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God's Salvation Plan in the Biblical Feast Days

 - Passover (Pesach) and Feast of Unleaven Bread (Hag haMatzot)

by Bill Wong

 




Holy Day Outline

 

What is Christ's role in the plan of salvation outlined in the Biblical feast days?  We will look into each annual holy day/festival and briefly give a Tanakh (Old Testament) and a B'rit Hadashah (New Testament) description.

 

 

 

Spring Feast Days

 

 

1. 

 

A)  Passover  (Pesach)

 

The 14th day of the first month of Abib:

 

Leviticus 23:4-5

Exodus   12:1-39

 

Given below is a part of Exodus 12:

 

Exodus 12:

6    Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.

7    And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.

8    Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

9    Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire --- its head with its legs and its entrails.

10  You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire.

11   And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD's Passover.

12   'For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.

13   Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.   

14   'So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.   (NKJV)

 

Deuteronomy 16:1-2

 

 

 

Tanakh -

 

The sacrifice of the Passover lamb and its blood is used to mark and cover the people of Israel from sure death while in Egypt as death strikes the firstborn of Egypt.  The Passover lamb is eaten at the supper a few hours after it has been slain and its blood put upon the lintels of the houses of Israel that midnight so the death angel will pass over them. This lamb is absolutely required and is the breaking point for Pharaoh to release Israel from bondage.  Without the Passover lamb, there would be no freed people.  The Passover is to be observed as an everlasting memorial for the Passover lamb sacrifice and is inextricably tied to the Feast of Unleavened Bread which immediately follows.

 


 

B'rit Hadashah (NT) -

 

The Lord Jesus is the Passover Lamb of God whose blood covers our sins and gives us eternal life.  In the Tanakh, Egypt represented sin and the people of God were in bondage to it and saved by the lamb's blood.  The truth in the New Testament is that the people of God are under bondage to sin and death, but it is the blood of the Lord Jesus - the Passover Lamb of God, which is absolutely required and saves us forever from bondage.  The Passover is still to be observed as an everlasting memorial for the Passover lamb sacrifice.

 

 

 

The Lord Jesus is the Lamb of God provided for us


Genesis 22:

1    Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."

2    He said, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you."

3    So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.

4    On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance.

5    Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you."

6    Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together.

7    Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." And he said, "Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"

8    Abraham said, "God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." So the two of them walked on together.

9    Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.

10   Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

11   But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."

12   He said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."

13   Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son.

14   Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, "In the mount of the LORD it will be provided."    (NASB)

 

Hebrews 11:

17   By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son,

18   of whom it was said, "Through Isaac shall your offspring be named."

19   He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.     (ESV)


John 1:

29   The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!  

 

35   Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples.

36   And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God!"

37   The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.   

(NKJV)



Isaiah 53:1-12/1 Peter 2:21-25


Given below is a part of Isaiah 53:


Isaiah 53:

4    Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.

5    But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

6    All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

7    He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.

8    He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.

9    And they made His grave with the wicked --- But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.    (NKJV)


Revelation 5:

1    And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals.

2    Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?"

3    And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.

4    So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it.

5    But one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals."

6    And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

7    Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.

8    Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

9    And they sang a new song, saying: " You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

10   And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth."

11   Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,

12   saying with a loud voice: " Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!"

13   And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: " Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!"

14   Then the four living creatures said, "Amen!" And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.    (NKJV)



Christ died on Passover as the Passover Lamb of God (the same time as thousands of lambs were slaughtered for the Passover):

 

The Lord Jesus is the Passover –

 

1 Corinthians 5:

7    Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened.

      For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.  

8    Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leave of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.    (NKJV)


Matthew 26:

1    Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples,

2    "You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified."     (NKJV)


1 Peter 1:

17   And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;

18   knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,

19   but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

20   He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you

21   who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.     (NKJV)


Revelation 13:

4    So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?"

5    And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.

6    Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.

7    It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.

8    All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.   (NKJV)


John 19:

14   Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, "Behold your King!"


31   Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.   (NKJV)

 

– The reference to the upcoming Sabbath being a high day means that this Sabbath was an annual holy day Sabbath and not the weekly Sabbath (which many mistakenly use to say the Lord Jesus had to have died on a Friday).  This high day is the 15th of the first month which is the first day of the 7-day Feast of Unleavened Bread and is a holy convocation (Leviticus 23:5-7); it follows immediately after the Passover on the 14th when the lambs were slaughtered. Christ died on Passover as the Lamb of God (the 14th) and had to be removed before the high Sabbath began the next day (the 15th).  Christ IS the Passover and his blood covers our sins that we may have eternal life just as the lambs' blood over the door posts saved Israel from the death angel in Egypt. 


