COME YE UNTO THE GREAT FEAST – PASSOVER - Part TWO
COME YE UNTO THE GREAT FEAST – PASSOVER – Part Two
The Lord has said to those who are children of Israel: “And ye shall observe this (Passover) for an ordinance to thee, and to thy (children) forever.” God declared it to be a holy celebration for For---ev---er.[i] Historically, Passover celebrates God’s deliverance from bondage in Egypt, and how the Lord passed over those who took the Blood of the Passover Lamb upon them. The spiritual Application is that Egypt is a type of the “world” and the world’s Roman/Babylonian system of corporate bondage. Pharaoh represents a type of Satan, and the bondage is to sin, which happens when we are focused on anything other than upon God. Do we really believe that the Blood of the Lamb can deliver us from Sin and death and the bondage of the Natural Man?
He is the Lamb of God
Yeshua is the Lamb of God, our Passover[ii]. Those who believe in Him are the House of God. The doorposts where we place the Blood that was shed is in our hearts, which Blood then redeems us and sanctifies us[iii]. As we understand from His instituting the Sacrament, we Israelites of latter-days are invited to remember that it is His Blood, and ONLY His Blood, that can deliver and redeem us. Salvation and Eternal Life cannot come to us in any other way. We must stop looking to ourselves for Salvation and look to Him, and only Him, as our Lord, and as our Bridegroom. He is ready to “Re-Ceive” us into the covenant of Eternal Life.
During Passover, the head of each house is to take an unblemished Lamb on the 10th day of Nisan and bring it unto his house, hiding it from the world, and keep it safe until the 13th day when at exactly 3 PM it is to be killed and then the Blood of the lamb is sprinkled on the doorpost of the house. The Lamb is then to be roasted with fire, and with bitter herbs and unleavened bread; the entire household was to feast upon the body of the Lamb. Jesus said; “This is my body which is given for you, take, eat in remembrance of Me.[iv]” The Lord then said to eat the Lamb in haste and be ready to leave at the Midnight hour on the 14th day of Nisan. There are two points made here. The Lord is our Passover[v] from sin and death into Life in Him. Faith in His redeeming blood offers us His watchful care over our lives and protection from the destroyer.
“IT IS FINISHED” - IN CHRIST
Now as it pertains to all of Israel – the High Priest of all the people would also go on the 10th day of Nisan outside the city to somewhere like Bethany to find that special “Unblemished Lamb”[vi] and lead that lamb into the city of Jerusalem through the streets, where the pilgrims who had come to Jerusalem specifically for Passover would shout and sing praises, and wave palm branches at the Lamb being led by the High Priest, who would lead or carry him to the Temple where on the 14th day of Nisan the Lamb would be slain by the High Priest upon the altar of the temple precisely at 3 PM for a great sacrifice for all the people, after which the High Priest would say “It is finished”[vii].
We must see that this was fulfilled in every way as the true Passover lamb came into Jerusalem on that 10th day of Nisan riding (or being carried) on a donkey (ass) and the pilgrims waved palms at him on Palm Sunday and shouted praises to Him. He then celebrated Passover Feast with his disciples a day early so that then He could perform that greatest sacrifice to end all sacrifices in the Garden and then was taken by the High Priest and condemned to die for all the people, and on the 13th at 3 PM (the ninth hour) this great sacrifice was slain, at which point He, the Greatest High Priest of all said: “It is finished!”[viii] The scripture says at the ninth hour[ix]- it is the ninth hour of the day because the day hours begin at 6 AM.
Jesus suffered the end of His great sacrifice at 3 PM that day, but more than being crucified outside the gates of he city, by Jews and Romans, He actually gave His own life at that point. No man could take it from Him[x]. He willingly and voluntarily gave Himself for our sins, because of Love, that we might have Eternal Life.
He is the Passover Lamb who was brought into the house (of Israel) on the 10th day of Nisan (Palm Sunday) by the waving of the Palms while he rode in on a donkey[xi], and then crucified as an emblem or token of His redemption and purchase of all those who take upon themselves the blood of the Passover Lamb. The crucifiers had to hurry and get Him in the tomb before the Holy Sabbath day of Passover/Unleavened Bread began at 6 PM that day. Then three days later on the morning of the Day of First Fruits, He arose from the dead and literally became the First Fruits of them that slept. He literally has broken the chains of Death and Hell for all of us. Then 50 days after His resurrection, just as He invited the Israelites to come to Him and see His Face on that day in the wilderness at Mount Sinai, He fulfilled His promise to pour out the Revelation of God upon those who believed in Him. This He did by granting those blessed people their marvelous miraculous day of Pentecost.
Passover is the first of the feasts to teach us about the Passover Lamb. Likewise repenting, or turning our hearts and minds to Him as our Passover, instead of focusing on something other than Him, is our first step in receiving the divine gift of His At-One-ment, His deliverance, His protection, and His outpouring of the Revelations of Him.
