Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach on this Passover!
Because tonight is the first night of Passover, the regular Torah reading
cycle is interrupted with a special reading.
special portion of Torah will be read in synagogues everywhere during the Shabbat Pesach (Saturday Passover) service. Please read this story of freedom
along with us. You certainly will be blessed as you discover the Jewish
roots of your faith!
Shabbat Pesach (Passover)
Exodus 12:21–51; Numbers 28:16–25; Joshua 5:2–6:1; John 1:29–31
Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, ‘Go at once and
select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb.’” (Exodus
today’s reading, Moses instructs the Jewish people concerning the
details of the first Passover offering.
Each family was required to choose a lamb, slaughter it, and place its
blood on the top and sides of the door frame.
bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood
on the top and on both sides of the door frame.” (Exodus 12:22)
lamb's blood on the doorpost caused the Angel of Death to pass over those
within the house, and they were spared the plague that fell upon Egypt, the
death of the firstborn.
Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, He will see the blood
on the top and sides of the door frame and will pass over that doorway, and He
will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.” (Exodus
In the final plague upon Egypt, the slaying of the firstborn, the good
deeds and righteousness of the people did not save them from God’s judgment.
of the blood on the lintel of the door saved them, as well as every Egyptian
who also obeyed the command.
we are not saved by our works but by faith in Messiah Yeshua's offering for us.
is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)
Friday at sunset, the eight-day celebration of Passover begins.
people will mark the beginning of this prophetic holiday, which
foreshadows the salvation wrought for all mankind by Yeshua, with a
ceremonial meal called the Seder, during which the story of deliverance
from slavery in Egypt is retold.
Passover: When Death Lost Its Sting
was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the
punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are
healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
the world, as the Jewish people commemorate their exodus from slavery in
Egypt and celebrate the saving power of the God of Israel, believers in Yeshua
(Jesus), both Jewish and Gentile, will celebrate freedom from slavery
This freedom, the salvation of Israel and all mankind, was accomplished
through the death, burial, and resurrection of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the
Messiah) as the sacrificial Passover Lamb.
“Messiah was sacrificed once to
take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to
bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” (Hebrews
In fulfillment of Scripture, Yeshua became our guilt offering [asham], paying the price for sin once and for all.
the Lord makes His life a guilt offering, He will see His offspring and prolong
His days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in His hand.” (Isaiah
guilt offerings on the altar of the Temple were a method for receiving grace
and forgiveness, they could only cover unintentional sins. Intentional
(malicious, premeditated) sins fell under the curse of the law; the perpetrator
was cut off. Sometimes that meant death and other times, banishment from the
death and resurrection removed all sin for all time. As Yochanan (John)
said when he saw Yeshua coming toward him at the Jordan River, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the
world.” (John 1:29)
Because Yeshua became our Paschal offering, we are no longer under the
curse of the law. And while that includes intentional sin, this does not
give us license to continue sinning deliberately.
God requires that we repent and make restitution. Failure to do so
indicates that we are not following Him, that we are not drawing close to Him.
Though Yeshua endured an agonizing death to atone for the
sin of the
world, He rose again on the third day. Because He was completely
sinless, death could not hold Him. Had He not borne our sins, He
wouldn't have died at all.
The Passover Lamb: When Being Passed Over Is a Miracle
of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast, as you really
are. For Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed.” (1
Passover is rich in lessons for all believers in Yeshua.
Were you ever passed over as a child when the sports team was being
chosen? For a
child, being passed over could be devastating. Likewise, as adults, being
passed over for a promotion, raise, or a prestigious role can be very
But being “passed over” during the first Passover was a miracle of
God’s judgment of Egypt would pass
over those who had enough faith to follow His plan for salvation. That
plan involved selecting an unblemished lamb, killing it, and placing its blood
on the doorposts and lintels of their dwelling places.
Putting blood on the doorpost
Today, 3,500 years later, we are able to celebrate the Passover in all of
its prophetic fulfillment.
the opportunity to place the blood of the perfect, chosen Lamb of God, Yeshua,
over our hearts and homes, so that by faith, we too will be spared from the
Divine judgment due to the spiritual fall in this world.
This, too, is a miracle of deliverance.
blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where you are; and when I see
the blood, I will
pass over you [pasachti], and there shall no plague be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the
land of Egypt.” (Exodus 12:13)
Hebrew, the word for I will pass over, pasachti (וּפָסַחְתִּי), comes from the word pesach, which means to hop, to skip over or spare, and to pass over.
Yeshua Is Prepared for Burial
Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Yeshua. … With Pilate’s
permission, he came and took the body away.” (John 19:38)
ago, on Good Friday, Christians remembered the horrific death that
Yeshua suffered on our behalf. Believers also read how Yosef (Joseph)
of Arimathea and Nakdimon (Nicodemus) came to Pilate to ask for Yeshua’s body.
must put those events into their proper Jewish context. Yeshua was actually executed on the day that the
Passover lambs were being killed in preparation for the start of Passover.
Yeshua’s death, burial and resurrection occurred in a Hebraic context,
examining Jewish customs surrounding death, burial, mourning, and
resurrection can further our understanding of his death and resurrection.
