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The Passover promise

(Photo: Shutterstock)

The Passover festival, celebrated every spring, is a time of renewal and redemption. It’s a special time to celebrate God’s deliverance of the Jewish people from bondage. It’s known as “the head of the months” or the Jewish new year. It is also the spiritual heritage of every believer in Yeshua, both Jew and Gentile. 

During the Passover Seder meal, the number four is a common thread throughout- there are four questions, four cups and four names for the holiday in Hebrew: Chag Hapesach (the festival of Passover), Chag Hamatzot (the festival of matzah), Chag Ha’aviv (the festival of spring), and Z’man Cheiruteinu (the time of our freedom).

There are four Hebrew words God used in Exodus 6:6-8 when He promised to take the Jewish people out of Egypt. Speaking to Moses, He said, “I will take you out of the forced labor in Egypt, and free you from their slavery; I will liberate you and I will take you to be My own nation.” (Exodus 6:6-8). The Four Hebrew words are:

Hotzeiti (הוֹצֵאתִי): I will bring out

Hitzalti (הִצַּלְתִּי): I will rescue

Ga’alti (גָאַלְתִּי): I will redeem

Lakachti (לָקַחְתִּי): I will take.

The significance of the number four in Passover also continues into the New Testament. Through Yeshua, we find rest from our burdens (Matthew 11:28), deliverance from slavery to sin (Romans 6:16-20), redemption through Yeshua’s sacrifice (1 Peter 1:18-19), and a special relationship with the God of Israel (Ephesians 2:11-13). 

While Passover is a feast to be celebrated by families together, it is also a time of personal liberation through Yeshua. As we gather with family and friends, and read the Haggadah (the telling), we are each called to remember and experience the Exodus as if we personally participated in it. 

The ‘story inside the story’ of Passover is one every individual believer experiences when they come to faith in Yeshua. In the first century, both Jews and Gentiles celebrated Passover, just as many Christians join with the Jewish people today in celebrating the feast. 

As we retell the story of the Exodus through the Haggadah, we experience the dramatic story of God’s redemption of his people from slavery in ancient Egypt, as well as the personal story of redemption from the slavery of sin we all have through Yeshua’s sacrifice. 

With the blood of the lamb over the doorposts of our hearts, we rejoice in the salvation of God and His promise to “pass over” our sin because the debt has been paid in full. We rejoice because God, in His great love, has made a way for us to know Him personally and eternally.

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Messiah died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person, someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Messiah died for us. Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him? For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!” (Romans 5:6-9)

Through Yeshua we have salvation, and as if that wasn’t enough, God went even further to provide a deeper spiritual reality. Through the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), He gave us power that liberates us from old habits, vices and strongholds, and guides us into new freedom. As we say at Passover, Dayenu! (It would have been enough!)

In 1 Corinthians 5:8, we are told to cleanse our hearts of the old chametz (leaven symbolizing sin). We don’t have to do this through our own strivings because, through the Spirit of God, we have access to the same power that raised Yeshua from the dead. “The Spirit of God, who raised Yeshua from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Messiah Yeshua from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” Romans 6:10-11

The New Testament Passover is a memorial of the suffering and death of the Messiah Yeshua. Through Him, we have “redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us.” Ephesians 1:7-10

He is the Passover Promise!

Read more: PASSOVER

Avigayil Rivkah is a writer and speaker on the Jewish roots of the Christian faith, Jewish culture and Israel news. She is a Jewish believer in Jesus and writes at ajoyfuljewishjourney.com

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