A Symbolic look at Pesach (Passover)

Many people read the Tanakh (Old Covenant) and do not read the B'rit Hadashah (New Covenant). Conversely, there are a large number of people who read the B'rit Hadashah and neglect to read the Tanakh. In order to properly understand G-d's holy scriptures we must read and study both the Tanakh and the B'rit Hadashah.

The story of the Pesach is recorded in Exodus chapter twelve. Pesach lasts for eight days.

Each year, on the first full moon of spring, the Jewish people faithfully commemorate how G-d delivered their ancestors from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. The tenth plague to befall the Egyptians was the plague upon the first-born. The Israelites were instructed to slaughter an unblemished male lamb and apply the blood of the lamb to the two sides and top of the doorframe at the entrance of the house. In this way the angel of death would see the blood and pass over the house. The Pesach Seder is full of symbolism. It not only commemorates the Exodus story, it is a beautiful foreshadowing of Yeshua's sacrificial death.

Leviticus 23:5-8 In the fourteenth day of the first month at evening is the L-RD's pesach. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the L-RD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have a holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the L-RD seven days: in the seventh day is a holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. (KJV)

To prepare for Pesach, the home is thoroughly cleaned and all leaven (yeast) is removed from the home.

The Bedikat Chametz (Search for Leaven) is conducted on the evening before Pesach, the leaven that is found is burned the following morning. This is known as Blur Chametz (Burning of the leaven) and must be done by 10AM the day before Pesach. Leaven represents sin in the Bible. Removing the yeast from the home symbolizes searching our hearts and separating ourselves from sin.

The day before the Pesach all first-born males are obligated to fast to commemorate the miracle of their salvation from the plague of death of the first-born.

The Pesach Seder(Order) begins when the mother lights the candles on the dinner table and says the blessing. This is symbolic of the woman, Miryam (Mary), bringing us the light of the world, Yeshua (Jesus).

John 8:12 Then spake Yeshua again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (KJV)

The father leads the family in the Pesach Seder. One of the first things he does it to place three pieces of Matzah (unleavened bread) into the Matzah Tash (Matzah Pocket), this linen bag has three pockets one for each piece of Matzah. This represents the trinity. The first piece of matzah represents the Father, the second the Son, and the third Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit).

Kaddesh: Sanctification - First Cup of Wine

Blessing is said over the wine, half the cup is drunk.

Urechatz: Washing

Washing Hands

Karpas: Vegetable (See Seder plate below)

Parsley dipped in salt water and eaten.

Yachatz: Breaking

Second Matzah is broken. Half is placed rapped in white linen and hidden. The other half is placed back in the 'Matzah Tash'. This represents the second person of the trinity, Yeshua, dying for our sins. His body was wrapped in white linen and hidden away in the tomb for three days. Yeshua confirmed this when he commemorated the Pesach Seder the night he was betrayed.

1 Cor 11:23-24 That the L-rd Yeshua the same night in which he was betrayed took bread (matzah): 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. (KJV)

If you take a minute and look carefully at the Matzah, (You may want to hold it up to the lit candle) notice that it is pierced and also it has stripes running across its surface. This reminds us of Isaiah 53:5-6 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the L-RD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (KJV)

Zech 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. (KJV)

John 19:34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. (KJV)

Maddid: The Story

The youngest member of the family asks four questions. Why do we eat only matzoh on Pesach? Why do we eat bitter herbs, maror, at our Seder? Why do we dip our foods twice tonight and, Why do we lean on a pillow tonight?

The Story of the Exodus is told.

Deliverance: Second Cup of Wine (aka. Cup of Deliverance or the cup of Plagues)

One drop of wine is dropped on the plate for each of the plagues of Egypt.

Half of the cup is drunk after a blessing is said.

Rachtzah: Washing

Second Hand Washing

Motzi: Blessing over Grain Products

A generic blessing is said for bread and other grain products

A piece of the first and third Matzah are eaten.

Matzah: Blessing over Matzah

A specific blessing is said for the Matzah.

Blessed O L-rd our G-d King of the universe who bringeth forth bread from the earth.

The Matzah is symbolic of the manna the Israelites ate in the wilderness. It also symbolizes Yeshua.

John 6:35 And Yeshua said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (KJV)

Yeshua was born in Bethlehem, which means House of Bread and He was buried on the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Maror: Bitter Herbs (Usually Horseradish) (See Seder plate below)

Blessing over the bitter herbs.

Korech: The Sandwich (See Seder plate below)

The Charoset is eaten on a small piece of Matzah from the third Matzah.

Shulchan Orech: Dinner

The evening meal is now eaten.

Tzafun: The Afikomen

The children are sent to find the Afikomen. This represents the resurrection of Yeshua. Afikomen means "He came". The child who finds it is promised a gift, but the gift is not given to them until the 'Feast of Pentecost (50 days later). The promised gift symbolizes the comforter (Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit)) who Yeshua promised to send to them. This was fulfilled on the Feast of Pentecost.

