Rabbi Schneider - The Promises of Passover
Look in front of me here. I have all the different items that we're gonna be participating with, as we go through this Messianic Seder. Now the word Seder is common for some and for others it's a new word. The order of what we do is called the Seder. So the word Seder means order and then the book that we use to bring us through the order, the Haggadah, means the telling; because the highlight of the order of the Passover Seder, church listen now, is the telling of the story of how God delivered His people with the mighty hand and an outstretched arm. And even as Father God delivered Israel thirty five hundred years ago, out of the bondage of the Egyptians, He is doing the same thing today for His children through King Yeshua, through Yeshua Hamashiach.
Remember Jesus said, "You shall know the truth and the truth will make you free". This is a celebration, beloved ones, of freedom and deliverance. Paul told us in the book of Corinthians that the things that are recorded for us in the Hebrew Bible were written not just for the Israelites, to whom those events happened. But Paul said, "Furthermore they were also written for us, you and I today upon whom the end of the ages has come". And so when we read about the events of ancient Israel and the powerful acts of redemption that are there, these acts of redemption that the Lord did for Israel, listen beloved church, they are prophetic in the sense that God is doing those same things for us today. And so when we consider Passover, I want you to hear that the same truths of redemption that we read about in the book of Exodus, that are connected to the Passover, those same truths beloved, are contained in the Gospel of King Jesus.
Let me put it this way, the truths of redemption that we see in the Exodus experience were the Gospel that King Jesus preached, listen now, in primitive form. Think about it this way, once again the centerpiece of Passover as we read in the book of Exodus was the unblemished lamb. The children of Israel were instructed by Yahweh their God to take a lamb. It had to be an unblemished lamb. And then they were instructed to kill the lamb, not just the father neatly taking the lamb behind the house and putting it to death where the rest of the family couldn't see such a horrific event. No, it wasn't like that. Rather the Lord said that everybody in the home had to take part in putting that innocent, unblemished lamb to death. And notice also that this lamb had actually become part of each household, because the lamb actually lived with them for several days before they were instructed to put it to death. There was a personal relationship with this lamb. And that lamb, beloved, who had been put to death, it's blood was then taken and put on the top of the doorpost and on the frames of the house.
The Lord said, "When I move through the land of Egypt I'm gonna pass over in judgment every home that has the blood on the lintel and on the doorpost". And so you think about this as I just got done saying. The Gospel that we hear preached by Jesus was actually revealed in the Exodus account in it's primitive form. How so? Well, just like Jesus is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, who's blood was shed so that we could be forgiven and redeemed, so too beloved was that ancient Passover lamb. And so this is so applicable for you today. More than any other figure in the book of Revelation that is connected to the ministry of Jesus. The figure that Jesus is most closely related to, listen now, is the Lamb of God. That's why in the book of Revelation John refers to Him twenty nine times as the Lamb of God.
You see if you have any doubt that what I'm sharing with you is spot on, I want you to consider Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 5:7. In 1 Corinthians 5:7 Paul said, "Christ has become our Passover". Could it be any clearer? Paul went on to say, "Therefore," he was writing to Christians, Jew and Gentile alike. He said, "Therefore since Christ has become our Passover". He said, "Therefore let us celebrate the feast". So welcome to the Feast of Passover, as we celebrate it together in honor of King Jesus. Now notice the wine, or the grape juice, during a traditional Seder we drink from this cup four times. Now we want to point out that we don't just drink from it once, or twice, but four times, because there's a reason that we drink from it beloved one, four times. The reason is that in the book of Exodus chapter six, verse six and seven we read of the four expressions of Yahweh's hand and grace in delivering His people, the children of Israel. And also beloved, this is for you and I today.
Listen to Exodus chapter six, verse six and seven. As I read it for you, pointing out simultaneously the four expressions there of God's salvation. Here we go. The Lord begins, "I will bring you out from under their burdens". This is Exodus 6:6. There's the first one, the first expression. "I will bring you out from under their burdens". Isn't that awesome to know? If you're burdened right now, you don't have to be burdened forever. It's not your destiny, because God has come into the world through the person of His Son, Yeshua the Savior to deliver us from our burdens. What did Yeshua say? "Come to me all ye that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest". "Come to the waters," Jesus said. "Stand by my side. I know you are thirsty and you won't be denied. I felt every tear drop when in darkness you cried and I've come to remind you that for your tears I died". He's the same yesterday, today and forever. And then we continue the reading, Exodus six, verse six and seven. And the Lord says, "I will deliver you from their bondage". I'll free you.
One of my favorite scriptures in the New Testament is where Jesus said, "If you continue in My word, you are truly disciples of mine and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free". God's a God of freedom. And through Yeshua we can enter into total freedom. It happens little by little. It's not all at once. We press in for more and more and more. We get freer and freer as time goes by. And the time's gonna come that we're gonna be free indeed. The Lord said, "I'm gonna bring you out from their bondage". And then we continue. The Lord says and still Exodus 6:6, "I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm".
You know the word redemption comes from a principle of buying back. You see the Lord brought Israel back to Himself. You can only redeem what's been lost. The Lord redeemed Israel through the blood of the lamb and in the same way beloved one, He's redeemed you. He's purchased you out of the bondage of Satan, out of the bondage of HaSatan the devil, through the blood of Yeshua Hamashiach. And then lastly, in Exodus 6:7 we find the fourth symbol of our redemption, which once again is connected to drinking the four glasses of wine, or grape juice. We read there this, "I will take you from my people. I will take you," the Lord says, "for my people and I will be your God and you shall know that I'm the Lord your God". God said, "I'm gonna take you to myself and you're gonna know I'm you're God".
