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Week Two | The Passover

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7 Feasts Online Biblical Study
Reading Assignment – Week Two (Pg. 50-85)
Listen to the Audio version | Reading Time: 6 minutes

During the last weekend of August 2021, several members from the Intentional Filling community and I were blessed to sit under the teaching of Kristi McLelland, in Franklin, TN.  She blew our minds by stringing pearls together from the Old Testament to the New Testament, but of all of the lessons shared that weekend, the one that I have recalled most, is the Hebraic view of time.

That weekend, we quickly dubbed it the โ€œcurly fryโ€, due to its corkscrew shape.  But thatโ€™s not the reason, Iโ€™ve thought about it most.  Itโ€™s because, as Kristi told us, this view of time, rather than linear as most of us Westerners view it, helps us to see how God reaches back into the past to bring things forward into redemption.

It wasnโ€™t until later that evening, that I recognized how God has used this structure in my own life, specifically with the numbers 8 and 28.  

  • Romans 8:28 – the verse that was prayed over my life at the time of my confirmation in the United Methodist Church.  
  • 8/28/2014 – the date I announced the launch of my very first online study under the name of Intentional Filling. 
  • 8/28/2020 – when the ministry was forced to evaluate its future, at the heartbreakingly difficult departure of its co-founder.  
  • 8/28/2021 – while standing in line for the womenโ€™s restroom, Kristi McLelland, who had, with Godโ€™s help, revived our ministry and my faith, with her message of viewing Scripture through its context, recognized me (even while wearing a mask).

And I see this same โ€œcurly fryโ€ structure laid out now as I study Leviticus 23 and the 7 Feasts of the Lord.  God has certainly used these celebrations, that called His people to look back and remember how far He has brought them and brought them forward into redemption through the life of Jesus.

This is a Day to Remember

There is a word in Hebrew that embodies what God was setting out to do with the 7 Feasts laid out in Leviticus 23. 

Zakar means to remember or recall.  But it is not just a remembrance of mind, but of action.  To Zakar is not to filter through the number of thoughts cycling in your mind, to bring to the surface some important information.  Zakar requires action, and in this case, the preparation and observance of the feasts.

During the Lordโ€™s feast of Passover or Pesach in Hebrew, His people are to zakar the details of the first Passover in Egypt, where God spoke to Moses and Aaron, establishing the Jewish calendar and instructed them on how to protect His people from the tenth plague.

On the tenth day of the first month, Nisan, each household took a male lamb, without blemish, in its first year and brought it into their home.  Then on the fourteenth day of the month, the whole community assembled and at twilight, the lambs were slaughtered.  A hyssop branch was used to smear the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of their home, and the lamb was roasted in the fire to be eaten with matzah (unleavened bread) and bitter herbs.

That night, the Lord passed through the land of Egypt and killed every firstborn male, adult, child, and animal, but passed over the homes marked by the blood of the lamb.

โ€œGod was instructing His people to place the blood of the lamb on the load-bearing beams of their homes.โ€

erin davis, Pg. 68 of “7 feasts”
Side note: Iโ€™m not sure about you, but Iโ€™ve read this story wrong my entire life!  Maybe I got it mixed up with the Christmas story when King Herod killed all of the boys aged two and under, but I didnโ€™t realize that every first-born male would include the men and older boys.  In my life, that would have included both of my grandfathers, my uncles, my brother, my boyfriend, and his father and grandfather! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Each year, as the Jewish people gather to celebrate the Passover meal, called Seder, meaning โ€œorderโ€, they are following Godโ€™s call to remember and pass on the story to new generations; remembering how generations before had been brought out of Egypt and the Spirit of the Lord had passed over them and spared their families.

“This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to the Lord. This is a law for all time.” Exodus 12:14, NLT

As Kristi McLelland taught us in her study, Jesus and Women, we are to live like a river and not a lake.  We are to remember the goodness of God through His Word and to share it with others.

โ€œThe Passover was established by God to remind His people that they were once slaves, set free by a loving God. We need to remember too.โ€

erin davis, Pg. 57 of “7 feasts”

Jesus is our Paschal Lamb

Scripture tells us that it was the Passover meal that brought Jesus and His disciples together that fateful night in the upper room.

Though their traditions may not be exactly the same as the present-day seder meal, several of the elements appeared to have been present in Jesusโ€™ day:

  • Ritualistic washing of hands – Jesus took it one step further and washed the feet of His disciples, a job typically reserved for the lowest servant
  • Breaking and distributing the Afikoman – the middle of 3 pieces of matzah (unleavened bread) that is broken into two pieces relatively early in the seder and the larger piece wrapped in a napkin and hidden, as a substitute for the Passover sacrifice.  It is later sought after at the end of the meal and distributed amongst the guests to enjoy.
  • Four cups of wine represent the four phrases in Exodus 6:6-7:
    • The first cup is the kiddush (cup of salvation) – โ€œI will bring you outโ€
    • The second cup (cup of plagues) – โ€œI will deliver youโ€
    • The third cup (cup of redemption) – โ€œI will redeem youโ€
      • It is believed, by scholars, that it was the third cup, the cup of redemption, that Jesus takes and passes amongst the disciples, as the โ€œblood of the new covenant, poured out for many for the forgiveness of sinsโ€ (Matthew 26:28, ESV).
    • The fourth cup is the Hallel (cup of praise) – โ€œI will take you to be my peopleโ€

โ€œAnd he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, โ€œThis is my body, which is given for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.โ€  And likewise, the cup after they had eaten, saying, โ€œThis cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.โ€  Luke 22:19-20, ESV

During the first Passover account that we read in Exodus 12, God instructed His people, โ€œThe animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goatsโ€ (Exodus 12:5, NIV).

God pulls on that curly fry that we read about in Exodus 12 and eliminates the need for His people to continue to sacrifice for their deliverance, as the Apostle Peter shared, โ€œFor you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defectโ€ (1 Peter 1:18-19, NIV).

…the meaning of Passover; it is surely the feast of salvation.  On this day, because of the blood of the Lamb (โ€œwithout blemish, a maleโ€ฆโ€ Exodus 12:5) the Hebrew nation was delivered from bondage.  Clearly, in both Testaments, the blood of the Lamb delivers from slavery – the Jew from Egypt, the Christian from sin.

messianic jewish bible teacher, zola levitt, Pg. 70 of “7 feasts”

So as we celebrate the Lordโ€™s Supper or Holy Communion in our churches, let us zakar – do this in remembrance of Godโ€™s deliverance and Jesusโ€™ redemption through the blood of the Lamb.

1. The Hebraic view of time is not linear like most Westerners believe.
2. God called His people to zakar, remember, and pass on the story of their deliverance from Egypt.
3. The Last Supper, our model for Holy Communion, is based on the tradition of the Passover feast.
4. Jesus calls us, as Christians, to remember as well, as we celebrate communion, passing the tradition along to future generations, of how His blood is the new covenant for the forgiveness of sins.

Did you see the Gospel illustrated in the Passover feast before now? Did God reveal anything new to you about the connection between the Old and New Testaments?

Shop this study

Seven Feasts | Erin Davis

An 8-week study where we’ll dive into the sacred celebrations of Israel and discover how these ancient traditions reveal the beauty of Jesus Christ. We’ll trace the Gospel throughout each feast with daily Scripture readings, interactive questions, and space for asking difficult questions.

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