Monday, April 5, 2010

Passover Joy!

My husband, Messianic Rabbi Jem Golden and I celebrate the Feasts and Festivals commanded in Leviticus 23. March 29 at sundown marked the beginning of Passover, and we celebrated two seders this year – one with a group of believers at Patrick Air Force Base, and one with our congregation at Ma’gen Da’vid Messianic Synagogue.
The seder is all about remembering. It reminds us of the faithfulness of God to Israel in bringing them out of Egypt, and is a beautiful ceremony that celebrates and illustrates our Lord and Savior Yeshua (Jesus Christ). The “Last Supper” Yeshua held with his talmadim (disciples) was a Passover seder , held in the Upper Room the night before Yeshua was crucified (see Luke 22). He went through it with His disciples, showing them that the seder was a fore-shadow of Himself as the fulfillment of God’s divine plan of salvation.
The rich imagery of the seder is a beautiful, tactile means of understanding the sacrifice of Yeshua in the following ways: the seder reminds us of the tyranny the Israelites were released from, and is a picture of the bondage of sin Yeshua released “us” from as believers. We ate bitter herbs to remind us of the terrible life we had before Yeshua. The salty water reminds us of the tears we shed in that old life. We remembered the plagues and pestilence God brought on the Egyptians, and the miracles He worked to save them. Yeshua worked miracles during His life on earth, and is still working miracles for us even now.
We saw the lamb shank bone and remembered that each family was instructed to choose a perfect lamb. Yeshua was described as “a Lamb without blemish or spot” (I Peter 1:19). We remembered that each Israelite family killed the lamb, but were instructed not to break its’ bones. We were then reminded that Yeshua’s bones were not broken when He was crucified.
The Israelites applied the blood of the lamb to the doorpost and lentils of their homes so that the death angel would pass over them. Together, we saw that the shape of the application was the Hebrew letter “dallet” which looks like a door, and means “door or path”. Yeshua’s blood made for us the door of salvation. What a glorious picture!
Together, we drank the four cups of wine while remembering that Yeshua’s blood sanctifies us, redeems us, protects us from God’s judgment, and makes us part of His family – which is cause for great joy.
The most beautiful picture of all is the matzah: the unleavened bread, with its’ piercings and stripes. We held in our hands the reminder of Yeshua who was without sin (leaven), was pierced for our sins, and took stripes for our healing.
As we ate the sweet charoset (apples, nuts & honey) we were reminded of how sweet our lives are with Yeshua, our Messiah. We sang, we praised God, and we thanked Him for His Word, for our beautiful Messiah Yeshua, and for the reminders in the Passover celebration.
Remembering the provision of God for Israel reminded us that He will meet our needs as well. If He could deliver the Israelites from plagues and pestilence, He can and will protect us today. Passover is a reminder of God’s faithfulness to his people. This year, as before, I left the seder full of joy and praise to Adonai, humming the tunes we sang, and thinking about how blessed I am to be called His child.