Details of Passover Observance for Believers
I am not an expert in all the details of timing, or procedures, or
comparisons to other events. And even if I were this would not be the
place to discuss all the nuances. Much is in flux right now as we read
the Word and try to understand what it means. All I know is what I read
and what I have learned from several of my teachers. I have not done an
exhaustive study although I am sure there is much to be gained from
such. You can begin to put some of these things together also, as you
gain understanding and familiarity with the Word. This is one of my
major points in teaching: start somewhere, and add more as you
understand. Don't hesitate to begin doing as much as you can for fear of
not knowing enough. Fear doesn't have a place in our relationship with
our Father except the kind that is from reverence, respect, and worship.
There are questions of who may eat of it (Exodus 12:42-45, 48, 49),
exactly what circumcision means (Genesis 17:1-15; Romans 4:9-12; 1
Corinthians 7:18; Colossians 2:6-14), where to eat it (Deuteronomy 16:2,
5 compare to Exodus 12) and where did the Scriptures command an egg on
the plate anyway? How do we balance Exodus 12:49 ("The same law shall
apply to the native as to the stranger that sojourns among you") with
Exodus 12:43 ("No foreigner is to eat of it")? It is my view that as
adopted sons, in the household of faith, we are free to partake of the
Pesach without penalty, as long as we ARE of the household of faith (1
Corinthians 11:23-34). As I've said before, balancing these things will
deepen your understanding, strengthen your faith, and enhance your
relationship to the Father and each other.
Some people go to
extremes to remove leaven from their houses. They will clean everything
from top to bottom (this is where the idea of Spring cleaning comes
from), and even use a feather to dust everything so there will be
absolutely no particle of leaven in the dwelling. But people take this
trouble to remove leaven from the home and do not even think of removing
the sin from their lives, which is what the removal of leaven
represents. As a matter of fact, we should concentrate on the removal of
sin from our selves more than finding microscopic traces of yeast or
baking soda in our home. Check out the example of King Josiah in 2 Kings
23:21-25 where he celebrated the Passover AND removed sin from the Land.
Have you ever wondered how Yeshua could both eat the Pesach meal and
BE the Pesach lamb? It is because the literal meaning of "twilight"
(Exodus 12:6) is "between the two evenings." Therefore He could eat the
Pesach meal on the first evening, as long as His execution took place
before the second evening. By the way, He had to be in the ground three
days AND three nights, so the conventional Christian teaching of a
Friday execution and a Sunday resurrection is wrong, no matter how you
combine the days and nights.
I want you to notice that the
sacrificing of the lamb on Pesach in Exodus 12 is not in connection with
the Temple at all; it was done at home. Later, when Israel was in the
Land, it was to be done at the "place where I put my Name" (Deuteronomy
16:2,6). Exactly where this is at the present day can be debated still.
It has been known to mean "the place where the Temple is," but if I
understand the Word properly then WE are the Temple, so what does this
really mean? This is something that needs more study. Apparently, if the
place where He puts His Name is too far away, we do it at home as
evidenced by Deuteronomy 12:21.
In 2 Chronicles 30:17 Hezekiah
prays that the Lord will not hold the sin of eating the Passover in a
way other than prescribed by Temple ritual against the people, and God
does not strike them. Although I wouldn't go so far as to say we could
do what we want, there appears to be some leeway. I have not actually
done this yet, but I am working up to buying a lamb or kid and
slaughtering it, and I may do it this year. It is not a pleasant
prospect to find a perfect lamb or kid, feed it and care for it for four
days while it wanders around the back yard bleating, become attached to
it, then slaughter it myself. However, at least one meaning that is
shown by this is that the sacrifice for sin is very, very personal, and
the price for my disobedience is very, very hard to pay.
we attended a Seder (the word means "order" and is the traditional form
of the meal) at our church. Unfortunately, it was just treated as a
novelty, which removed some of the meaning. Another year we did a Seder
at home that was very good. The last couple of years my wife bought some
prepared lamb and we roasted it and ate it with a meal and some bitter
herbs (horseradish) and unleavened bread. I had a staff at hand, and we
ate it in haste. One year I may try to purchase a lamb or kid and go the
whole route; if we can we will try to find a family or two to share it
with, because it is quite a bit of meat for one meal. The main point I'm
trying to make is this is a growth process, and I add more as I
understand more. If you would like to participate with us let me know.
For leaven removal, our family makes it a project to read the
ingredients on all the food in the house and remove the ones with
leaven, yeast, or baking soda. You can take them to the garage or
storage building if you want - just remove them from the house and don't
eat them during Unleavened Bread. Bring them back afterward if you want,
until you get used to planning so you don't buy a bunch before hand. You
would be surprised at how many foods are made with leavening. You can
use the standard matzah wafers or any other bread without leaven for the
Remember, don't allow the details to distract you from
beginning to making room for this feast. Start somewhere, even if you
just mark the day on the calendar, read the story of the Exodus and
perhaps the story of the execution of the Messiah, and have a nice meal.
Get a Jewish calendar and you can start keeping track of the placement
of the appointed times with your family, and try to purchase one of the
excellent books written to help with celebrating and "keeping" this
appointment with our God and Messiah.
Below is a video that covers the themes of the feasts and some
suggestions for practice.
May our Father bless your
efforts and produce much fruit through your practice.
"Obey and pay attention to everything I am
ordering you to do, so that things will go well with you and with your
descendants after you forever, as you do what Adonai sees as good and
right. When Adonai your God has cut off ahead of you the nations your
are entering in order to dispossess, and when you have dispossessed them
and are living in their land; be careful, after they have been destroyed
ahead of you, not to be trapped into following them; so that you inquire
after their gods and ask, 'How did these nations serve their gods? I
want to do the same.'" (Deuteronomy 12:28-30 CJB)
Bruce Scott Bertram