top of page

Is Pesach Important to the Grafted-In of Israel?

Updated: Apr 26


The Passover Seder and the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is an important event on the Jewish calendar. As we know, this Jewish festival celebrates the freeing of the Hebrew slaves under Pharaoh and the establishment of the Israelite people.

 

While a uniquely Jewish festival, it was never meant to be exclusionary. The festival could be celebrated by any person who attached themselves to Israel by circumcision.

 

Exodus 12:14, 43-44, 48-49 “This will be a day for you to remember and celebrate as a festival to ADONAI; from generation to generation you are to celebrate it by a perpetual regulation…. Adonai said to Moshe and Aharon, “This is the regulation for the Pesach lamb: no foreigner is to eat it. But if anyone has a slave he bought for money, when you have circumcised him, he may eat it…. If a foreigner staying with you wants to observe Adonai’s Pesach, all his males must be circumcised. Then he may take part and observe it; he will be like a citizen of the land. But no uncircumcised person is to eat it. The same teaching is to apply equally to the citizen and to the foreigner living among you.”

 

Paul exhorted his Gentile Corinth congregation to keep the Pesach feast as seen in his letter 1 Corinthians 5:6-8:

 

Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know the saying, “It takes only a little hametz to leaven a whole batch of dough? ”Get rid of the old hametz, so that you can be a new batch of dough, because in reality you are unleavened. For our Pesach lamb, the Messiah, has been sacrificed. So let us celebrate the Seder not with leftover hametz, the hametz of wickedness and evil, but with the matzah of purity and truth.

 

So, while Pesach is a uniquely Jewish festival, it is also a G-d given time of remembrance of His saving power over death. It is one of the festivals that will continue even into the millennial age.

 

However, Passover is unlike many of the rituals and practices we see in religious ceremonies and observances in either Christianity or Judaism. The Pesach Seder takes place at home, not strictly in a sanctuary. The Seder may be conducted by anyone, not just by professional clergy or a rabbi.

 

John Parsons at Hebrew for Christians states:


“The heart of the Seder is a shared meal (shelamim) celebrating our connection with family, our friends, the ‘called out’ people of G-d who take refuge in his promises.”

 

The Seder connects us to G-d’s family, his people, and the sacrificial atonement that we see foreshadowed in the Garden of Eden when He covered the transgression of Adam and Eve with the sacrificial skins from an animal. It was here that we were promised a Savior who would ransom humanity from death. The promised blessing of sacrificial atonement is later enacted by Abraham when he was provided with a ram to sacrifice in the place of his son Isaac. Then of course we see this promise again reaffirmed with the Hebrews when they took shelter under the blood of the Passover lamb at the time of the Exodus.


From Hebrews for Christians: “In each case the blood of the lamb is central: covering the shame of Adam and Eve’s transgression; expressing faith in the coming Savior who would deliver us from the curse of the nachash (serpent), exemplifying the heart of God’s compassion by substituting the lamb for Isaac, and redeeming the families of Israel during the Passover.”

 

According to My Jewish Learning, the Torah instructs the Israelites not to forget G-d’s miraculous deliverance from bondage.

 

Exodus 12:15: “This day shall be to you one of remembrance: you shall celebrate it as a festival to יהוה throughout the ages; you shall celebrate it as an institution for all time.”

 

Exodus 12:17: “You shall observe the [Feast of] Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your ranks out of the land of Egypt; you shall observe this day throughout the ages as an institution for all time.”

 

Exodus 12:25-27: “And when you enter the land that יהוה will give you, as

promised, you shall observe this rite. And when your children ask you, ‘What do you mean by this rite?’ you shall say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to יהוה who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt when smiting the Egyptians, but saved our houses.’”

 

The Israelites were to not only remember the Exodus from Egypt, but they were also to pass it on to their children. They were to remember and tell. It wasn’t enough to simply read the Exodus story once a year in the synagogue; it was to be re-enacted and ritually commemorated year after year.

