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The Passover (Pesach)

Updated: Mar 31

Mè yéga letter from CHRIST! Special warm greetings if you are an Egyptian. Grace and peace to you from GOD our FATHER, JESUS CHRIST our LORD and great brother (Philippians 1:2, John 20:19). Let his grace meet your gratitude in the morning and your adoration in the evening. Proclaim the goodness of GOD and remember his faithfulness. Be blessed, you, your house, and your nation. This week we thank and celebrate GOD for Israel's leaving from Egypt and the resurrection of JESUS CHRIST. Hallelujah! For Egyptian Christians and Jews, this period of rejoicing is also a period of strong stigmatization by their compatriots. In addition to the persecution faced by Christians in Egypt. Therefore, this week I send special warm greetings to Jewish and Christian communities in Egypt. Wonderful day, joyful Ressurection Sunday, happy Passover!

  1. The descendants of Abraham

  2. The Mosaic covenant primarily but not only for the Israelites

  3. Christianity and Judaism: two branches of the same tree

  4. JESUS does not dissociate himself from the Jews

  5. JESUS fulfilled the Jewish Passover

  6. Passover/Pesach (feast of unleavened bread)

* Dear English speaker, I know it is not common to write " Jewish Passover " in English. French is my first language. My writIngs are translated from French to other languages. In French, we almost use the same word for the Jewish celebration (Passover/ Pesach in Hebrew / Feast of Unleavened Bread) as for the Christian celebration (Pascha in Greek / Resurrection Day / Easter). This is also the case in several Latin languages. Because I want the same guideline for translations, I choose to write " Jewish Passover " and not just " Passover " when I refer to the Jewish celebration of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which I also call the first Passover.

" Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you."

(Exodus 12: 1-2, NKJV)

" And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ that you shall say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of the LORD, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.’ ” So the people bowed their heads and worshiped. (Exodus 12: 26-27, NKJV)

1. The descendants of Abraham

Abraham passed on GOD's laws to his sons (Genesis 18:19). Unfortunately, some turned away from the LORD. They did not instruct their descendants in the ways of the LORD and gradually their descendants did the same. After the death of Sarah, Abraham married Keturah, a black woman with whom he had six sons (Genesis 23, Genesis 25, 1 Chronicles 1:32). Adding Ishmael son of Hagar and Isaac son of Sarah (son of the promise), Abraham had a total of eight sons. Ishmael is the father of the Arabs. GOD blessed him and also clearly said that the covenant would be with Isaac, the son of promise (Genesis 17:18-20, Genesis 21: 17-21).

Like his father Abraham, Isaac passed on the laws of the LORD to his sons. Isaac had two sons: Esau and Jacob (later called Israel). Israel is the father of the Israelites while Esau is the father of the Edomites (Genesis 33:16, Genesis 36, Deuteronomy 2:4, Joshua 24:4, Deuteronomy 23:7). Esau turned away from the LORD, he became an idolater. His sons imitated him. From his descendants came Herod I the Great, who ordered the killing of all Israelite boys under two years of age, after he learned of the birth of JESUS from the wise men.

From the descendants of Keturah came the wife (Sephora) and father-in-law of Moses, Jethro. Jethro was a priest of Midian. The Midianites are the descendants of Midian, one of the sons of Keturah. When the Mount Sinai Covenant, more commonly known as the Mosaic Covenant, was established (Exodus 19-24), Jewish people were not the only ones who knew the LORD. But they were the only ones who had a covenant with him. In other words, the Israelites were the ones who were told by GOD how to serve and worship him. Non-Israelites who wanted to worship the LORD had to imitate the Israelites and put themselves under the covenant at Mount Sinai. History proves that the descendants of those who refused the Mount Sinai covenant gradually adopted pagan practices.

2. The Mosaic covenant was primarily but not only for the Israelites

🙂 GOD always wanted nations to be saved. The Mosaic Covenant was primarily but not exclusively for the Israelites. Even today, every year, people from all over the world converter to Judaism. GOD has always desired all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4).

" 47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48 And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it. 49 One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you.” (Exodus 12: 47-49, NKJV)

At that time, every "Israelite" was a Jew and an Israeli. Any foreigner after conversion and circumcision (for men) or marriage (for women) was associated with Israelites. Today, when we speak of Jews as a nation, we are referring to the nation of Israel. When we speak of the Jews as a community of believers, we must include all those who worship GOD under the Old Covenant and do not recognize the New Testament. In this group, we have for example the Jews of Africa and America.

