Week 9: Time to Celebrate!

The Feast has arrived!
Remember, the day of Passover was the actual day of the sacrifice. So, while you are organizing, cooking, and getting ready, know that you are part of the great history of Passover.
This is what the faithful remnant has been doing for many, many years. Also, stop to remember that this was when the Messiah was taken in to Pilate; he was interrogated; he was beaten and mocked. Then he was sacrificed as our Passover Lamb.
As the sun sets and dinner is ready, the High Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins and so does the seder. Recount the glorious story of our redemption, and enjoy the company you’re with.
And remember, the story is not over…
Next year in Jerusalem!

Week 8: Time to Prepare!

As the feast nears, it’s time to get serious about preparation! Make sure you have your meal all planned out and your grocery list made. Don’t forget to be mindful while you shop — don’t accidentally throw that box of crackers you usually buy into your cart!
Now is a good time to plan out your centerpiece for the seder as well. Some haggadahs (Passover “playbooks”) have recommendations for centerpieces that can play a role in the service during dinner, but otherwise, something pretty with flowers, lambs or candles will do nicely.
If you are having guests over for the big meal, finalize the guest list now. Plan out the seating arrangements and break out the fine china and cloth napkins.
After all that work, sit down to a movie night. “The 10 Commandments” and “Messiah: Prophecy Fulfilled” are great ones this time of year!

Week 7: Time to Clean!

Many people use Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread as a time to get their houses clean from top to bottom.
All leaven is supposed to be gone and off our property (Ex 13:7) before the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins, so this can be an exercise in detailed cleaning. Crumbs in the toaster, the old box of pretzels hiding in the recesses of the pantry, that goldfish cracker stuck in the little one’s car seat — it all needs to go!
Of course, you can get as intense about it as you feel led to, but the point is to take some time to consider where leaven may be hiding in your house and where things that get in the way of your relationship with the Father are hiding in your life. 
Happy cleaning!

Week 6: The Feast of Unleavened Bread

Once the night of the seder is over, there is still a week of feast left!
The Feast of Unleavened Bread is seven days and begins just as the day of Passover comes to a close (Note: Biblical days begin in the evening at sunset).
During the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we don’t eat any leaven as a reminder of keeping ourselves free of sin and set apart for YeHoVaH, but there are also several other things to remember and commemorate during this week:
  • The year the Messiah was crucified, Passover was on a Wednesday.
  • The Messiah died in the late afternoon and was buried before the High Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread started that evening (when everyone had their seders).
  • He was in the ground Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights and the days of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
  • Then the Lord of the Sabbath was raised on the Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread!
The day after the weekly Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread is another feast called Firstfruits. This is when the firstfruits of the barley harvest are presented. When Yeshua was raised, those whose graves were opened at his crucifixion were raised and he presented them to the Father as the Firstfruits offering.
Firstfruits is also the day we are told to start counting the 50 days to Shavuot or Pentecost (Lev 23:15), also known as “the counting of the omer.”
The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a busy week with much to remember, study, and discuss. It is also a great week to do acts of service, in keeping with the example set by the Messiah at the Last Supper. The day of Firstfruits specifically is the perfect day to make offerings from what you have to those in need.

Week 5: A Child’s Understanding of Passover

Children generally love to take part in special holidays. Passover is a time for great learning, togetherness, and spiritual growth. There are many ways to include children in your Passover celebration, from cooking to crafts. The most important thing, however, is sharing the powerful story behind the holiday.
The story of Passover is meaningful and weighty. While retelling of the first Passover is fairly straightforward, the account of the Messiah may need to be handled more delicately.
The Messiah’s crucifixion is hard for all of us to hear, but his sacrifice for us is of eternal significance. We must be understanding of our children’s developmental stages and personal sensitivities when we explain what happened. 
You will need to decide when to present what details of the story, depending on your particular child. Here are some of the main concepts to start with:
  • YeHoVaH sent his Son to teach us how he wants us to live and to save us from our own sin.
  • Yeshua kept YeHoVaH’s commandments and taught us to keep the commandments.
  • Some people hated Yeshua for this because they wanted to rule and control everyone.
  • Those people killed Yeshua on a cross as punishment for teaching YeHoVaH’s word.
  • We are imperfect, but Yeshua is perfect. He died for us because he loves us, and by believing in him, we are forgiven.
  • Yeshua was raised from the dead after 3 days. He is alive, and we will all live together with him eternally!
As you prepare for Passover, talk about the Passover story with your children. Involve them in the preparation, ask them questions, and let them ask questions. To better understand what they are learning, they may like to do reenactments or draw about Passover.
This story is one with so much history, prophecy and significance; it is a truly special one to share with children.

Week 4: Has Passover Been Fulfilled?

The Spring Feasts of the LORD, including Passover, have been fulfilled in the Messiah.
The first Passover took place back in Egypt on the night of the 10th plague. All the firstborn were to die unless their house bore the sign of a lamb’s blood on the doorposts. The lamb was to be male and perfect, without flaw. The night of the plague, all houses with the lamb’s blood were passed over, and no one inside died.
The people were saved by the blood of the lamb.
In the desert after fleeing Egypt, the people entered into a blood covenant with the Almighty. If broken, the covenant requires the death of the guilty party. We broke that covenant out there in the desert and incurred the death sentence upon ourselves.
The sacrifice of the Passover lamb every year was a demonstration of both our guilt and the price owed and also a picture of a substitute dying in our place. Every year the lamb died when we were the ones that deserved death.
When Yeshua came, he came as the Lamb of God – the ultimate Passover Lamb.
The rehearsal of the lamb sacrifice every year was made full and complete when the Messiah was nailed to the cross and sacrificed in our stead. We were guilty, but he was guiltless. He was perfect, without flaw. Because of this, he was the only one who could renew the covenant with the Almighty.
He paid the death penalty for us so that we could once again be in covenant with YeHoVaH, and we could have eternal life. We have been saved by the blood of the Lamb.