 

 

Christ gives us the symbols of bread and wine for His flesh and blood which was sacrificed for us.  We partake of the bread and wine to partake in Him.  We do this in remembrance of Him:

 

Mark 14:22-24

Luke 22:17-20


Matthew 26:

26   While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body."

27   And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you;

28   for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.

29   "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom."    (NASB)

 

John 6:

48   I am the bread of life.

49   Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

50   This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.

51   I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."

52   The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?"

53   Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.

54   Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

55   For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.

56   He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.    (NKJV)


1 Corinthians 10:

16   Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?

17   Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread.   (NASB)


1 Corinthians 11:

23   For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;

24   and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you;

          do this in remembrance of Me."

25   In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."

26   For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.    

27   Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

28   But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

29   For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.    (NKJV)

 

– The time to partake of the bread and wine which symbolizes the Lord Jesus’ torn body and shed blood in order to “proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” is on the feast which partakes of the Passover lamb.  This Passover feast is the day God specifically created as a memorial to the death of His son as the Passover Lamb of God sacrifice.  The Passover/our Passover is sacrificed on the afternoon of the 14th of the first month and is eaten/partaken of during the Passover dinner, which is eaten just a few hours after the Passover lamb has been sacrificed, shortly sometime after sunset on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread which is the 15th (see next section).  We are to partake of the bread and wine symbolizing Christ our Passover yearly during the Passover/Unleavened Bread feast, not weekly.  The giving of the bread and wine and the initiation of the New Covenant by His atonement for our sins as the Son of God is according to the pattern of the ancient wedding customs of Israel magnified to its greatest extent – the symbols/covenant is the marriage contract (‘ketubah’) and what He gives for His bride which indicates how much He loves her is the bride price (‘mohar’).  The bride price He gives for His bride is to lay down His life for His bride as a sacrifice for our sins. Please see the article:The Bride of Christ’.



Exodus 34:

25   "You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leaven, nor shall the sacrifice of the Feast of the Passover be left until morning.   (NKJV)


Note:  The bread taken for the Passover must be unleavened and leads into the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

 

 

As the Bible indicates, He gave the bread and wine as symbols representing His body and blood, and they are not turned into His real flesh and blood like Roman Catholicism believes with the Eucharist transubstantiation doctrine.  Please also see the article ‘Truth about the Eucharist’.



So the Bible makes it clear that believers in the Lord Jesus Christ should observe Passover, because He is our Passover, the Lamb of God sent to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29, 36).  Christ Himself said that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood --- and the time to do this is not weekly, but on the Passover feast when we partake of the Passover lamb which was slain just a few hours ago, and this occurs at the dinner on the first night of the Feast of Unleavened Bread which immediately follows after sundown. 




   

B)  The Feast of Unleavened Bread  (Hag haMatzot)

 

The 15th – 21st days of the first month of Abib:

 

Leviticus 23:6-8


Exodus 12:1-39; 13:4, 7-10; 34:18, 25


Given below is part of Exodus 12 and it immediately follows the slain Passover lamb; the Passover and Feast of Unleavened are intricately connected:

Exodus 12:

13   Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

14   'So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.

15   Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.

16   On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat --- that only may be prepared by you.

17   So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance.

18   In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening.

19   For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land.

20   You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.' "     (NKJV)


Deuteronomy 16:

1   "Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover to the LORD your God, for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night.

2   Therefore you shall sacrifice the Passover to the LORD your God, from the flock and the herd, in the place where the LORD chooses to put His name.

3   You shall eat no leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it, that is, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), that you may remember the day in which you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life.

4   And no leaven shall be seen among you in all your territory for seven days, nor shall any of the meat which you sacrifice the first day at twilight remain overnight until morning.

5   "You may not sacrifice the Passover within any of your gates which the LORD your God gives you;

6   but at the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide, there you shall sacrifice the Passover at twilight, at the going down of the sun, at the time you came out of Egypt.

7   And you shall roast and eat it in the place which the LORD your God chooses, and in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents.

