Pesach (Exodus 12:21–51; Numbers 28:16–25; Joshua 5:2–6:1; John 1:29–31; 19:31- 20:1)

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach on this Passover, (Shabbat Shalom and Chag Pesach Sameach (Happy Shabbath and Passover) Because tonight is the first night of Passover, the regular Torah / Bible reading cycle is interrupted with a special reading. “Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, ‘Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb.’” (Exodus 12:21). In today’s reading, Moses instructs the Israeli People concerning the details of the first Passover offering. Each family was required to choose a lamb, slaughter it, and place its blood on the top and sides of the door frame. “Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the door frame.” (Exodus 12:22). The children of Israel to mark their homes with the blood of the Passover lambs. Although Passover was thereafter celebrated annually, the Israelite homes were never again smeared with blood from the Passover lambs. The smearing with blood was a one-time ritual. Every Passover thereafter, the blood of the Passover lambs was splashed on the altar in the Tabernacle/Temple as a remembrance of the plague of the firstborn and the blood on the doorposts of Israelite homes in Egypt. This lamb's blood on the doorposts caused the Angel of Death to pass over those within the house, and they were spared the plague that fell upon Egypt, the death of the firstborn. (Similar to the red thread around Rahab’s house in Joshua 2:18 and the area of protection God and His son gives when you enter into the given covenant with them). “When Yahweh goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, He will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and He will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.” (Exodus 12:23). In the final plague upon Egypt, the slaying of the firstborn, the good deeds and righteousness of the people did not save them from God’s judgment. The sign of the blood on the lintel of the door saved them. Likewise, unless one is perfect like Enoch or those of Luke 1:6, we are not saved by our works; but by faith in Messiah Yahshua's offering for or repented sins (Luk 13:5). However, with that faith comes obedience to the covenant requirements. Live by the righteous instructions given and, if fall, seek forgiveness through His blood and have the faith He is capable of and does forgive. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8). This Friday evening at sunset, the eight-day celebration of Passover begins. Jewish and other sincere Bible people will mark the beginning of this prophetic holiday, which foreshadows the salvation made available to all mankind by Yahshua. It is with a ceremonial meal called the Seder, during which the story of deliverance from slavery in Egypt is retold. PASSOVER; WHEN DEATH LOTS ITS STING. In 700 BC, the prophet Isaiah spoke of the fulfillment of Passover through the coming of the Passover Lamb, the Suffering Servant of God, who would become this curse for us and bear the sins of many: “But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5–6; see also Galatians 3:10, 13; 2 Corinthians 5:21) But Isaiah 53 is not the only prophecy about Yahshua. We can know that Yahshua was this Suffering Servant and took our death penalty upon Himself as our Passover Lamb by carefully reading Passover Scriptures that foreshadow Him, such as these: Foreshadow: Exodus 12:5 speaks of a spotless (unblemished) lamb to be used in the Seder. Isaiah 53:11 further describes the coming Passover Lamb as being the “righteous servant.” Fulfilled: Paul tells us that “God made Him [Yahshua] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Foreshadow: Exodus 12:22–23 describes how the blood of the lamb is used to cover the members of the household from judgment. Isaiah 53:6 says the Messiah bore the “iniquity of us all.” Fulfilled: Believers now “have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Yahshua, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body.” (Hebrews 10:19–20). Foreshadow: Exodus 12:6 says that the lamb is to be slaughtered between the evenings (sometimes translated twilight). Fulfilled: Matthew 27:45–46 describes how Yahshua hung on the tree from the 6th hour to the 9th hour, which is before evening fell. It is the same time that the Passover lambs were being slain for the Passover Seder. Foreshadow: Exodus 12:46 says that not a bone of the lamb is to be broken. Fulfilled: John 19:31–36 states that when the soldiers came to break the legs of those condemned to die on the Roman execution stake in order to hasten their death, Yahshua was already dead. Not one of His bones was broken. Foreshadow: Leviticus 23:5 says that Passover is to be celebrated on the 14thof Nissan at twilight. Fulfilled: Matthew 27:62 tells us that Yahshua died on the day of preparation for the Passover, which is Nissan 14, just in time for the Passover. Around the world, as Isrsaeli people (all 12 tribes) commemorate their exodus from slavery in Egypt and celebrate the saving power of the God of Israel, Believers in Yahshua, both Jewish and Gentile will celebrate freedom from slavery to sin. This freedom, the salvation of Israel and all mankind, was accomplished through the death, burial, and resurrection of Yahshua HaMashiach (the Messiah) as the sacrificial Passover Lamb. “Messiah was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” (Hebrews 9:28). Though Yahshua endured an agonizing death to atone for the sin of the world, He rose again on the