Sunday, April 13, 2014

Passover Celebration

Before the ceremony begins there are some things you’ll want to have done. Because Elohim commands that there be no leaven products in the home it’s necessary to go through your cupboards and refrigerator and take them out and either trash them, burn them or give them to the poor or a neighbor who isn’t keeping the Feast, but who would appreciate getting it.
Keep back a very small piece of leavened bread (one inch by one inch is fine) for each participant, placing the pieces in a plastic bag. At the appropriate time after the Passover Meal, after you’ve had His body and blood, they can be taken out and each person can burn or throw away his piece, symbolizing his cleansing from sin by the blood of Messiah Yahshua.

You’ll also want to have enough lamb,  matza  and bitter herbs for everyone present, as well as other foods of your liking, along with enough red wine and grape juice for all.  Four wine glasses and a water glass for each person is nice, but not necessary, although it does enhance the symbolism of the meal. It would also be good to have a silver coin to give away to the one finding the hidden  matza . Print up a sheet with the three questions on it so the boy can practice it before the ceremony.

Begin the ceremony before dark by blowing the shofar (ram’s horn) and lighting the lamps.  You can sing some songs unto the Yahweh after the shofar or the lighting, or you can go directly into the ceremony. The meal should be eaten after dark, darkness beginning the next biblical day. This is 15 Aviv in the first biblical month (called Nisan today by the traditional Jewish community). The Passover meal is eaten on the first day (night) of the seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread, a holy Sabbath (Lev. 23:5-7).

This paper is a guideline for the Passover ceremony. Feel free to embellish as Yahshua leads you.

The Passover Ceremony

The blowing of the shofar announces the beginning of the Feast (Num. 10:10) . Do it with all your might as onto the Yahweh. It’s a feast that honors and glorifies Elohim for delivering us from slavery to Pharaoh and Satan and bringing us into His glorious Kingdom.

Light the oil lamps and bless Abba El for Yahshua, the Light of the World (John 8:12). Let the mother of the home do this for it was through a Jewish woman by the name of Miryam that Yahshua, the Light of the world, came into the world.

The First Cup  is called the Cup of Sanctification. It is used to ceremonially sanctify or set apart the Passover ceremony which Yahweh commanded to be kept (Ex. 12:14). Fill the first cups with wine or grape juice. A full glass signifies fullness of joy. Then bless Elohim for the fruit of the vine:
‘Blessed are You, Abba El, King of Eternity, for creating the fruit of the vine. Blessed are You for having chosen us from among all the people of the Earth and sanctifying us by Your living Word, Yahshua. You have made our hearts to overflow with your goodness and mercy. Thank you for this first day of Unleavened Bread, a set-apart Sabbath, which pictures the time of our freedom from slavery to Pharaoh and Satan.’

‘We ask You, Yahshua, our Passover Lamb, that Your Presence, by Your Spirit, would be at this Table with us. Ah-main!’

Foot Washing

Yahshua springboards off the traditional hand washing ceremony  (which we don’t do–Mt. 15:1-20; Lk. 11:38) to start His own tradition: read John 13:1-17. Become a servant like Him and wash the feet of your spouse or someone else. Generally, males with males and females with females. This sets the spiritual tone for Passover.

If the group consists of more than two or three people, ‘background’ singing, praising of Yahshua, can go on while people pair-up and take their turns washing their partner’s feet. After everyone is done, continue with the Three Questions.

The Three Questions

The traditional Jewish community has four questions they ask, of which only two are biblical. In our ceremony there are three biblical questions. These questions are usually asked by the youngest son old enough to read. Over the years it allows for each son to be a significant part of the Passover. The father answers his son, addressing the son and everyone present after the questions are asked. The son begins:
  1. Why is this night different then all other nights? On this night we must not eat leavened bread, but we must eat matza .
  2. On this night we must eat something bitter. Why?
  3. On this night we must eat lamb. Why?
We don’t eat any leavened bread, but must have  matza  tonight because we were slaves in Egypt, but Elohim sent Moses to deliver us from Pharaoh’s hard slavery, which had humbled and humiliated us. When we left Egypt (Ex. 13:8) we didn’t have time for the dough to rise because we quickly left Egypt (Ex. 12:39). The matza reminds us both of how we felt in Egypt, but also, how quickly Elohim caused us to leave.

Matza is known as the Bread of Affliction, and also, as the Bread of Freedom because we eat it in remembrance of our freedom from Egypt.

