Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Rabbi K.A. Schneider » Rabbi Schneider - Uncovering the Passover Roots of the Resurrection

Rabbi Schneider - Uncovering the Passover Roots of the Resurrection

Rabbi Schneider - Uncovering the Passover Roots of the Resurrection
TOPICS: Easter, Passover, Resurrection

I'm feeling happy because I'm about to preach on the resurrection of Messiah Yeshua. What could lift up our hearts more than that, that Jesus rose from the dead? And when He rose from the dead, beloved one, that gave hope and power and the promise of complete ultimate salvation to you and I.

Father God, we pray today as we look into your Word that you would allow us to perceive deeply into the mystery and the power and the application of the resurrection of your Son and its applicability to our lives today. Amen and amen and amen and amen.

So we're going to be looking today once again at the resurrection and we're going to be coming at it from several different angles. We're going to look at a bit of history. How did the early church perceive the resurrection? And did they call it Easter or did they connect it to something else instead in the Hebrew Bible? We're going to take a look at that today. Then what we're going to do is we're going to tie the resurrection of Yeshua to the Feast of First Fruits as revealed in the 23rd chapter of the book of Leviticus. Then we're going to go and look at what the prophets in the Old Testament saw in relationship to the promise of the resurrection of Messiah. And finally, we'll conclude today by looking at incredibly factual accounts of Yeshua's resurrection that are recorded in the Brit Chadashah, or the New Testament. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of the Lord, my beloved one, abides forever.

So let's dive right in right now. It's really interesting that the early church did not call the resurrection of Yeshua Easter. Instead, the celebration of Yeshua's resurrection was connected to Passover. So to kind of give you some insight into this, I'm going to be putting up now two scriptures so you can read along with me. I'm going to, first of all, put up the King James, the standard King James version of the Bible, which has been the historic foundation of Scripture for hundreds and hundreds of years and I'm going to show you how the original King James translated Acts 12:4. And what you're going to see there is that the original King James took the word in the original Greek manuscript, Paschal or Pesach, which is Hebrew for Passover, and the King James translators literally completely changed it and called it Easter.

But the translation was so far off from the original and so blatantly wrong that the King James translators corrected it when they came out with the New Revised King James version of the Bible. So we're going to go ahead and put both of those on the screen for you right now. First of all, I'm going to read the original King James. Once again, Acts 12:4. Follow with me now. Hear the word of God. "And when he had apprehended him, He put him in prison and delivered him to four quaterinians of soldiers to keep him; intending" here we go now, "after Easter," there it is right in front of you, you can see it, E-A-S-T-E-R, "to bring him forth to the people". Now think about this. The early church began with the Judaic foundation of their faith.

In fact, the church father, Polycarp, born in 69 AD, just shortly after Jesus' ministry, had to argue with the rest of the church, who had largely been Romanized, that we are not celebrating Jesus' resurrection in connection with the pagan celebration of the Spring Equinox, which I'll get to in a second. The resurrection of Yeshua, Polycarp argued, is in connection to the Passover and always has been. I'm going to get back to that in just a couple minutes. But I'm just trying to help you understand a controversy that took place, and how you see this controversy reflected in how the early church had been paganized through Roman culture, and they began to associate the resurrection of Yeshua with the pagan holiday associated with the sun being directly over the equator of the earth.

But once again, eventually, the historians and the scholars pointed out, This is so wrong that you're translating Acts 12:4 as Easter. We just can't do it anymore. And so they revised it. And so we're going to read now the revision in the New King James Version. "And when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him," now listen, "intending to bring him before the people after Passover". So they corrected it. So what do you see? That today we have a culture that associates the resurrection of Yeshua with a day that we call Easter. But if you'll research this on your own, some of you know this, some of you don't. If you research this on your own, just do a quick Google search" where does the word Easter come from?" and you'll see there's no argument about this. This is not something that I'm pulling out of thin air. You'll see it for yourself in black and white when you research it.