 

Historian Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi says, “Judaism survives and thrives because of its attention not to history, but to memory.” It’s not just about re-enacting an event that occurred 3500 years ago, it’s about each generation reliving the Exodus experience themselves and feeling that they too have come out of Egypt, out of bondage and into redemption.

 

Those who are grafted into Israel also share in this story of freedom from slavery and bondage, of protection by the blood of the Lamb, and redemption through the mercy and grace of G-d.

 

So what is the significance of the Seder plate and what does it represent? The symbolic nature of the plate conveys the basic elements of the Exodus.

 

1.     Karpas – this is a green vegetable, often parsley, that represents the initial flourishing of the Israelites in Egypt. It is also dipped into the cup of salt water found on the Seder table as reminder of the tears shed during Egyptian captivity. (Note that this also represents tears shed for those who would not humble themselves before the G-d of Israel and were consequently destroyed. It demonstrates that while we can celebrate a victory over an enemy, we should also mourn that that enemy did not hear or respond to Adonai’s invitation.


2.     Charoset – this is an apple, nut, and wine mixture that represents the mortar and bricks used by the Israelites when building the structures of Egypt.


3.     Maror – a bitter herb, most often horseradish, that represents the harshness and bitterness of being slaves in Egypt.


4.     Chazeret – used in addition to maror as a bitter herb which also symbolizes the oppression and bitterness of the Egyptian captivity. It also symbolizes the barbarity of infanticide. The herb is inedible because it cannot be “swallowed,” just like the forced murder of the Hebrew sons was an atrocity that could not be “swallowed.”


5.     Zero’a – this is the roasted lamb shank bone that represents the korban Pesach (the sacrificed lamb whose blood was painted on the doorposts to turn away the Angel of Death). Note, the korban Pesach is NOT a sin offering. The blood was used to cover the doorposts, to indicate and protect those inside as G-d’s chosen. Yeshua’s blood covers and protects us from the law of sin and death so that the Angel of Death “passes over” us.


6.     Beitzah – this is a roasted egg that recalls the korban chagigah, the roasted lamb that was slaughtered at the Temple during the season of Passover. It is also a symbol of mourning that the physical Temple no longer exists. The Jerusalem Talmud says that the egg symbolizes the silent pleading of the Seder partakers to HaShem – “May it please the Merciful G-d to redeem us with an outstretched arm.”


7.     Salt water bowl – the bowl of salt water represents the sweat and tears of the Hebrew people during their Egyptian captivity.


The Passover Seder allows us to place ourselves within the story of the Exodus, living it out in the ritual as if we were there ourselves. The Seder is also an indicator of the work of the Messiah in redeeming us.

 

1.    Yeshua is seen in the matzah, or unleavened bread, eaten at the Seder meal. Leaven is associated with sin. Unleavened bread represents the that our Messiah was without sin; the matzah is striped, indicating the stripes Yeshua endured to heal us, as Isaiah 53:5 describes; and the matzah is pierced, representing the piercings Messiah bore as He was nailed to the cross.


2.    The karpas of the Seder plate represents the hyssop that was used to paint the blood of the lamb on the doorposts. This same plant was used to give the Lamb of G-d vinegar when he said from the cross, “I thirst.”


3.    The shank bone of the lamb represents Yeshua’s sacrifice as the “Lamb of G-d.” The instructions in Exodus 12:46 said that the lamb’s bones could not be broken, another foreshadowing the Messiah’s death (John 19:33.)


4.    The charoset is the only element on the Seder plate that is sweet. This is a reminder of the sweetness of the hope that we have as the redeemed people of G-d and our place in the olam ha’ba, the world to come.


The Passover celebration was discontinued by the corporate Church as it began rejecting any notion of the Jewish nature of the faith, beginning with the generation following the apostles. To this day there are many mainstream denominations that say we should not celebrate the Passover Seder because it is a rabbinic tradition and we no longer follow Torah.

 

They cannot see that the story of redemption is the story of all the redeemed of G-d.