Matza also pictures Yahshua who referred to Himself as the Bread of Life in John 6. He spoke of Himself being the true Bread/Manna/Matza from Heaven. This Bread would not have been leavened because leaven is symbolic of sin and pride (1st Cor. 5:6-8), but there was no sin in Yahshua and He is very humble. That’s why Elohim originally commanded that no leavened bread be eaten at Passover and why we must eat  matza . It reflects Yahshua, the sinless Matza from Heaven who came to give us freedom from sin.

We were slaves in this world to Satan before we gave our lives to Elohim through Yahshua, who was afflicted and humbled for us. This  matza  is not a proud bread, but a humble bread. Elohim commanded us to eat this bread because it pictures Yahshua in His humility, purity and holiness, which Elohim has called us to. When we eat this  matza  we are truly free, which is the essence of Passover. We become like Yahshua. Bless Abba El for the  matza  of Life:
‘Blessed are You, Abba El, King of Eternity, who causes the  matza  that we eat to come forth from the ground and who caused the Matza of Freedom and Life to come forth from the grave that we might eat of Messiah Yeshua and become like Him.’

Eat a piece of matza .
We eat something bitter tonight because God commanded us to eat bitter herbs in remembrance of our life of bitterness as slaves under Pharaoh. Three times in Scripture (Dt. 4:20; 1st Kgs. 8:51; Jer. 11:4) Egypt is called an ‘iron furnace,’ which Yahweh delivered us from. An iron furnace is a furnace that is so hot that it melts iron. It symbolizes the intense suffering, agony and bitterness we all felt as slaves of Pharaoh (1st Cor. 10:1).

We also realize that our life before we fully surrendered ourselves to Yahshua was one of bitterness, anger, deception and confusion. We trusted in ourselves, which is a very bitter slavery to Satan. Yahshua, too, died a very bitter death, having taken our place so that we wouldn’t have a bitter eternity.

Now, we bless Abba El for taking us out of that life of anger and bitterness. We take and eat some bitter herbs  tonight on a piece of  matza  to remember the life of grief, hostility and heartbreak we led before coming to Messiah Yahshua. If tears come to our eyes that’s alright. They will help us to remember the slavery and affliction of Egypt and Satan, and what our sins put Yahshua through. We eat it with  matza  to show us that even if there is bitterness and suffering in Messiah, He is always with us and uses the bitter things of life to transform us into His Image.
Thank Abba El for taking us out of our bitter lives into the Joy of His salvation.

Eat some bitter thing and  matza  now.
We eat lamb tonight because Elohim commanded ancient Israel in Egypt to sacrifice and eat the Passover lamb (Ex. 12:1-8). When Elohim saw the blood of the lamb over the doorposts He spared the lives of Israel’s firstborn sons, but He killed all the firstborn sons of Egypt because Pharaoh was very stubborn and wouldn’t let us go. Elohim had warned him many times, but Pharaoh, a type of Satan, was stubborn to the core and it cost him his kingdom, his firstborn son, and his life. The only difference between life and death for the firstborn sons of Egypt and the firstborn Sons of Israel was the blood of the lamb.

The first Passover lamb in Egypt was a picture of the Second Passover Lamb in Jerusalem who would take our sins upon Himself (Is. 53:3-7; Jn. 1:29). Elohim took His own Lamb, His Son Yahshua, and sacrificed Him for both Jew and Gentile that we might come to know Elohim, who is eternal life, and not be condemned to Hell on Judgment Day, but spend eternity with Elohim. The only difference between those sent to Hell and those brought into the New Jerusalem will be those who have Messiah’s blood upon them and eat of the Lamb of Elohim. We eat lamb on Pass-over because it pictures Yahshua as the Lamb of Elohim.

(Don’t eat lamb now, but during the meal.)

The Hagada

Hagada means ‘story.’ Traditionally it speaks of the telling of the Passover story. I like to begin with,
  1. Elohim creating the heavens and the Earth, Adam, Eve and Satan,
  2. and then I go to Noah and then,
  3. to Fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and his 12 sons,
    a. who went down into Egypt and became slaves of Pharaoh.
  4. Then Moses and the great deliverance of Israel from Egypt,
    a. the Red Sea split open and

    b. their Wilderness wandering because of unbelief.
  5. Under Joshua, they entered the Land and conquered the giants.
  6. Then King David, whose Son would sit on the Throne forever,
    a. and then a reference to the many wicked kings in both the northern and southern kingdoms

    b. and the Babylonian captivity because we had worshipped other gods and broken our covenant with Yahweh,
  7. and then to Messiah Yahshua, Son of David the King, who came as the Lamb of Elohim that we might live with Him in glory in the New Jerusalem and who was crucified for us, but rose
Tell the Story, using whatever characters and points you like, and then come to:

The Three Pieces of Matza

Hold up and say that the three pieces of  matza  represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The middle piece is broken to picture the breaking (crucifixion death) of Yahshua. Break the middle  matza  in half, wrap it in a linen napkin (Mt. 27:59; or a paper napkin if you don’t have linen) and hide it during the meal, not letting anyone know where you’ve hidden it.

