1. The exodus of the Israelites from Egypt begins with the Passover in Exodus 12.
A. A lamb for each household selected on the tenth of that first month. (Nisan/Abib)
B. That lamb is held until the fourteenth day, killed in the evening of that day, and eaten “in that night.” (Exodus 12:8)
C. The Israelites are told to eat with loins girded, shoes on their feet, staff in their hands and in haste. Why? They eat the night of the fourteenth, and the destroyer passes over the dwellings of the Israelites at midnight. They are to stay inside until it is time to depart. According to Numbers 33:3, they depart on the next day after the Passover, or on the fifteenth.
D. All males who eat the Passover must be circumcised in the flesh. (Exodus 12:48)
E. This is the Passover of the Jews. (John 6:4, 11:55)
2. The Hebrew concept of a day is very different than the Roman concept, which we follow today. The Hebrew day begins in the evening at sunset and continues through the daylight portion until the sunset.
A. The Roman concept of the day begins at 9 PM or midnight and continues through the next day.
B. We are not used to thinking in terms of a day being from sunset to sunset. This is important to grasp for a full understanding of the timing of the Passover.
3. The concept of between the evenings is introduced in Exodus 12:6. The English translation of the Hebrew is in the evening. The Hebrew is
A. The Jewish Encyclopedia says this about ben ha-arbayim:
The time between the two evenings was considered to be after noon until nightfall.
B. The period of the afternoon refers to the time that the sun begins to descend after the high noon. Anytime after the high noon the Passover lambs could be killed.
4. The Passover season had not begun at the time of Messiah’s supper with his disciples on the night in which he was betrayed.
(Matthew 26:20; Mark 14:17; Luke 22:14; John 13:1)
A. A very important understanding is that Messiah died on the tree as the Passover lambs were sacrificed at 3 PM (our time) during the daylight portion of the fourteenth. The Pharisees did not want to defile the first high day of unleavened bread by leaving him on the tree so they hurried to remove him and placed him in a tomb. The first high day of unleavened bread began after sunset following his death, which was the fifteenth.
B. The Jews did not begin to remove the leavening from their households until 11:00 AM and completed by noon the same day the lambs were sacrificed for Passover.
C. The supper Messiah had with his disciples before his death was not part of the Jewish Passover observance. It was before the leavening was removed, before the killing of the lambs, and before the Days of Unleavened Bread even began.
D. This meal would have been served with leavened bread. The Greek word used for the bread Messiah used on that night is always artos. (Strong’s 740). The authors of the Scriptures could have used another Greek word for this bread if it had been anything else. That word could have been azymos (Strong’s 106), which means unleavened bread. However, this Greek word is never used for the bread that was used that evening. The bread used during the days of unleavened bread, as recorded in the Greek, is azymos. The Hebrew word for unleavened bread is matzah. (Strong’s 4682) The bread Messiah gave to his disciples was artos. (Strong’s 740)
5. It is very important to understand that the concept of leaven being sin is not scriptural. It is an invention of man. The Talmud teaches that leaven is sin, but this is not found in the scriptures.
6. It is important to understand what the bread of the firstfruits is, as well as the bread of affliction. Please see an article on this topic on the website. This false teaching that leaven is sin has obscured a correct understanding about the firstfruits and their becoming a new creation through the pervasive infusion of Messiah’s spirit.
7. The New Covenant Passover Service
A. To participate you must be baptized in the name of YahwehShua.
B. The observance is held after sunset at the beginning of the evening of the fourteenth of Abib or Nisan. For 2018, it goes from sunset of 4/30 to sunset of 5/1 according to the Gregorian calendar. Our corresponding night for Messiah’s supper was Tuesday evening. He then died on Wednesday afternoon at 3:00 PM. He was placed in the tomb before the beginning of the High Day and remained there three days and three nights (the sign of Jonah) until his resurrection just before sunset on the weekly Sabbath. This is why Mary visited his empty tomb on the morning of the first day of the Hebrew week.
C. Our observance begins with a prayer. Next, there is the footwashing. During the footwashing, read from John 13:1-17. After the footwashing, we partake of the new emblems that Messiah introduced: the leavened bread and the fruit of the vine (not wine, but juice). During the dispensing of the emblems, read from Matthew 26:26-29. Next, we have prayer and sing a song of praise. The service is then ended. For the disciples, this was a joyous occasion because they did not understand what was about to happen to Messiah. For us also, it is a time of joy and hope. We have the opportunity to learn from the marital failures of the Israelites, to better prepare ourselves as the espoused bride of Messiah. During the Days of Unleavened Bread, we better understand the affliction that began with the exodus from Egypt.
8. The members of the Light of YahwehShua observe the Days of Unleavened Bread. The leaven is removed by noon of the 14th and we eat unleavened bread for seven days from the 15th to the 21st. Just as there is a Passover of the Jews, the Days of Unleavened Bread were kept by the Jews to commemorate their release from bondage in Egypt. However, we observe these days for a different reason. The bread eaten during this period is known as the bread of affliction. (Deuteronomy 16:3)
What does this affliction refer to? It was the affliction that the Messiah endured during his first marriages. His first wives, the northern kingdom (Samaria) and the southern Kingdom (Jerusalem/Judah) betrayed Messiah and broke their marriage vows. (Exodus 19) They disobeyed the marriage covenant, which was confirmed on Mt. Sinai. Yahweh (Messiah, or the Son) divorced the northern kingdom, but remained married to the southern kingdom. It was Judah that killed her husband. With his death, the marriage covenant was terminated. We of the new covenant have much to learn from the affliction that Messiah endured. The disobedience of the old covenant can teach us about the dangers of disobedience in the new covenant. There are serious consequences involved. Please refer to Hebrews 10:26-27. We have some important lessons to learn during these days.