third day. Because He was completely sinless, death could not hold Him. Had He not borne our sins, He wouldn't have died at all. In fulfilment of Scripture, Yahshua became our guilt offering [asham], paying the price for sin once and for all. “…though the Lord makes His life a guilt offering, He will see His offspring and prolong His days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in His hand.” (Isaiah 53:10). While the guilt offerings on the altar of the Temple were a method for receiving grace and forgiveness, they could only cover unintentional sins. Intentional (malicious, premeditated) sins fell under the curse of the law; the perpetrator was cut off. Sometimes that meant death and other times, banishment from the community. I would say, unintentional sin is through a life of trying to keep the laws of God; but a mishap occurs. It is not for ignorance or claimed ignorance of knowing God has a different way, yet choosing not to follow it. That is disobedience and delayed obedience is also disobedience. Yahshua’s death and resurrection made a way for the forgiveness of all sin for all time. As Yochanan (John Baptist) said when he saw Yahshua coming toward him at the Jordan River, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). Because Yahshua became our Paschal offering, we who accept and live by the instructions given, are no longer under the curse of the law (eternal or second death). While that includes intentional sin, this does not give us license to continue sinning deliberately. God requires that we repent and make restitution. Failure to do so indicates that we are not turning back to following Him, that we are not drawing close to Him; but staying distant. Sin distances us from God. THE PASSOVER LAMB. WHEN BEING PASSED OVER IS A MIRACLE. “Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast, as you really are. For Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Corinthians 5:7). Passover is rich in lessons for all Believers in Yahshua. Lessons one misses by not observing and studying. Psa 119:104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Psa 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. Were you ever passed over as a child when the sports team was being chosen? For a child, being passed over could be devastating. Likewise, as adults, being passed over for a promotion, salary raise, or a prestigious role can be very frustrating; but being “passed over” during the first Passover was a miracle of deliverance. God’s judgment of Egypt would pass over those who had enough faith to follow His plan for salvation. That plan involved selecting an unblemished lamb, killing it, and placing its blood on the doorposts and lintels of their dwelling places. Today, 3,500 years later, we are able to celebrate the Passover as an ordained memorial in all of its prophetic fulfilment. We have the opportunity to place the blood of the perfect, chosen Lamb of Yahweh God, Yahshua, over our hearts and homes, so that by faith, we too will be spared from the Divine judgment due to the spiritual fall in this world. This, too, is a miracle of deliverance. “The blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you [pasachti], and there shall no plague be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt” (Exodus 12:13). In Hebrew, the word for I will pass over, pasachti (וּפָסַחְתִּי), comes from the word pesach, which means to hop, to skip over or spare, and to pass over. A MEMORIAL Fourteen hundred years after the exodus from Egypt, Yahshua went to Jerusalem with His disciples to keep the appointed time of Passover. He and His disciples had been to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover many times, but this time, as they neared Jerusalem, Yahshua said, “My time is near; I am to keep the Passover” (Matthew 26:18). He knew that He was going to fulfill the appointed time in a marvellous and unexpected way. The Torah instructs the God’s people to keep the first day of Passover as a “memorial” of the exodus from Egypt. It works as one of God’s reminders. God rescued Israel from Egypt and told the people to keep the festival as an appointed time and a remembrance of their salvation (Exodus 12:14). The Messiah kept the seder meal at Passover with His disciples in Jerusalem. He took the unleavened bread and the customary Passover cup and instructed His disciples to do so henceforth in remembrance of Him. On the day of the sacrifice, He became a spiritual sacrifice, Israel’s Passover lamb. At the appointed time for God’s people to sacrifice their Passover lambs in remembrance of the nation’s salvation from Egypt, Yahshua went to the cross. When believers keep Passover, we have two things to remember. We remember the historic salvation from Egypt as the Torah commands us, but we also remember the salvation granted to us through the sacrifice of Yahshua. The two remembrances are not mutually exclusive. They naturally complement one another. Every year we keep Passover in remembrance of Yahshua. Messiah Himself told us to do so: “And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me’” (Luke 22:19). Did He have in mind only the breaking bread and a sip from the fruit of the vine? No. He spoke within the specific context of Passover. The commandment to do “this” in remembrance of Yahshua refers to the Passover Seder meal. What could be more appropriate for a disciple of Yahshua to do than to keep the festival of Passover in remembrance of Him and the original commanded memorial of Exodus 12, just as He told His disciples? Despite