8   Six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a sacred assembly to the LORD your God.  

You shall do no work on it.    (NKJV)


1 Corinthians 5:7-8

 


 

Tanakh –

 

Israel remembers that God has freed them from bondage and spared them from death by the blood of the Passover lamb. They remember the bitterness of their lives in Egypt and their haste in leaving it, and also remember so that the Law of God is with them. They remove all leaven and eat unleavened bread throughout the 7 days of the feast in observance of the Passover, which shows us the intimate relationship between Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the truth that in reality they are one.  By observing this Feast, Israel remembers all the things that God has done for her and they not only acknowledge Him as her God, but also pledge her allegiance to Him.

 


 

B’rit Hadashah (NT) –

 

By observing this Feast, followers of the Messiah Jesus likewise remember all the things that God has done for them and they not only acknowledge Him as their God, but also pledge their allegiance to Him.

 

Though the action of it is used once to refer to the Kingdom of God, because leaven starts out small, but ultimately grows and spreads throughout (Matthew 13:33; Luke 13:20-21 – refers to same parable), in the context of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when leaven is used as a noun, leaven symbolizes sin and to be unleavened means to be holy and pure:


Matthew 16:

6 Then Jesus said to them, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees."

 

11 How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? --- but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees."

 

12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

 

Mark 8:

15 Then He charged them, saying, "Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod."

 

Luke 12:

1 In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.    (NKJV)

 

1 Corinthians 5:

6     Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?

7     Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened.

      For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.

8     Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness,

      but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.   (NASB)

 

 

In verse 7 above, believers are referred to as being unleavened. This can mean nothing else but that their sins are cleansed by the blood of Christ. Indeed, the reference to Christ as our Passover again shows that leaven means sin in this feast, because Christ’s sinless atonement is what makes it possible for us to be unleavened. Verse 8 further emphasizes that sin is leaven, because it is evident that though the blood of Christ saves us, some of the Corinthians were still leading sinful lives and must “celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth”.

 

This feast is an extension of the Passover. After the Lamb has been sacrificed and covers and saves us with His blood, we call to remembrance what the Lord Jesus has done for us and how we ourselves must be holy. Egypt is also a symbol of bondage to sin and death (Micah 6:4; 1 Corinthians 10:1-12; Hebrews 11:24-27; Revelation 11:8), and just as the ancient Israelites were physically saved, we acknowledge our freedom and the great price paid by Him to free us from the bondage of sin and death.

 

We are called to be unleavened – without sin. As the temple of God's spirit and a member of the body of Christ, we must be unleavened in our walk with Christ.  The Lord Jesus is without leaven – without sin. To be unleavened is to imitate Christ, and we are commanded to imitate Him (1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 John 2:3-6).  

 

Christ is the bread of life we partake of as a memorial, for Him to abide in us, and we in Him. We partake of this unleavened bread which represents the Lord Jesus’ broken body after the Passover has been sacrificed and for all days of the Feast. We must eat unleavened bread for the entire feast. The unleavened bread we eat is symbolic of all these things: of Christ and being one with Him; the liberty we now have by His blood – freed from the penalty of sin which is death (Romans 6:23); and our calling as worthy and pleasing children & servants of God in Christ who look to Him as our model.

 

We must emphasize again the connection between the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread: the Lamb of God (by the symbols of bread and wine) is partaken of after sunset just a few hours He has been slain as our Passover --- as the first meal of the Feast of Unleavened Bread that started at sunset right after He was put in the tomb. 

 

We see that the meal Jesus and His disciples ate the night before He was slain was not a Passover seder, because the bread which they ate that night before He was slain as the Passover lamb is the Greek word 'artos' (Strong's #740) which means a loaf of bread that is raised (leavened).  However, the Bible tells us that the only bread which can be eaten with the Passover sacrifice is unleavened bread; indeed, the Passover sacrifice must be commemorated by eating 7 days of unleavened bread with it (which is the 7-day Feast of Unleavened Bread that started at sunset right after Jesus was put in the tomb):


Exodus 34:

25   "You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread, nor is the sacrifice of the Feast of the Passover to be left over until morning.    (NASB)

 

Deuteronomy 16:

2   Therefore you shall sacrifice the Passover to the LORD your God, from the flock and the herd, in the place where the LORD chooses to put His name.

3   You shall eat no leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it, that is, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), that you may remember the day in which you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life.    (NKJV)

 

 

This shows us very clearly that the Passover Lamb of God slain near the end of the 14th of Abib must be partaken of (as the symbols of bread and wine for His torn body and shed blood) at the Passover supper a few hours later on the early 15th (the night portion) of the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Partaking of our Passover – the Lord Jesus Christ with unleavened bread on the first of seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread shows us that the Passover is indeed the central focus of this Feast as Deuteronomy 16 above states (for the Passover, we “shall eat no leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it”).  It also shows us that without a doubt, the time we are to take the bread and the wine for our Passover must be on this first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread – the early 15th, because this first day of unleavened bread is specifically the start of commemorating the Passover as foreordained by our Heavenly Father before the foundation of the world.  The whole feast is meant for Him. 

 

The Bible tells us that the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb of God flows right into partaking of Him immediately after for the 7 days of the Feast; the Bible tells us that the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread are one, a unit together.  This sequence cannot be broken and dictates when we are to observe the symbols of bread and wine – after the Passover has been slain, not before.


What about the Bible command to remove leaven from our homes?  Some eat unleavened bread and do not remove leaven from their homes, and meditate only upon the removal of sin from our lives. Others apply both the spiritual removal of sin with the removal of leaven from the home. Some reasons are: removing sin is a daily action, but on this feast once a year, it must be an extra focus and removing leaven from our homes magnifies this focus; it shows also that though it is difficult to remove all leaven and we may even reluctantly do it, it is still something we must do. It is an example of the physical illustrating and illuminating the spiritual. Also, since we are commanded to eat unleavened bread (the symbolic body of Christ) to honor our Passover, the Lord Jesus whom we are to emulate, it is conflicting and out of place to do so with leaven surrounding us when we are called to be unleavened/without sin.  The idea is that everything is to be unleavened for our Passover; this starts first with the unleavened bread we eat to partake of the Lamb of God, and continues to ourselves and our homes. Therefore, the commandment to remove leaven from the home is also done.    

 

In short, removing leaven is symbolic of us removing the sin that we have in us, because we all fall short; and we also do not eat anything with leaven which is symbolic of the truth that we must not bring sin into our lives, but must walk uprightly like Christ.

 

In this feast, we recall the importance and urgency in which we must put out the leaven in our lives and flee from sin to be holy unto God and not make Christ’s sacrifice be in vain. We remind ourselves how difficult it is to be rid of sin, but despite this, we are even more mindful of it and work even harder to strive against sin (Hebrews 12:1-4).  We are reminded of the Lord Jesus' sacrifice to free us from bondage to sin and death, enabling us to be and walk unleavened like Christ --- showing us that Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread are not merely related, but are one.


The Bible tells us that we must strive every day to be holy and not sin, but there are specific Biblically-commanded periods of time during the year where we are supposed to look inwardly even more to repent and give up our life of sin.  These special times center around God’s Biblical feast days. It begins with Passover which observes the sacrifice of Christ as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  As we read earlier, we must search ourselves to be found worthy of partaking of our Passover:


1 Corinthians 11:

26   For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.    

27   Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

28   But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

29   For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.    (NKJV)



It continues through the Feast of Unleavened Bread which immediately follows, where we acknowledge the great price the Lamb paid to purchase us from slavery to sin by looking inwardly to be worthy of His sacrifice and we do away with sin (leaven) from our lives. 


This extra focus on inner reflection is carried through from the 50-day count that begins on the Day of Wavesheaf Offering to the 50th day that is Pentecost (next two sections).  Lastly, the Day of Atonement in the fall also reflects on our sinful state and the Bible commands us to fast on this day.   If there are other days taught and practiced as doctrine, they are according to the traditions of men and not the Bible, and have effectively replaced Bible truth.

 




When to partake of the Passover symbols of bread and wine


The Passover day is on the 14th day of the first month of Abib and begins at sundown (remember that Biblically a day begins at sunset so the early part of the day is the night portion, and the late part of the day is the day portion).   It ends at sundown the next day which begins the 15th day of Abib, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Please read the article 'When does the Biblical new year begin?' to know when is the 1st day of the first month, because Passover/Unleavened Bread occur in the first month.  


So when exactly do we partake of the bread and wine that represents the broken body and shed blood of Christ as the Passover lamb?


