Communion and Passover
Sozo Short Bible Study – Category #1 – Christian Life Basics
Understanding the relationship between Passover and Communion…
By Pastor G. E. Newmyer
The Ordinance: Communion and Passover have some profound connections; yet we know that there are differences between them as well. Jesus told us to take Communion as a “Remembrance,” thus Communion is more of a time of reflection on what Jesus has done, compared to what we have done, as we allow the Spirit to examine us. Communion is more of a Belief builder, than a Faith builder since it is based on Remembering.
Before Jesus spoke the words, “This is My Blood of the New Covenant”, He handed us the Bread saying, and “This is My Body.” Paul says we are the Bread; thus unlike Passover, the first order of business for Communion is to determine our position and duties in the Body. We can’t forget that the Body of Jesus took the stripes and hung on the Cross for us; and in this process, when we “imputed” the flesh dead, we received the Body of Jesus. The foundation of the Body is Mercy; it is the only place where the good and bad fish share the same net or where the Tares and Wheat are found. This is evident through the Letters Paul sent to the Romans and Corinthians; both groups were of the Body, but needed to be firmly corrected. However, there are no bad fish or Tares in the Church (Kingdom of God).
The Body does have several very important elements, Mercy of course being chief. Before the Cross the disciples operated in Mercy, not Grace. When we partake of the Bread we have to question ourselves; have we been functioning in Mercy or have we harmed others in the Body? Paul called this “Discerning the Body.”
Although we consider Communion an Ordinance rather than a Commandment, we do find Jesus saying, “Take”. . . which would indicate a Commandment. However, over the years it has been determined to be an Ordinance since Paul said there were times or conditions where one shouldn’t take Communion (due to an unworthy state).
The Bread and the Cup: The order of presentation of the Bread and Cup during Communion is not by chance; the Body was established first and thus the Rock was being established before the Church came into being. Jesus said upon this Rock (present tense) I will build (future tense) My Church. Paul said we are the Rock as well as the Bread, thus the Body is the building place which Jesus uses for the construction of the Church. There are “churches many” in the Body, but there is only “One Church” on the Body.
Jesus didn’t dip the Bread into the Wine, yet the Bread and Wine are connected in the Communion Service while they are separated by purpose. Since we are the Bread it stands that we are to consider our “ways,” something which the “workers of iniquity” fail to do. It has nothing to do with whether it is right or wrong to dip the bread into the wine, only a reflection on how Jesus did it.
The Cup: Next we see the Cup. But is the Cup what is important or what it contains? The answer is, what it contains; with the cup or even with all of us, what the vessels contains is what makes it special. Jesus said, the New Covenant was in His Blood, so what is the Body? The Body is “the preparation place,” “the wilderness,” “the place between places” where the Bride makes herself ready. There is no “Body of Christ” in heaven, the Transformation being complete, changes the Church to the Bride of Christ.
We found in both Matthew and Mark how the “sons of men” have their sins forgiven, but the “Sons of God” are those who have the ability to call out “ABBA Father.” The Unity of the Body was paramount; these disciples knew that Jesus was fully able to keep the Kingdom of God pure and perfect, so if they had problems between members, they sought the solution, even if they had to part company for a period of time.
The Spiritual Blood of Jesus: There is prayer in Communion, but it doesn’t mean that Communion is all which prayer is, rather we have added “elements” and we know that these elements are for the purpose of Remembrance. We also know that when Jesus handed the disciples the Bread, He didn’t rip off His arm, and say, “Here… this is My Body,” nor did He cut Himself and drip His Blood in the Cup. If this was even remotely the case, we would have seen it written in the Gospel.
On Earth as it is in Heaven: The Spiritual Blood of Jesus is a result of His Father; it can’t be seen since it is spiritual in nature; thus God is Spirit. The Blood He lost at the Cross was real, but no one was there gathering it in some cup.
The Blood and Water at the Cross was based on His position as the “Son of Man,” while the Resurrection Declared Him to be the “Son of God” (Rom 1:3-4); thus the Blood of Jesus has two places of importance, on earth and in heaven, connecting Mercy (Water) and Grace (Blood). John tells us that Jesus came by both Water and Blood, not Water alone, or Blood alone, because it takes Both.
