I don’t like calling the New Testament “new” because I’ve yet to find anything new in it. It’s the Most Recent Testament, I’ll agree to that much—but every element, everything that Messiah taught, God’s complete expectations for Israel, even the final events in the Book of Revelation are based on principles way back in the first 5 books of the Bible. The MRT is simply accentuating the most important parts of an eternal story, as the leadership in Messiah’s day had obscured the most important parts with their man-made religions traditions. The love story between Israel and YHWH isn’t over, so every timeless theme is still in full effect today. I know all of that flies in the face of what most modern Christian denominations preach. I’d rather listen to what Messiah preached on the sermon on the mount: “Do not think I came to do away with the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to abolish them, but to fill them with their ultimate meaning. For truly I say to you until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” (Matt 5:18)
In Passover 101: Part 2, we finished skimming over the ancient pattern, but the themes of Passover continue in the life of Messiah, starting from his infancy. Luke 2:21 tells of Jesus’ circumcision, the external mark of Abrahamic faith. Mathew 2:18 continues the pattern of an Israelite’s life as the baby Messiah goes to Egypt and then crosses (passes) over, back into the Promised Land. We learn in Luke 2:41 that Mary and Joseph had kept Passover each year for their entire lives, and again are reminded in Luke 3:23-38 that every single person in Messiah’s lineage (being faithful believers in God) likewise kept Passover every single year.
Of course, all four gospels show Messiah and his disciples eating a very similar meal together (which we all know as ‘The Last Supper’) as Messiah was preparing them for his looming death. Of course, Messiah was crucified not on that night, but on the next night, the night of Passover. At that final meal, he tells them that they must “eat his flesh and drink his blood”, figurative language relating to the lamb at the Passover ritual—eating every bit of the lamb, leaving nothing leftover. The idea of “Communion”, in other words “becoming one” with the Lamb of God through eating it, was not invented in the New Testament. It was instituted back in Exodus with the first Passover. We’ll compare and contrast ‘The Last Supper’ and the actual Passover meal in a future study, since they are closely related–but NOT the same thing.
Lest we think otherwise, John the Baptist, every one of the Disciples, the Apostle Paul, James, Jude, and Peter, just to name the New Testament all-stars, all kept Passover every single year. In fact, Paul says this to the early Corinthian church, 1 Cor 5:7-8, “Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
Why? Because, although Messiah fulfilled the patterns of both Abraham and Moses, God isn’t done with Passover yet.
We still live in a land of confusion and faithlessness, and we who are marked by Messiah’s blood still await the judgment upon the world in which we are currently exiled.
The Exodus pattern continues to the end. The Book of Revelation mentions ten specific plagues that God will put on the world at some point soon. Through that same judgment Israel will be delivered, once and for all, to the Promised Land. We also learn in Revelation 22, that our permanent home is indeed a garden full of trees and fruit, just like in the beginning.
Messiah declared his disciples to be fishers of men. The original context of that phrase comes from this prophecy in Jerimiah 16:14-16. “Therefore behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had banished them.’ For I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers. Behold, I am going to send for many fisherman, “declares the LORD, “and they will fish for them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain and every hill and from the clefts of the rocks.” This has been happening since the Passover when Messiah was crucified and will continue until he returns to take us to The Promised Land.
Many have been misled into thinking that since the command to keep Passover each year is found in the Law of Moses, that somehow the feast celebrates Moses or is based somehow in legal obedience alone. It’s likely this association, plus the almost complete appropriation of Passover by Judaism, that has made Passover fall out of fashion amongst Christianity. For me and my house, once we recognized the scriptural story arc, the eternally relevant themes, and saw how Messiah both honored and accentuated Passover, keeping it became obvious. We had to repent of our ignorance, and for not seeing the beauty that was right in front of our faces–in our own Bibles.
John 1:1 tells us that Messiah Yeshua existed before creation and lived before his birth in the New Testament. In Col 2:16-17, Paul tells us that the Old Testament feasts are a shadow of the things to come, and that the substance belongs to Messiah. This couldn’t be more true.
Messiah is who covered Adam and Eve after they sinned.
Messiah was the door to Noah’s ark, a door still open to save humanity.
Messiah remains the seed promised to Abraham.
Messiah was the Ram caught in the thorns that saved Isaac’s life.
Messiah’s Hebrew name (Yeshua, Yahshua, or Yahoshua) means “YHWH’s Savior”.
Messiah proved the right to that title not at the cross, but during that first Passover in Egypt.
Messiah’s blood is the cost of our redemption and remains the sign that will save every generation since Adam’s in the day of judgement.
Until he returns, we continue to wait in that same shadow, and we continue to keep the Passover.
The rest of this series will color within the lines of this sketch and offer practical ideas as to how and when we are to remember this day. I’ll go into great detail on each individual element of the evening, plus do a walk-through of how we honor the night in my house. I hope this series is blessing you so far. We still have a long way to go!