THE NEW COVENANT PASSOVER VERSUS THE JEWS' PASSOVER

 

Notice how the apostle John refers to the Passover in John 2:13:  “And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Yahshua went up to Jerusalem.”  And again consider what he says in John 11:55: “And the Jews’ passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves.”

 

Contrast what John says about passover in these Scriptures to what Moses tells us in Exodus 12:11:  And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste; it is Yahweh’s passover.”

 

What is the difference between these two perspectives? Moses was describing the night of the 15thwhen Yahweh was personally involved in passing over Egypt. It was truly his pass over. John was describing a night when the Jews memorialized an event that was in the past. Their observance was uniquely their own. It was all about them.

 

In the same chapter, we learned that a one-year-old male lamb is selected on the 10thday the first month and killed on the 14thday of that month. Even though the lamb was killed in the day portion of the 14th,it is not eaten until, “that night” which is the 15th.

 

It is the night portion of the 15th when the lamb is eaten. The lambs’ blood was smeared on the doorframe of the Israelites’ houses. This would have been done in the daylight portion of the 14th. However, it is in verse 11 where we are told it was, “Yahweh’s passover.” This is referring to the night of the 15thwhen Yahweh did pass over. (Verse 13) 

 

Messiah did not die on the Jews’ passover. He died on the day before which was the 14th. Messiah died on the day when the lambs of the Exodus were killed. This is why John the Baptist called him the Lamb of Yahweh. (John 1:29) 

 

Messiah had a supper with his disciples the night before his death in the day portion of the 14th.  That supper was held during the night portion of the 14th. Neither this dinner nor Messiah’s death occurred during Yahweh’s passover. Yahweh’s passover was in reference to the night of the 15th.

 

Remember, the Hebrew day is different than the Roman day. A day for us begins at midnight. The Hebrew day began at sundown. First, there was the evening portion of that day, and at sunrise the next morning, the daylight portion of the Hebrew day began. This difference can be very confusing for us today but must be understood.

 

Messiah had his dinner with the disciples during the evening portion of the 14thday of the first month. This occurred before he was betrayed later during that same night. However, he did not die until 3 PM during the daylight portion of the 14th.

 

Yahweh’s pass over is a distinctly different night than the night Messiah had dinner with his disciples. The Jews’ passover is celebrated the night of the 15thwhen Yahweh actually passed over.

 

The lambs’ blood smeared on the door frames of the Israelites’ houses was a token or sign. (Strong’s 226) This was a sign that guided Yahweh over the houses of the firstborn Israelites. The Egyptians did not have the benefit of the sign, so their firstborn sons and animals died. You will find this same word, token, used in Genesis 9:17 in reference to the rainbow which was a sign of Yahweh’s covenant with Noah.

 

Messiah did not tell his disciples to remember Yahweh’s pass over. What he told them the night of his dinner with them is recorded in Luke 22:19:  “And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, this is my body which is given for you: THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.” (emphasis mine)

 

The apostle Paul was not present at that dinner. However, he did record what Messiah actually told the disciples to remember. Paul could have learned this from the disciples who were present, but remember the Messiah also personally taught him. We find the following recorded in 1 Corinthians 11:24-25: “And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.   After the same manner also he took the cup when he had supped, saying, this cup is the New Testament [covenant] in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.”

 

The night of Messiah’s supper with his disciples was very important to him. He gave them a special message that is also for the firstfruits.  He wanted us to be very aware of what he did later that day on the 14th. The time of his death occurred the afternoon before Yahweh’s pass over, not that same night. The message he left for us is that he voluntarily laid down his life for us. He knew what was coming, but he did not turn back. Once he put his hand to the plow, he did not look back. (Luke 9: 62) This is a message for all firstfruits.

 

In addition to this message of remembrance, he also demonstrated his supreme love and humility that evening. The Messiah, the Creator of the world, became a servant to his creation by washing the feet of the disciples. Knowing full well what he was facing, he still lovingly washed their feet while preparing to die for all mankind.

 

During the daylight portion of the 14th,Messiah would die on the tree at 3 PM. At that hour, he fulfilled the prophecy of John the Baptist recorded in John 1:29:  “The next day John seeth Yahshua, coming unto him, and saith, behold the Lamb of Yahweh which taketh away the sin of the world”.

 

In Revelation 13:8 we are told this about the Lamb:  “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”  The death of Messiah on the tree was planned and determined before the foundation of the world. Revelation 5:12 tells us the outcome of Messiah’s sacrifice:  “The Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.”

 

What else happened before the foundation of the world?  Yahweh chose the firstfruits! Paul tells us this in Ephesians 1:4:  “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.”  Who is Messiah talking about?  It is the firstfruits that he allows to have age-abiding life when he returns. The rest of mankind will have their resurrection at a later time.