The Signs Follow: The Supernatural is still “natural,” but a Super form of natural. The disciples before the Cross engaged in the supernatural, but they were not privy to the Spiritual until Pentecost. Some of us look for the supernatural to happen, but in truth, the signs follow those who Believe. We have to stop walking backward; rather we should know that if we are a Believer the Signs will follow.
The First Passover: The First Passover was taken in Egypt and as it protected the children from death, it was perhaps the greatest of the signs. The one sign displaying the Power of God should have been enough to grant them belief in the wilderness. In our case the Bread is a place for us to reflect on the death of Jesus, as it relates to us personally.
The Cup is truly individual in nature, as we reflect on: the Blood, the New Covenant, the Seal of the Holy Spirit, the Resurrection, as well as asking ourselves if we have grieved the Holy Spirit. In the case of Moses, the sign was “Death Passing Over” while they were in Egypt. The Death of Jesus on the Cross is our place of death as well, but it is also the place where the devil becomes ineffective (Heb 2:14).
Passover was a sign of God’s protection and separation; not only did God keep death from striking the Hebrews, but He also caused death to make a distinction between the first and second born of Egypt. The complexity alone shows the Power of God in deliverance. The first born son could be the son of the first born, who was the son of the second born, who was the son of the first born, who was the son of the third born, all alive and walking around at the same time. The “angel of death” didn’t go about saying, “Okay first off, are you a Hebrew? No, okay are you the first born? No, can you prove it?”, nor did the angel go to the Hebrews and say, “You an Egyptian? No, you look like one.” This was a night of division and separation beyond the intellect of man, a time when there would be a release from Egypt for the people of God. Therefore, there was a death before the release, just as the Death of Jesus became the place of our release.
The first Passover was a faith issue, since it involved something “about to happen,” but each one after the first was not of faith, since it involved something of the past. The First Communion held (Last Supper) was a faith issue since it pointed to what “was to happen.” Our Communion is not of faith (pointing to a future event), since it’s based in a Remembrance of something of the past. Jesus told us in Mark and in John of the importance of “Belief coupled with our Baptism” (being in the Body); therefore, Communion is an extension of our Baptism based on “building our belief.” It is the time to remember all that Jesus did to secure us in our kingdom of heaven (Bread) position, as an assurance of our continual belief in the Blood (Kingdom of God).
Renewal of our belief: The children in Egypt were only to believe for the Hour; while we believe to be free “of the Hour.” For the Jew, Passover is a day; for us, Jesus is our Passover. Communion is personal in nature; it not only covers the promises Jesus made to the Body, but it is a time to reflect on all those words which the Lord has given us, to renew our belief in Him, to set ourselves in order so we can be used of the Lord.
Reflecting on the Word of God in us: Communion is not about reading the Bible; it’s a time to reflect on the “Word of God in us.” However, just as the water of our baptism didn’t save us, Communion isn’t going to save us. It’s powerful and it’s a place and opportunity to reflect; but taking Communion will not take the place of the Holy Spirit.
On the other side of the coin, the “Unworthy” condition Paul refers to is when we don’t think that Communion means anything or we treat it as some rite or a place to hold a backbiting contest. Communion can become a religious tradition; traditions being things we do, while Doctrines are things we teach. We can have a “sound Doctrine” or a “weak Doctrine,” or even a “false Doctrine,” just as we can have “Traditions of men” or “Traditions of God.” Jesus never condemned the Traditions of God, only those of men.
Is there a tradition of God? Yes, Communion is one; and the shadow of Communion is Passover which has also been a tradition; but like any tradition, it had two sides. The Jews were told to take Passover once a year; while we are told we can take Communion at any time. We are “priests unto the Lord,” and part of our priestly duty is partaking of Communion to remember the Sacrifice. As priests we engage in giving service to the Sacrifice and as priests we can give and take Communion.
The examination of our heart and soul condition by the Spirit in us: Both Communion and Passover have interwoven links; there are things “done,” such as taking the Bread and Wine. However, with Passover, one never examines one’s soul or heart, since the person can retain hate, bitterness or strife, yet partake of Passover and enjoy it.
Communion is a different story, like a sacrifice cut open, we lay ourselves before the Lord allowing the examination by the Spirit in us to take place.
The Change from Passover to Communion: Passover has its prayers; and the Jew has all those prayers written down for them. Jesus however, prayed for us; and in John we see His prayer. But He didn’t tell us to “pray in this manner”; rather we are told what He prayed. The prayer of Jesus was connected, yet separated from the meal; His prayer confirmed the change from Passover to Communion. Therefore, we find that prayer and the meal interrelate, but are separate as well. The Communion service is not for us to examine God, but for us to be examined by the Spirit of Christ in us. Prayer is a form of request, while Communion a form of examination.