The matza  in the linen and the hiding of it pictures the death and burial of Yahshua.

The Second Cup: The Cup of Remembrance

Fill the second cup, but don’t drink from it, yet.

We don’t need to dip our finger in the wine or grape juice. That’s a rabbinic tradition, that our Joy at being freed by Yahweh ‘is diminished ever so slightly because the Egyptians suffered.’ Taking this concept and paralleling it with Yahshua we can see that the Rabbis would have us acknowledge that Satan has suffered at the Hand of Yahweh and feel sorry for Satan. I don’t see Israel holding back on their Joy at the Red Sea upon witnessing the death of Pharaoh’s Army that was coming to murder them (Ex. 14:1-15:21). Do you? I also don’t see that the Apostles held back their joy at seeing Yahshua resurrected and glorified, even though Satan and his demons will be tormented for eternity.

The Egyptians drank deeply of the wrath of Yahweh because of their stubbornness and so will Satan and all who follow him. We recount with joy, the plagues that Yahweh performed against Egypt on our behalf, culminating in the Red Sea crossing. Yahweh made a way for us to go where there was no way—first out of Egypt and then across the bottom of the muddy Red Sea on dry ground because He loves us! This parallels the Way He made for us to dwell with Him forever—by the sacrifice and resurrection of His Son:
  1. Nile to blood! A picture of the tenth plague.
  2. Frogs!
  3. Lice!
  4. Flies!
  5. Livestock diseased!
  6. Boils on all the Egyptians!
  7. Hail, like Egypt had never seen!
  8. Locusts that covered the entire sky!
  9. Thick darkness!
  10. Death of the firstborn of Egypt!
    a. This parallels the death of Yahshua, the uniquely Firstborn Son of God.
  11. Red Sea splits wide open for us to walk on dry ground! The enemies of Yahweh and Israel are destroyed forever! HalleluYah!
    a. This parallels the resurrection of Yahshua confirming His victory over death and Satan that we might walk into the New Jerusalem, which is pictured in the crossing of the Red Sea!

In the book of Revelation there are similar plagues that Elohim will perform upon the whole Earth. This is Elohim giving Man opportunity to repent and come to Him, as Elohim did so with Pharaoh and Egypt. At any time during the first nine plagues Pharaoh could have given way to Elohim’s will, but Pharaoh chose to walk with Satan, and so, he lost everything. As for Satan’s end, it’s written in Revelation:
‘And the Devil who deceived them was thrown into the Lake of Fire and brimstone where the Beast and also the false Prophet are and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever’ (Rev. 20:10).

Look what Elohim has done for us! He has sent Yahshua to die for us that we might have forgiveness of sin and life forevermore. Yahshua has transformed us into His Image and destroyed death for us! Bless Abba El for His two great Passovers and drink from the 2nd Cup of Remembrance!

Now, let us rejoice! Sing (or read) the first two Psalms of the Hallel  (Psalms 113 and 114).

The Passover Meal

Bless Abba Elfor the lamb and eat the meal.

Hide the broken matza during the meal.

Toward the end of the meal, release the children (or adults) to search for the hidden matza .

Give the one who finds the hidden matza a silver coin. Silver pictures redemption (Ex. 30:11-16; 38:25-28), which speaks of us being redeemed by the death of the Lamb of God.

This piece of matza now becomes half of the next ceremony—the body and the blood of Yahshua.

The Third Cup: The Cup of Redemption

Put some wine in the cup, but don’t drink from it yet.

The invitation: (After having received the hidden matza , hold it up and say):
‘This is the Bread of Affliction which our Fathers ate in the land of Egypt at the First Passover. It pictures our affliction in Egypt and in this world and what Yahshua went through for us to become the broken and crushed matza of Life.’

‘It also pictures Yahshua as the sinless Bread from Heaven; pure and holy and able to give eternal life to all who hunger for Him who is eternal life.’

‘All who are hungry for Freedom from sin and desire life eternal come to this table, the Passover Table of Elohim, the Table of Messiah Yahshua, and eat of His flesh and drink of His blood! Yahshua is freedom from sin, sickness, death and Hell!’

“I hear the cries and see the tears of many Jewish people asking, ‘Where is Messiah?!’ May they all come to this Passover Table and find Him!”

(Don’t eat the matza yet.)

The blood of the lamb is pictured in the wine. That’s why it should be red because just as the grapes were crushed in order to make this wine, so too, Yahshua was crushed (by His crucifixion) that we might drink of His blood. In Ex. 12:14 Yahweh calls us to celebrate and remember the Passover. This speaks of four different concepts:
  1. REMEMBER: The word ‘remember’ (or memorial) in Hebrew means ‘to re-experience’ and at Passover it means to enter into the First and the Second Passover (by the Holy Spirit). What did it feel like to be a slave in Egypt, coming out under Moses after all the plagues, and also, seeing the Red Sea split open and walking across to the other side (Ex. 12:21-27; 13:8; Heb. 7:9-10)?
    We also enter into the Passover that Yahshua celebrated with His Apostles, asking Abba El to give us an understanding of what happened that night and the feelings that Yahshua felt at the Table, at the Tree and at His resurrection. This is what it means ‘to remember.’

    We can also remember, all too well, how our life was before we came to Yahshua. We have come out of the Kingdom of Satan and into Messiah Yahshua’s glorious Kingdom because of God’s love for us!
  2. FRIEND: Because we are eating with Yahshua at the Passover table, He calls us His friends. This is an ancient Middle Eastern concept. Anyone who breaks bread with another is considered their closest friend. Now we, like Father Abraham (Is. 41:8), are Elohim’s friends. Ask the Yahweh to reveal His friendship to you.
  3. HEALING: In the sacrificial death of our Messiah there is healing for our soul and for our body. The matza pictures Yahshua being pierced through and crushed for us:
    ‘But He was pierced through for our open rebellion. He was crushed because of our perversions and guilt. He took our (just) punishment, which brings us shalom (peace with Abba El) and by His stripes we are healed’ (Is. 53:5).

    Matza is a perfect picture of Yahshua crucified, the true Bread from Heaven, the matza of Heaven. matza is always pierced through in the baking process to keep the heat from making bubbles in it. Yahshua was pierced through for our transgressions, our open rebellion to Elohim. He took our well deserved punishment.

    As grain is crushed into flour, so Yahshua was crushed by His death that we might be able to eat of Him. He was crushed for our iniquities, perversions and crookedness.

    Notice the burn marks on the matza . These are called bruises or stripes. Isaiah says that by His stripes we are healed! Oh, what a mighty Messiah we serve!

    At His last Passover Yahshua washed the feet of all His Apostles (Jn. 13:3-17), which pictures Him also washing our feet because we were also there, in the loins of the Apostles.

    If we have any bitterness or resentment or unforgiveness, whether toward another or ourselves, Yahshua asks us to give it to Him. This is what Paul meant when he said that we must discern Messiah’s Body (1st Cor. 11:29). Unforgiveness is poison. Let us put away from us all the poison of Satan, all the leaven of sin (1st Cor. 5:6-8), by the blood, flesh and Spirit of Yahshua our Messiah.

    Ask Him to take it from you. This is why He died and we must believe that He will hear us and that He will do it. This is our faith or trust in Him.

    Now we are properly discerning His Body, Who He is and who we are in Him. We are almost ready to eat of His body and to drink of His blood.
  4. REJOICE! Bless our Father from our hearts for His Son who sets us free and gives us life! In Ex. 12:14 Elohim commands us to rejoice! He has destroyed our greatest enemies: our carnality, death and Satan by the death of His Son. This is the great and mighty deed of our Elohim! Let us enter into what Yahshua has done for us and rejoice as our Fathers did at the other end of the Red Sea and as the Apostles did when they saw Yahshua alive from the dead! Look what the Yahweh has done for us!
    The Scriptures record of the Passover night:

    “As they were eating Yeshua took some matza , blessed His Father and broke it and gave it to His disciples and said, ‘Take and eat it for this is My body.’”

    “Then He took the cup and gave thanks to His Father and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you, for this is My blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for many for the removal of sins.’”

    Yahshua describes Himself, who is Freedom, as now being pictured in the matza and the wine, which already meant freedom from Egypt. Now we can more fully understand why Elohim set up the First Passover like He did: matza always pictured His Son, our crucified King. Elohim set it up this way so that when Messiah came He could walk into, and amplify, the meaning and symbolism of the First Passover.