A Lamb without any Blemish is Required
One reason the male Lamb without blemish is taken into our homes for 4 days is to teach us of the 4000 years from the day of Adam and Eve until the day of His first coming. One day with the Lord is 1000 years with man[xii]. The Lamb must be examined to determine that He is without spot or blemish. During the four days leading up to His crucifixion, Jesus was indeed examined by the High Priests, and the elders of the church, and the Chief High Priests Annas and Caiaphas, and Judas Iscariot, and the Roman Centurion, and the repentant thief. We, too, must examine Him. But let us be ever so careful to understand why He is without spot or blemish, and not judge Him wrongly as did those examiners. During this examination time, He is hidden from us until we choose Him as our Passover and we willingly choose to partake of His Body and His Blood.
The Passover is to be celebrated by each household and there must be a Lamb for each Household, helping us to understand that we experience His salvation as a Household, personally for each family, for ourselves, and that He is not just someone who is far away and untouchable, impersonal, aloof, and corporate in nature. Much more, He is our personal Savior – well, at least He is mine. You may choose for yourself. The House or Church of the Lamb are those who actually take upon them His Name and who become His Sons and His Daughters by covenant.
The whole body of the Lamb must be eaten with bitter herbs and unleavened bread and the blood of the Lamb must be applied to the door of the House. If we are only going to accept a part of Him, then we can only expect partial deliverance, and partial redemption -- which is a lot like partial marriage, partial pregnancy, or like a house with no doors, or no foundation. Or it could be like marrying a husband but having a part of our hearts on something or someone else. This is, according to the Prophet Joseph, the Lord’s definition of Adultery – to have our hearts somewhere else than on our Husband. We are the Bride of Christ – if we choose to be Faith-full to Him[xiii]. On the other hand, a wicked and adulterous generation could apply to those whose hearts are upon themselves and not upon their Lord.
Bitter herbs also remind us of the bondage and burdens that we experience in life, until we come unto the Passover Lamb and He says: “Come unto Me, ye who labor and are heavy laden (or burdened), for I will give you rest, for My yoke is easy and My burden is Light.”[xiv] Life in Christ truly offers peace, joy and the completely new perspective of Love. But not until we Come unto Him and “Re-Ceive” Him (and all that He offers).
Beware the Leaven of the Pharisees
Leaven in scripture speaks of “sin”. During the days preceding Passover, Israelites are to search diligently throughout their house to find and rid the house of all Leaven. Likewise, a good searching of our hearts to discover what is keeping us from Him, although a fearful thing for most of us, would allow us to give ourselves completely to Him in a contrite spirit, which is what it will take to find Him. This is the meaning of “bringing the Lamb into the House” – bringing the Lamb of God into our hearts, and the letting go of the Self that is blocking the way.
Unleavened bread signifies “giving up all our sins to Know Him”[xv]. The Blood of the Lamb cannot do us any good until we apply it to the House, which, of course, is us. The Pharisees do not want us to “Know” Him, nor even bring Him into our House or our Lives.[xvi] The Leaven within us is that Natural Man ego Self which puffs us up. We must “put away” all that Self out of our “House” through the At-One-ment of Christ[xvii], the Passover Lamb. The Lord has stated that “Man is the tabernacle of God, (the House of God) yea, even temples”[xviii] of God. Let us be sure that we apply His atoning Blood to this Temple.
The Passover Lamb must be roasted in fire, not sodden with water (or watered down) – speaking of refinement and purification that must occur for those who believe in Him, especially the refinement of our faith in Him from something merely spoken but dead and lifeless, to something real and full of life-giving power.
You see, there really are at least two kinds of faith. If our faith is just words, or if with our lips we honor Him but our hearts are far from Him[xix], then our hearts will be purged in the refiner’s fire of the Spirit. The Spirit of God is gifted to us to purify and refine and sanctify us.[xx]
Keep our Shoes on – and Oil in our Lamps
The Lamb must be eaten in haste with our loins girded and shoes on our feet[xxi]. We must be ready to go with Him when He says “Come”. When the door of the Bridegroom is opened, we’d better have oil in our lamps and ready to go in to the Marriage Supper of the Lord[xxii].
Not a bone of the unblemished Lamb is to be broken, which, as you know, was literally fulfilled in the Lamb of God[xxiii]. The Lord said that each family must provide an explanation of the Passover for their family during the feast, ending with the singing of a Song of Rejoicing unto the Lord. When we understand the Passover Lamb by being taught of Him, we will have infinite reasons to Rejoice in Him and Praise Him in Song and worship, experiencing a New Heart and a New Life in Him.
Enter into My Rest, which is the Fulness of My Glory
Passover was to be a holy celebration[xxiv] wherein no work was to be done[xxv]. True rest in the Lord is only found by ceasing from our own “works” and resting in the delivering, redeeming power of that Lamb of God. God said that there is Healing Power in the Passover Lamb and that the Passover delivers all those who are the Firstborn. We should know by now, that all healing occurs because of the Light of Christ. Paul said that those who “Come unto Christ” are the Firstborn of God, who are delivered from the Law of sin and death, and of dead “works”[xxvi].
