A few years ago I was given a gift, an antique Haggadah. My Father purchased it at an auction. A Haggadah is a Jewish text laying out the order of the Passover meal. The silver covered book is ornamental, but functional. It was published in Jerusalem. It feels old and sacred when I hold it in my hands. I feel the pages that have been wrinkled with wine and crusted with bits of time, and I feel known, as if I belong to something greater. As I read through the passages taken from scripture, rabbinical teaching, legends and the Talmud, I am consumed by a growing anticipation of Messiah’s return, compiled by Holy men over generations of hope.
The thrust of the message found in this Haggadah is deliverance. The customary Haggadah, is a rich reminder, laced with the spirit and message of Messiah, salvation, and waiting for final liberation. It is a delicate balance of looking back and looking forward in one swift observance and act of obedience. A remembrance of what is to come.
If Passover is for the Jews alone, than why does it say in Exodus 12:41, that “all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt”, and in verse 38, “a mixed multitude went out with them.” Meaning all were freed from Egypt, who believed and desired to worship Lord God.
Each year since the very first Passover, there is an opportunity for any man to be delivered from the world powers and the forces of darkness, to which, we are enslaved. There was the first Passover, in which Israel was delivered from Egypt, and the Great Passover, when the Lamb of God was slain, His blood for all men who obey and hope in him. I believe there will be another final Passover in which our redemption is supplied. Passover continues to be a reminder of an opportunity to be saved from slavery, whether seen or unseen, taskmasters or addictions, oppression, sins and death or simply the weight of this world, if one is able and willing to acknowledge the power and invitation of the Almighty.
“Whoever is thirsty let him come, whoever is hungry let him come, the spirit and the bride say come and whoever wishes let him come and take from the waters of life without cost.” Revelation 22:17
“This is the bread of affliction that our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. All who hunger let them come and eat, all who are in need let them come and celebrate the Passover, now we are here next year we shall be in the land of Israel; now we are slaves-next year we shall be free men. The unleavened bread symbolizes freedom. There is a legend which states that the festival of freedom was known to the Jewish people before they knew the bitterness of bondage. The invitation to all those who are hungry and in need is necessary. It is customary to open the door for strangers to enter, because the spirit of the celebration is for all who are in need. At this time the second cup of wine (the cup of deliverance) is poured out.” This excerpt is taken from my traditional Haggadah.
Paul goes to great lengths to utilize the spiritual facet of Passover. “For all who are being led by the spirit of God, these are the sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery, leading to fear again but a spirit of adoption, as sons… And not only this, ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption, as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved and if we hope for what we do not yet see, we wait eagerly for it.” Romans 8: 15 & 22
Also Jesus “In the same way he took the cup after they had eaten, saying this cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” Luke 22:20
Why do we pour it out instead of drinking it? Perhaps it is because it is not yet fulfilled. He says this because there is a deliverance yet to come. “For in hope we have been saved.” We know of our freedom before we know of our bondage. “Beloved do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing.1 peter 4:12
The Passover celebration begins with remembrance and ends with hope.
Passover should be celebrated, as instructed by the Lord, as His feast, by all those who have come, and been delivered and hoped in the Almighty’s provision. Those who celebrate the Passover experience an aroma of freedom yet to come. The writer of Hebrews says, in chapter 9, “so Messiah also having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await him.” Meaning, the first time he was slain as the paschal lamb and his blood poured out. The second time will be to lead those waiting, into freedom.
Are we not instructed to be looking and hastening the coming of the day of the Lord? Girded (with truth), readied with your sandals on (in peace) 2 peter 3:1 and with our lamps and oil prepared, (Matthew 25) we are to be found spotless, blameless and in peace? This is in reference to being found without leaven. He stands at the door and knocks. For we do not know the hour, it was at night when Pharaoh released Moses. God had told them to be ready. We must therefore assume that it was dark when Moses led the children of Israel out of their homes. Saying, ‘rise up’, and go worship the Lord.
When we celebrate, we remember this message is for us today. According to 1 peter 1:5 “we are waiting for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” We await eagerly, all the host of the Lord. We wait for Messiah, Son of David and the day of the Lord. We must not forget he came to earth but did not remain here, he was slain as a lamb to provide the blood, but went away to prepare a place for us, he said he would return. For that we wait ready, alert, for we do not know the time. He will come just like a thief in the night. Night is coming, our freedom draws nigh. How shall he find us – with leaven and sin in our dwellings-or ready with our loins girded and our feet shod? He arose during the feast of unleavened bread. Shall we also arise during the feast of unleavened bread? How shall we know if we do not remember, and how shall we remember if we do not observe?
This year I remember that Passover is about blood and being spared from death, but also sanctification, freedom, deliverance, redemption and praise. Not just the death of the lamb but the life given to the sheep. It is the forgotten feast of unleavened bread which reminds us that Messiah is returning to bring us into the Promised Land, just as Moses returned from the wilderness to lead Israel out of Egypt. Christ, the one who arose from death during the feast of unleavened bread, and ascended, will emerge from his place and with no uncertain words, declare to the enemy, LET MY PEOPLE GO!
According to legend this night, is a night of watching for the Lord, in all generations.
It’s important that we, the children of God, do not forget that we have not arrived, this is not the new heavens and the new earth. This is not the New Jerusalem. There is more to come, more for which we wait! He is coming back and all things are not yet completed. Do not be complacent, do not settle in Goshen. The Promised Land is not far, our freedom is close, and therefore remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. We are waiting for a salvation yet to be revealed, for our savior to descend with a shout to gather us up and lead us out!
Jesus went into the temple on the Passover and made a scene, overturning tables and pouring wrath on the corruption in the house of the Lord. At this time they asked for a sign, and Jesus said, “destroy this house and in three days I will build it up again!” in the Haggadah, there is a traditional text which is recited the second day of Passover it goes like this, “mighty is he! He will build his house up soon again. Speedily, speedily in our days and soon again. We pray God build pray! God build! Build thy house up soon again. Chosen is he, great is he, outstanding is he, he will build up his house up soon again.”
“Our God and God of our Fathers! May there ascend and come and reach and appear, and be accepted and be heard and be visited and be remembered, our remembrance and our visitation and the remembrance of our fathers and the remembrance of the Messiah, Son of thy servant David and the remembrance of Jerusalem thy holy city and the remembrance of all thy people Israel for deliverance, well-being, grace, loving-kindness, mercy, life and peace on this feast of unleavened bread, remember thereon Lord God for good, visit us thereon for a blessing, save us thereon for life. And by thy promised word of salvation pity us and be gracious and unto us shew mercy and save us for on thee are our eyes fixed, for thou art a gracious and merciful God.” (Haggadah.)
At Passover –tide they were redeemed; at Passover tide they will be redeemed. (Talmud)
Next year in the New Jerusalem!