    Yahshua gives us to eat of His flesh and His blood that we might be free and delivered from sin, sickness, death and Satan. Just as we need natural food and drink to live, which the matza and the wine symbolize, so too, we need the flesh and blood of our Messiah for life eternal, which the matza and wine also symbolize.

Bless our Father for the matza and the wine, the flesh and blood of His Son and the New Covenant that Elohim promised Israel (Yahshua is the New Covenant, torn asunder for us; Gen. 15:1-21; Is. 42:6; Jer. 31:31-34). Eat the matza and drink the wine. Receive the new life that is Yahshua! Let us experience Abba El’s  great Redemption now, today, this moment! Take a theme and lift it up to the Yahweh: Remember, Friend, Healing and Rejoice!
Wait upon the Holy Spirit to move among the people. Then, after awhile, ask if anyone would want to share what they just experienced. After that then say…

Let any that need healing come forth for prayer. Let any that desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit come. Let any that need forgiveness of sin, come for prayer. Invite others to come and pray with the people for their needs.

The Removal of Sin

We symbolically remove sin from us by removing all the yeast or leaven products from our homes. This is what Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread pictures: Elohim removing sin from us so we can be holy, pure, humble and modest (which is a facet of holiness). Leaven is a picture of pride in our life. Passover is a living reminder that Elohim delivered us from Egyptian slavery and the Kingdom of Satan, not to do his own thing, but to be holy unto Him and be like His Son.

Now, it’s time (Ex. 12:15; Mt. 26:26-28; Heb. 12:1-2) for our remaining sin to be consumed by the fire. After having taken of His flesh and His blood it’s time to symbolically remove the last remnant of sin (pictured in a small piece of regular leavened bread). Place it in the fire of either an open fire or a barbecue grill so that it totally goes up in flames (or flush it down the toilet if you can’t burn it). Do not put it in the garbage as leaven is not to be found in your home. Thank Yahshua that He has taken all your sins upon Himself and transformed you into His Image!

Yahshua’s Place at our Table

In recognition of what Yahshua has done for us, and His Presence with us, we have a place setting for Yahshua. Traditional Jews have a place setting for Elijah because they believe, and rightly so, that the prophet Elijah would come before the Messiah comes (Mal. 4:5) to announce the Messiah’s coming. We know that Elijah, in John the Immerser, and Messiah, have already come.

What better time for Elijah to have come, announcing Messiah who is freedom, then at the Feast of Freedom—Passover?! Scripture says that John was born six months before Yahshua (Lk. 1:26). With Yahshua coming at the Feast of Trumpets  it seems that John was born around, during or on Passover. Thirty years later, John most likely began proclaiming to all Israel at Passover time:
‘Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!’ (Mt. 3:1-13; 11:14; Lk. 1:17).

About six months later, Yahshua was immersed in the Jordan with John acting as witness. Now, we honor Yahshua as our Messiah by having a place setting for Him at our Passover Table.
Take time to thank Yahshua for all He has done for you!

Tell Him how much you love Him and how grateful you are for what He has done for you, as though He were sitting at the Table with you.

The Fourth Cup: The Cup of Praise

The fourth cup praises Elohim for His completed work of redemption: Passover and the Red Sea, but Matthew (26:29) writes that Yahshua didn’t drink from this cup. After the third cup Yahshua says,
‘But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s Kingdom.’

It’s as though time has stood still for 2,000 years and allowed us, who weren’t literally at that Passover Table with Yahshua, to sit and eat of the matza and drink of the wine from that third cup that pictures His flesh and His blood. This is the Passover table that we invite all to eat from. It’s a Table of Life and Freedom.

This open-ended time period will cease on the Day of Yahweh, the Day of Judgment, when all those who have really eaten of His flesh and drunk of His blood will be glorified and be just like He is now. Then we will drink of the fourth cup with Him because our Redemption will be complete, to the glory of Abba El at the eternal Passover, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:6-9).

Overturn the fourth cup.

HalleluYah!

Matthew 26:30 says, ‘After singing the Hallel (hymns) they went out to the Mount of Olives.’

Hallel means ‘praise.’ It’s a specific reference to Psalms 113–118. These Psalms are sung at Passover because they exalt Elohim, His creation and His salvation. Matthew Levi wrote that Yahshua and the Apostles sang these praise psalms to the Father Yahweh (Yah).