In the real Passover feast, such as the one which Jesus celebrated with His disciples just before He suffered for us in the Garden, there is the Passover Lamb and the Unleavened Bread and the four cups of Wine or Fruit of the Vine in a memorial service. The word “Memorial” tells us to remember.
All of these things are present in the Lord’s Supper, which we typically refer to as the Sacrament, which is a Roman term referring to a personal intimate communion with Him. He is, of course, the Bread of Life, and the True Vine of which we must drink fully in the Lord’s supper, if we so choose to partake with Him in His Kingdom. Today, we not only are bidden to the Lord’s supper once a year but each week – in memorial - to Remember Him - and to make choice as to whether we really would take His Name upon us, and seek His Face, and “Re-Ceive” Him as our Bridegroom. That choice that we are offered is the true nature of the Sacrament. It is not the ritual, but rather it is the choice that we make that is the true sanctifying nature of the Sacrament. It is the Spirit, not the law, that sanctifies.
Christ Jesus is the “Whole Meaning”[xxvii] of the Passover and the Feasts
Take note what Jesus was doing on each of the three Passovers during his 3 ½ year (42 month) ministry. On the first and 2nd Passovers, he was celebrating Passover by going through the city healing all manner of afflictions, both body and soul[xxviii]. He does that for us, too. On the 2nd one also, He proclaimed Himself to be the Bread of Life[xxix], the True Manna sent from Heaven, (which “Manna” is another “type”, witnessing of Him in the wilderness). On the 3rd Passover, He was cleansing the Temple – which signifies what He does for each of us personally (not by anger, but by His Perfect Love. And also on the 3rd and final Passover, Jesus, or Yeshua, is the complete and Infinite Passover Lamb of God slain for the sins of the whole world - in perfect fulfillment of every aspect of that which God had taught Israel to look for in the celebration of the Passover memorial every year for over 1500 years.
All of this is not only my witness of Him, but my attempt to show in a small way that “all things bear record of Me” (Jesus)[xxx]. To me that means ALL scriptures, all prophets and apostles, ALL ordainances, all gifts of the spirit, the church and temples, all experiences, all of life, all things present around us and within us in this universe, - yes, all creation bears record and testifies of Him! All things are given to bring us to Christ.
Notes: The author is greatly indebted to the Hebrew research and writings of Edward Chumney, “The Seven Festivals of the Messiah”, in bringing forward much of the understanding of the great symbolism of the Lord’s Feasts in our own latter-day lives, and this author has both summarized and paraphrased, and also adapted Chumney’s work for a Latter day Saint readership. The intent is to bring us all to a more complete understanding and receipt of the Lord’s New Covenant (D&C 84:48,57) A further study of Chumney’s Seven Festivals of the Messiah and also the Hebrew language is highly recommended for those who choose to immerse themselves in that New Covenant of Love.
See also “Newton's Date For The Crucifixion” by John P. Pratt Reprinted from Quarterly Journal of Royal Astronomical Society 32, (Sept. 1991), 301-304.
The author has intentionally misspelled the words “Re-Ceive” and “Ordaination” and “Faith-Full” and “At-One-ment” to draw attention to the true powerful meaning of those words. Conscious attention to the meaning of words in scripture and in our language is revelatory. Likewise, certain words are capitalized in this discussion to draw attention to and point out the specific nature of that word, rather than a general use of the word. For example, the word “Blood”, refers to that specific special Blood of Christ Jesus, which has power to redeem and sanctify us, rather than just any other blood. In Parts Three and Four of this discussion, we will go further into the most important Feast (Anointing Ordainance) of all, that of Pentecost (Shauvot), and also the Fall Feasts, denoting the approaching Second Coming of the Bridegroom and the Redemptive Wedding Feast that will take place.
[i] Exodus 12:17-24 [ii] 1 Corinthians 5:7 [iii] Moses 6:59 [iv] 1 Corinthians 11: 24 [v]1 Cor. 5: 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us [vi] Exodus 12:5; 1 Peter 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: [vii] John 19:30 [viii] John 19:30 [ix] Matthew 27:45-52, Mark 15:33-34 [x] John 10:18 [xi] Matthew 21:1-11 [xii] 2 Peter 3:8 [xiii] Isaiah 62:5: Revelation 21:2 [xiv] Matthew 11:28-30 [xv] Alma 22:18 [xvi] Luke 11:52 Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered. [xvii] Mosiah 3:19 “The Natural Man is an Enemy TO God, and will be forever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the Natural Man through the Atonement of Christ”. [xviii] Doctrine & Covenants 93:35 [xix] 2 Nephi 27:25 [xx] 3 Nephi 27:20 [xxi] Exodus 12:11 [xxii] Matthew 25:1; D&C 45:56-57 [xxiii] John 19:36 [xxiv] Leviticus 23:1-37 [xxv] Numbers 21:12 [xxvi] Hebrews 6:1; Hebrews 9:14; Moroni 8:23 [xxvii] Alma 34:14-17 [xxviii] John 2: 23 [xxix] John 6; 35, 48 [xxx] Moses 6:63