Reproofing & the purpose of it: The word “Doctrine” links the Teacher to the teaching; thus the teacher’s integrity is identified by “The Doctrine which the Teacher teaches.” A Teacher builds, yet reproofs; but reproof doesn’t mean condemnation. Rather, reproof must have a Godly intent: it must seek a Godly goal, use a Godly means to reach the result, while entailing some “Manifestation of the Spirit,” all to help those in their care to be better Christians. Reproofing is a form of Correction, yet “correction is unto perfection,” or to stand us “Up Right Again.” Instruction however, is guidance, and all of these factors “come by Hearing”; and thus “Faith comes by hearing,” the element which the children in the wilderness lacked.
Jesus, Our Passover: The Passover date is an important day for us; and it was the very day that Jesus went to the Cross and said, “Father forgive them.” Not one Passover lamb ever said, “ba, ba, you are forgiven.” The Cross became the difference between death and life, but it came as death to bring Life. All the elements of Passover were completed in Jesus; thus He became our Passover.
The Sequence of “The Week”: The Passover really begins on the Tenth day of the month, not the 14th (Ex 12:3-13). Our prior studies have given us the Scriptural evidence showing that Jesus was three days and nights in the earth, and then raised on the third day. So, the 10th of Abib was the time when the Lamb had to be seen by the people and accepted; then, when Jesus was anointed in Bethany, it was a Friday; He then rode into Jerusalem on a Saturday, a weekly Sabbath according to the commandment. He taught on Sunday in the temple after He cleaned it out the second time, thus dividing Seasons. He was accepted by the people on Monday, examined by the religious rulers, betrayed on Tuesday, went to the Cross on Wednesday, “in the midst of the week,” as Daniel points out.
Raised on the Third Day: Jesus also said He would be raised on the Third Day. So how does this fit with the three days and nights? It fits perfectly: He went into the grave at night, making this the first night. Then the Feast of Unleavened Bread being the High Sabbath became the first day, while the night of the High Sabbath became the second night. Friday was the “weekly preparation day” and also the second day and that night was the third night.
The weekly Sabbath according to the Fifth Commandment was the third day; thus He went into the grave at the beginning of Sabbath, was raised on a Sabbath, making Him our Sabbath.
The Passover is the Preparation day for the feast day; thus the Passover is followed by the High Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread which was always on the 15th day of the month of Abib. Mark shows the women at the Cross on the Passover, but Luke says that “they fixed spices,” which involves cooking, a labor, which could not be done on the Feast of Unleavened Bread or the weekly Sabbath. Luke then shows the women made the spices on the Preparation day for the weekly Sabbath, which is always a Friday, and then they rested on the Sabbath “according to the Commandment” which is always Saturday. Accordingly if the day before the Preparation Day was a Thursday, yet a High Sabbath, it was the Feast of Unleavened Bread, making the prior day the Passover. High Sabbaths were always held on a specific date, regardless of the day of the week on which that date fell; but the weekly Sabbath according to the Commandment, was and is always celebrated on Saturday, regardless of the date. Jesus said He would be three days and nights in the earth, being raised on the Third Day. Thus His words were prophetic in nature; it had to be three Days, not one day over, or short, or in part. If Friday was the day of the Cross, that night would be the first night, Saturday the first day, yet we know He was discovered as ”raised” on a Sunday, which means if we hold to the Friday theory, we must be saying Jesus was in error for predicting the time, which makes Jesus a false prophet and not to followed.
The Jewish Day, from sunset to sunset: So, the time-keeping element is important. The Jews, unlike other nations have Sabbath days; thus for them there is no allowance of “part of a day, makes a whole day.” If this were the case, then one could begin their Sabbath in the morning, cease at noon claiming they kept the Sabbath. The Jew keeps a “total day,” which includes four watches in the day, four in the night; and, their “day” is from sunset to sunset.
The Day of Discovery: The traditions of men can include dangerous positions to take; and in the case of the three days and nights, although one could suggest that Friday was a day, and Saturday another and Sunday the third . . . we also find that Jesus was not in the tomb on Sunday morning before the sun came up, therefore, we can’t count Sunday as one of the days. But we do count it as the Day of Discovery.