Easter was actually a pagan holiday that was associated with the sun being directly over the earth's equator that happened in the springtime. But what happened was the early church began to Romanize the Christian faith, and they began to take traditional Jewish celebrations and connect them to pagan Roman culture. And that's what happened with the resurrection of Jesus. You see, when we get into the New Testament, and when we connect the New Testament to the Old Testament, what we see is there's no such mention of Easter. The Yeshua's resurrection happened during the Passover season. Now, a really interesting historical note. Polycarp, who was one of the three main church fathers, again, born in 69 AD, so close to Yeshua's ministry, He was appointed, Polycarp was appointed to the bishop of the church in Smyrna which Jesus wrote to in Revelation chapter 2.

So in Revelation chapter 2, Yeshua addressed the church at Smyrna. Polycarp was either that church's first pastor or their second pastor. It's conceivable that when Yeshua wrote to the church at Smyrna in Revelation 2, He was talking to the angel of the church there. That might have actually been Polycarp. We're not sure. Polycarp could have succeeded the first angel or the first pastor there. But Polycarp, the Apostle John's disciple, Bishop of the Church of Smyrna that Jesus addressed in the Book of Revelation, he was adamantly arguing against Christians that had been Romanized and were celebrating the resurrection of Yeshua in relation to pagan culture, rather than putting it back in its original historical context, which was the Passover.

We're gonna go now to one of the most important chapters in the Torah. We're gonna go to the book of Vayikra, which is the Hebrew word for Leviticus. In Leviticus chapter 23, the Lord gives to Moses Shabbat, the celebration of the Sabbath, and what we call the seven appointed days of the Lord. Now, what is so important for God's people today to understand is that these seven appointed days of the Lord were all connected, hand like a glove connected, to the ministry of Yeshua HaMashiach, our Savior. Jesus was crucified on Passover. John points this out to the tee in his Gospel. The Spirit of God came on Shavuot. We call it Pentecost. But Pentecost is just the Greek name for the Hebrew Shavuot. Yeshua crucified on Passover, Spirit of God given on Shavuot.

But then there's two other feasts between Passover and Shavuot that are also connected to the ministry of Jesus when He walked the earth approximately 2,000 years ago that are a little bit more mysterious. These two feasts that I'm referring to are also in Leviticus 23. They're the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which Yeshua was buried during, and then the Feast of First Fruits when Jesus rose from the dead. The Feast of First Fruits in Leviticus 23 took place on the day after the Sabbath that immediately came after Passover. So again, the Feast of First Fruits, referred to in Leviticus 23, took place on the day after the Sabbath that immediately followed Passover.

So what day is the Sabbath? Sabbath is on Saturday. The day after the Sabbath is referred to in modern terms as Sunday, the first day of the week. What day did Yeshua rise from the dead? On Sunday, the day after the Sabbath, the day of, listen now, in the Torah, First Fruits. What happened on First Fruits? The Israelite farmer would take the first crop of his field. He would bring that spring crop to the priest, the first of that spring harvest he brought to the priest. The priest then would take the Israelite farmer's crop and wave it before the Lord. And in doing that, what was happening was that the entire harvest now of that Israelite farmer was considered sanctified because that farmer brought the first of his harvest to the priest to present it to the Lord.

Now, also think about this interesting fact. When did that first harvest come? It came... this is a spring holy day. The Feast of First Fruits is a spring holy day. Think about this. During the wintertime, the earth is not nearly as alive-looking as it is in the spring and the summer. In fact, in many parts of the world, during the wintertime, you look outside, everything is gray. A lot of times it's cloudy and gloomy. There's no flowers. There's no leaves on so many of the trees. The earth often looks colorless during the winter. But in the springtime, when the rains come and the warm weather comes, the earth that looked dead during the winter time, that dead earth immediately sprouts up and comes to life. Flowers begin to break forth, right? Leaves break out from the trees.

So during the Feast of First Fruits, when that Israelite farmer's harvest sprang forth, it's like that earth that looked dead just a few months ago suddenly bam, the crops came forth, and it's like that dead earth was raised to life. Again, Yeshua, my beloved friend, was raised during the Feast of First Fruits. What does this mean? That even as the earth looked dead in the winter and came to life in the spring, so Yeshua rose from the dead during First Fruits as the first of those, listen now, that are alive from the dead. That's why He's called, Paul refers to Jesus as Christ our First Fruits. And the scripture teaches that if Christ our first fruits has been raised, then you and I that are in union with Him will also be raised. You and I are the second fruit, the third fruit, the fourth fruit. And so all of this is connected to the Hebrew roots of our faith.