 

Messiah suffered tremendously to fulfill the plan developed before the foundation of the world. His suffering and death resulted in the benefits listed in Revelation 5:12. These benefits were not just for him, but also for the firstfruits. Paul confirms this in Romans 8:17-18:  “And if children, then heirs with Messiah; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

 

Who is Paul referring to by saying, “us”?  He provides this answer in 1 Corinthians 15:23: “But every man in his own order: Messiah the firstfruits; afterward they that are Messiah’s at his coming.”  Jude provides a further answer in Jude 14:

“Behold, the sovereign cometh with ten thousands of his saints.”

 

When Messiah returns, he will bring the saints with him. These saints are also known as the firstfruits. (James 1:18)  While Jude said ten thousands, a more exact number is provided in Revelation 14:1:  “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on Mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand.”  In verse four of that chapter, we were told these are firstfruits.

 

Those who are considered saints or firstfruits have the firstfruits of the Spirit. (Romans 8:23) How does one obtain the firstfruit of the Spirit?  The only way is by baptism in the name of YahwehShua. The name, YahwehShua, is the name of both the Father and Son. (Revelation 14:1) The 144,000 standing on Mount Sion with the Lamb had this name on their foreheads. This is similar to what the Levitical high priest had to have when he wore the name of Yahweh on his forehead. This was required each year when he entered the holy of holies. The firstfruits have to have the name of both the Father and Son on their foreheads to be resurrected when Messiah returns.

 

According to Joel 2:32, to be delivered, you must call on the name of Yahweh. The Father resurrected the Son. (Zechariah 3:3-4) The Father and Son will allow the firstfruits to be resurrected when Messiah returns. We will then reign with Messiah for 1,000 years. After that time, the rest of mankind will also be resurrected.

 

In Exodus 12:13, we learned that the lambs’ blood smeared on the doorframes of the Israelites’ homes was a token or sign. It was useful as a marker for Yahweh when he passed over on the night of the 15th. However, it had no other value than as a sign for that one event.  Salvation would only come later through the blood of the Lamb of Yahweh. 

 

However, when the Messiah, the true lamb of Yahweh, shed his blood at 3 PM on the 14ththat made a real difference. We are told more about that difference in 1 John 2:2:  “And he is the propitiation [in Hebrew, kippurim or covering] for our sins: and not ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”  The blood of the Passover lamb at the time of the Israelites in Egypt was only a sign to protect the Israelites’ firstborn.  When Messiah died ALL mankind benefited.

 

Whose blood took away all the sins of the world? YahwehShua had a human body prepared for him. (Hebrews 10:5) It was the blood of Yahshua that was shed while he was on the tree. However, we are told in Revelation 1:5 that the blood was also considered to have belonged to YahwehShua:  “And from YahwehShua Messiah, who is a faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood.”

 

Messiah, as a propitiation or covering, is especially important to the firstfruits. Without his dying on the tree, there would not have been the promise of age-abiding life fulfilled on Pentecost. On that Pentecost, the Father freely gave his Spirit to those he called, and at that time he gave them the earnest or down payment of the Spirit of his Son. Consider these words from the apostle John recorded in 1 John 4:10-13:  

 

“Herein is love, not that we loved Yahweh, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved [firstfruits] if Yahweh so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man has seen Yahweh at anytime. If we love one another, Yahweh dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.   Hereby know we that dwell in him, and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.”

 

Without the Spirit of Messiah being formed within us, we cannot truly love the brethren or anyone else. Without his Spirit, we cannot live up to the love revealed in 1 Corinthians 13. The command to love the brethren is very critical to the overcoming of the firstfruits. Through our demonstration of love toward the brethren, we are able to measure our progress in overcoming. John reveals this truth in 1 John 3:14:  “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.”

 

Another reason that it is important to have a complete understanding of Passover it is to be able to fully participate in the new covenant by not observing the day of coverings. (or atonement) Leviticus 23:27 introduces the observance of the day of coverings during the 10thday of the seventh month. This day could only exist under the old covenant. With the coming of Messiah and the shedding of his blood, there was no longer a need for sacrificing animal blood. This day can no longer be observed under the new covenant. In Hebrews 6: 1-2, there is a revised listing of the high days. You will note that the day of coverings and the feast of tabernacles are no longer listed. For more information about this, please refer to previous articles on our website.

 

Why is coverings not included? The answer is found in Hebrews 9:25-26. The Levitical high priest entered once each year into the holy of holies on the day of coverings. He did so with the blood of others (or animals). Messiah entered into the heavenly Tabernacle only once with his own blood. His death on the tree and the shedding of his own blood ended the necessity of observing the day of the coverings. His blood was the ultimate covering. If you continue to observe the old covenant day of coverings, you are denying the sufficiency of the one-time sacrifice of Messiah. You cannot overcome as a firstfruit and reject the blood covering of Messiah!

 

The original requirement for salvation was always the blood of a man. This is found in Genesis 9:5:  “And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every the beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.” 

 

The blood of animals was never adequate. The sacrificial law was introduced in the second year after the Israelites left Egypt. (Numbers 1: 1)  It was a temporary measure, until Messiah came and offered himself. (Galatians 3:19) It was the sacrificial law that was terminated with Messiah’s death. The 10 Commandments or Royal Law that was revealed on Mount Sinai remains a requirement of the new covenant. (James 2:8)

 

It is rather clear as to why the firstfruits do not keep the Jews’ passover. The last supper was not the Passover, and it was outside the days of unleavened bread. The bread Messiah served to his disciples was leavened bread. That represented the bread of the firstfruits as revealed in Leviticus 23:17. The Israelites ate unleavened bread because of their haste to leave for Egypt. But what does this mean for the firstfruits?

 

Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 5:8 provides a reason for keeping the feast of unleavened bread:  “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

 

A second reason to consider is that when one does a study of the apostle John, and those who were taught by him, you will find that he kept the days of unleavened bread. Jude also provides this insight in Jude 3:  “Ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” The practices of Paul, John and his students would fulfill this teaching.

 

Another consideration comes from the understanding that several of the days of unleavened bread come within the first week of Shavuoth.  Shavuoth, or feast of weeks, (in Greek, Pentecost) consists of seven complete weeks each including a Sabbath. (Leviticus 23:15) The first week is when Messiah ascended to the Father as a firstfruit to fulfill the requirement of the wave sheaf offering.

 

In Leviticus 23:10-11, we are introduced to the wave sheaf offering. On the next day after the weekly Sabbath, following the first high day of the days of unleavened bread, the priest would bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of the harvest and present it to Yahweh. This was required so that this harvest would be accepted and therefore blessed by Yahweh.

 

It was on this day that Mary Magdalene went to the tomb of Messiah early in the morning on the day after the weekly Sabbath, during the feast of unleavened bread.  This account is recorded in John 20. She found Messiah missing, and while she was weeping, Messiah approached her from behind. She turned and saw him, but did not recognize him thinking that he was a gardener. In John 20:17, he says to her: “Touch me not; for I am not ascended to my Father…” 

 

On that day, Messiah was fulfilling the role of a priest by appearing before the Father as a firstfruit. (1 Corinthians 15:20) Through death he had covered all the sins of the world and now he was returning to the glory he had with the Father before he was born as Yahshua. (John 17: 5)

 

The first week leading to Shavuoth was all about him. It is specially set apart with the command to eat only unleavened bread. The remaining six of the seven weeks have no requirement for bread. For six (the number of man) weeks, the bread of the firstfruits is eaten. (Leviticus 23:17)

 

After the completion of the remaining six weeks, 49 days will be accomplished. The following or 50th day is when those who are called will receive the earnest of the Spirit of Messiah.

 

It is of note that when you review Leviticus 25, you are introduced to the Jubile. The Jubile year is the 50thyear when a time of liberty is declared. (Leviticus 25:17)  it was on the 50thday of Pentecost that the down payment of Messiah’s Spirit was received. All those who have that Spirit, have also received liberty. (2 Corinthians 3:17)

 

All of Shavuoth is about Messiah and the firstfruits. We should observe all these days joyfully and completely. The first week is about Messiah who is THE firstfruit. It is he who allowed those that are his to have the same opportunity to become a firstfruit. Remember Genesis 1:1:  “For the sake of the firstfruits Elohim created the heavens and the earth.”  We honor Messiah by keeping the days of unleavened bread. We do this also in remembrance of him.

 

Those that lack the Spirit at this time find that Yahweh’s truth is very difficult to fully comprehend. Paul tells us why in Romans 8:7-8:  

 

“Because the carnal mind is enmity against Elohim: for it is not subject to the law of Yahweh, neither indeed can be.  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please Elohim.  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of Elohim dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Messiah, he is none of his.”

 

These verses strongly support the importance of being baptized in the name of YahwehShua.  This is the key of knowledge that has been hidden. (Luke 11:52) This is the only way you will have true knowledge.

 

Unless you are baptized in the name of YahwehShua, you do not have the ability to follow Yahweh’s guidance. The night of the Last Supper was only shared with those that were his. The remembrance of his body and blood can only be properly observed by the firstfruits. Paul warns us about partaking of the bread and a drink unworthily in 1 Corinthians 11:27-29. Consider these words carefully.

 

If you believe the Father is calling you, please consider baptism in the name of YahwehShua. This is the only way to reign with him for 1,000 years and participate in the body of Messiah. It is especially significant to observe the Last Supper with the brethren.