In order for Jesus to have been raised on the third day yet not to have been in the grave on Sunday, means that He had to have been raised on Saturday. In Mark 15:42 the phrase “day before the Sabbath” could refer to the weekly Sabbath or High Sabbath, since the High Sabbaths had preparation days as well. The clue to Mark 15:42 is found in the wording “it was”, pointing to the Passover, meaning the Passover is the Preparation day mentioned, as the High Sabbath was approaching. All this is clearer when we read in Mark 15:40-41, and how the women were standing near, not in their homes, making spices. Yet, in Luke they are found on the Preparation day making spices (Luke 23:56), thus separating Preparation days. Jesus was placed in the grave as the sun was setting, making it the beginning of the High Sabbath, the women saw the place and returned home. They prepared the spices on the Preparation day for the weekly Sabbath, and then rested on the Sabbath according to the Commandment.
They would not have had the time to prepare anything on the Passover, since the High Sabbath begins at sunset, which only leaves Friday to prepare the spices, resting on Saturday, with the discovery of the empty tomb on Sunday morning, the First day of the week.
The Lamb of God: The Passover, in the time of Jesus, had four cups, but when Moses took Passover we don’t see any mention of “cups,” just the lamb, the blood on the door, and the herbs. The blood was a Token or Sign on the Door, and “death passed” based on the Blood, not the lamb or the herbs.
Yet, Jesus is our Passover Lamb, the very Lamb of God sacrificed from the foundation of the world. However, where did the Blood come from? It came from the lamb, thus the death of the lamb produced the Blood. Therefore, we take Bread, the “staff of life” or the Lamb as the Body, then the Wine as Blood as Tokens; they are not the actual flesh and blood of Jesus. We take them internally; why not just rub them on? Because they are not flesh based, they have to enter past the flesh in order to reach the source. Passover was an “external awareness” while our Communion is “internal,” the place where the Word in us is dividing and separating. We have passed from death to Life; thus we are a type of Passover through Jesus, Who is our Great and Eternal Passover (I Cor 5:7). Our Passover purges out the old leaven, bringing the Great Bread from heaven into our hearts (I Cor 5:8-9 & Jn 6:43-51).
Translations of the words “Passover” & “Communion”: The verb “pass-over” is not a common Hebrew verb, and it is not the common Hebrew verbs “A-Bhar” or “Ga-Bhar,”; the word in the Hebrew is Pasah, from which the noun Pesah comes. These words have no connection with any other Hebrew words, but they do resemble the Egyptian word Pesh, which means “To Spread Wings Over.”
“Passover” and “Communion” are two completely different words; the word “Communion” was not used by Jesus; rather Paul was the first to use it in First Corinthians 10:16, then later in Second Corinthians 6:14 and 13:14.
The Greek word is translated as “Fellowship” in Acts 2:42, First Corinthians 1:9, Second Corinthians 8:4, Galatians 2:9, Ephesians 3:9, Philippians 1:5, 2:1, and 3:10, First John 1:3, 1:6 and 1:7.
It is translated as “Contribution” in Romans 15:26, and as “Distribution” in Second Corinthians 9:13, then as “Communication” in Philemon 6, and as “Communicate” in Hebrews 13:16.
Removing of the mask: The Greek word is Koinonia meaning “to participate, or communicate” in a face to face manner with nothing hidden; it demonstrates a very close relationship with many like interests and concerns between parties.
The Old Law was a barrier, the New removes barriers. Hebrews 4:12-13 tells us that The Word in us will “Merismos” to make us open and naked before God, with no masks, religious facades, or hidden agendas. There are those who want God to do something for them, so they put on their masks of Holiness and Righteousness to play the part, thinking that God will perform for them. Communion is the mask removal place, the place where we open before God.
Point of Separation: After the Passover in Egypt, the children began their march to freedom entering into a “Process.” When the people faced the Red Sea Moses said, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord” (Ex 14:13). The Red Sea was the point of separation between Egypt and the Wilderness. Pharaoh and his band of people couldn’t cross the Sea, becoming a sign of the wilderness being a place only for the children of God. The children (Hebrews) were not “baptized” as we know it, but they did grant us a shadow; and as Paul says, they were baptized unto Moses, meaning they identified with God through Moses (I Cor 10:2). However, in our case we have the Law of God directly implanted in us by the New Birth.