this last time of breaking unleavened bread and sharing of the wine, Yahshua did not leave them without hope. He emphasized the physical coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth and His return: “After taking the cup, He gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’ PASSOVER AND EASTER Christians celebrate the resurrection of Yahshua with the festival of Easter, but the Bible does not mention any festival called Easter. Instead, the followers of Yahshua celebrated the resurrection as part of their annual observance of the festival of Passover. We use the terms “Passover” and “Feast of Unleavened Bread” interchangeably. In the Torah, however, the terms are distinct. The Passover (pesach, פסח) refers to the actual sacrifice that occurred on the fourteenth day of the month. The Festival of Unleavened Bread refers to the seven-day festival that begins that day at sunset—the fifteenth day of the month. (Remember that the Bible reckons sunset as the beginning of a new day.) Although the Torah uses the two terms differently, in Judaism today we speak of “keeping Passover” in reference to the whole seven-day festival. In reality, no one can “keep Passover” because we have no Temple at which a Passover sacrifice can be made. We can, however, keep the seven days of Unleavened Bread. In the Gospels, the term Passover (pesach) appears transliterated into Greek as pascha (πάσχα). The word occurs twenty-nine times in the New Testament. The New Testament uses it to refer to both the Passover sacrifice and the seven-day festival of Unleavened Bread. Inexplicably, the King James Version of Acts 12:4 chose to translate the word as Easter: “And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people” (Acts 12:4 KJV). Neither the believers in Acts 12 nor Herod Agrippa were celebrating a festival called Easter that year. In the days of the apostles, the believers honoured Yahshua’s resurrection through the celebration of Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. Easter was a much later innovation in Christian evolution. MEANING OF THE PASSOVER AND THE FEAST OF UNLEAVEN BREAD. What does the festival of Passover mean? The rituals and symbols of Passover are like ritual rehearsals for Messiah and the redemption. “Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Messiah our Passover also has been sacrificed.’” (1 Corinthians 5:7). As the blood of the Passover lamb spared the Israelite firstborns from death in Egypt, the blood of Messiah Yahshua spares us from eternal death and separation from God. Indeed, no sacrifice could cover intentionally disobeying the law. Nor could its covering of sin extend into eternity. Only the Lamb of God could redeem humankind from the curse and the punishment of disobedience, as well as give eternal life. The sacrifice of the Passover lambs in Egypt was like training for the Israelites. It prepared the children of Israel to better appreciate the Temple rituals that God would teach them later. It prepared them to understand the efficacy of Yeshua’s suffering and death. If you have ever trained for an athletic event, you know that going through the exercise one time is not sufficient. Real training requires regular repetition. Yahweh instituted a regimen of repetition by commanding the Israelites to commemorate the Passover sacrifice every year. He commanded them to annually sacrifice a lamb in remembrance of the lambs they sacrificed in Egypt. The blood of that lamb was no longer to be applied to their doorposts—instead it was applied to the altar in God’s Temple in Jerusalem. So long as the Temple in Jerusalem was still standing, the Jewish people brought sacrificial lambs to God’s altar on the anniversary of the day their ancestors sacrificed the lambs in Egypt. Today, lamb is not served at Passover because sacrifices cannot be made without a Temple. However, the other ritual foods are still eaten at the Passover meal. God commanded the Israelites to eat the lambs with bitter herbs and unleavened bread in memory of the meal in Egypt. The annual meal of lamb and bitter herbs was called the Passover seder. In the days of the apostles, the whole family reclined at the table to celebrate Passover and eat the ritual foods while they passed the story of their salvation to the next generation. The roasted lamb reminded the Jewish people of the Passover sacrifice in Egypt. The unleavened bread reminded the Jewish people that their ancestors had left Egypt in such haste that they did not have time to allow their bread to rise before baking it. The bitter herbs and the practice of dipping unleavened bread in sop reminded the Jewish people of the bitter lives their ancestors endured in Egypt. In those days, the noblemen all reclined when eating while their slaves ate standing, ready to serve them. In the days of the apostles, the participants in the Passover seder reclined at the table to remind themselves that, thanks to Passover, they were now freemen and no longer slaves. The Passover meal initiates an annual seven-day festival called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Throughout the seven days of the festival, leavened grain products are completely forbidden. Instead the LORD commands us to eat unleavened bread throughout the seven days. The Hebrew word for unleavened bread is matzah. The first and last days of the festival are special holiday Sabbaths. The entire seven-day festival is called Chag HaMatzot, which means “The Festival of Unleavened Bread.” YAHSHUA IS PREPARED FOR BURIAL. “Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Yahshua. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away.” (John 19:38). On what the world instituted as “Good Friday”, Christians remember the horrific death that Yahshua suffered on our behalf. Believers also read how Yosef (Joseph) of Arimathea and Nakdimon (Nicodemus) came to Pilate to ask for Yahshua’s body. However, we must put those events into their proper Jewish context. Yahshua was actually executed on the day that the Passover lambs were being killed in preparation for the start of Passover. Have you wondered why the Bible does not record crowds of people at the crucifixion (unlike the film versions)? Since Yahshua’s death, burial and resurrection occurred in a Hebraic context, examining Jewish customs surrounding death, burial, mourning, and resurrection can further our understanding of his death and resurrection. Try to imagine the Passover in the Temple on the day the Master died. While His precious body hung dying on the cross, a short distance outside the city walls pilgrims were flooding the Temple courts, leading their lambs to slaughter. While His blood stained the stones beneath the cross, the priesthood of Israel was splashing basin after basin of Passover blood against the stones of the Temple altar. While the women wept at the foot of the cross, the Levites in the Temple courts were chanting the songs of the Hallel: Psalms 113-119. Once slaughtered, the lambs in the Temple were hung from iron hooks in crucifixion poses for skinning, and once skinned, they were bound by the hooves, hand and foot as it were, to wooden poles, to be carried from the Temple on the backs of the worshippers. Meanwhile, the Master hung in crucifixion pose from iron nails, bound hand and foot to a wooden pole. Believers have traditionally interpreted the Passover blood on the doorway as a symbol of Messiah's blood. Consider a few of the parallels. Messiah is called our Passover Lamb. He died at Passover time. Just as the death came upon Egypt to claim the firstborns, so too all mankind is given over to death. Just as those under the protection of the Passover lamb's blood markings were protected from death, so too those who take refuge under the blood of Messiah are protected from condemnation. They are given eternal life and will overcome death in the resurrection. The Jewish burial customarily takes place within 24 hours, so in keeping with Jewish practice, they sought to bury Yahshua right away. They also prepared Yahshua’s body for burial with tahara, ritual purification. In this ritual, the body is cleansed, and then dried and dressed in takhrikhim, a simple white shroud (Mark 15:46–47). “Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Yahshua’s body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs” (John 19:39–40). Although Yosef and Nakdimon carefully prepared Yahshua's body for burial, when the women came to the tomb after High Shabbat had ended, it was empty and the burial linen was left to the side. Yahshua had already risen from the dead, i.e. Saturday after sunset (1st day of the week). When Yosef and Nakdimon performed the mitzvah of preparing Yahshua’s body for burial, they were performing the duties of the Khevra Kadisha an organization that ensures the body is correctly prepared for burial and protected from desecration. By wrapping Yahshua in linen, they were practicing the custom of takhrikhim, providing the proper burial garment for the deceased. Since the Sabbath (annual one NOT weekly Friday evening one) was quickly approaching, there was insufficient time to complete the preparations before the holy day of the Passover began; therefore, Yahshua was placed in a sealed tomb until the close of the High Sabbath day. Thus, Yahshua was buried in a rich man’s tomb in fulfilment of the Messianic prophecy in Isaiah 53:9 “He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death, though He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.” A TABLE SET FOR PASSOVER. More important than how Yahshua was buried is that He rose from the dead and gained victory over death. Hallelujah! Both spiritual and physical death have been defeated through Yahshua’s victory, as Saul of Tarsus (Paul) said: “But Messiah has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits [bikkurim] of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man [Adam], the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Messiah all will be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:20–22). If Death Is the Result of Sin, How Could Yahshua Die Sinless? Many wonder how Yahshua could die since He was sinless. Others wonder if He conquered death because He was the Son of God. To answer those questions, we must first understand that, originally, God did not create mankind to suffer death. The first book of the Torah, Bereisheet (Genesis), reveals death as the judgment of God upon mankind for their spiritual fall in the Garden of Eden. After Adam and Chava (Eve) failed their test of obedience, God said: “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground [adamah], since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return” (Genesis 3:19). Hand-harvesting wheat for Passover. The name Adam comes from the word for ground or earth, adamah, since man was taken from the ground. This Hebrew word play reveals a spiritual truth: sin has brought physical death to all of mankind and with it, a return to the earth (adamah). Thus ends a person’s physical existence on earth, with the breath of God separating from the