Passover 2019

Posted by on Apr 15, 2019 in Hebrew Roots, Middle East, Peacemaking, Prayer | 0 comments

Passover 2019

The festival of Passover

or Pesach, will begin this Friday, April 19, as Jewish communities worldwide commemorate the liberation of the Israelites from slavery, in one of the important festivities in the Jewish calendar.

According to the Book of Exodus in the Torah, Moses called for the Pharaoh to free the Israelites, warning that if he failed to do so, Egypt would be struck by terrible plagues – the last one of which would be the death of every Egyptian first-born male.

The Pharaoh refused to do so, despite the onslaught of plagues of frogs, flies, the death of livestock and total darkness. To avoid the killing of all Egyptian first-born males, Moses urged Jews to mark their doors with lamb’s blood to spare the men – after which the Pharaoh relented, allowing the Israelites to flee Egypt. The word “pesach” comes from the Hebrew root Pei-Samekh-Cheit, meaning to pass over or to spare.

When is Passover Celebrated?

Passover begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, which typically falls in March or April of the Gregorian calendar. This year, Passover will start at the sunset of Friday April 22 and end on the evening of Saturday April 30.

What is the Seder?

It is traditional for Jewish families to gather on the first night of Passover – the first two nights in communities outside of Israel – for a dinner called a seder, derived from the word for “order” in Hebrew.

During the meal, the story of the exodus from Egypt is retold using a special text called the Haggadah and four cups of wine are drunk at various stages during the narrative. An extra cup is left for the prophet Elijah, who is believed to reappear and announce the coming of the Messiah.

On the table, there are three unleavened breads on top of each other. At the start of the Seder, the middle matzah is broken and the largest piece is hidden for the children to find – whoever finds it receives a small prize.

Did Jesus Celebrate the Seder?

As an observant Hebrew man raised in the full teaching and traditions of his faith, it is recorded that Jesus celebrated all of the Biblical feasts with his family of origin and disciples and lived according to the Word of God as delivered through Moses and the Prophets.

Reading the New Testament scriptures carefully with this in mind it becomes clear that what is referred to now as The Last Supper was, in actuality, a full observance of the traditional Passover Seder, complete with cups of wine, matzah, hand washings, shared meal, etc. In it, Jesus took one of the cups and the middle matzah and put these forward as representations of his body and blood.

Jesus was arrested later that evening, crucified the next day, and placed quickly in a tomb before sunset heralded the start of the Sabbath. That Sabbath was not the usual Friday dusk to Saturday dusk weekly Sabbath, however, but “a special Sabbath” (the first day of Passover). Was Jesus’ celebration coincidental or divinely timed? Click here to go deeper into the mystery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *