In Rabbinic and Messianic Judaism there are many and varied traditions that are associated with Passover. Most are not found in the Torah (first five books of the Bible). Most Jewish denominations, i.e. the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform branches of Rabbinic Judaism as well as Messianic Judaism, have produced booklets that their constituents follow when celebrating the Passover. These booklets are called the Haggadah which literally means “the telling”.
The point being that the Passover instructions in the Scripture are quite simple. The elements include the slaughtering and eating of a flawless lamb, the eating of unleavened bread for seven days and the offering of various animal sacrifices at the Temple.
This left a lot of room for our Jewish people over the centuries to develop creative extra-Biblical traditions and ways to retell the Passover story that became a part of Passover celebrations.
This brings me to the New Covenant Passover. Did you know…
…that the Christian Communion, that is celebrated at various times throughout the year, depending on what denomination and church you are associated with, is actually a Passover celebration. In other words the Last Supper was a Passover meal.
This of course is no accident. The Messiah Yeshua’s (Jesus) crucifixion and resurrection was closely associated with the feast of Passover.
New Messianic Traditions
In I Corinthians 11:17-33 the Messiah follows in the Jewish tradition of creative Passover storytelling by instituting a new wrinkle to Passover observance. At the last Passover supper with His disciples, within hours of His crucifixion, He broke the matzah (unleavened bread) that they were all eating and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.“
Then He took the cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
What did He mean by this?
Unleavened bread had two important and prophetic meanings in the Scripture. First The Torah calls it the bread of affliction and symbolized Israel’s suffering in Egypt. But leaven is also a Biblical symbol for sin. So Yeshua was saying that when you celebrate the Passover and remember Israel’s deliverance from suffering in Egypt, remember my suffering for your sins. Of course the disciples did not fully realize at that moment what this meant until after His death and resurrection.
Secondly, though the cup of wine was not a part of the Passover in the Exodus account, by the time of Yeshua (and even today) the cup(s) of wine were an established part of Passover observance. In the Scripture wine is often associated with blood and so Yeshua, after the meal was over, instructed His disciples that His blood represented a New Covenant.
So what is the New Covenant?
The New Covenant is the most important of all covenants between God and man. Just as the lamb’s blood in the Exodus account caused the angel of death to pass over Jewish homes and spare the firstborn in each household, so the covenant between God and man is that the Messiah’s shed blood covers the sins of an individual who accepts that atonement for their sins. Only then does God eternally forgive that person’s sins. They pass from eternal death to eternal life.
That’s why we faithfully observe the New Covenant Passover.
We must never forget the incredible and undeserved sacrifice God made by sending Ben Elohim (the Son of God) to take away the sin of the world.
Remember…and always be grateful.
~The views contained in The Joel Chernoff Report are not necessarily views held by the MJAA~