Out of all other feasts, Passover is the one that perhaps most particularly points to Yeshua (Jesus). To start, this is the feast of Redemption. Yeshua is our redemption. He redeemed us out of a life of bondage to sin and brought us into freedom in Him. Second of all, it was the evening of Passover that Yeshua had His last supper, the Passover Seder, with His disciples and that was the night He was betrayed.
When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” -- Luke 22:14 – 16
As we celebrate this holiday and we ready our homes and our hearts for this important feast, we’re also reminded, as always, of the original Passover story—when, after being allowed to leave Egypt, the Israelites were pursued by the Pharaoh’s army until they were trapped at the edge of the Red Sea.
As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. -- Exodus 14:10
Today, we can still hear the echoes of the fear the Israelites must have felt when they faced their pursuers that day. We can sense it when we read about global unrest; war, famine, pandemics, genocide… unspeakable atrocities going unpunished. There are many who would gladly stoke the cold fires of despair within us—because fear is an excellent tool.
But thankfully, we can also recognize that this is not the first time that God’s people have been faced with the threat of destruction. And every time this has happened—from the first Passover through today—God has kept His promise. He has parted the sea for His people. He has led us to prosperity. He has healed us in untold ways. And He will again.
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” -- Exodus 14:13 – 14
The story of the Exodus shows us how God redeemed His people from slavery in Egypt and set them free to serve Him. Likewise, we are set free from bondage to sin and death through the sacrificial death of Yeshua on the cross. Like the original Passover in Egypt, it is the sacrifice of the Lamb (Yeshua) that causes the wrath of God to “pass-over” those who have put the blood of the Lamb on the doorposts of their hearts. He delivers us from the bondage of sin, and causes the wrath of God to be put away from us forever.
This is the essential message of the gospel itself—that we have atonement through the sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection of Yeshua our Messiah—the great Lamb of God.
On the morning of Passover eve, all the leavened food items are burned in a ceremony called “Bi’ur Chametz”. Unleavened food is considered a corrupting influence—a hidden uncleanness that manipulates purer elements and sin. Spiritual leaven is like an evil impulse within us that corrupts and sours our soul. We must put it away from us and sanctify ourselves.
Therefore, purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. --1 Cor. 5:7-8
Here, the Apostle Paul is encouraging us to examine ourselves inwardly and get rid of the leaven that we may become a “new lump” clean of the sin of our past.
If we look at the Matzah, we see that it’s striped. This is another representation of Yeshua: “By His stripes we were healed” (Isaiah 53:5). And it’s pierced: “They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:10). The matzah is pure— there is no leaven in it—just as Yeshua’s body was pure and without sin.
Friends, for us, these times are unprecedented. But we must remember that none of this is too big for God. While we celebrate this Passover, and soon the resurrection of our Lord, let us throw out the old leaven of doubt and fear—and replace it with the “new lump” of joyful faith in God.
We may live in different countries, with different governments, different leaders, and different laws—we serve one God. And our God keeps His promises.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. Shalom, and a blessed Passover to you all.
Barry & Batya Segal