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The Passover Service


Introduction

This article explains how you may hold the Passover Service in your own home. It is not designed to keep you away from Passover Services organized by the church group in your area. But may be of help if you find that there is no local group in your vicinity or, perhaps, if they do not celebrate the Passover according to the scriptural instructions. To begin with, I will briefly describe the events that led up to the first Passover ever held. To do this we will together take an imaginary journey to ancient Egypt, the land of the Pharaohs, the sphinx and the mighty pyramids.

The scene that comes to mind is strange to say the least: but it is true and very meaningful. Here is a land that is the hub of the ancient world: where traders from the continents of Africa, Asia and Europe mingle in the busy market places. Throbbing with energy and spurred on by genius and ruthless greed, ancient Egypt is the envy of the whole Earth. The country is awake, educated, rich and extremely powerful. She is the cradle of civilization, the birth place, some say, of astronomy, mathematics, architecture, medicine, music and other arts and sciences.

Egypt, however, is proud, proud to the point of blasphemy; proud of her military might, her scholars, buildings, culture and religion: so proud in fact that the Pharaoh is worshiped as god, a god on Earth. Daily he is hailed by his court as the visible representation of the divine presence, the supreme benefactor of the civilized world. The only people in his country who do not subscribe to this view are the children of Israel who live in the delta province of Goshen. They are Pharaoh's slave-workers whom he is finding increasingly difficult to control. You see they do not consider Pharaoh to be god. Instead they worship YaHuWaH, the Elohim of their ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They have been in Egypt for hundreds of years, but somehow know that the time for their liberation is near. But who will deliver them, and how? How could an unequipped and untrained company of slaves defy and overthrow the mighty Egyptian army with its war chariots, skilled fighting men and latest weaponry? There is absolutely no possibility for the slaves to escape, that is, without the help of YaHuWaH their Elohim. And so, with mounting desperation, they call upon the Holy One of Israel to deliver them from their intolerable plight. From the height of heaven YaHuWaH, the Elohim of the Hebrews, hearkens to their call and comes to their rescue.

Exodus 3:7-9 "And YaHuWaH said, I have surely seen the affliction of My people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;
And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto Me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them."

Working through His servant Moshe, YaHuWaH the Elohim of Israel proceeds to humble Egypt, to humble Pharaoh, the mere mortal who dares to pose as a god on earth. By a series of devastating plagues YaHuWaH reduces Egypt to a miserable shambles. The temples, the houses and the countryside are all systematically laid waste by the hand of the Almighty. Everything in Egypt, the glory of the ancient world, is utterly ruined: all except the people of Israel and their possessions in the land of Goshen. Pharaoh, surprisingly, continues to defy the Elohim of Israel and refuses to let His people go.

Exodus 11:1 "And YaHuWaH said unto Moshe, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether. Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbor, and every woman of her neighbor, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold. And YaHuWaH gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moshe was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and in the sight of the people. And Moshe said, Thus saith YaHuWaH, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that YaHuWaH doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel."

The story is well known. At midnight a terrible slaughter took place and the only homes which escaped death were those which displayed the blood of the Passover Lamb. This is the instruction that Israel followed to escape that dreadful slaughter of the firstborn.

Exodus 12:1 "And YaHuWaH spake unto Moshe and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is YaHuWaH 's Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am YaHuWaH.
And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to YaHuWaH throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a Feast by an ordinance for ever."

That was the first Passover ever celebrated. It was the night when the angel of death - the Destroyer - passed-over the houses of the believers who had displayed the blood of the Passover Lamb. If no blood was visible the Destroyer would enter the house and the eldest son or beast therein would die. It was a terrifying night for ancient Egypt: a night never to be forgotten by believer and unbeliever alike.

Exodus 12:30 "And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead."

To Israel the Passover night was a night of liberation, the memorable night of their salvation from the tyranny and degradation of slavery. To Egypt it was a night of unparalleled catastrophe: a night of ignominious defeat and death. YaHuWaH the Elohim of the Hebrews had reduced the mighty Egyptian empire to a dilapidated shambles and set His people free.

But this is all common knowledge to most believers. Indeed the story of the Passover is so well known to Bible students that they tend to skip over it when making a serious study of Elohim's Word. This is a tragic mistake; because the Passover story was in fact a preview, a 'scaled-down model' a 'dramatized prophecy' a 'live object lesson' to the whole universe of how YaHuWaH the Almighty Elohim of Israel was planning to rescue millions of souls enslaved in sin by the super-Pharaoh Satan. The final act of that real rescue operation is about to take place in the closing days of this age, when once again the Destroyer will be dispatched on his mission of death. Yes, YaHuWaH the Elohim of the Hebrews is again going to astonish the universe in yet another act of deliverance, the second act, the grand performance! That whole experience of Israel's slavery in Egypt, the back-breaking toil, the brutality, the hopelessness, the pain and then the deliverance through the blood of the Passover Lamb, was a living object lesson of deliverance from sin and eternal death through the blood of YAHUSHUA the Passover Lamb of YaHuWaH. In view of this amazing fact let us take a closer look at the Passover Service and learn what the Most High wants us to do in this generation just prior to the Destroyer's appearance.