As we’ve already sung (or read) Psalms 113–114, let’s sing (or read) Psalms 115–118 now. Hallelu-Yah means ‘Praise Yahweh!’ (Let the Holy Spirit lead you in making up the tunes for the Psalms.)

The Ceremony Concludes

Because Elohim commands that we thank Him after we eat for the good Land (of Israel) that He has given to us (Dt. 8:10), we use Psalm 145:16 for it and other things:
‘You open Your hand and you satisfy the desire of every living creature, and we thank You for the good Land, Messiah Yahshua, Your holy Torah, the people of Israel, and our family.’
The Passover ceremony concludes with, ‘Next year may we celebrate Passover with Yahshua in Jerusalem!’

The Passover ceremony is officially over now, but there is more. Until dawn we read Scripture, sing praise and pray for one another and others, and try to encourage each other to stay awake. Praise and worship music will help us to stay awake and focused on Yahshua when we grow tired and weary.

Yahshua commands us to stay alert! and God commands us to stay awake all this night (Ex. 12:42). Why?

On this night, 15 Aviv , Yahweh moved in Egypt in such a way that He never did before and would never do again. At the First Passover He freed the Sons of Israel from Egyptian slavery by the blood of the lamb and the death of Egypt’s firstborn sons.

At the Second Passover Abba El moved in such a way that He had never done before and would never do again—He sacrificed His Firstborn Son to free us from slavery to sin, sickness, Satan, death and Hell and to give us life eternal with Him and Yahshua in the New Jerusalem.

Yahweh commanded that Israel remain awake all night (Ex. 12:40-42) in honor of what He did that First Passover and in recognition that the Hebrews didn’t get any sleep, as they left about dawn. They were coming out of the Kingdom of Darkness and into the Kingdom of Light, an appropriate time (dawn) to leave Pharaoh.

Staying awake all night is a way of identifying with our Fathers in ancient Israel in their loneliness, agony and pain, and also, in their anticipation of freedom and new life.

This time period, of being awake all night, figures prominently into the Second Passover with Yahshua. He also remained awake all that night. He wanted His friends to do the same and pray for Him (Mt. 26:36-46), but they were very tired and probably had too much wine to drink and thought that this was going to be ‘just another Passover.’ They didn’t realize that what was about to happen was the ultimate event of the Universe and would never be repeated again. The Creator Son was about to be sacrificed—for His Creation.

Remaining awake for us symbolizes our night in Egypt and our night with Yahshua, and also, that we won’t be asleep in the darkness of this coming year when the Yahweh, by His Spirit, would want to move upon us in a way that the Spirit never did before and might not ever do again.

It’s symbolic of our not being ‘asleep in the dark’ when the Spirit of Messiah would want to move upon us during the coming year. One day, a unit of time, symbolizes another unit of time; the coming year. The darkness of this night symbolizes the darkness of the world that we live in, even when the sun is shining brightly. The darkness of Passover night pictures our life in this world of darkness; in it, but not of it. These are the reasons we remain awake all night, singing praise, reading Scripture and praying, eating and rejoicing in Messiah Yahshua.

Staying awake all night also speaks of us being attentive to our walk with Messiah in this world, that we would not fall into complacency. Yahshua is returning and we must not be ‘asleep.’ We, too, like the faithful virgins, must always have oil in our lamps (Mt. 25:1-13).

At the Passover meal we eat the Bread of Affliction, which is a perfect picture of Yahshua crucified. Isaiah 53:5 says that Messiah was pierced through. He was crushed  and bruised and with His stripes  from the lashes of the Romans we are healed. We are commanded to stay awake all night as Yahweh did when He brought Israel out of Egypt (Ex. 12:40-42) and as Israel did that night, also, and as Yahshua did that last night in Jerusalem. This begins our ‘affliction.’ Affliction or humbling makes us like Yahshua, and in the natural as we do our part by obeying Abba El, He does His part by making us like Yahshua.

Matza is the bread that pictures our crucified Messiah. This is what the Feast of matza is all about: Abba El making us holy, like Yahshua, as we humble ourselves before Him, pictured in the eating of the matza of Affliction-Life, the drinking of the wine of His sacrifice and in our staying up all night. Yahshua, always obedient to His Father, stayed up all night (Matt. 26:26-30, 36-50ff). He was very much discomfited that night and the next day—for us.

The ‘affliction’ continues for the seven day Feast of matza (Unleavened Bread) where we are commanded to eat this bread every day. These seven days are Elohim's perfect, holy number and symbolize that He will cause us to become like His Son
. We can trust Him to do that as He gave His own Son crucified as a guarantee of His promise.

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