body. Yahshua’s death, however, was not due to His own sin, since He was sinless. He died when He took upon Himself the sins of the world. He could die because He actually took those sins on Himself. He could rise again because his offering of His sinless life was effective. “But you know that He appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin” (1 John 3:5). The gospels of Mark, Matthew and John report that Yahshua was handed over to the Roman soldiers, who clothed Him in a ragged scarlet cloak, pressed a crown of thorns on His head, and mocked Him saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" Many Christians believe an inherited but untrue belief that the Jews killed the Messiah. This was one of the physiological tactics to get Christians to distant themselves from the Jews and their system of keeping God’s commandments. Even to thinking God had cast them away and adopted Christians as His people. God sacrificed His son to redeem them the same way a sacrifice was made to redeem them from Egypt. Had that sacrifice not taken place there would be no redemption for us. The Jews or Romans were simply the earthly tool to accomplish the prophecy. Heb 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. 1Pe 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 1Pe 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 1Pe 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 1Pe 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. RESURECTION A JEWISH BELIEF. Traditionally, the rabbis believe that every Jew will be resurrected and experience spiritual life. As is written in Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), “The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). Chapter 11 of the Book of Hebrews describes the great men and women of faith. Some women received their dead back to life again, while “others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection” (Hebrews 11:35). The Tanakh (Old Testament) also describes a resurrection from the dead and subsequent judgment. The Hebrew prophet Daniel gives an account of what will happen in the last days: “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2). Kria: The Jewish Custom of Rending the Garments. “Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days” (Genesis 37:34). In Judaism, seven immediate family members are expected to observe a seven-day mourning period: the father, mother, daughter, son, brother, sister, and spouse. These seven mourners participate in a special tradition. To symbolize how death rips the fabric of life, their garments are symbolically ripped just before the funeral. In this tradition called kria, the parents and children rend the garment on their left, closest to the heart. Spouses and siblings tear their garments on the right. While this may seem like an odd tradition, it dates back to Biblical times (Genesis 37:34). In fact, at the moment of Yahshua’s death, the Heavenly Father also seemed to observe kria in His grief over the death of His son Yahshua the Messiah: “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split” (Matthew 27:51). It was also the institution of Yahshua as the intercessor between man and Yahweh God rather than the High priest going in annually into the holy of holies to intercede for humans. THE EMPTY TOMB. Thankfully, Yahshua’s death wasn’t the final word. Just as He promised, death couldn’t hold Him (John 2:18–22; Matthew 26:31–32). "He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25). The sting of death is sin (1 Corinthians 15:56), and in Yahshua, death has lost its sting! Therefore, those who follow Yahshua can live confidently without any fear of death or dying, knowing that when they pass from this life, their lives continue eternally with their loving Father in Heaven. Though we were dead in our trespasses and sin and so undeserving of being called His friends, in the immensity of His love, He reached out to us and offered us eternal life. On this First Evening of Passover, may we once again be overcome with gratitude for all that Yahshua suffered for on our behalf. "Yahweh God presented Messiah as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood, to be received by faith" (Romans 3:25). SPIRITUAL MATZAH Every Passover is a chance to start over. At Passover we remember that we have left our spiritual Egypt. assover is an opportune time to break with our past and start over as new creatures in Messiah. Passover is an annual reminder that we must leave the old culture behind. We are free from the past, and we need to set aside those things in our lives that continue to enslave us. After all, starting over is what it means to be born again. The Hebrew word for unleavened bread is matzah (מצה). The Passover meal initiates an annual seven-day festival called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Throughout the seven days of the festival, leavened grain products are completely forbidden. Instead the LORD commands us to eat unleavened bread throughout the seven days. The Torah calls the entire seven-day festival "The Festival of Unleavened Bread." Matzah refers to a special type of flat, cracker-like bread. In order to be Passover matzah, the bread dough must be baked less than eighteen minutes after the flour is moistened with water. If the dough is not baked within eighteen minutes of being moistened, it begins to ferment from the naturally occurring leavening agents in the atmosphere. The Torah explains the significance of unleavened matzah bread in that the children of Israel did not have