In the days of Yeshua (the Hebrew Name of Jesus), as caravans of Jews
made their way to Jerusalem each year for the Passover celebration
(Exodus 23:14-17), they would sing praise to God. These would come from
specific Psalms, called the great Hallel (Hebrew for praise), Psalms
113-118 and 146-150. These Psalms glorify God as both Creator and
As excitement mounted the closer they came to Jerusalem, thoughts would turn toward the First Passover. The greatest redemption or mighty act that God had ever done was to free Israel from Egyptian bondage by slaying all the first-born of Egypt. The Hebrew first-born were spared or saved from death by the blood of the lamb (Exodus 12:12-14).
This great deliverance set in motion a yearly celebration, a time to remember or to re-experience that mighty deed. Zahar, the Hebrew word for remember or memorial, has profound significance. When we Jews sit down to eat the Passover meal, we envision ourselves back at the First Passover. God commands that we tell our children that we who are alive today, (even 3500 years after the First Passover), were delivered out of Pharaoh's kingdom (Exodus 13:8). This is known as corporate identity or one body. All Jews are one with each other, past, present and future.
When Avram paid a tithe to Melchizedek (Genesis 14:17-20), Hebrews 7:1-10 makes the rabbinic point that the greater priesthood is that of Melchizedek, in comparison to the Levitical. The writer understood corporate identity, declaring that Levy was 'in the loins' of Avram at the time, giving a tithe to a greater one than he. And yet, Levy would not be born for another 120 years.
When the Apostle Paul speaks of taking the physical reminders of Yeshua's Body and Blood (1st Corinthians 11:23-34), we are told that as often as we do it we are to remember His Death. What the Apostle is presenting in Hebraic terms is that we are not only to identify with Yeshua in His Death (Romans 6; death to self), but of especial importance, that we are to understand that we too, are there with Yeshua at what I have come to call the Second Passover, receiving the bread and wine from Him and also being crucified with Him. We are to consider ourselves as having been 'in the loins of the Apostles' or more exactly, Yeshua. We are to re-experience that moment of time and its significance by entering into it by the Spirit of the Holy One.
The Passover that Yeshua celebrated before His Death is a picture of the sacred banquet that is seen in Luke 13:28-30 and Rev. 19:6-9. God (Yeshua), and man at table, eating and fellowshipping, is the strongest possible picture of friendship. In the middle East, if two hostile enemies eat together, they must become friends. That is how powerful table fellowship is. We who were once enemies of God, because of our rebellious Adamic nature, are now friends of God, because of the table fellowship at the Passover. And look what it is we are eating.
The Apostle Paul would tell us that the Body and the Blood are living reminders to us that Papa-God is our Friend. The kind of friend that will help us whenever we need any kind of help.
'a small amount of yeast is enough to leaven all the dough, so get rid of all the old yeast and make yourselves into a completely new batch of bread, unleavened, as you are meant to be.'Leaven or yeast has always been a symbol of sin, especially pride, because pride, like yeast, puffs one up. That is why the Israelites were commanded to celebrate the seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days God wanted Israel to remember that He had delivered them out of Egypt, not to do their own thing, but to be a holy people, consecrated unto the LORD. Seven is perfection (Creation), wholeness and completion, as well as representing holiness.
'This day is to be a day of remembrance for you and you must celebrate it as a feast in honor of the LORD.'
The word for 'celebrate' means 'to rejoice mightily.' This is the proper
attitude for taking His Body and Blood. This is the proper attitude for
acknowledging what Papa God has done for us in setting us free from our
enemies; sin and death.
In 'discerning the Lord's Body' (1st Cor. 11:29), before communion, we must lift up to Him any anger, resentment or jealousy that we might have toward others (as not being able to forgive the other from our heart), and any resistance that we might have to the Lord Himself.
It is for these very reasons that we need His cleansing Blood and healing Body. As we yield ourselves to Yeshua, He feeds us what we need to grow into His Image and His Holiness.
Helpful in dealing with our carnality is the scene at the Second Passover (John 13:1-30), where Yeshua washes the Apostles feet. Peter strongly objects but finally consents. Most rightly understand this as a lesson in humility. But do we realize why Peter objected? The only person who washed other people's feet, was the lowest slave of the house.
The Master of the Universe had assumed the role of a slave.
Can you imagine when you are angry with someone and the Lord Yeshua begins to wash your feet, look into your eyes and asks you to give Him that anger? I dare say that your anger would give way to awe and wonder, gratitude and humility. That is how the Lord transforms us. By His Loving service. In this we see that there is nothing that we will ever need, that He cannot supply us with. He came to serve and we understand this service as enabling us to walk along the highway of Holiness, giving us what we need to be holy, to be like Him, when we need it.
Please realize that Yeshua also washed the feet of Judas, the one He knew would betray Him. And He also gave Judas the place of honor at the Passover ceremony, next to Him (John 13:26). This is the kind of love that Yeshua wants to give us. A love that will love our enemies. A love more powerful than hate. We cannot do this in our own strength. This is our greatest need that Yeshua fulfills in the Body and the Blood. For as we eat Him, we become like Him, to the glory of Papa-God who has wrought this Great Redemption.
You see, we're all a lot like Judas,
but oh what a Friend we have in Yeshua.