The Spiritual Realities of the Passover Service

  • YAHUSHUA the Messiah is the true Passover Lamb and all who put their faith in Him and apply His life-saving blood to their souls will be saved.
    John 1:29 "The next day John seeth YAHUSHUA coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of YaHuWaH, which taketh away the sin of the world."
    John 6:54 "Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day
    v56 "He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him."
  • True Israelites include those who have put their faith in and obey YAHUSHUA the Messiah the seed of Abraham.
  • Since the Savior's death on Calvary the blood of a literal lamb is no longer used. Instead the new covenant emblems of unleavened bread and wine have been authorized by him.
    Matthew 26:26-29 "And as they were eating, YAHUSHUA took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My Body. And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is My Blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom."
    Luke 22:19-20 "And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is My Body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me.
    Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in My Blood, which is shed for you."
  • The appointed Time and Date for the Passover Service is just after sunset on the evening of the 14th Aviv, the first month in the sacred calendar.
    Exodus 12:6 "And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening ..."
    v18 "In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even."
  • Strictly speaking Jerusalem (Israel) is the Passover site: and during the millennium it will again be the place to congregate for YaHuWaH 's Feasts. In this age, however, the Passover may be celebrated anywhere on Earth: even in a private home if needs be. We have the Savior's guidance on this.
    Deuteronomy 16:2 "Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the Passover unto YaHuWaH thy Elohim, of the flock and the herd, in the place which YaHuWaH shall choose to place His Name there ...
    v5-6 "Thou mayest not sacrifice the Passover within any of thy gates, which YaHuWaH thy Elohim giveth thee: But at the place which YaHuWaH thy Elohim shall choose to place His Name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the Passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt."
    John 4:19-24 "The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that Thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. YAHUSHUA saith unto her, Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. YaHuWaH is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth."
  • The size of the company is unimportant. If even two or three believers are present the Spirit of YaHuWaH will be there.
    Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them."
  • The Passover Service itself consists of hymns, prayers, scripture readings and spiritual exhortations of what the Savior did to save humanity. Suggested readings are as follows: Exodus chapters 12 and 13, Isaiah 53, John chapters 13 to 19, Matthew chapters 26 and 27. The men present should take turns in reading selected passages. The pastor or elders should lead out, asking YaHuWaH 's blessing on the bread and the wine.

     

  • The Feet-Washing ceremony described in John 13 should be carried out before the Passover emblems are taken.
    John 13:6-10 "Then cometh He to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto Him, Master, dost Thou wash my feet? YAHUSHUA answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto Him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. YAHUSHUA answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me. Simon Peter saith unto Him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. YAHUSHUA saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all."
  • The feet-washing ceremony is a miniature baptism. It symbolizes the washing away of sins and grievances against Elohim and one another which have accumulated during our walk on the dusty road of life. He that is 'washed' (baptized) by immersion doesn't need to be re-baptized: but does need this service performed each Passover to be 'clean every whit.' The men and women should separate for this part of the service: each man washing another man's feet and each woman washing another woman's feet. Should Christians keep the feet-washing service? The answer is yes we should. The Master's instructions are as follows:
    John 13:14-15 "If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you."
  • After the feet-washing ceremony the Passover emblems of unleavened bread and wine should be taken. They represent the Savior's broken body and shed blood. Leavened bread (bread made with yeast) should not be used; because leaven is a symbol of sin, and the Savior was sinless - unleavened. All new covenant Israelites, that is all true believers in YAHUSHUA should eat the bread and drink the wine. By doing so we symbolically apply the Savior's blood to the lintel of our souls - the mind. When a believer partakes of the wine he/she may be sure that just as the blood stream will carry the qualities of the wine to every capillary in the body, so too will the blood of the Savior reach the very extremities of his body - the church: and bring it life, health, power, beauty and warmth. This is an important truth that all must understand. How true is the old hymn which says - There is power in the blood of the Lamb!
    John 6:53-56 "Then YAHUSHUA said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the Flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For My Flesh is meat indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him."
  • After the Passover Service believers should Watch and Pray that they enter not into temptation. A fearsome testing time called the 'Hour of Temptation' is coming upon the world, when everything that can be shaken will be shaken.
Faith in YaHuWaH, faith in His only begotten Son YAHUSHUA and in His Word - the Bible, faith in each other and the family, faith in the church will all be tested severely. To stand upright at that time of temptation will require total dependence on the Spirit of the Almighty. The PASSOVER NIGHT is the only night in the year which believers are commanded to observe. Great care should be taken to follow this divine instruction. The disciples failed to watch and pray even after the Savior's repeated warnings. As a result they all forsook him and fled: and the Apostle Peter denied him on three occasions. Had Peter prayed he would not have denied the Master. But we are in even greater danger than those early disciples. Most certainly we are no stronger than them. The midnight of the world when every soul will be tested to near breaking point is approaching at speed. It is almost here. If we watch and pray regularly, especially on the Passover Night our prospects of standing upright are much better. If we do not watch and pray we will collapse as surely as Peter did. The Passover Night is a night to much observed. This is what the holy commandment says.

Exodus 12:42 "It is a night to be much observed unto YaHuWaH for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of YaHuWaH to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations."

YAHUSHUA the Savior loves us with a love far beyond human imagination. He gave his life to redeem us from sin and eternal death. His aim is to present a faultless church to his Father; one that is washed clean of every sin and filled with the Holy Spirit. If you follow His instructions and keep the Passover Service at the appointed time and in the appointed way, and continually pray for His presence and power in your life, you will be kept in the Hour of Temptation. That is His promise as quoted below.
 
Revelation 3:10 "Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth."

If you plan to observe the Passover Service in your own home, then make sure you and your company read the following:

" YaHuWaH bless thee, and keep thee:
YaHuWaH make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
YaHuWaH lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
And they shall put My Name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them."
(Numbers 6:24-27)
 

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