Traditions vs. Commandments of Christ: To the Jew the head must be covered as part of the Minhag Israel, Torah Hi, or “the customs of Israel are law”; which produced the saying, Minhag Oker Din, or “A custom can abolish a law.” This misconception of altering God’s commandments can enter into our thinking. If we allow the Traditions of man to replace the Commandments of Christ we will enter areas where we make the Word to no effect. An example, is the concept of the bread and wine becoming the actual body and blood of Jesus in the person. The “elements” are Tokens, just as the first Passover shows, since the elements used then were not the actual Flesh and Blood of the Angel; and they still are not. This misconception could make one think that the “elements” produce the New Man, rather than the Seed of God granted by the Holy Ghost being the New Man.
The Bread: The Jew knows that the most important element to their diet is “Bread” and that the most important Bread is “unleavened.” After washing their hands they touch the Bread and say, Baruch Ata Adonai, Elohenu Melech ha-olam, asher kid’shaun b’mitzvotav, v’tzivanu al netialt yadaim or “Blessed are Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us in His commandments and commanded us to lift up our hands.” This saying is another example of the Trinity being displayed in the Shadow, as the Lord (Jehovah), God (Elohiym) and King of the Universe (The Son). However, in the phrase we also see how they confused the “lifting of hands” with the “washing of hands.” To them it’s when they lift their hands to dry them, to us it’s the lifting our hands in praise. Paul said, “I will therefore for men to pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, for women to adorn themselves in modest apparel…” (I Tim 2:8-9). What does modest apparel have to do with lifting holy hands? We assume this means a manner of dress, but were the men naked? Of course not, it refers to appearance; yet appearance connects to covering and the “covering to the Unction” which is over the Body. Anyone can be dressed in modest apparel, yet be nasty, unforgiving, doubting, and unbelieving. The modest apparel doesn’t make them holy, the Spirit of Christ in them does.
Communion to the Christian: If we can discern how important the Passover is to the Jew, we can understand how important Communion is to the Christian. There are three primary Festivals for the Jew, yet Passover is most important; it’s more important than Yom Kippur which celebrates “God’s future Pardoning of sins,” . . . more important than Rosh Hashanahwhich commemorates the creation of the world as the Jewish New Year (when the devil will be bound to during their Time of Comfort).
The Jew knows that without partaking of Passover, they cannot enter the Feast of Unleavened Bread. All this shows that our Communion is to remember that we are the Bread from heaven. We have the Pardon of sins now; and we are being prepared by the Blood of Jesus to gain entry through the Door at the sound of the last trump.
The Faith of Jesus: The term “The Faith” refers to the Faith of Jesus, which is a proven, secure Faith, granting us a Path so we can Follow Him. The prerequisite is to “deny the self, and pick up our cross” as acts of death, so we can gain the New. The New Man being spiritual in nature is bringing to pass the promise of “that which is Born of the Spirit is Spirit.” The “falling away from The Faith” is not a falling from faith, but a removing of the “Faith of Jesus” from the equation. Man will focus on his measure of faith being sufficient, bringing about the “Lucifer complex.” Man will assume that he can make it to heaven on his own; and he will be the witness without The Witness. Communion is the place to Remember it was and is Jesus, not our greatness making it possible.
“And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.”- 1 John 5:6 (KJV)
The Passover Lamb: Let us view for a moment, “The Passover” as it was conducted in the time of the earthly ministry of Jesus, not as it’s conducted today. The people singled out a lamb for each House, yet they could have many families in the House. The Lamb of God was first given to the House of Judah, of which we are; then when the House of David is opened they will have their Season (Acts 1:6-8, Rev 3:7, Zech 13:6-9, Isa 11:11-16 & Isa 2:1).
Starting with the anointing in Bethany, the ride into Jerusalem, the many teachings in the Temple, plus the cleaning of the Temple; all became presentation for the people to accept the Lamb of God as the religious leaders examined the Lamb. The religious rulers found the Lamb of God worthy to be killed, and then made sure it was. The requirement was complete, “our Passover” passed the test. The Passover lamb had to win the affection of the entire household, especially the children; as it is the Father’s will for us to accept Jesus (Jn 6:36-40).
Jesus brought us into the House of the Father and we are cleaned by inward residence of the Holy Spirit (Mark 11:17 & Jn 2:16). Jesus loved the Little Children, but He didn’t fleece them (Matt 18:2-6). It’s not the will of the Father for one Little One to be destroyed or hindered (Matt 18:14). John the Baptist saw Jesus as the Lamb of God to save the world; the New Testament refers to Jesus as the Lamb more than thirty times.