Jewish burial customarily takes place within 24 hours, so in keeping with
Jewish practice, they sought to bury Yeshua right away.
They also prepared Yeshua’s body for burial with tahara, ritual purification. In this ritual, the body is cleansed, and then dried
and dressed in takhrikhim, a
simplewhite shroud (Mark
“Nicodemus brought a mixture of
myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Yeshua’s body, the two of
them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in
accordance with Jewish burial customs.” (John 19:39–40)
When Yosef and Nakdimon performed the mitzvah of preparing Yeshua’s body
for burial, they were performing the duties of the Khevra Kadisha, an organization that ensures the body is correctly prepared for burial and
protected from desecration.
By wrapping Yeshua in linen, they were practicing the custom of takhrikhim, providing the proper burial garment for the
Sabbath was quickly approaching, there was insufficient time to complete the
preparations before the holy day of the Passover began; therefore, Yeshua was
placed in a sealed tomb until the close of the High Sabbath day.
Yeshua was buried in a rich man’s tomb in fulfillment of the Messianic prophecy in Isaiah 53:
“He was assigned a grave with the
wicked, and with the rich in His death, though He had done no violence, nor was
any deceit in His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:9)
More important than how Yeshua was buried is that He rose from the dead and
gained victory over death. Hallelujah!
Both spiritual and physical death have been defeated through Yeshua’s
victory, as Saul of Tarsus (Paul) said:
Messiah has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits [bikkurim] of
those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man [Adam],
the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die,
so in Messiah all will be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:20–22)
This is the Good News that we
want to share with all Jewish people, so that they can be sure of their place
in the olam habah (the world to come).
If Death Is the Result of Sin, How Could Yeshua Die Sinless?
wonder how Yeshua could die since He was sinless. Others wonder if He
conquered death because He was the Son of God.
To answer those questions, we must first understand that, originally, God
did not create mankind to suffer death.
book of the Torah, Bereisheet (Genesis), reveals death as the judgment
of God upon mankind for their spiritual fall in the Garden of Eden.
Adam and Chava (Eve) failed their test of obedience, God said:
“By the sweat of your brow you
will eat your food until you return to the ground [adamah], since from it you were taken;
for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:19)
Hand-harvesting wheat for Passover
name Adam comes from the word for ground or earth, adamah, since man was taken from the ground.
This Hebrew word play reveals a spiritual truth: sin has brought physical death to all of mankind and
with it, a return to the earth
a person’s physical existence on earth, with the soul separating from the body.
Yeshua’s death, however, was not due to His own sin, since He was
sinless. He died when He took upon Himself the sins of the world.
die because He actually took those sins on Himself. He could rise again
because his offering of His sinless life was effective.
know that He appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no
sin.” (1 John 3:5)
The gospels of Mark, Matthew and John report that Yeshua was handed over to the Roman soldiers, who clothed Him in a ragged scarlet cloak, pressed a crown of thorns on His head, and mocked Him saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
Resurrection: A Jewish Belief
Traditionally, the rabbis believe that every Jew will be resurrected and
experience spiritual life.
written in Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), “The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God
who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:7)
11 of the Book of Hebrews describes the great men and women of faith. Some women received their dead back to life again, while “others were tortured and refused to be released, so
that they might gain a better resurrection.” (Hebrews 11:35)
The Tanakh (Old Testament) also describes a resurrection from the
dead and subsequent judgment.
The Hebrew prophet Daniel gives an account of what will happen in the last
“Multitudes who sleep in the dust
of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and
everlasting contempt.” (Daniel 12:2)
Kria: The Jewish Custom of Rending the Garments
Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many
days.” (Genesis 37:34)
Judaism, seven immediate family members are expected to
observe a seven-day mourning period: the father, mother, daughter,
son, brother, sister, and spouse.
seven mourners participate in a special tradition.
To symbolize how death rips the fabric of life, their garments are
symbolically ripped just before the funeral.
tradition called kria, the parents and children rend
the garment on their left, closest to the heart. Spouses and siblings tear
their garments on the right. While this may seem like an odd tradition, it
dates back to Biblical times (Genesis 37:34).
In fact, at the moment of Yeshua’s
death, the Heavenly Father also seemed to observe kria in His grief over the death of
His son Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah: “At that moment the curtain of
the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the
rocks split.” (Matthew 27:51)
The tomb is empty!
Thankfully, Yeshua’s death wasn’t the final word. Just as He promised, death couldn’t hold
Him (John 2:18–22; Matthew 26:31–32).
was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to
life for our justification.” (Romans 4:25)
of death is sin (1 Corinthians 15:56), and in Yeshua, death has lost its sting!
Therefore, those who follow
Yeshua can live confidently without any fear of death or dying, knowing that
when they pass from this life, their lives continue eternally with their loving
Father in Heaven.
were dead in our trespasses and sin and so undeserving of being called His
friends, in the immensity of His love, He reached out to us and offered us
On this first evening of Passover, may we once again be overcome with
gratitude for all that Yeshua suffered for on our behalf.
presented Messiah as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His
blood, to be received by faith." (Romans 3:25)
Pesach (Passover) plate Matzah bread with wine
Help us to sow a seed into His People's heart, spreading His word with us as a faithful partner.
God bless you from Jerusalem.