time to let their bread rise before they had to leave Egypt. They were in such a hurry that they only had time to bake the dough before leaving. To commemorate the exodus, leaven is removed at Passover and unleavened matzah bread is eaten for seven days. In ancient times, there were only two ways to leaven bread dough. One way was to mix the flour with water and let it stand until it began to ferment naturally. More typically, a small batch of already leavened starter dough left over from the previous day's batch was tossed in with the flour and water. The old culture of leaven in the starter dough quickly spread through the new batch of dough. As the saying goes, "A little leaven leavens the whole lump" (1 Corinthians 5:6). By means of this method, a single culture of leaven was passed on from loaf to loaf to loaf, day to day. This is how sourdough bread is still made today. The commandment to remove all leaven prior to the festival makes this second method of leavening impossible. The starter dough would have to be disposed of prior to the festival because it is already leavened. This is the imagery that the Apostle Paul is referring to when he says, "Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (1 Corinthians 5:7-8). The old starter-dough leaven represents our old way of life. It is sin, godlessness, bad company, bad habits and all the things that taint our lives. Like an old culture of leavened starter dough, those things continue to leaven our lives from day to day, conforming us to our past. Paul urges us to make a clean break with the old culture and to start over as a new batch, like unleavened bread. When the children of Israel left Egypt, they were leaving behind their old culture. While in Egypt they had absorbed much of the wickedness and idolatry of Egyptian society. The unleavened bread symbolized a new beginning. They were starting over. SLAVES NO MORE. Looking for spiritual deliverance? The Seventh Day of Passover commemorates the crossing of the Red Sea, the final deliverance from bondage, and the miracle of immersion.. Paul wrote to the believers at Corinth, “For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were immersed into Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (1 Corinthians 10:1–2). In Paul’s day, one who wanted to become a disciple of Yeshua had to go through a ritual immersion. This rule applied to both Jews and Gentiles. Prior to the immersion, the new disciple confessed and renounced his sins in keeping with the tradition of John’s immersion. Then he descended into a gathering of living water “for the name of Yeshua.” The immersion brought ceremonial cleansing from Levitical impurity, and it symbolized spiritual cleansing, death, and resurrection. Judaism teaches that one who immerses in a mikvah (immersion pool) symbolically dies as he descends into the water and is reborn as he leaves the water. The apostles applied the death and rebirth imagery of the immersion ritual: Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Messiah Yahshua have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death … if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection (Romans 6:3–5). For the apostles, immersion into the name of Messiah represented the transition from death to life, from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. By way of analogy, Paul saw the same imagery at work in the crossing of the sea. The children of Israel left Egypt, Pharaoh, and slavery behind as they descended into the water, and they arose on the other side as free men—a people ransomed by God. Paul warned the Corinthians not to think too highly of themselves. Paul warned them that the generation that perished in the wilderness had similar credentials to their own. They had all been “immersed into Moses in the cloud and the sea,” yet they did not enter the Promised Land (which is compared to the Messianic Era). Scriptures to note: Exo 12:2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Exo 12:14 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. Exo 12:15 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. Exo 12:16 And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. Exo 12:17 And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. Exo 12:38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle. (mixed multitude being non blood line descendants of Jacob / Israel i.e. Jew and Gentile). Exo 12:46 In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof. (Hence why Messiahs legs not broken as other two crucified with Him). Jos 5:2 At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time. Jos 5:3 And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins. Jos 5:4 And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt. Act 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? (this yoke of circumcision which was not done for forty years is what Paul speaks of in Acts 15:2,6) Jos 5:9 And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day. Only when completely out of Egypt and entered into the promised land are we out of danger of returning. Get far away from traditions of men and mindset of the world and enter God’s Promised Land and renewing of your mind). Jos 5:15 And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so. Joh 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. Joh 1:30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. Joh 1:31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. Happy Pesach and Unleaven Bread Holy days.

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