Tonight: Suffering. Tomorrow: Victory.

Tonight: Suffering. Tomorrow: Victory.

A Passover Devotion

Reading: Exodus 12:21 - 12:51 & Numbers 28:16 - 28:25

Tonight begins the time of our redemption in more ways than one. Tonight, approximately 3500 years ago the mighty hand of God prevailed over the gods of Egypt. The Children of Israel slaughtered the Passover lamb for the first time, applied its blood to the doorposts of their Egyptian homes, "roasted on the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it” (Exodus 12:8). But it wasn’t a leisurely meal like it is today. They were to eat it as the LORD had prescribed:

In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. (Exodus 12:11)

We know what happened after this. The Children of Israel fled Egypt, inaugurating their redemption to a new life of freedom. But this wasn’t merely a moment in history to be read about from time to time. It was to be commemorated and relived year by year:

This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven out of your houses, for if anyone eats what is leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. On the first day you shall hold a holy assembly, and on the seventh day a holy assembly. No work shall be done on those days. But what everyone needs to eat, that alone may be prepared by you. And you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day, throughout your generations, as a statute forever. (Exodus 12:14–17)

The night before our Master Yeshua’s crucifixion he reclined at the table with his disciples participating in this commemoration. He had his disciples prepare the lamb (Luke 22:8), ate matzah with them (Matthew 26:26), ate the bitter herbs (Matthew 26:23), and enjoyed the traditional cups of wine as instructed by our sages (Matthew 26:27, Mark 14:23, Luke 22:17; 22:20). He also instructed his disciples that every time they partook of the fellowship meal of Passover they were to remember him and see a picture of him in all that they received:

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. (1 Corinthians 11:23–26)

Tonight, our Master Yeshua’s body was placed into the tomb. Though his disciples didn’t understand what was going on at that moment, they would soon have a great awakening as their Rabbi would break the bondage of death and rise again to live forevermore. 

Tonight we celebrate the redemption of the Children of Israel and remember the suffering of our Master. In two days we will celebrate his resurrection from the dead. May the words of our Master burn within our hearts this weekend: “Do this in remembrance of me.” 

We wish you a Chag Pesach Sameach (a Happy Passover) and a joyous celebration of our Master’s resurrection. Blessings from Emet HaTorah.