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Grace Bible Church
Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 020214
The Sword of the Spirit manifested in the Life of Jesus Christ, the Passover analogies. Part 2.

 

The importance of memories and the importance of friendship. One of the most precious moments of our memory is that memory includes the concept of people living in your soul even when they are no longer here. It is the perpetuation of thinking about people you loved and are still loving. One of the true tests of love is that: Do you think of them when they are gone? You remember them in a very beautiful and wonderful way.

That is how much I love and remember my best friend, Ray Almeida Sr. When I think of Ray Almeida Sr. I think of someone who was a selfless, caring, humble and faithful friend who led me and taught me what a real man was.

If you have been as fortunate as I have this principle applies also to many of you because we all have a Ray Alemida Sr. in our life as well.

One of the main principles about having a true friend like Ray is that you can relax around your true friends and you don’t have to hide the real you. Ray was definitely like that. As a true friend, Ray was the type of individual that you didn't have to compete with, because true friends don't compete with you, and therefore they will never stab you in the back socially or economically. Your true friends, which is what Ray was, also will guard your privacy. They never gossip or malign you to others. True friends protect your back. You can be honest with your friends; you can level with them, and that is a part of you being faithful to them.

Cicero said, “A friend is, as it were, a second self”.

Aristotle asked a question, “What is a friend?” And then he answered by saying, “A single soul dwelling in two bodies”!

PRO 27:10, tells us about the attitude the son should have toward his father's friend when it says, “Do not forsake your own friend or your father's friend.”

As we continue our service this morning we now come to our final part of the Doctrine of the Passover.

We will begin with a point by point review of what we have noted.

  1. Passover began on the first month of the Jewish calendar, April 14, 1441 BC According to EXO 12:1‑14; LEV 23:5.

God told the Jews that April should the first month because spring represents the beginning of life. Now, for the Jews, Passover doesn't just happen, it takes a lot of preparation. In preparation for the passover, the house must be cleaned and sterilized in honor of this great occasion.

  1. Therefore our second principle is that the house must be free of all leaven. And in the Bible, leaven is symbolic of sin or evil. This is why the Lord said, MAT 16:6, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

GAL 5:9, a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.

  1. Principle number three: After the leaven is cleaned out, the next procedure in the preparation of the Passover is to get out the special white linen cloths that go with the meal. White linen is symbolic of perfect righteousness in the Bible.
  2. In an orthodox Jewish home that follows the precise correct procedure, the table is set with a white tablecloth and white candles, and the father of the house wears a white robe called a kittel and a white crown.

He is to symbolize the high priest in the tabernacle who wore a pure white robe.

However, it really refers to the Lord Jesus Christ who glowed white after his resurrection.

We know that because MAT 17:1-2 says, And six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and brought them up to a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.

There are also white dishes used which were not used throughout the rest of the year.

The white linen, white plates, and white candles are used to create an atmosphere of purity.

  1. Once the table is set and the father is ready, the candles are lit as the preparation continues. Interestingly enough, they are lit by a woman because it was a woman who brought us Christ, the light of the world.

JOH 8:12, the Lord jesus Christ said, “I am the light of the world;”

God chose a woman, Mary, to bring us Christ our passover, therefore a woman still brings the light to the Passover celebration.

  1. After the woman lights the candle she sings a certain song. What she said was, “Blessed art Thou O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has exalted us among all people and bade us to kindle the passover lights.”

Four cups of wine will be drunk as part of the Passover ceremony. The cups should be filled by one of the servants representing leadership and freedom. The first cup is called the cup of sanctification and it simply sanctifies the table and all of the preparations. The drinking of this cup symbolizes approval and gives the blessing for the Passover supper to begin.

After the first cup, the father takes three loaves of the unleavened bread and places them in a special white linen envelope which has three compartments. Then, in a special ceremony of his own, the father removes the middle loaf from its compartment, breaks it, and then wraps it in a separate piece of white linen and hides it away or buries it somewhere.

This foreshadows the Lord jesus Christ being buried by His disciples in MAT 14:12, And his disciples came and took away the body and buried it; and they went and reported to Jesus.

The youngest member of the family who can read will ask four questions. The questions are very general and give the father a chance to tell the story of the Exodus.

  1. The first question, Why is this night distinguished from all other nights? On this night we eat only unleavened bread.
    The answer: That unleavened bread symbolizes purity from sin.
  2. On all other nights we may eat any kind of herbs, but on this night only bitter herbs. Why?
    The answer: The bitter herbs remind the Jews of the bitterness of slavery in Egypt.
  3. The third question: On all other nights we do not dip in the bowl, but tonight we dip twice. Why?

The answer: This is the dipping, by which the Lord Jesus Christ identified His betrayer, Judas, when he said the “The one who dips with me shall betray Me”, and this has several meanings. Parsley is dipped twice in salt water.