3. Christianity and Judaism: two branches of the same tree

7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says theLord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah 9 [...]10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their GOD, and they shall be My people. [...]12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” (Hebrew 8:7-8, 10, 12, NKJV)

In the eyes of GOD, Christianity and Judaism are branches of one tree. Christianity is the continuation and fulfillment of Judaism. During his three-year ministry on earth, JESUS never contradicted the Old Covenant or the Torah. He sometimes opposed the reasoning and teachings of the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees, but never contradicted the Torah. For example, 🙂 It is clearly written in the Bible that GOD condemns idolatry (read the article) and among other things prayers to angels and the dead. Saying this publicly to Catholics does not mean that I am contradicting or opposing the Bible. I am simply exposing their hypocrisy and confronting them with the Word 🙂 This is what JESUS did with the Pharisees and Sadducees. This is also what Augustine Martin Luther (1483-1546) did when he posted his 95 theses against papal indulgences on the door of the castle in Wittenberg (Saxony).

JESUS said, « Do not think that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets; I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill.» ( Matthew 5:17, NKJV) He fulfilled the law and the prophecies announced by the prophets. That is why, before He died, He said " It is finished " (John 19:30). Since it has not been abolished, the Old Covenant continues to exist. Because it has been fulfilled, it can be replaced by the new covenant. The old and new covenants are like two operating systems. You can keep the old one on your computer and refuse to install the new one. By doing so, you deprive yourself of the advantages of the new operating system: better security, new features, and better performance.

4. JESUS does not dissociate himself from the Jews

I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David,the Bright and Morning Star.” (Revelation 22:16, NKJV)

In the Bible, JESUS is several times called " Son of David ". (Isaiah 7:13-14, Jeremiah 23:5, Matthew 1:1, Luke 1:32, Matthew 9:27, Mark 10:47-48, Luke 18:39, Matthew 15:22, Roman 1:3, Revelation 5:5). He never denied this title and by reading the fifth chapter of the book of Revelation (verse 5), we realize that he still answers to this title, even after his resurrection. This means that JESUS does not dissociate himself from the Jewish people. He is SAVIOUR for all, LORD for those who believe in him, descended from David by birth and called " the Son of David " because he is the fulfillment of the prophecy spoken to David by the prophet Nathan (2 Samuel 7). Being " Son of David ", he is therefore also " Son of Abraham". As a man, JESUS is a Jew. Like all Jews, JESUS celebrated the Passover. Before he inaugurated the new covenant, he, like all Jews (including the apostles) celebrated the first Passover. As Derek Prince (1915-2003) said, " Without the Jews, we would have no patriarchs, no prophets, no apostles, no Bible, and no Saviour."

5. JESUS fulfilled the Jewish Passover

" 7 Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. [...] 14 When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. 15 Then He said to them, “ With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;16 for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of GOD.” [...] 19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “ This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “ This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you." (Luke 22:7; 14-20, NKJV)

JESUS celebrated the Passover on the first evening of the Jewish Passover with his disciples (Matthew 26:17-29, Mark 14:12-25, Luke 22:7-20, 1 Corinthians 11:23-25). JESUS told the disciples that he would not eat the Passover again until it was fulfilled in the kingdom of GOD. He said he would eat "no more" not "not". Clearly implying that before that day he used to eat the Passover and that the Passover had not yet been fulfilled in GOD's kingdom. He fulfilled the Passover by giving His life for the remission of sins and the salvation of all (John 19:30). He is the Lamb of GOD (Isaiah 53, John 1:29, John 1:36, John 3:16, Romans 8:3, Hebrews 9). He did not ask the disciples to celebrate the Ressurection day on a different date from Passover. But never mind, the most important thing is not the date, but content and symbolism.

With the new covenant, Pascha (Greek for Passover) took on a new meaning for Christians. But this does not mean that Christians of Israel, and even all Christians, can no longer celebrate the LORD for the liberation of the Jewish people from Egypt. Will you cease to bless GOD for what He did yesterday and the day before yesterday in your life? Will you not bless Him for what He has done in the lives of your parents and through your grandparents? Can you not celebrate GOD for what He has done in the life of your neighbor, your brother, or your sister? How would you know what GOD is capable of if you don't know what He has done and is doing in the lives of others? Not celebrating GOD for what he did yesterday and the day before is ingratitude. If you are unable to celebrate GOD for what he has done for others, why should he do the same for you?

Being in the New Covenant we are not obliged to submit to the rituals of the Law of Moses. In CHRIST we are delivered by faith and not by works. Works are testimonies of our faith. Therefore " faith without works " and not "salvation without works " is dead (James 2:17, 2:26). CHRIST is the end of the law so that all who believe receive righteousness (Romans 10:4, S21). The celebration of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a prescription ordained by GOD for the Jewish people and all those under the Old Covenant.

6. Passover / Pesach (feast of unleavened bread)

In response to Pharaoh's refusal to let the Jewish people go, GOD struck Egypt with ten plagues. The tenth plague was the death of all the firstborn in Egypt ( daughters included), from Pharaoh's son to the sons of his servants, to the firstborn of the animals (Exodus 11, Exodus 12:13). To preserve the Jewish firstborn, GOD asked them to sprinkle lamb's blood on the doorposts and lintel of their houses. This blood was a distinctive sign so that death would pass over the houses of the Jews and not strike the firstborn. Pesach in Hebrew (Pascha in Greek) means "to pass over".

During the Jewish Passover, known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Pesach or the Feast of Freedom, the Jews celebrate the LORD for the exit from Egypt. This celebration is a perpetual prescription ordained by GOD for the Jews and their descendants, wherever they live (Exodus 12:14-17, Leviticus 23:14). GOD explicitly told Moses that it is a festival in His honour in remembrance of the coming out of Egypt. The Jews have a duty to celebrate GOD for the exit from Egypt and especially to commemorate it with their descendants. They should not just tell their children about the exit from Egypt, they should teach and talk about it with their children. 🙂

" So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance. " (Exodus 12:14, NKJV)

" So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance. (Exodus 12:17, NKJV)

" In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. (Exodus 12:18, NKJV)

" On the fourteenth day of the first month is the Passover of the LORD. And on the fifteenth day of this month is the feast; unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days." (Numbers 28: 16-17, NKJV)

=> Other texts: Deuteronomy 16:1-8, Leviticus 23.

=> Leaven is associated with everything that is not from GOD (corruption, false teachings, hypocrisy, etc). Unleavened bread symbolises the word of GOD without the mixture and influence of the devil's lies and human reasoning.

=> The first month of the Hebrew religious calendar (according to the Torah) was " Abib " (Hebrew for "ears of green"), corresponding to the period from mid-March to mid-April and the seventh month of the Jewish civil calendar. Later, after the deportation of the Jewish elite to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar, the month Abib was called " Nisan" meaning " beginning " for some and " banner " for others.

31 Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, “ Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the LORD as you have said. 32 Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also.” 33 And the Egyptians urged the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste. For they said, “We shall all be dead.” ( Exodus 12:31-33, NKJV).

" 20 So they took their journey from Succoth and camped in Etham at the edge of the wilderness. 21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. 22 He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people. " (Exode 13: 20-22, NKJV)

5 Now it was told the king of Egypt that the people had fled, and the heart of Pharaoh and his servants was turned against the people; and they said, “Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” 6 So he made ready his chariot and took his people with him. 7 Also, he took six hundred choice chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt with captains over every one of them. [...] 9 So the Egyptians pursued them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and overtook them camping by the sea beside Pi Hahiroth, before Baal Zephon. " (Exodus 14:5-9, NKJV)

" And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the LORD. " (Exodus 14:10, NKJV)

" 15 And the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. 16 But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea." (Exodus 14:15-16, NKJV)

" 19 And the Angel of GOD, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. 20 So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night. (Exodus 14:19-20, NKJV).

" 21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. (Exode 14: 21-22, NKJV)

23 And the Egyptians pursued and went after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. 24 Now it came to pass, in the morning watch, that the Lord looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and He troubled the army of the Egyptians. 25 And He took off their chariot wheels, so that they drove them with difficulty; and the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians.” (Exodus 14:23-25, NKJV)

26 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen.” 27 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.(Exodus 14: 26-27, NKJV)

28 Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained. 29 But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 30 So the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.

(Exode 14: 28-30, NKJV)

1 Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and spoke, saying: “I will sing to the LORD, For He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea! 2 The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my GOD, and I will praise Him; My father’s GOD, and I will exalt Him. (Exodus 15: 1-2, NKJV).

For many Christians, the celebration of Resurrection Day is simply a special service and a special meal. Unfortunately, there are still Christians who do not take the time to meditate on the true meaning of this feast and to ask the LORD what aspect of this celebration he would like to draw their attention to. Yet this is the most important of all feasts. Do not make this a formal, religious, or commercial celebration. After the church celebrations and seminars (if any), the family meals, give yourself some personal time to give thanks.

🙂 Hallelujah! Blessed be the LORD!

** Mè yéga = Hello/Thank you in Bassa (Cameroon)

To go futher :

- Our Debt to Israel, Derek Prince

- JESUS and the Passover, Amir Tsarfati


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