Hebrew Highlights 110 Passover 4
Shalom, this is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.
MAR 14:1-2, and 10-24, “Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread was two days off; and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth, and kill Him; for they were saying, "Not during the festival, lest there be a riot of the people." And Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests, in order to betray Him to them. And they were glad when they heard this, and promised to give him money. And he began seeking how to betray Him at an opportune time. And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed, His disciples said to Him, "Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?" And He sent two of His disciples, and said to them, "Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him; and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house,' The Teacher says, "Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?"' "And he himself will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; and prepare for us there." And the disciples went out, and came to the city, and found it just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover. And when it was evening He came with the twelve. And as they were reclining at the table and eating, Jesus said, "Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me-- one who is eating with Me." They began to be grieved and to say to Him one by one, "Surely not I?" And He said to them, "It is one of the twelve, one who dips with Me in the bowl. "For the Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born." And while they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it; and gave it to them, and said, "Take it; this is My body." And when He had taken a cup, and given thanks, He gave it to them; and they all drank from it. And He said to them, "This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”
For me, one of the most interesting things about this passage is the loving preparation for the Passover meal done by Yeshua and His Father in Heaven. These days, everyone in Israel spends quite some time each year in groundwork before the feast.
First of all, there is the decision about which member of the family, or fellowship, or perhaps friends should host the meal. How many people should we invite? Who has a big enough dining area for those on our list? Is there someone we know who may not have a place to go this year? Once these questions have been answered, the menu is considered.
Most everything on the Seder plate is special for this season, and has to be specially prepared or purchased. Usually the mother of the hosting family makes calls to each of the other ladies and divides up the work.
Then of course there is the Passover cleaning. Most people make an effort to get any leaven out of the house. This doesn’t just mean getting the bread and cookies out of the cabinets. We are talking about getting the leaven out of the cracks and crevices, for instance, cleaning the oven. Orthodox families even meticulously poke through the holes in the window screens with a toothpick, in case some stray crumb has lodged there.
Since Passover coincides with the coming of spring, the exchange between summer and winter clothing in the trunks takes place at this time also. Passover cleaning is so intense that the children get out of school a week early, just to help.
For the man of the house, besides helping with the cleaning, there is spiritual preparation as well. He will usually get out the stored copies of the Hagadah, or Passover story, and rehearse his lines. He will decide which child, normally the youngest boy, will ask the 4 questions, who will take part in the readings, and where he will hide the Aficomen, which is half of one of the Motzahs broken during the ceremony. He will also buy the prize for the happy child who finds it, and smaller prizes for the ones who tried but failed.
Yeshua and His disciples were in Jerusalem for the Passover, not at home with their families in the Galilee. Though it is a command to come up to Jerusalem for the feast, many families did not do so. The trip was very difficult in those days, so it was not made every year.
So, the Father in Heaven set things in motion, and provided everything needed for the feast. Some saint of a man, who is unnamed, offered willingly to let the large group use his upper room.
The story of the betrayal by Judas is of course very sad, even more so because Passover is a time of remembering all God has done for us. Judas had seen all of the miracles Yeshua had done, yet still gave in to the prompting of the enemy, and his fleshly desires.
No matter how you bake it, unleavened bread will look battered, cracked, and bruised. The disciples probably did not yet understand the significance of Yeshua referring to this as His body, until after the resurrection.
They may have at least known that the blood had to do with redemption, since it was the blood of the sacrifice lamb on their doorposts which cause the Angel of Death to “Pass Over” their households on the night their ancestors fled Egypt. They surely did not realize that the blood of their savior would also be splatter of a piece of wood before the day passed.
We as believers who celebrate the Passover here in Israel, find much symbolism in all of the elements of the Seder meal. We celebrate not only our freedom from slavery in Egypt, but the resurrection of Yeshua as well.
In Jewish households around the world, the Seder is ended with these words, “Next Year in Jerusalem.” Since we are already here, we like to say, “Next Year in the New Jerusalem.”
Chag Pessach Semeach! Happy Passover from Jerusalem.