The first dip represents Israel going into the Red Sea and coming out unharmed.

The second dip is for the Egyptian army who tried to follow them, the parsley is dipped and then immediately.

The New Testament commentary about this dipping is found in MAR 14:17-20, 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.”

  1. On this night we all recline in our chairs at the table. Why?
    The answer: The reclining in the chairs has to do with freedom. The Jews are no longer slaves and so they can relax.

So as the story is told, the ceremonial foods on the center plate are eaten. For example, as the father is telling about the bitterness of slavery, he serves each person horseradish from the center plate and they take the bread and take a bite of the horseradish. And this brings tears and pain to their eyes! Then he pauses as they dip the parsley in the salt water. As he talks about the lamb, he gestures to the unbroken shank bone of the lamb which is on the plate.

Then there is the charose which was like a paste made thick to symbolize the clay or representing the mortar than Pharaoh made them make. It’s made of figs, dates, nuts and was to symbolize the sweetness or the pleasures of sin in the world.

Then there is a second cup at the passover. The second cup is spilled into the individual plates in front of each person, a drop at a time. Each drop remembers a plague God visited upon Egypt while the implacable Pharaoh hardened his heart.

The ten red drops fall into the empty white plate in front of each person and they are clearly representative of those ten great plagues in Egypt. As this happens, the father chants the name of each plague, blood, frogs, gnats, insects, boils, locust, darkness, death etc.

It is a very melancholy moment but it is dispelled quickly as the main meal comes out. The meal is like a thanksgiving meal and the entire family is assembled. Now comes the most wonderful and touchingly symbolic part of all, the third cup, which is the cup of redemption. After this, they would eat the meal and after the meal was through, the father of the house would now go and get the piece of bread which he hid and a new cup of unfermented wine. And that is communion now as we know it.

It is now time to bring forth that buried loaf of unleavened bread that the father symbolically hid and buried, which will serve as the desert to the meal. The afikomin [desert], as it is called which means "the arrival" and it represents the Lord Jesus Christ, as the bread of life! The buried unleavened bread, the middle piece, is then eaten with the third cup of wine.

And that is where we get communion or the Lord’s supper.

The three loaves represent the Trinity, and the middle one represents God the Son. It was the Son who was broken for our sins, it was his body which was broken for you, however no bones were broken.

Joh 19:36, For these things came to pass, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “Not a bone of Him shall be broken.”

The bread was wrapped in white linen and buried, as was the body of Jesus. It is brought forth from the ground with the cup of redemption. The bread, which I told you was the desert, is the last thing eaten because it represents the fact that once someone partakes of the bread of life, they will be sustained forever.

JOH 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and He who believes in Me shall never thirst.”

The actual ceremony, the father breaks off pieces from the loaf and passes the pieces around the table. Each person eats his piece and drinks the third cup with it. Blessings are pronounced over the bread and wine individually which have great meaning for us. So when we celebrate the Lord’s supper, we are actually taken a part out of the Jewish Passover and celebrating it today.

So, when the Jews celebrate Passover, they are actually celebrating a part of the Lord’s supper.

This is the part of the passover that the Lord took the bread and the cup and instituted what we call communion.

MAT 26:26, “and while they were eating [passover], Jesus took bread, and having blessed it, He broke it and gave it to His disciples, and He said, `take, eat; this represents My body.”

It’s interesting because when it says that He blessed, the Jewish people know exactly what the Lord said and the Christian Church does not. He said a prayer which was commanded to be said at this time which is “Blessed art Thou O Lord our God, King of the universe who brings forth bread from the earth.”

So He picked the bread from the floor, representing the earth, and said, “This is my body”, this was a prophecy of the fact that bringing forth bread from the earth represented our Lord's resurrection as the bread of life. He was actually saying to His disciples, if they try to bury My body this week, than just like this piece of bread, it will just come up again from the earth.

This is why He said, the night before His death, JOH 12:24, “truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

You cannot bury a kernel of wheat, the Lord said it will only come up again. And so our Lord said he was the bread of life, JOH 6:35, Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life”

He was born in Bethlehem which means house of bread. He was buried on the second feast, which was the feast of unleavened bread, which represented his impeccability as the God-man. And they would take the matzoh bread, which represents some interesting facets of our Lord’s body. The matzoh bread has stripes, and as Isaiah said “by His stripes we are healed”.

The bread is pierced through with wholes and as the O.T., which is also the Jewish Bible says, “they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced”. And of course, the matzoh bread is pure, containing no leaven (representing no sin.)

The third cup has every bit of significance as the bread. Remember that the Lord said in JOH 6:53, “truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves.” He identified the wine as His blood. In MAT 26:27-28, and when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.” This is another one of those Jewish blessings. He said, “Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.”

This is very meaningful to each one of us as members of the church, the future bride of Christ. The Lord was actually thanking the Father for bringing Him His future bride.

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