For Messianic Jews, Passover holds rich layers of meaning. Passover is one of the most important feasts for the Jewish People.
Moses told the Israelites, “Remember this day, on which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage. For by a strong hand Adonai brought you out from this place” (Exodus 13:3 TLV). God commanded that the Passover remembrance be observed throughout the generations forever (see Exodus 12:14).
Messianic Jews celebrate not only God’s power to save the Jewish People from slavery in Egypt long ago, but also His very present power to save all mankind from sin through Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah. Passover points to Yeshua.
Profound parallels for Messianic Jews and Gentile Believers
Passover, or Pesach, is remembered in a number of ways. Exodus 12 and Leviticus 23 give God’s instructions. They include unleavened bread, holy assemblies, no work, the sacrifice of a pure and innocent lamb, and the covering or sprinkling of its blood around the front doorways of Jewish homes. There is a rich symbolism of God’s prescribed Passover observance that points to the New Covenant He always intended to make with His People. Jewish tradition has added meaningful remembrances to Passover, and even these have startling parallels that speak of the Messiah’s sacrifice for us.
The unleavened bread of Passover symbolizes the haste and readiness in which the Israelites ate their meal the night of the last plague. When God commanded the yearly observance of the Feast of Passover forever, not only did He instruct them to eat unleavened bread, but He also told them to cleanse their homes of all leaven. In the New Testament, leaven is used to describe sin. As Messianic Jews and Believers in Yeshua, we ponder cleansing our lives of all sin, and we realize our helpless, hopeless state without Yeshua, the One who saves.
The bitter herbs of Passover remind Jewish People of the bitterness of their ancestors’ slavery to Egyptians. They were without hope of any remedy for their situation. Without God’s intervention, they were destined to remain enslaved forever. Likewise, without Messiah, we are in bitter slavery to our sin and its consequences. Without God’s intervention, we too are without hope of a remedy. But, God provided….
The Passover Lamb
The Passover lamb was sacrificed, and its blood was painted onto the doorposts and lintels of Jewish homes in Egypt. God said, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you” (Exodus 12:13) and in this way, He spared Israel from the plague of death. When John the Baptist saw Yeshua coming to him at the Jordan River, he cried out, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29 TLV). Yeshua became our sacrifice. When God looks at Messianic Jews and Gentile Believers, He sees Yeshua’s blood covering our sin. He passes over our sin and calls us righteous because of what Yeshua did and our faith in Him. We are delivered from the plague of death, the penalty for our sin.