The Meal: The Meal which Jesus kept held Five elements, all pointing to the Newness for the Body of Christ in Mercy and Grace.
The Dish of bitter herbs: The first element of the meal is the dish of Bitter Herbs; to the Jew this shows the hardships of Egypt, but to us it’s a warning referring to, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of (fall from) the Grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” (Heb 12:15). This not only means we can become defiled, but shows our defiled condition and bitterness defiles others as well, thus we continue to believe, indicating why we don’t have the bitter herbs in our service.
The Body is broken: We know that the wording which Jesus used during the Meal is found in Matthew, Mark, Luke and First Corinthians, but in First Corinthians Paul adds to the wording. Paul tells us Jesus said, “take eat, this is My Body broken for you” (I Cor 11:24). Matthew, Mark or Luke do not show the phrase, so is Paul wrong? No, he tells us that this is something he received from the Lord (I Cor 11:23), as it related to the division he found among the Corinthians (I Cor 11:18). Accordingly we must ask, “When was His Body broken?” The Bible says not one bone of the Passover Lamb was broken, yet we know His flesh was ripped, but was it Broken? The Greek word for Broken means “to remove the sprout”, or “remove the failing leaf” or “to break off”, as one would break off a branch. Jesus said the Father will purge the unfruitful branch, to bring more fruit, but the word Paul used means to “break off a part,” not purge.
Paul’s warning to the Corinthians regarding Communion pointed to the night in which Jesus was betrayed. Why use the betrayal? Why not use the victory? “The Body is broken” will be in two pieces, one is taken, the other is not; “many are called, but few are chosen,” because the Few deeply desire to join the Body to the Blood. Paul is making a request to the carnal thinking, divided people in Corinth to come to the Table of the Lord to be made whole. They were “worthy” since they were in need, being “unworthy” is thinking they were not in need.
This first dish of the Passover is a symbol of the Body of Christ, as the place where we examine ourselves by submitting to the examination “by the Word in us.” The Word in us examines us like a doctor looking for the hindering element; in our case the Word is searching out “leaven” to bring it to our attention. Unleavened Bread is called Matzo; it is baked quickly at a high temperature to keep leaven from forming. Prior to cooking they would poke holes through the flat bread, and then make stripes across it several times to quicken the baking. The Bread itself is representative of the Body of Christ before and after the Cross.
The Body is always representative of the Mercy, connecting it to “Father forgive them,” a call each believer must hold toward others. We know Jesus did break the Bread, but Paul is the only one to tell us why.
Three pieces of Matzo: The Passover table during the earthly ministry had three pieces of Matzo; and they were contained in a three part Matzo Napkin. The first piece is called Abraham; it was taken out, blessed and put back in the Napkin. Then the second piece is called Isaac, it was taken out, blessed and put back in the Napkin. Then the third piece is called Jacob, it was taken out, blessed and put back. Then it’s taken out again, only this time it’s called Israel, blessed and put back. Then the second piece is taken out again, and it’s the one broken. We can see the promised son, but even the Jew has no idea why they break the bread. Paul told us we Remember, but he also showed us why. Our continual belief calls for an action, a nature and way of life to Believe that Jesus is raised from the dead. Paul’s teaching to the Corinthians was more of a warning as he said, “I praise you not” (I Cor 11:17).
The Jews were never allowed to eat blood, cooked or not, they were not allowed to cook the meat of the kid in the milk of the mother, since the milk contained some of the elements of the blood. From the premise came their tradition wherein they wouldn’t eat or drink milk products with meat, thinking perhaps the milk product, such as cheese, may have been made from the milk of the mother. This type of tradition comes about from a fear of violating the Law, the same mindset overcame the Pharisees; rather than look for things they could do on the Sabbath to help others, they went about telling everyone what they couldn’t do on the Sabbath. Jesus was just the opposite; He went about doing Good, knowing a Law from God was to do Good.
