Saturday, March 27, 2010


Our family celebrated the passover sedar meal yesterday. Truly an emotional and spiritual moments at its zenith of the reminder what God did for us and what God did for me. For those not aware of the Jewish traditions the passover in short is defined below an excerpt copied from Wiki entry for quick reference. You can click here to read the entire wiki entry.

The verb "pasàch" (Hebrew: פָּסַח‎) is first mentioned in the Torah account of the Exodus from Egypt (Exodus 12:23), and there is some debate about its exact meaning: the commonly held assumption that it means "He passed over", in reference to God "passing over" the houses of the Hebrews during the final of the Ten Plagues of Egypt, stems from the translation provided in the Septuagint (παρελευσεται in Exodus 12:23, and εσκεπασεν in Exodus 12:27). Judging from other instances of the verb, and instances of parallelism, a more faithful translation may be "he hovered over, guarding." Indeed, this is the image used by Isaiah by his use of this verb in Isaiah. 31:5: "As birds hovering, so will the Lord of hosts protect Jerusalem; He will deliver it as He protecteth it, He will rescue it as He passeth over" (כְּצִפֳּרִים עָפוֹת—כֵּן יָגֵן יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת, עַל-יְרוּשָׁלִָם; גָּנוֹן וְהִצִּיל, פָּסֹחַ וְהִמְלִיט.) (Isaiah 31:5)

The historical events that started the celebration of the Passover thus revolve around the night when the children of Israel huddled around their houses in the night, their doorposts marked by the blood of the lamb so when the Angel of death came down he would pass over if he saw the blood on the doorposts. The Lord send the angel of death as the last plague bringing death in egyptian households and that led Pharaoh to free the children of Israel from slavery. Yehovah had brought a mighty deliverance for His people by destroying Egypt.

The passover is thus a celebration of the four main purposes of remembrance and they are:

1. Sanctification
2. Deliverance
3. Redemption
3. Praise

In the Jewish household usually the youngest child is encouraged to ask the four important questions during the meal.

1. Why is this night different from all other nights?
2. On all other nights, we eat either unleavened or leavened bread, but tonight we eat only unleavened bread?
3. On all other nights, we eat all kinds of vegetables, but tonight, we eat only bitter herbs?
4. On all other nights, we do not dip [our food] even once, but tonight we dip twice?
On all other nights, we eat either sitting or reclining, but tonight we only recline?

The answers point to the four purposes that I mentioned above. This night is different from all the other nights because God spared us from death, He separated us from the Egyptians sanctified us by his blood, delivered us, redeemed us and we are here to praise Him. We eat unleavened bread because the symbolism of yeast that puffs up is like sin puffing up. So all leaven is cleaned out of the house. We eat the bitter herbs to remember we were slaves and aliens in a foreign land. The celebration of the Passover was a foreshadow of the cross, the ultimate sacrifice was given by lamb of God, by his blood we are sanctified, delivered and redeemed.

The best part of the passover meal is the special chair at the dinner table that is kept empty and the special cup of wine from which no one at the table can drink. The Jewish traditions tell us this special chair is kept empty so that the spirit of Elijah can come and sit with them at the dinner table. There has been an interchangeable confusion between the spirit of Elijah and the place of Messiah, that's whey the Jews asked Yeshua the question are you Elijah? Are you the messiah. It is interesting note so when Yeshua celebrated the Passover at the last supper with His disciples, He sat in that special place and more radically He lifted the cup from which no one could drink...that special cup...because the one worthy to lift that cup had come, He drinks from it and then passes it to His disciples for them to partake in the blood of His body.

Jesus drank the cup of suffering for us for our redemption, He shed His blood as an atonement so God's wrath on us sinners would Passover. Isn't this a beautiful pictures of Love. Let this passover season be a reminder of God's great love that He has overlooked our sins, and He himself provided the justification, redemption and deliverance for us.

Blessings & Shalom,

Sam Kurien

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