Week 3: How is Passover different from Easter?

Passover and Easter have a lot of similarities, actually, with a couple of important distinctions.
Because we believe in Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah, we can celebrate Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread with the full understanding of its significance and fulfillment. Passover is the day on which the Messiah was crucified, and after three days and three nights in the ground, he was raised from the dead during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, just in time for the First Fruits offering.
Easter is also the celebration of the resurrection of the Messiah, but over time, this celebration has become intermingled with traditions from outside of the Bible. Traditions involving eggs, bunnies, and ham, to name a few, have nothing to do with the Messiah, his sacrifice, or his resurrection.
Another imperative distinction is the timing of Passover and Easter. We celebrate Passover according to the Biblical calendar, which means it doesn’t always fall on the same day of the week like Easter does. More important is the understanding of the chronology of what happened that week during the year the Messiah was crucified.
Easter falls on the Sunday after Good Friday, which is said to be the day of the crucifixion. However, this leaves it very difficult to count the 3 days and the 3 nights that the Messiah himself said he would be buried. (He called this the sign of his authenticity, so it’s pretty important!) Passover on the year in question was on the equivalent of a Wednesday. That means the Messiah was in the ground Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday days and was raised at the end of the Sabbath (Saturday) far before sunrise.
There are many significant reasons why this chronology is vital to understand, including very specific ulterior motives of those in power in the early church. (For more information on this read the introduction to The Chronological Gospels.) The simplest explanation for the differences in chronology between the two holidays is those non-Biblical traditions that have seeped into Easter. (For more information, see Truth and Tradition, The Jonah Code, and The Chronological Gospels.)
We do our very best to make sure we are celebrating and remembering what the Bible tells us when we celebrate Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It is our desire to live out our faith as YHVH asks, as purely and truthfully as we can.

Week 2: Do We Keep Passover or Celebrate Passover?

We do not keep Passover today; the Passover is a sacrifice. Every year a perfect male lamb was to be sacrificed “at the place which the LORD your God shall choose to place his name” (Deut. 16:6). 
There is no Temple now, so we do not sacrifice a lamb. But there is plenty to remember, commemorate and celebrate! 
The day of Passover now is spent preparing for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It is on the first day of Unleavened Bread, which begins in the evening, that we sit down to a meal to commemorate the important eventssurrounding this time of year.  
We remember the first Passover in Egypt, when those set apart by the lamb’s blood were spared death. 
We celebrate freedom from the slavery and idolatry that we left when we fled Egypt. 
We remember the sacrifice of our Messiah, the ultimate Passover Lamb, who died for our sins. 
We give thanks for our redemption through him and the promise of eternal life with him.
So, we do not keep Passover. We do not sacrifice a lamb. We do celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread and honor the eternal significance of the Passover sacrifice.

Week 1: What is Passover?

Passover is one of the Feasts of the LORD outlined in Leviticus chapter 23.
Passover is actually just one day – the day of the sacrifice –  but it is always followed by the week-long celebration of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, so the word “Passover” is sometimes used to refer to the entire “season” of holidays. For the sake of clarity, we will distinguish between the day of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Passover falls on the 14th day of the first month of the Biblical year. It is a day of preparation and a day to remember the sacrifice of the Passover lamb. The first Passover coincided with the final plague of Egypt. Israel had been slaves in Egypt for generations when YeHoVaH appointed Moses to deliver the people and lead them to the Promised Land.
When the Pharaoh of Egypt refused to release the Israelites, YeHoVaH sent 10 plagues. The tenth and final plague was that of the death of every firstborn. But those who obeyed YeHoVaH’s instructions to put the blood of an unblemished male lamb on their doorposts were passed over, their lives spared.
Once in the Land, every year on the 14th day of the first Biblical month, the people sacrificed the Passover lamb. It served as a symbol of a substitution on our behalf. As a people, we broke the blood covenant made with YeHoVaH at the base of Mount Sinai in the desert, and the penalty is death. The sacrifice of the lamb was a reminder of this but was also a picture of a substitution for us. Our death was owed, but the lamb was the one that paid the price.
When the Messiah came, he came as THE Passover Lamb, the substitution for us, the One who paid the price, once and for all. On the very day that the Passover lamb was sacrificed, the Messiah was crucified on a stake. He paid the death penalty that we owed so that we, as believers, could live eternally with him.
The week following Passover is called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. During it, we eat no leavening, which is a representation of sin in our lives. Getting rid of all the leaven in our homes and our diets reminds us to rid our lives of sin, to live a life set apart for YeHoVaH.
The days and important events following the Messiah’s crucifixion, including his resurrection, happened during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, so it is a week full of remembrance and thanksgiving. As the sun sets at the end of the day of Passover, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins with a meal, and the whole story, from Moses to the Messiah, is told.