There is some confusion and there are two dominant views.  One view states that the night before He was crucified when He gave the symbols of bread and wine to His apostles is when we should do it (commonly called the Last Supper or Lord’s Supper); this is called the early 14th view, because it is first part of the 14th day of Abib which is night.  The other view states it should be at the supper shortly after He was crucified which is at the meal eaten at the beginning of the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread; this is called the early 15th view, because it is the first part of the 15th of Abib which is night.   However, there should be no confusion, because as the Passover lamb, the Lord Jesus must and did follow exactly the pattern/type and sequence of the Passover.  This tells us when we are to partake/eat of the Passover Lamb of God. 


While the thousands of lambs were slain for Passover, the Lord Jesus was slain as our Passover at the very same time.  This occurred late on the 14th day of Abib (day portion) towards the end of the day, a few hours before sunset which was the beginning of the 15th day of Abib and first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  The Bible says at the ninth hour which is 3pm on the 14th of Abib, He breathed His last (Mark 15:33-39).  The thousands of slain Passover lambs were then prepared and roasted to be consumed at the Passover supper.  The Passover lamb is partaken of after sunset, on the early 15th of Abib (night portion/beginning of the 15th day) at the Passover supper, which is the first meal after the Passover has been slain.  This meal is specifically to observe/partake of the Passover lamb slain just a few hours before. 


The Biblically prescribed time to partake of the bread and wine that is symbolic of the Lord Jesus’ broken body and shed blood is on the early 15th; it is the day God commanded as a memorial to observe and partake of the Passover whose blood saves us from bondage to sin and death.  Scriptures show the Passover lamb is partaken of on the early 15th of Abib when we see the blood of the Passover lamb that was eaten that night was used to cover the lintels of the homes before the death angel came at midnight (Exodus 12). 


We see this also in John 19:30-42 when the body of the Lord Jesus was put into the tomb just before sunset leading into the 15th of Abib – showing us that He as our Passover was being prepared by His disciples and they could not partake of Him (as the symbols of bread and wine) until after sunset.  The day starting at sunset was the high Sabbath (annual feast day) of the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and this was why He was being rushed into the tomb – before this high Sabbath begins.  This is the time His disciples will partake of Him: at the supper of the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread to commemorate the Passover, when all Passover lambs are partaken of, a few hours after being sacrificed. 


The Bible shows us that though the supper the Lord Jesus had with His apostles the night before He was slain occurred on Passover (the early 14th of Abib/night portion), it is not the Passover meal which partakes of the slain Passover lamb.  It was just a supper to show them the meaning of the bread and wine (note: breaking bread and having wine is a common meal in those times).  It is impossible for that night, the early 14th, to be the Passover meal partaking of the Passover lamb, because the Lord Jesus who is our Passover, has clearly not been slain.   Since He is the Passover lamb who follows exactly the type and sequence prescribed by His father, how can He partake of the Passover lamb if He is Himself the Passover lamb?  He cannot; there was no Passover lamb to be eaten at that meal.  He will be sacrificed along with all the other lambs later on the 14th as our Passover, during the day portion.  His very presence at that supper the night before tells us it cannot be the Passover meal to partake of Him. 


The supper to partake of our Passover, the Lord Jesus, is the one that God specifically commanded to eat of the Passover – only after the Lamb has been slain, and this occurs on the early 15th of Abib, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The connection between the killing of the Passover and then partaking of it on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which begins at sunset just 3 or so hours later, can be seen clearly in Luke:

 

Luke 22:

7   Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed.    (NKJV)



We can see that the two events: when the Passover lamb is slain and when the Feast of Unleavened Bread is, are intimately connected.  This is not only because of their closeness in time (about 3 hours), but also because the slain Passover lamb is what is eaten/partaken at the first meal which has to be with unleavened bread.