So when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, we're connecting it to First Fruits even as was the custom of the early church because First Fruits is really part of the Passover season, even as Polycarp did, the Bishop of Smyrna and one of the apostolic leaders of the church. And so what we're wanting to do is to restore God's church back to the Jewish roots of her faith, of your faith. You see, Jesus said in John chapter 4 to the woman at the well, "Woman, you don't know what you're worshiping. We know what we worship, for salvation is from the Jews".

So I'm a messenger, a shaliach, a sent one, to help restore the church back to her Jewish roots. Because you, my beloved friend, have been grafted into a relationship with the God of Israel. Consider this. The Father of the one that rose from the dead is the God and Father of Israel. And so you have a Judeo-Christian faith, and I'm wanting to restore you back to that. You see, again, the term Easter, I'm not putting anybody down, I'm just educating. The term Easter, it's really a pagan term. But our faith doesn't come out of paganism, it's the fulfillment of Judaism. That's why the first verse in the New Testament, Matthew 1:1 says this: "This is the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham," right?

The very first verse of Matthew, the very first verse of the New Testament, the Brit Chadasha brings us back to the book of Genesis, to the Hebrew Scriptures. God wants to adorn us in His beauty by restoring to us the correct historicity of our faith and the beautiful anointing that comes upon us when we're able to worship Him, not only in spirit, but also in truth. And the truth is that your Savior, beloved, according to the flesh, is a Jew, and He's coming back, according to the book of Revelation, as the offspring of David. And you're going to a city called New Jerusalem whose gates are inscribed with the 12 apostles and the 12 tribes of Israel. This is a Jewish thing.

So what I'm wanting to do today is to inspire you and to bless you and to help you and to encourage you that some of you have been walking with the Lord for a long time and sometimes you're getting a little bored because you feel like, you know, you've already heard everything before. But for many of you discovering the Jewish roots of your faith, this is a brand new study in the Word of God that you've not yet delved into. I want to encourage you. Dive deep in the Jewish roots of your faith. We're not talking about legalism. We're not talking about putting anybody under the law. But we're talking about receiving God's self-revelation that He gave us in the Hebrew Bible and being able to connect, beloved one, the Hebrew Bible to the New Testament. Because Jesus said, "Do not think I've come to abolish the Law in the Prophets. I've not come to abolish, but to fulfill," or to fill the Hebrew Bible up with meaning.

So I'm wanting to encourage you today. There are some years that the celebration of Passover and Easter are weeks apart. But in reality, Yeshua wasn't crucified weeks after Passover was over or weeks before Passover began. Yeshua was crucified and rose from the dead during the Passover season. That's why Paul referred to Him as Christ our Passover. Passover incorporates the death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah Yeshua. Practical applications for you and I today. Jesus, in John chapter 11, said... when they were crying because Lazarus had died, and they said, we know that we'll see him again on the last day. And Jesus said, "I am. I am," Jesus said, "resurrection and the life. He that believes in Me will live. Even if He dies, he that believes in me," said Jesus, "will never die". Jesus is presently imparting resurrection power to all those that look to Him and are receiving from Him. It's a continual receiving of resurrection power into our lives. This is why Jesus said, "If you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you'll have life in you".

So as we're celebrating the resurrection of Yeshua this year, we first want to just say, Father God, in the name of Yeshua, we give you glory. And Yeshua, we want to thank You today for the power of the resurrection that You're imparting to every soul that's looking to you. The power to grow. The power to change. The power to live in victory. The power to be transformed. Jesus, we say all honor, all glory, all power is Yours. We worship You today, our Messiah. And we want to say to You, we love You. Help us to give You our full heart, even as You gave us Your full life. Father, thank You for Your love for us and for the gift of Your Son.

Are you Human?:*