Barech: Grace after meal

Redemption: Third Cup of Wine

Third cup of wine is poured, the blessing is said "Blessed O L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe who bringeth forth the fruit of the vine."

Half of the cup of wine is drunk.

Release: Fourth Cup of wine Known as the Cup of Release or the Cup of Praise.

Half of the cup of wine is drunk.

This cup symbolizes our release from the bondage of sin through the shed blood of Yeshua. It is the cup of praise because we shall praise him eternally for what he has done for us.

A fifth cup of wine is poured for Elijah

In Jewish tradition this special cup is placed in the center of the table and not filled until the conclusion of the meal - anticipating, when the door is opened, the coming of Elijah to announce the coming of Messiah. By Yeshua picking up Elijah's cup, blessing it and giving it to his disciples, saying, "Drink ye all of it, for this is My blood of the New Covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins," He affirmed his identity as the Messiah and at that moment established the Kingdom of G-d. As we partake of the cup we, too, bear testimony to precious faith in Him.

Hallel: Praises

Several psalms are sung. Yeshua and his disciples sang at the end of their Pesach dinner.

Mark 14:26 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. (KJV)

Nirtzah: Closing

The Seder plate contains five foods.

1. Charoset:

A mixture of apple, nuts, cinnamon and wine.

The Charoset symbolizes the mortar used by the Israelites when they were in slavery. Every child of Adam is born by nature into the bondage to self and sin from which he, too, must be redeemed. The sweetness symbolizes the blessed hope we have that someday we will to will cross over the Jordan to our heavenly home.

2. Karpas (Parsley dipped in salt water)

The parsley represents Israel in the spring of her nationhood going into the Red sea. It also symbolizes that just as greens come to life in the spring, there is everlasting hope of redemption. The saltwater stands for the tears shed by all, Jew and Gentile alike, when we're in the lost state."

Gal 4:4-5 But when the fullness of the time was come, G-d sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (KJV)

When Yeshua came that was the springtime of hope for the lost world. Dipping the parsley also symbolizes the immersion of the believer.

3. Roasted egg:

It symbolizes the grave. We are reminded that the Divine sentence has been placed on mankind in the decree,

Ezek 18:20 "…The soul that sinneth, it shall die…" (KJV)

Unless G-d intervenes there is no hope for the human race. For the believer in Yeshua that hope is resurrection and eternal life.

NOTE: THE EGG WAS NOT A PART OF THE ORIGINAL PASSOVER SEDER. It was incorporated in after the Israelites were taken into Babylonian captivity. They were evidently influenced to some extent by the Babylonian springtime renewal and regeneration (fertility) celebrations. Does this mean we should stop celebrating Passover? Does this mean we should remove the egg from our Passover Seder? Should we throw out our Seder Plates, which has a spot for the egg? Could it be that the egg, which once symbolized something PAGAN, taken on new meaning?

4. Z'roa:

The roasted Shank bone is found on the Pesach plate. It is symbolic of the offering of the lamb that was slain for the sins of Israel.

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Yeshua coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of G-d, which taketh away the sin of the world. (KJV)

Thus, the Shank bone of the lamb on every Jewish Passover table speaks symbolically of Yeshua, crucified as our substitute.")

1 Cor 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Messiah our Passover is sacrificed for us: (KJV))

5. Maror (Bitter herbs)

This symbolizes the bitterness of Israel's slavery in Egypt. It also represents the sorrow and ruin experienced by mankind as he serves the evil one.)

There are four cups of wine at the dinner. The wine symbolizes the shed blood of the innocent lamb given in place of the first-born of Israel in Egypt. It also symbolizes the blood Yeshua shed for our sins. He himself confirmed this in

Matt 26:27-29 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. (KJV))

It is no coincidence that Yeshua was crucified on Pesach. Yeshua was born in the town of Bethlehem where the shepherds raised the sacrificial lambs for use in G-d's Holy Temple. He was the first-born son, he was perfect and sinless and was the only one who was able to keep the whole law.

Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (KJV)

From the time of Adam and Eve's first sin a blood sacrifice had to be made to atone for sin. We know this because G-d clothed them in animal skins. There had to be bloodshed in order to have animal skins.

No other sacrifice is acceptable to G-d. It must be a blood sacrifice.

Gen 4:3-5 "And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the L-RD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the L-RD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. (KJV)

Leviticus 17:11. For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. (KJV)

Rom 5:8-12 But G-d commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to G-d by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in G-d through our L-rd Yeshua Ha Mashiah, by whom we have now received the atonement. (KJV)

Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. (KJV)

Heb 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. (KJV)

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Yeshua

What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Yeshua

O precious is the flow.
That makes me white as snow

No other fount I know.
Nothing but the blood of Yeshua