Three more points that show us we are supposed to partake of the bread and wine which represent the Lord Jesus’ sacrifice as our Passover on the early 15th of Abib, at the start of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (after our Passover is slain) – and not the night before on the early 14th:



1)  The Bible tells us a covenant only takes effect upon the death of the testator, the one who makes the covenant and seals it with His blood:

 

Hebrews 9:

15   For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the 

          transgressions that were committed under the first covenant,

          those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

16   For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it.

17   For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.   

18  Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood.   (NASB)

 

 

This indicates that the meal Jesus had with the apostles the night before He was slain is definitely not the meal to partake of the Passover lamb, because He has not died yet and the New Covenant is not yet in place or in force.  The only meanings this meal the night before had were to show His disciples the meaning of the symbols would have after His death/sacrifice and also it was the night He was betrayed.  It surely was not the beginning of any covenant, because as the testator, He was still alive and has not died.  It is the only and last time He can instruct His disciples on how to observe Him as the Passover, which can only occur after He has been slain as the Passover lamb – and only then is the New Covenant in force. 



The truth of this is seen and supported by the very first Passover itself.  The lambs that were sacrificed on the afternoon of the 14th of Abib (about 3pm, “between the evenings” as the sun began going down from noon) were roasted to be eaten at the dinner which was after sunset at the beginning of the 15th of Abib.  And it was these selfsame lambs that were slain whose blood was used to mark the doorposts and lintels of the Israelite homes for the death angel to pass over them that same night of the 15th of Abib.  And so we see very clearly that the Passover lamb must be slain first before its blood can be applied to the people of God at all.  Taking the symbols of Christ’s body and blood, the bread and wine before the Passover is slain is like the Israelites in Moses’ time sacrificing another lamb and applying its blood the night before the Passover lambs are even slain.  This is wrong.


This is something we should consider very seriously since we are the Bride of Christ; this means the New Covenant is also a marriage covenant, and it can only take effect when He dies for us.  Remember, we were bought for a price:


1 Corinthians 6:

19   Or don't you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have from God? You are not your own,

20   for you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.    (WEB)



Therefore, it is only after the Lord Jesus has been slain as our Passover and has paid the ultimate bride price with His life that is when the New Covenant takes effect that His disciples can partake of Him; this occurs on the early 15th, a few hours after He was crucified for our sins.


 

2)  The Bible tells us the Lord Jesus was foreordained since before the foundation of the world as the Lamb of God:

 

1 Peter 1:

18   knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,

19   but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

20   He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you     (NKJV)

 

 

This means that the time to the very day and hour when the Lord Jesus died as our Passover, and partaking of the Lamb at the supper after the Lamb is slain (early 15th as laid out in Exodus 12) – is the one and only true time for the Passover and when to partake of Him.  This set time to sacrifice and partake of/memorialize the Passover Lamb of God was foreordained by our Heavenly Father since before the foundation of the world and cannot be changed or avoided.  This is significant, because in addition to not following the pattern God laid out to memorialize the Passover, some also say there were two Passovers and Jesus observed the true one with His disciples (which raises the question of can He really be the Passover if He did not die as the “true” Passover), etc.  --- but these views are false. 

 

The Bible makes it clear:  the time the Lord Jesus died as our Passover is the one and only Passover, and we partake of His body and blood (the symbols of bread and wine) only after He has been slain as the Lamb of God.  He is the Passover from the foundation of the world that must die on Passover as the Passover.  If there is any question of when Passover is, it is when Messiah was crucified for our sins as the foreordained Passover; and therefore the true time of the Passover meal to partake of Jesus our Passover is the meal that occurs only after He has died for us.  Our Heavenly Father decreed this since before the foundation of the world for us to follow as the way to memorialize the sacrifice of the Lamb of God – and this is the one night of the year, on the early 15th, we MUST observe our Passover. 

 

The impact of this truth is only magnified when we remember that Jesus is the Word of God – so God’s word is doubly sure on this matter of when the Passover is slain and when the Passover is partaken of/memorialized – it is the early 15th of Abib, at the supper of the first day of Unleavened Bread which occurs a few hours after the Lamb has been slain.  In other words, partaking of the symbols of bread and wine which represent the Passover Lamb of God on the night of the 15th of Abib is locked in since before the foundation of the world, because simply we can only eat of the Lamb after He has been slain.  This is the night when we MUST partake of our Passover with these symbols.  


Any other meal or observance of the bread and wine that is Christ our Passover before or after the early 15th during the Passover/Unleavened Bread season, or at any other time of the year, is not commanded in Scripture and would be in addition to the night of the 15th / first day of Unleavened Bread.  And anything that is pagan, like Easter (after the fertility goddess Ishtar) should not be observed at all, and it was created to replace what IS commanded in Scripture.  This also applies to Sunday, which is also pagan and created to honor the Sun and replace the 7th day Sabbath (note also as mentioned before that transubstantiation is itself a false doctrine).



