"Uniting Christian & Jewish Clergy from Around the World"
[Scriptural references taken from the KJV unless otherwise noted] “But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5) Tonight, Christians around the world will be honoring what many describe as Good Friday. At the same time, Jewish People and Messianic Believers will be celebrating the Pesach, (Passover) Seder, recounting how the Angel of Death passed over the homes of the Israelites and all those in Egypt who applied the blood of the Passover lamb to their doorposts. Two thousand years ago, 12 men celebrating the Passover Seder in Jerusalem were told by their rabbi and master, Y'shua (Jesus), that this would be their last Seder together. He also explained its prophetic significance this way; “When the hour came, Y'shua and His apostles reclined at the table. And He said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.’” (Luke 22:14–16) Despite this last time of breaking unleavened bread and sharing of the wine, Y'shua did not leave them without hope. He emphasized the physical coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth and His return: “After taking the cup, He gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’ “And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same way, after the supper He took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you.’” (Luke 22:17–20) Y'shua taught His talmidim (disciples) that the Passover Seder was from that time on to be celebrated in remembrance of the sacrifice that He was to make of Himself in order to become an atonement for the sins of all mankind. Tonight at sunset, the eight-day celebration of Passover begins. Jewish people will mark the beginning of this prophetic holiday, which foreshadows the salvation wrought for all mankind by Y'shua, with a ceremonial meal called the Seder, in which the story of deliverance from slavery in Egypt is retold. What Did Our Redeemer, Y'shua, Do for Us? “Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Messiah our Passover also has been sacrificed.’” (1 Corinthians 5:7) As the blood of the Passover lamb spared the Israelite firstborns from death in Egypt, the blood of Messiah Y'shua spares us from eternal death and separation from God. Indeed, no sacrifice could cover intentionally disobeying the law. Nor could its covering of sin extend into eternity. Only the Lamb of God could redeem humankind from the curse and the punishment of disobedience, as well as give eternal life. In 700 BC, the prophet Isaiah spoke of the fulfillment of Passover through the coming of the Passover Lamb, the Suffering Servant of God, who would become this curse for us and bear the sins of many: “But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5–6; see also Galatians 3:10, 13; 2 Corinthians 5:21) But Isaiah 53 is not the only prophecy about Y'shua. We can know that Y'shua was this Suffering Servant and took our death penalty upon Himself as our Passover Lamb by carefully reading Passover Scriptures that foreshadow Him, such as these: *** Foreshadow: Exodus 12:5 speaks of a spotless (unblemished) lamb to be used in the Seder. Isaiah 53:11 further describes the coming Passover Lamb as being the “righteous servant.” *** Fulfilled: Paul tells us that “God made Him [Y'shua] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) *** Foreshadow: Exodus 12:22–23 describes how the blood of the lamb is used to cover the members of the household from judgment. Isaiah 53:6 says the Messiah bore the “iniquity of us all.” *** Fulfilled: Believers now “have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Y'shua, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body.” (Hebrews 10:19–20) *** Foreshadow: Exodus 12:6 says that the lamb is to be slaughtered between the evenings (sometimes translated twilight). *** Fulfilled: Matthew 27:45–46 describes how Y'shua hung on the tree from the 6th hour to the 9th hour, which is before evening fell. It is the same time that the Passover lambs were being slain for the Passover Seder. *** Foreshadow: Exodus 12:46 says that not a bone of the lamb is to be broken. *** Fulfilled: John 19:31–36 states that when the soldiers came to break the legs of those condemned to die on the Roman execution stake in order to hasten their death, Y'shua was already dead. Not one of His bones was broken. *** Foreshadow: Leviticus 23:5 says that Passover is to be celebrated on the 14th of Nissan at twilight. *** Fulfilled: Matthew 27:62 tells us that Y'shua died on the day of preparation for the Passover, which is Nissan 14, just in time for the Passover. Passover is rich in lessons for all Believers in Y'shua. Were you ever passed over as a child when the sports team was being chosen? For a child, being passed over could be devastating. Likewise, as adults, being passed over for a promotion, raise, or a prestigious role can be very frustrating. However, being “passed over” during the first Passover was a miracle of deliverance. During the very first Passover in Egypt, so that God’s judgment of Egypt would pass over, the children of Israel were required to choose an unblemished lamb, kill it, and place its blood over the doorposts and lintels of their dwelling places.Today, 3300 years later, we are able to celebrate the Passover in all of its prophetic fulfillment. We have the opportunity to place the blood of the perfect, chosen Lamb of God, Y'shua, over our hearts and homes, so that by faith, we too will be spared from the Divine judgment due to fall on this world. This too is a miracle of deliverance. “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you [pasachti], and there shall no plague be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 12:13) In Hebrew, the word for I will pass over is pasachti וּפָסַחְתִּי, which comes from the word pesach, which means to hop, to skip over, to spare, and to pass over. Our salvation was wrought at such a great price! The Messiah died in our place and paid the price for the sins that we committed. Despite celebrating the Passover year after year, so many Jewish people do not know Y'shua! Y'shua's last words before giving up His Spirit were, "It is finished." At that moment, our Father in heaven fulfilled an important Jewish custom that may be overlooked this Good Friday. In Judaism, there are seven immediate family members who are expected to observe a seven-day mourning period: the father, mother, daughter, son, brother, sister, and spouse. These seven mourners participate in a special tradition. To symbolize how death rips the fabric of life, their garments are symbolically ripped just before the funeral, as Jacob did when he thought his son Joseph had been killed. “Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days.” (Genesis 37:34) In this tradition called kria, the parents and children rend the garment on their left, closest to the heart. Spouses and siblings tear their garments on the right. While this may seem like an odd tradition, it dates back to Biblical times (Genesis 37:34). At the moment of Y'shua’s death, the Heavenly Father also observed kria in His grief over the death of His son Y'shua (Jesus) the Messiah. “At that moment the curtain of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.” (Matthew 27:51) Rending the curtain of the Temple removed the need for an appointed High Priest to bring a sacrifice into the Holy of Holies and make intercession for the sins of the people year after year. Yeshua is the Father's anointed High Priest, who sacrificed His own body and blood for us. He is our only intermediary. As Y'shua said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6) We come to our Father through Y'shua. Though He suffered and died, the tomb has been empty for 2,000+ years and He is Alive! Death could not contain Messiah! Rabbi Shaul (the Apostle Paul) explained: "Messiah has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died." (1 Corinthians 5:20) He now sits at the right hand of the Father and all authority has been given to Him! He is our High Priest and only intermediary to God the Father for Jew and Gentile alike. (Colossians 3:1; Matthew 28:18; 1 Timothy 2:5) Therefore, during this time of Pesach we also grieve & celebrate Kria.