According to biblical search and study tools, the word "Passover" referencing the biblical feast, is mentioned about 71 times across 15 different books in the bible. This means it's a pretty important subject and probably pretty important to our Heavenly Father, right?
References to Passover is spread out across the bible, throughout the Old and New Testaments. Searching it out can be overwhelming, but we've got you covered. Here is the ultimate guide for the modern family to observe Passover today.
The Bible provides instruction about this required Passover. So let's break it down...
What is Passover?
Passover is a moedim (YHVH's appointed time). It is a holy day commanded by YHVH. It is the first day of the Feast of Unleavened bread, which lasts 7 (seven) days.
Isn't Passover a Jewish holiday? Who should observe this appointed time?
We, as the children of Israel and believers in the One True Elohim (God), are commanded to observe it throughout our generations.
In Romans 9, Paul defined the children of Israel, Jew and non-jew alike, as potentially being "the people of Israel". The non-jews through adoption by faith, become fellow heirs with Christ (Messiah) and are grafted in as the children of Israel.
Yeshua, in John 15, explains that He is the true vine, and his disciples are the branches. Paul confirms that this also applies to the Gentiles who have been "grafted in" to that vine.
When is Passover to be observed?
We believe that the appointed time is defined in the Torah (word of YHVH). The Passover is in early spring, when the barley is near a ripe stage in the grain ("aviv" or "abib") development. Exodus 9:22, 31-32 describes what state the barley should be in to be considered 'abib' or "aviv".
After the barley in Israel is considered to be in the appropriate stage of development, the people start looking for the new moon. The bible states that the new moon is the first sighting of the moon in it's earliest stages (following the "no moon" stage. The new moon appears approximately every 29.5 days.
This holy day was to be observed during the month of abib (the biblical New Year), because YHVH delivered the Israelites out of Egypt by night during the month of Aviv (Deuteronomy 16:1).
Leviticus 23:5 tells us that on the fourteenth day of the first month (The month of Aviv) at even (after sundown) is YHVH's Passover. This is also confirmed in Numbers 9:2-5.
"And they kept the Passover on the fourteenth month at even in the wilderness of Sinai: according to all that YHVH commanded Moses, so did the children of Israel." Numbers 9:5.
Why do we observe it?
We, as believers, are commanded (Leviticus 23:5) to observe Passover every year to remind us how YHVH spared His people from death. First, in Egypt on the first Passover and again from sin, when Jesus/Yeshua laid down His life to die for us so that we may have everylasting life.
Jesus/Yeshua was the last Passover sacrifice (the Lamb of God) for sin atonement (Isaiah 53:7; John 1:29; Hebrews 9:14; Revelation 13:8). Therefore, we no longer offer up blood sacrifices for our sins.
Jesus/Yeshua fulfilled this part of the law when He was hung on that tree on Calvary. Each Passover, it is appropriate to reflect on His sacrifice for us and to honor and glorify Him (Revelation 5:12) .
How does the Bible say the Passover is to be observed?
On the first Passover, before Yeshua, the Israelites were commanded to take for themselves and their families a lamb to offer as a sacrifice. They were then commanded to mark their door-posts with the blood of the sacrificed lamb. They were to sacrifice it a specific way and according to Numbers 9:12, no bones were to be broken.
Every year after the tabernacle was created, the Israelites sacrificed a lamb as a sin atonement (Exodus 12:5). Today, we do not do that because Yeshua fulfilled this part of the law (Isaiah 53:7; John 1:29; Hebrews 9:14; Revelation 13:8).
In Numbers 9:12 the ancient Israelites were commanded to eat the entire lamb and burn up what they did not consume. They were not to leave it til morning. Today, we should also not leave any of the lamb meat til morning.
They were also commanded to prepare and eat unleavened bread, for seven days. They also consumed their meal with bitter herbs (Exodus 12:8, "And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.")
The ancient Israelites, on that first Passover, was told to eat their meal with their "loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is YHVH's Passover." Exodus 12:11.
While in the wilderness, they were commanded to have a holy convocation (assembly) and to not do any servile work on this day (Leviticus 23:7). This would be the way throughout their generations.
However, if quarantined, especially due to uncleaness, the Father has graciously given us a 2nd chance to observe this appointed time (Numbers 9:10-11; Chronicles 2, 30:2).
How should the modern family observe Passover today?
When should we observe it? First, we too should do our best to determine when the month of Aviv is and observe it as instructed in the scriptures (Numbers 9:2; Leviticus 23), regardless of where we are (Joshua 5:10).
How should we prepare? Second, cleanliness is next to Godliness. You’ve heard this saying before, and no, it’s not actually in the bible, but Spring cleaning is a biblical concept. Before Passover, the Israelites were commanded to clean their houses to make sure to get the leaven out of their homes.
We too should clean out our homes and our hearts to rid ourselves of all leaven. Leaven represents sin.
Leaven is the agent in foods that causes fermentation. Yeast is the main leavening agent is yeast which is contained in beer or bread.
A little bit of yeast is ok for the body, but too much can cause infections or other health issues. See how good our Abba is? He gave practical instruction to His children that would benefit their health, both physical and spiritual, but we are commanded to get yeast out of our homes during this time each year.
What should we eat? Starting on sundown of Passover and for 7 (seven days) the children of Israel ate no lfoods containing leaven, especially bread. In fact, it was commanded to eat unleavened bread for each of the 7 (seven) days of the feast. (Leviticus 23:5-14; Ezekiel 45:21; Corinthians 1, 5:7 )
Is there a ritual we should perform? Leviticus 23:7 instructs us to hold an assembly (holy convocation). It is appropriate to blow the shofar to call the assembly, but is not commanded to do so for the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
With, the current "shelter in place" executive orders, we can assemble with our families. We could also try to utilize technology to assemble with like-minded believers so that we may remain safely in our own homes (Isaiah 26:20 "Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.").
As commanded in Leviticus 23:7, we too should refrain from servile work.
There are some beautiful man-made traditions, but biblically, there are few "rituals" or "traditions" to perform. For the modern family, however, it is prudent to tell the biblical stories about Passover, to keep us in remembrance of the purpose for this holy day, to eat the unleavened bread and bitter herbs and assemble with others.
It is also appropriate to give thanks to our YHVH for saving us from sin and death. We should also glorify the Son, Jesus/Yeshua (Revelation 5:12).
There is so much that the Bible has to say on this subject. We can find many scriptures in the Bible revealing more about Passover. We encourage you to be good Bereans to search out for yourselves all that the Word of YHVH has to say on this very important subject.
From our home to yours, may you have a blessed, healthy and prosperous New Year and Passover!
Love, blessings and Shalom!
Still, I would like to present a point that I overlooked from yesterday’s message. The message is entitled, “Command GOD”. And while some may shrink at the thought of being able to command God, YHVH, to do anything, I lay out with specificity the manner in which we may be able to do so.
It is quite intriguing that we have such opportunity, In the light of an all-powerful Elohim. If you will indulge me, this point will make it a little clearer.