3)   One more piece of evidence that we are to partake of the symbols of bread and wine on the early/night of the 15th at the beginning of the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, is when God actually tells us which feast days are an annual Sabbath/holy convocation (gathering).   Even though Messiah is slain as our Passover on the 14th of Abib which is Passover, the Almighty did not declare the Passover day an annual Sabbath/holy convocation.  For some reason it is not considered a special day to be designated as such.  We therefore clearly see the night/early 14th of Passover when the apostles were instructed about the bread and wine was not a holy convocation declared by God – and why even now it is not and should not be treated as a holy convocation of God even though that is done by some.  Even when Messiah died as the Lamb of God during the day portion of Passover/ the 14th, it is still not called a holy convocation.   So why is this?  What is the reason? 

 

Well, God did declare the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread as an annual Sabbath/holy convocation.  Why?  It is because only a few hours after the Lamb of God is slain when the first day of Unleavened Bread begins at sunset, it is this first day of the feast that is the special day and meal that we eat of the Passover Lamb. By making the first day of Unleavened Bread the annual Sabbath/holy convocation, God is declaring this is the day we must eat of the Passover. 


In fact, God tells us that the entire 7 days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread are for the Passover and we must eat unleavened bread with the Passover sacrifice (as we saw in the section about the Feast of Unleavened Bread above, Deuteronomy 16:3) – and it is unleavened (no sin) bread that represents Messiah’s body, so it makes perfect sense that it is the very first meal after the Lamb is slain (which is on the night of the 15th and happens to be the meal when all the Passover lambs are eaten) that is when we take the symbols of bread and wine – just 3 hours after the Lamb was slain.  This, of course, also shows again the very special and intimate connection between Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

 

It should be noted that the reason why one day is the annual Sabbath/holy convocation (the first day of Unleavened Bread), while the other (Passover) is not, because of its close relation to Passover (really a continuation of it) --- is the same reason why the 7th and last day of the Feast of Tabernacles is not a holy convocation, but yet the 8th Day of Assembly right after it, is. The 8th Day of Assembly is the continuation (actually, punctuation and is separate) of the 7-day Feast of Tabernacles and all the feasts.  Where these two ending feasts conclude the salvation plan of God in the Biblical feast days, the Passover and Unleavened Bread starts the salvation plan in the feast days.  

 

 

The Jews today observe the Passover Seder with a lamb shank representing the Passover lamb sacrifice --- not realizing that it symbolizes Christ!   The communion that many churches do today is a tradition of man that has replaced the annual Passover observance that God commanded for all His children, whether Jew or Gentile. 

 

Full moons occur in the middle of a month, so the Passover (14th day of the first month Abib) into the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (15th day of the first month Abib; below) there is a full moon.   As prescribed by the Almighty, the sun and the moon are to be signs and markers for God’s appointed times (seasons):

 

Genesis 1:

14   Then God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;   (NKJV)



Please also see the article Jesus was raised on the Sabbath, not Sunday’ which discusses more about the Biblical command to observe Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread and not Easter which is false. 


NOTE:  God’s feast days about His salvation plan in Messiah are given to all His people, both Jew and non-Jew, to observe.  The different views about the Biblical calendar such as when a new moon/year begins, when to take the symbols of bread and wine, and when the Wavesheaf Offering is, should absolutely not to be used as an excuse to prevent you from observing God’s feast days in the Bible.  Jesus is our Passover – He is the groom who pays the ultimate price for His bride, and we are commanded in the Bible to observe the feasts. The apostles, disciples and Messiah Himself kept them and Messiah Himself lives them.  You should keep them as God’s spirit leads you and He will reward your heart and effort to walk in obedience and true worship.  Also, the difference in views should not be used as a wedge/divisive issue to distance or disassociate ourselves from our brothers and sisters who observe differently.  They are not just friends – they are part of our one family in Messiah who we love and also diligently seek God’s truth.  As the days grow darker toward the glorious light of His return, the brethren must be united now more than ever.   


 


 

Please see next article in the God’s Salvation Plan in the Biblical Feast Days series: The Wavesheaf Offering (Reishit Katzir)

  

Link to God’s Salvation Plan in the Biblical Feast Days articles outline