God has always used beautiful symbolism to speak to His people through the Feast of Passover. At the seder table He engages all our senses: touch, sound, sight, smell, and taste. This is no mistake on God’s part… He wants every part of us to experience Him. Passover is all about ringing in a New Year—a new season—leaving the old behind. As Believers, we can dig into the rich symbolism of this deeply rooted Jewish tradition and see God’s hand setting us free from the bondages of slavery.
As we begin the Passover Feast at dusk on April 10th, let us take inventory of the past year and how we have grown spiritually. Allowing the Holy Spirit to dig deep within and show us areas of growth that He is asking us to continue on with, as well as the areas of pruning that He is asking us to leave behind.
God uses imagery and signs all throughout His Word to speak to His people.
As we grow closer to Him, seeking Him with our whole heart, His language begins to become very clear—adding clarity and dimension to our daily walk. Even in times of drought and wandering in the desert, we can be certain God does not waste those moments. He promises never to leave us during these struggles, desiring to shape us to be more like Him. As a result… we are abundantly blessed.
There are signs and symbols God uses at the seder table to bring us through the door and on into the next season. This is a time when we must decide what we are taking through the door and what we are leaving behind in the desert. In Egypt, before God’s people were free from slavery, God purified them, giving them a choice to take refuge in Him, or allowing them to be released back into their bondage of sin. Those who chose sin—chose death. He warns that if we are outside of the door, death would surely come, but if we take refuge inside, covered by the Lamb’s blood, He is our help and our shield.
“Who may ascend to the mountain of the LORD?… He who has clean hands…”—Psalm 24:3-4
The instruction concerning those who enter into God’s presence symbolizes that we must have guiltless actions. We begin the seder with the symbol of washing our hands. This sign shows that we are willing to start the New Year fresh. We ask God’s Spirit to wash over us, giving us a fresh look at His grace and sacrifice.
The shofar blasts then symbolize leaving the past behind… pressing on into the New Year with clean hands, and asking the Lord to use us in fresh, new ways—renewing and awakening a right Spirit within.
As we go further into God’s language we begin to understand more of how the lighting of the candle symbolizes revelation. It is a revealing of Yeshua—a revealing of who He really is. With such revelation of truth comes wisdom, knowledge and understanding. The Light shows us just how much we truly need God’s grace. When we are not walking with God, we are lost and wandering. God desires for us to choose His Light for our path, so that our paths will remain straight.
Jesus is the Light of the world and says, “…For apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).
A remarkable way God uses the language of imagery is to help us grasp the concept of sin. The Bible uses leaven, or yeast, to represent evil and sin. The three pieces of matzah, unleavened bread, is used to represent how the Triune God is completely pure and has no evil in Him.
“You know that He appeared in order to take away our sins, and in Him is no sin.”—1 John 3:5
The middle piece of matzah is removed for a time and is blessed. This represents Yeshua—Jesus—our Messiah.
“Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life.’”—John 6:35
Jesus is sacrificed and broken on the cross, and then resurrected on the third day. It is by unmerited favor that He came to us. While we were still sinners, He died for us, and was raised to life on the third day. Therefore, we can have hope in who God says He is.
There is a journey in the next part of the seder through the four cups: sanctification, plagues, redemption and praise. Our walk with God is a process. These four cups represent the process God uses to bring us deeper into His presence, as He fills us with joy and praise.
We cannot journey to redemption without first being sanctified.
As we begin the process of sanctification, it is through revelation that we begin to understand that we must be cleansed from our sickness and sin. When we get to the third cup of redemption we are brought to the blood of Yeshua—Jesus. With this cup, after the realization and revelation of our need for a Savior, we are sealed to Him because of God’s redemptive plan.
“…He took the cup saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you.’”—Luke 22:20
This promise was made in Jeremiah 31 when the LORD spoke of a new covenant made with the house of Israel. He says it will not be like the covenant He made with their forefathers.
“…I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.”—Jeremiah 31:33
God’s plan of redemption involves sanctification, the removal of sin. When we accept Christ and His work on the cross, our sin is expunged. The plagues teach us that God is more powerful than anything we, and the people of Israel, could ever put our trust in.
He is powerful to redeem us!
This night of Passover is different when we come to God ready for revelation… ready to see Yeshua as the Light of the world. When we have been redeemed, we are free. Free of sin, and free to praise God.
We cannot enter the Promised Land without first wandering in the desert. When we are ready to go into a new season, new year, we must first be purified and stripped of sin. God wants to cleanse every bit of sin out of our lives. If we are honest… this can be a scary thought. Are we not like the Israelites in the desert when they said, “Let’s go back to Egypt… We had food there, it was better there, in slavery”? The problem is that we start to see our sin through our own perspective… and not God’s. We see it working for us in the short-term. We justify our actions because it is too much to allow God to take over and cleanse the filth away.
However, when we take a leap of faith, we land in the Promised Land. Our cup truly runneth over. We give uninhibited praise to the God of the universe because not only do we believe His faithfulness to redeem and conquer, but also we begin to experience it for ourselves. The fourth cup of praise is living life joyously and abundantly. We begin to understand God’s enormous love for us, and that He is enough. That He deserves all praise. And that He will make our cups runneth over.
The power that the fourth cup represents is found in our trials, when we give praise. We have glad hearts for every step God takes us through—every bend and every way that His Word sharpens us. We can truly rejoice in knowing that we have inherited the Promised Land through our salvation in Yeshua! With our cups full to the brim, God’s love spills over, and we cannot help but love and praise our LORD!
Passover is one of the most important spiritual seasons. We would be honored for you to take part, so save the dates for 2021 (Saturday, March 27—Sunday, April 4) and join us HERE as we prepare!
Here is what you will need:
• Matzah (unleavened bread)
• Maror—bitter herbs such as Horseradish (one teaspoon per person is ample)
• Charoset—a mixture of apple, nuts, wine & cinnamon… or chunky applesauce will do (one heaping tablespoon per person)
• Karpas—Parsley or celery will do (just enough for everyone to have a sprig)
• Salt Water for dipping (enough for people to dip their parsley into)
• Grape Juice or Wine (enough for each person to have 4 sips—you will also need 4 small cups or glasses per person)
• It is also traditional/symbolic to have a roasted lamb shank bone (Zeroah), and a boiled egg (Bytzah) on the table
We hope that you will make plans to join us LIVE online as we celebrate the Feast of Passover together!