What does Passover mean to you? What do you think of?
When you keep Passover this year, what will you be focusing on? I’ve heard some sermons recently that have inspired this blog. Sometimes I wonder where some are putting their emphasis and focus.
When you hear a Pre-Passover sermon or read an article about it, is the focus on the events of the Old Covenant – or on the events of the New Covenant?
Here’s my point: we know the original Passover week in Exodus 12 -13 was all about “when I see the blood” of the sacrificial goat or lamb splashed on the doorpost and lintels, “I will pass over you” and that home’s firstborn sons would be spared. We know this broke the back of Egypt’s hold on Israel and they let Israel go. We know they left Egypt by night with great jubilation at the end of the 14th and eve of the 15th of Abib.
But as we come to Passover this year, and as we celebrate “the Night to be Much Observed” (the eve of the 15th of the first Hebrew month), are we going to spend most of our time recounting Israel’s coming out of Egypt – or will we be explaining how all believers are grafted into spiritual Israel (Romans 11) and we all become children of Abraham’s promises through faith in our Savior (Gal. 3:26-28)? And then show what that means for believers today.
Click on “Continue reading” to the right so you’re sure to focus on the right thing this Passover.
I recommend you do take time to review the notes or hear the sermons given in March-April 2014, 2013 and other previous years, to help get your mind into Passover topics. Last year I gave a 2-part sermon on “When I see the Blood” – the Scarlet Thread through scripture.
The point of this blog is this: everything in the Old Testament points to Christ, to Yeshua our Messiah, our Savior. As you keep Passover with your family, don’t just recount the Old Testament stories. Sure, start there, but show what and WHO they pointed to.
Sure, tell your family how God told them to splash the doorposts of their homes with the blood of the lamb – but recount how those lambs pointed to THE Lamb of God, Yeshua – the Lamb of God who died to take away the sins of the whole world, not just for the Jews (John 1:29). Then soberly look each of your children or grandchildren in the eye and ask: “Son (or Honey), have you in prayer accepted Yeshua (Jesus Christ) as your personal Savior, whose sacrificed blood covers you and your sins, to take away your sins and the penalty of your sins -- for you? Have you said those words in prayer? Because if you do, when God looks at you, He will pass over your sins too – and the Death Angel will have no power over you. You won’t have to die for your sins. You never will have to. You can have the joy and peace of knowing because of Yeshua (Jesus), you will live forever and ever, if you accept Him as your Savior. Let’s say that prayer together, OK?”
Then lead them in a prayer of accepting their Lord and Master as their very own personal Savior.
The point of this blog is this: YES, use the Old Testament stories. We’re told to. But now make them relevant to what they all pointed to, what they all pictured: our Savior! Make that your FOCUS. Make that be what you spend much of your time on.
It’s NOT that “the Passover is about coming out of Egypt and, oh, by the way, it also pictures Jesus delivering us…” No, no, no! It’s not an “oh, by the way, it also pictures….” NO. Yeshua is the MAIN STORY, not a “by the way” sideline. But when I hear some preachers it seems like they’re stuck back there. They have in their groups long skits with kids all dressed up like ancient Israelites, and coming out of Egypt – that’s fine and dandy as long as you put as much time on the glorious death and resurrection of the Son of God – which is what everything pointed to! Are you getting my point? Let’s live in the New Covenant!
Show them we don’t splash literal lamb’s blood on our doorposts anymore, but we do symbolically. We want Father in heaven – who is GOD MOST HIGH – to see we have, in our household, accepted Yeshua as our Savior, and we’ve said those words out loud, and believed in our hearts that Yeshua is/was the Son of God, that he came as a perfectly righteous man who died for me and you, and God our Father raised him from the dead after 3 days and nights in the tomb, and that he lives again for you and me as our Master, Savior, Mediator and King! Amen! This is wonderful good news!
“…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Christ and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Christ, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”
Paul even says all of that is what defined his gospel message!
1 Corinthians 15:1-5
“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you — unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.”
Passover is a time to spend much more of our time focusing on our living Savior than we ever do about the Passover lamb that pointed to HIM. We are believers of and in the NEW covenant – so let’s not act like we’re still living in the Old Covenant.
The Apostle Paul even says several times that all he ever wanted to really talk about was “Christ and him crucified” and he wanted to glory only in the Cross of Christ. 1 Cor. 1:23.
1 Corinthians 2:2
“For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
Do you boast in the cross of Yeshua?
“I’m so proud of my big brother Yeshua and all He did for me”, Paul is exclaiming!
Is that all you want to talk about: the cross of Jesus Christ? I gotta say: in some circles it almost seems like some people are ashamed to ever bring up the words “Cross of Jesus Christ”. You’ll never hear those words from their lips. This is what our focus on Passover should be all about. How often do you and your pastor talk about Yeshua dying for our sins? And that he took the wrath for our sins on himself? And that it is HIS righteousness that God gives us when we declare our faith and trust and obedience in Him, as Philippians 3:9, II Cor. 5:21, Romans 5:15-19 all clearly say?
Be sure you hear my upcoming sermon about being crucified with Him! We must be!
Show how when Yeshua was executed on the cross, at the end he shouted, “Finished!” And all the wrath of God for every single sin of every single human being there ever was – including all of your many sins – all the sins were placed on sinless Yeshua. And every sacrificial lamb, goat, bull, dove, calf or ram – every single one of them – pointed to a human being who was the divine Son of God, sacrificing himself because of his and his father’s love for humanity.
But make it personal. Like Paul says in Galatians 2:20—Christ “died for ME and gave himself for ME”, Paul says. Be watching for an updated sermon soon on this website – “Are you crucified with Christ?”. I hope you like it.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain."
As you hear Peter’s sermon of Acts 2, and Paul’s sermons and read Paul’s epistles, he speaks relatively little about bulls and goats and coming out of Egypt -- compared to the huge amounts of space he gives to talking about our Yeshua and what He has done for you and me.
So as we come to Passover and the days of Unleavened Bread – remember what all these things point to: Yeshua. HE is the living unleavened bread who is pierced and had stripes torn into his body in the scourging. (Have you noticed how Matzah is pierced and has baked stripes on it?) When we rejoice in the meaning of Passover, we remember soberly what Yeshua went through for us, but celebrate what all that did for us, not just for ancient Israel: His sacrifice for you broke Satan’s stranglehold on you and me and so now we are SET FREE from Satan’s bondage!
So to all of you who keep the Passover meal, or those of you who keep the full Seder, or all you Church of God folks or Hebrew Roots folks – be sure you’ve come into the New Covenant and focus on Yeshua. The slavery of Israel was to picture OUR slavery to sin and how Yeshua delivered us and led us out of sin into His Promised Land. Remember Joshua? He led Israel into the Promised Land. Joshua is an anglicized form of Yeshua! Joshua really pictured – Christ!
So let’s live in the New Covenant – and in this upcoming Passover remember to put our time and focus on Yeshua, or Jesus Christ, our Lord, Master, Savior, King and the Son of God. And – though He is the King, He’s also your Friend, and He’s also your Brother. It just doesn’t get any better than that. Hallelujah.
Have a wonderful pre-Passover time.