Tuesday, 15 April 2014


Passover First Day Parashah

Exodus 12:21-51, Joshua 5:2-15, 6:1 & 27, John 1:29-31
Additional Reading: Numbers 28:16-25
Messianic Jewish Commentary by Hannah Nesher
In today’s Scripture reading, we recall both the institution of the very first Passover, as well as
the historic Passover which the Israelites observed at Gilgal after crossing the Jordan, which was
the very first celebration of the great Festival of Passover in the Promised Land.
“Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said
to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your
families and slaughter the Passover lamb.” (Exodus
Each family was required to choose a lamb, slaughter it,
and place its blood on the top and sides of the doorframe.
“Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the
basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both
sides of the doorframe.” (Exodus 12:22)

The parallels between this Passover Lamb and Yeshua are
striking: both needed to be inspected for four days, from
the 10th  to the 14th of the month of Nissan and found to be
blemish free. (Exodus 12:3, 5&6) Yeshua rode into Jerusalem on the 10
th day of the month of Nissan and was scrutinized in the
Temple where he appeared and taught publicly until his arrest and execution on the 14th
 day of the month of Nissan – the Passover! (Matthew 21:5)
When Yeshua was brought to Pilate, he clearly pronounced Yeshua without any guilt, fault or
blame: “I find no fault in Him.” (John 18:38)

The New Testament affirms that we are redeemed by the precious blood of the Messiah,
the Lamb without blemish. “For you know that it was not with perishable things such
as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to
you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Messiah, a lamb without
blemish or defect. (1 Peter 1: 18-19)
As the Hebrew prophet, Isaiah, prophesied of the Messiah (Isaiah 53:7), like a lamb led to the
slaughter, Yeshua did not open his mouth: “Yeshua remained silent and gave no answer.”
(Mark 14:61) In perfect fulfillment of Messianic Prophecy, at the exact moment that the lambs were being
slaughtered, Yeshua was crucified as the Lamb of God to take away our sins.
When Yochanan (John) saw Yeshua coming to the Jordan River, he said, “Behold the Lamb of
God who takes away the sins of the world.” (John 1:29)
No bones of the lamb were to be broken. None of Yeshua’s bones were broken even though it
was the custom to do so (John 19:31).

It was not the good deeds or righteousness of the
people that saved them from the judgment of God in
the final plague upon Egypt – the slaying of the
firstborn; only the sign of the blood saved them.
“When the LORD goes through the land to strike
down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the
top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over
that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer
to enter your houses and strike you down.”
(Exodus 12:23)
We, also, are not saved by works but only by grace
through faith in the blood sacrifice of Yeshua
Hamashiach (The Messiah).
“For by grace you have been saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;”
(Ephesians 2:8)
The most important question that each person needs to ask is,
“How will the LORD pass over me to save me from judgment?”
The LORD struck down all the firstborn of Egypt, but He passed over the Hebrews who had, in
faithfulness and obedience to His word. applied the blood of the Passover lamb to their
“At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of
Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon,
and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. “ (Exodus 12:29)
But how do we apply the blood of the Passover lamb in this day?
Yeshua (Jesus), the Passover lamb, was sacrificed to make atonement (a covering) for our sins.
When we put our faith in him we symbolically apply the blood of the Passover Lamb by faith. Yeshua gave us the assurance that the LORD will pass over us when he judges the world if we
put our faith in him and his atoning blood.
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;
and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).
Remaining under the Blood

The children of Israel were commanded not to leave their dwelling places until morning; it was
critical to their survival that they stayed under the covering of the blood of the Lamb while
God’s judgment was falling upon the Egyptians.
Anyone who failed to apply the blood as an act of faith and obedience, or who went out from
under this covering, would have been subject to the same judgment as came upon the Egyptians
that night of terror.

So too do we need to remain under the protective covering of the blood of the Passover Lamb,
Yeshua Hamashiach ( the Messiah) and not walk the streets of Egypt – the ways of the world.
We may be saved by the blood of the Lamb but we must remain in faith and obedience.
We are reminded at each celebration of Passover of God’s mighty power to save His people; by
His mighty hand and outstretched arm, the Lord delivered the children of Israel out of bondage
in Egypt.
What is often overlooked, however, is that after being delivered from Egypt, this entire
generation, except for two men – Joshua and Calev – never reached the Promised Land. They all
perished in the wilderness – their carcasses scattered throughout the desert due to their unbelief.
Even after seeing all the signs and wonders and miracles that God performed on their behalf,
they still doubted God. They grumbled against Moses and longed for the ‘comforts of Egypt’
rather than trust God to bring them to the place He was leading them.
True freedom for the people of God only comes to those who believe His word and surrender to
His will. Many Jewish people today, at the end of their Passover Seder (ceremonial meal), say,
“Next Year in Jerusalem” (L’shana haba’ah b’Yirushalayim), but they prefer the comforts of
life in exile rather than risk the journey home to the Promised Land.
Rolling Away the Reproach of Egypt
In the haftorah (Prophetic portion), after leading the children of Israel across the Jordan into the
Promised Land, Joshua circumcises those who had not been circumcised along the way in the
wilderness.  “At that time the LORD said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelites
again.” So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the Israelites at Gibeath Haaraloth.”
(Joshua 5:2-3)
 By this act of covenant, it is written that he “rolled away the reproach of Egypt.”
Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.”
So the place has been called Gilgal to this day.” (Joshua 5:9)
Gilgal comes from the Hebrew word, gol, which means to roll.
“Roll (gol) your works upon the Lord; so shall your plans be established and succeed.”
(Proverbs 16:3)
Omission of the practice of circumcision in the wilderness may have signified God’s rejection of
that generation, since circumcision was a sign of the covenant between God and His people
(Genesis 17:10).
Thus, when Joshua circumcised the children of Israel upon entering the Promised Land, this
represented their restoration to God’s favor and a renewal of the eternal covenant. It removed
the stigma – the shame and disgrace of being slaves in Egypt.
The Hebrew word for ‘reproach’ is ‘harfat’, which means shame, or disgrace. The children of
Israel were now free to celebrate the Passover in their own Land.
Another derivative of the root, gol, is ‘galut’, the word used for exile, banishment, or the
Diaspora – Jewish people living outside the Land of Israel.
The prophet Ezekiel said that for the Jewish people to be living in the ‘Galut’ (exile) brings a
‘reproach’ on the very name of God.
“And wherever they went among the nations they profaned my holy name, for it was said
of them, ‘These are the LORD’s people, and yet they had to leave his land.’” (Ezekiel 36:20)
Once again in Jewish history, however, in our very day, the reproach has been rolled away, as
the exiles of Israel have returned to their Land – free to celebrate Passover in Zion and Jerusalem
at last.
For followers of Yeshua, there has taken place an even greater ‘rolling away of reproach’ at a
place called Gol-Gota. This is where Yeshua Hamashiach was crucified, where all of our sin
and shame was nailed to the cross.
As we begin the first day of our celebration of Passover, may we once again be overcome with
gratitude for all that Yeshua suffered and died for us, who are so undeserving of being called his
friends. “No greater love has a man that this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

Please receive this blessing I send you from Zion:


About the Author:
Hannah Nesher grew up in an
Orthodox Jewish home and received
her education in a religious Hebrew
school in Canada.
 During a crisis pregnancy, she came
to know Jesus (Yeshua) as her
Messiah and Savior.
She now lives in Israel with her
children and grandchildren, writing
and teaching about the Jewish roots
of the Christian faith.

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