 

Instead, the church has allowed paganism to destroy our story. The church renamed this festival as Easter, which was an alien festival and celebration to those first century participants in The Way. Easter was originally a spring equinox festival that praised the pagan goddess of fertility and spring known as Ostara, Eastre, or Eostre. The Catholic Church says that Easter was originally the celebration of Ishtar, the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility and sex.

 

However G-d tells us not to change HIS moedims (appointed times) or to take on the moedims of the nations, or to incorporate them into any of His appointed times. They are an abomination to Him.

 

“I hate, I despise your festivals!

I take no delight in your sacred assemblies.

Even if you offer me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them,

nor will I look at peace offerings of your fattened animals.

Take away from Me the noise of your songs!

I will not listen to the melody of your harps.

But let justice roll like water

and righteousness like an ever-flowing torrent.

Did you bring sacrifices and offerings to Me in the wilderness for forty years, O house of Israel?

But you lifted up your images—Siccuth your ‘king’, and Chiun,[e] your star gods— which you made for yourselves…” (Amos 5:21-26)

 

Bring no more worthless offerings!

Incense is an abomination to Me.

New Moon and Shabbat, the calling of convocations

—I cannot endure it—

iniquity with solemn assembly.

Your New Moons and your Festivals

My soul hates!

They are a burden to Me.

I am weary to bear them. (Isaiah 1:13-14)

 

The Passover Lamb is a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Yeshua. On the 10th day of the first month of the year, a lamb was to be selected, brought home, and inspected for five days to be checked for blemishes.

 

The lamb had to be perfect.

 

There could be no broken bones. There could be no scratches, cuts, or sores. The blood of this pure and spotless lamb made way for the freedom from slavery in Egypt.

 

“For the life of the creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your lives—for it is the blood that makes atonement because of the life.” (Leviticus 17:11)

 

The Hebrew bible is full of Messianic prophecies, more than 324 separate ones. Mathematician Peter Stoner counted the probability of a man fulfilling just a small number of them and he concluded that the chance of a single man fulfilling just 48 of the prophecies found in the Tanakh would be one in 10 to the 157th power (that’s a 1 with 157 zeros).

 

There is no way to cover all of these, so we’ll take just a few of them.

 

  • The Messiah would come riding on a donkey (Zech. 9:9) Yeshua entered Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. The crowds recognized the fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy and greeted him by waving palm branches.

 

  • The Passover Lamb foreshadowed Yeshua:

“The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.” (Exodus 12:1-51)

 

Soon after Yeshua entered Jerusalem, he spent most of his time being “inspected in G-d’s house” by the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law. They hoped to find fault with him, but even with false witnesses, they couldn’t. They then sent him to Herod and Pilate, hoping for a death sentence, but they couldn’t find fault with him either.

 

Just like the instructions for the Passover lamb, Yeshua was tried for five days and declared perfect by Jew and Gentile alike. Just like the Passover lamb, Yeshua was without defect or sin. This was why He could make intercession for us in a way that no lamb or other imperfect human intercessor ever could. The blood of the sacrifice was a covenant between G-d and those who used it. It was a sign that G-d would protect them.

 

 

  • Messiah would bear our sins and suffer silently in our place

“But he was wounded because of our crimes, crushed because of our sins; the disciplining that makes us whole fell on him, and by his bruises we are healed. We all, like sheep, went astray; we turned, each one, to his own way; yet Adonai laid on him the guilt of all of us. Though mistreated, he was submissive—he did not open his mouth. Like a lamb led to be slaughtered, like a sheep silent before its shearers, he did not open his mouth” (Isaiah 53:5–7 CJB)

 

No matter how ridiculous the charge, Yeshua made no defense of himself when brought before the Sanhedrin or the Roman governor. He silently and humbly submitted to the judgement of Rome. There was a report that immediately after Yeshua died, the curtain separating the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Temple ripped in two from top to bottom. Previously only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies. This rending of the curtain demonstrated that Yeshua’s atoning sacrifice made it possible to approach the Throne of Grace without any intercessor besides Yeshua.