Wow, I just feel the Lord's love right there. We take the first cup of wine. This is the Kiddush, or the cup of sanctification. We're proclaiming the holiness of the day and I want you to repeat after me, Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu, melech ha-olam, boreh pri Hagafen. Blessed art thou O Lord our God, King of the universe who has brought forth the fruit of the vine. We praise You Father. We love You.
During the course of the Seder tonight I'm going to be washing my hands two times. They're both ceremonial, but the first time that I wash my hands, it's going to be a form of washing that's just customary for Jewish people before all meals. And so we'll be washing again in a little bit and the second time that we wash is going to be more specifically related to this Passover Seder tonight and something extremely important happens there that has great application for your faith and Messiah Jesus. But before we go to that second ceremonial washing I want to first in honor of our tradition just begin to wash my hands in order to prepare myself ceremonially to have clean hands, so that we can begin to touch the food. Now that our hands are clean we're gonna take the first element in the Passover Seder. This is parsley, it's called carpus and it is often times eaten before a meal in the ancient world, but when we do it on Passover it has special meaning. I'm gonna take this carpus, this parsley and I'm gonna be dipping it in this bowl of salt water. Remember it's salt water.
Now the salt water symbolizes the Sea of Reeds, the sea that God parted, that He brought the Israelites supernaturally through; some know it as the Red Sea. And I'm gonna take this carpus, this parsley and dip it into the salt water, which represents the Red Sea. And I'm gonna dip it in once. This was for Israel that was young and green and in the spring time of their nation they were birthed out of Egypt to be a nation unto God. But then I'm gonna dip it in a second time. The second time I dip it in, I'm dipping it in for Egypt, that tried to follow them into the sea. Israel went into the sea. Egypt tried to follow them into the sea. So I dip it in for Egypt, that tried to follow them into the sea. But what happened when Egypt tried to follow Israel into the sea to overtake them? The sea came up. And what happened? It swallowed them under the hatch. Wow. Can you thank God for protecting you and saving you from your enemies? He really has.
I have here a special napkin. We call this the afikoman. This napkin contains three different pouches. You can see one pouch here and then here's another pouch with the second piece of matzah and then we have a third pouch in here as well containing a third piece of matzah. And this element of the Seder is very mysterious. There are many different interpretations as to where this mysterious ceremony, this mysterious rite comes out of. But one thing is certain, this is how it works, at this point in the Seder meal, going back approximately two thousand years to the time of Jesus, the piece of matzah in the middle pouch; remember one, two, three. The piece of matzah from the middle pouch is removed. Now notice the matzah, it's striped, just like Jesus was striped with the whip on His back. It's pierced, just like they pierced Jesus' hands and feet and then the sword through His side. And then this piece of matzah is broken.
Remember Jewish people all over the world have done this for hundreds and hundreds of years. Half of the matzah is put back in to the afikoman napkin. The other half is taken and it's wrapped in a linen, a white linen. Many of you know often times Jewish people are buried in simple white linen, burial cloths. And then this piece of matzah hidden in the linen is hidden. So I'm gonna hide it right now, even though you'll be able to see me, but in a traditional Seder we would actually go in the house and hide it somewhere under a couch, or a pillow, or a piece of furniture. I'm gonna hide it now and we're gonna come back to this later tonight and bring it back out and show you what this mysterious rite of passage, this mysterious ritual is all about.
Now I'm gonna take the matzah once again. Behold this matzah, the symbol of affliction and poverty. It's the bread that our ancestors ate as slaves in the land of Egypt. We are mindful tonight of the hardships they suffered and the cruelty they endured. And now my friends, we lead into the telling of the Passover story. Remember I told you that the booklet that we use to guide us through the Seder is called the Haggadah and the most important part is the telling of the story. That's what Haggadah means.
And so as a lead in to the telling of the story, we have a song that we sing and our song is then followed by four questions. And the song goes like this, mah nish'tanah ha'lailah hazeh mikol ha'leylos? And what that means, that's Hebrew and what it means is, why is this night different, this night that we're celebrating Passover than all other nights? And one of the children will ask these four questions, why do we eat only matzah? Why do we dip? They ask these four questions. Why the bitter herbs? And why are we relaxing and reclining as if we are kings? Over here I have a pillow and this pillow is part of the Seder and the reason is, because we're celebrating the fact that we're no longer in bondage. We're free now. Father God has set us free. Yahweh has freed us and now we're celebrating that freedom with the pillow, reclining, hallelujah, as kings.
So many things I could share about Passover. Even as God chose Israel, He chose you. You know the Bible tells us that God did not choose Israel because they were greater than any other people, but He chose them because He loved them. And did you know my friend, did you know beloved one, that God chose you? You don't believe in Jesus, you don't love Him by accident. Rather you love Him, because He first loved you. Jesus said, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you". The Bible says we love Him, because He first loved us. Even as the Lord chose Israel to be a people for Himself out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, those of you that know and love Jesus, He chose you. That's why you know Him. That's why you Love Him, because the power of the Spirit of the Lord is activated in your life. God chose you, Paul tells us in the book of Ephesians, even before, hallelujah, the foundation of the world.
It's so beautiful beloved, that Passover isn't just about what God did for Israel thirty five hundred years ago, it's about what Jesus is still doing in our lives today. Now in next weeks broadcast we're gonna go deeper in to the Seder meal. I'm gonna make personal application for your life, with the goal being to love Him back the way that He loves us.