemoth (Exodus) 12: 16
“And the first day shall be called holy, and the seventh day shall be a holy convocation to you: ye shall do no servile work on them, only as many things as will [necessarily] be done by every soul, this only shall be done by you.”
Many times Unleavened bread is called Passover, however, these are two separate feasts. They both have a connected meaning and celebration, so that’s why they are thought of as the same holiday.
The Feast of First Fruits
During the Feast of Unleavened Bread occurs another High Holiday, the feast of First Fruits. The Feast of First Fruits is oftentimes overshadowed by Passover and Unleavened Bread, but another major reason is that this holiday is always on the same day as the secular Easter. First Fruits should not be ignored, especially for the Christian, because this is the day that Jesus rose from the dead!
Marqos (Mark) 16: 1 – 6
1 And when the Sabbath was past, Miryam[Mary] from Maḡdala [Magdalene], and Miryam [Mary] the mother of Ya‛aqoḇ [James], and Shelomah [Salome] bought spices, to go and anoint Him. 2 And very early on day one of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they said among themselves, “Who shall roll away the stone from the entrance of the tomb for us?”
” 4 And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, for it was extremely large. 5 And having entered into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right, wearing a white robe, and they were greatly astonished. 6 And he said to them, “Do not be much astonished. You seek יהושע of Natsareth, who was impaled. He was raised – He is not here! See the place where they laid Him.”
Qorintiyim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 15: 20- 22
20 But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, and has become the first-fruit of those having fallen asleep. 21 For since death is through a man, resurrection of the dead is also through a Man. 22 For as all die in Aḏam, so also all shall be made alive in Messiah.
Command to Count the Omer – Counting to Pentecost
First Fruits is also the day when we start to count fifty days or 7 weeks plus one day, until the last spring feast – Shavuot/ Pentecost!
Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23: 15 – 16
15 And ye shall number to yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day on which ye shall offer the sheaf of the heave-offering, seven full weeks: 16 until the morrow after the last week ye shall number fifty days, and shall bring a new meat-offering to the Lord.
It can be a little weird celebrating on the same day as Easter, however, celebrate Jesus. Celebrate First Fruits, and celebrate it according to the Torah. Use this day to meditate on scripture and thank Jesus for being our Savior!
The Four Elements of Passover
While many things are done traditionally to celebrate Passover, the only things required in the Torah are: to eat lamb, to eat bitter herbs, and to eat matzah or unleavened bread every day, and we usually have grape juice as well.
These four elements of Passover all have meaning and spiritual applications. The lamb that was slaughtered and its blood was placed on the doorpost and lintels on that first Passover, is representative of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and being the perfect sacrifice for us. The bitter herbs remind us of the bitterness of slavery under the Egyptians. The matzah or unleavened bread is a reminder to get rid of the sin in our lives and to be constantly renewing our minds and hearts, as well as, being representative of the body of Christ. Lastly, the wine or grape juice that we drink for communion reminds us of the blood of Jesus that was shed for us.
Mattithyahu (Matthew) 17: 26 – 30
26 And as they were eating, יהושע took bread, and having blessed, broke and gave it to the taught ones and said, “Take, eat, this is My body.” 27 And taking the cup, and giving thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 “For this is My blood, that of the renewed covenant, which is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 “But I say to you, I shall certainly not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on till that day when I drink it anew with you in the reign of My Father.” 30 And having sung a song, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
The feasts of the Bible are often seen as the feasts of the Jews, and ones that one no else can participate in, but the Bible says that these feasts – the feasts of the bible, are the feasts of Elohim.
Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23: 1-2
“And Yehovah spoke to Mosheh, saying ‘Speak to the children of Yisrael, and say to them, The appointed time of Yehovah, which you are to proclaim as set-apart gatherings, My appointed times are theses.’”
Qolasim (Colossians) 2: 16 – 17
16 Let no one therefore judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths – 17 which are a shadow of what is to come – but the Body of the Messiah.
Elohim gave us these feasts as types and shadows and as joyous occasions to celebrate Him and His provision for us. The Passover is a celebration of when Elohim caused the plagues of the Egyptians to pass over us and to punish them. It is a celebration of the freedom and deliverance Elohim gave us from slavery.
Later, Jesus is shown as the Passover lamb whose blood was shed for us and to deliver us from the slavery of sin and death. His sacrifice on the cross, allows us to walk in freedom and is available to all those who accept Him as their Lord and Savior. Shalom! And Happy Passover!