  • David described Yeshua’s death 1000 years before it happened

 

“My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? … All who see me mock me. They curl their lips, shaking their heads: ‘Rely on Adonai! Let Him deliver him! Let Him rescue him—since he delights in Him!’… I am poured out like water, and all my bones are disjointed. My heart is like wax—melting within my innards. They pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones. They stare, they gape at me. They divide my clothes among them, and cast lots for my garment” (Psalm 22:2, 8–9, 15–19 TLV).

 

Psalm 22 has long been recognized as prophetic of the suffering Messiah. While at first glance it may appear that David is speaking of himself, this type of tortuous execution was not anything David experienced in his life. The imagery is of a man being executed by crucifixion. King David lived 600 years BEFORE the Persians invented this method of execution.

 

  • Messiah would be resurrected

 

“For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; You will not allow Your Holy One to undergo decay” (Psalm 16:10 NASB).

 

“Then Kefa and the other talmid started for the tomb. They both ran, but the other talmid outran Kefa and reached the tomb first. Stooping down, he saw the linen burial-sheets lying there but did not go in. Then, following him, Shim‘on Kefa arrived, entered the tomb and saw the burial-sheets lying there, also the cloth that had been around his head, lying not with the sheets but in a separate place and still folded up. Then the other talmid, who had arrived at the tomb first, also went in; he saw, and he trusted.” (John 20:3-8)

 

Why does John go into detail about the burial sheets and the cloth covering Yeshua’s head being separate and folded? The Rev. Tim McConnell explains it:

 

In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, we need to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the master and servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition. When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it. The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating.

 

The servant would not dare touch the table until the master was finished. Now if the master was finished eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers and mouth, clean his beard, and wad up the napkin and toss it onto the table. The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, “I’m finished.”

 

But if the master got up from the table, folded his napkin and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because the folded napkin meant, “I'm coming back!”

 

And we wait eagerly for our master's return!


At the end of the Passover Seder, we speak the words “Next year in Jerusalem.” What does this mean?

 

The most straightforward answer is that Jerusalem refers to the future city and its Temple that will be rebuilt when Messiah returns. We say this with the hope that Messiah will return speedily in our day. It is spoken with belief in past redemption as well as hope for the future fulfillment of the promises of G-d.

 

Hebrews for Christians has this to say: “The early sages taught that Hebrew word “Pesach” (פסח) can be read as peh (פֶּה) “mouth” and sach  (סַח) “speaks” indicating that Passover is a confession of the truth of G-d’s redemption, testifying to the truth of the LORD’s faithful love. On Pesach we thank G-d for the revelation and the wonder of the great Lamb of G-d that was slain... Indeed, in light of the truth of the Scriptures - both in the Torah, the writings, the prophets, and the New Covenant Scriptures - how is it possible to honor the LORD G-d of Israel and to celebrate his redemption apart from the Messiah who came to earth to die as the great Lamb of G-d?

 

Yeshua is the heart and central meaning of the Passover, and there is simply NO valid Passover Seder apart from the blood of the Lamb.”

 

So to answer the question of the title page -- is Pesach important to the grafted-in of Israel, the answer is a resounding “YES!”

 

The Passover Seder is a time to remember and embody the story of our G-d who has ransomed us from the enemy, who has redeemed us and brought us out of Egypt.

 

It is the time to remember and convey the love of Messiah who laid down his life for us so that we might live, so that the curse of the law of sin and death is completely broken, and we are covered and protected from the Angel of Death.

 

It is a time to look to the future, to a Kingdom yet to be established that will reign in truth, justice, and love. To a time there will be no more war or heartache. To a time we will worship Him face to face.

 

And so we say –

Next year in Jerusalem!

 

 

4件のコメント


Blessings Hanne perfect reminder for us grafted in 👍🌈💕

いいね!
返信先

Thank you, Adelia. We miss you so much

いいね!

Awesome! Thank you Hanne.

いいね!
bottom of page