The dietary requirements in the Law had nothing to do with the food product; rather God told Jeremiah that the purpose of the Law was to bring the people to a point of obedience. The Law of Moses held two incentives: “do not and be cursed” or “do and be blessed,” while neither pertained to “being a blessing.” The natural mind operates from the self-nature; and the Law of Moses was designed for those still bound to the fallen nature. It became a method where one could use mind power to control the flesh, but it was not designed to rid one of the corrupt flesh. Laws are designed for a purpose, but limited in scope. We wouldn’t think of charging someone who committed murder with the law on shoplifting. The proper law must be applied; in our case we must apply the Law of the Spirit, since we are Born Again to be Spiritual. The Law of the Spirit is based on advancement from natural to spiritual, from Life to Life More Abundantly. Is it limited? Yes, we bless and curse not; we forgive, rather than seek Justice or Validation.
God instilled in the Jew the importance of Blood, but He had to do it based on their fearful mindset; meaning it was “forbidden,” thus the respect was fear based. We can think of the disciples sitting there at the table and then Jesus hands them the Cup saying, “This is My Blood”. The disciples knew the wine was a symbol of the blood of the lamb placed on the door, but Jesus is telling them it’s a symbol of His Blood. How could they partake? The “mere appearance” would be a violation under the Law of Moses. Had Jesus gone mad? No, He was merely showing them how all of man’s history pointed to the Cross, the time of the great separation unto a New Beginning to be a New Creation.
Adam didn’t eat meat; while Noah was told by God that he could. The Egyptians didn’t eat red meat, so the children were raised under the Egyptian authority yet when they entered the Wilderness they were told they could eat some red meat, which was an advancement from where they were. Today we think they were restricted, but not so. The Passover for Moses was an opening into a new adventure, one where changes would take place. No Hebrew prior to the time had a Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, the Manna, or many other things. God does His best work in the wilderness, yet we know the children who failed to believe were destroyed in the wilderness (Jude 5). We face our wilderness experiences, but we do so by belief, knowing God is doing a good work in us.
The Passover for Moses was reflective as well, what were they leaving behind? The bondage and forced labor were easy to leave behind, but what about the other matters? Were they willing to leave all behind? We must ask ourselves the same question. We wanted to leave many things behind, but there were some things of the world we liked, are we willing to leave them as well? Or will we make up some excuse to retain them? Maybe paint them a nice color then call them holy? Our decision to submit to the method God has prepared for us entails leaving many things behind, even things we liked.
The Four Cups: Although Moses didn’t hold the “cup,” the blood was evident on the Door. Over the years, other cups were added, until they reached the number four. The Jew still can’t figure out why they have four cups, especially when the blood was only placed on three areas of the door. The Door is representative of the Door we enter by the Spirit (Rev 4:1-2), it’s also representative of “the time of doors” (plural – Matt 24:33). They took Hyssop as a brush, and first touched the lintel (top horizontal aspect of the doorframe), then each side post, but they never placed the blood on the door itself, or the bottom of the entrance. It was one doorway, one blood, yet in three places, all of which show Baruch Ata Adonai, Elohenu Melech ha-olam, boreh pri ha-gafen, or “Blessed are Thou, O Lord (top piece) our God (side post), King of the universe (other side post), who creates the fruit of the vine (the blood)”. The Trinity was represented in the first Passover, although Moses didn’t know it. The Cross was also represented as Jesus metaphorically was the Door, the two side posts show the arms of Jesus to the side.
The first cup represented the separation, or deliverance from Egypt; the cup was first represented by the blood on the lintel and side posts. The second cup would represent the wilderness, as God was fully able to separate and deliver His people. The third cup is the Elijah Cup, the cup of total deliverance; the same Cup Jesus took claiming it as His. The Fourth Cup contains the Wrath of God; the Cup Jesus took in the garden. The Fourth Cup is the one we are spared, it’s seen in the Book of Revelation as the Great Winepress (Rev 14:20 et al).
The Cross with a cross piece is represented in the Moses Passover, as seen in the figure of the blood on the upper and side posts. From the Cross to the grave, to the Resurrection, three areas depict the Trinity, as the Cross and Grave within the meaning of “unleavened bread”; we as the Body are the unleavened Bread of Christ. If anyone brings the leaven into this Bread, they have violated the terms of the Covenant.
New Covenant: From the Body to the Blood, since the New Covenant is in the Blood, it also stands that Grace produces the Spirit which in turn produces the Spiritual Nature, signifying that Grace is Blood related. When we partake of the Blood, we are telling Jesus that we submit to the New Covenant and that we will allow the New Man to divide, expose, separate and guide us into the perfection of Christ. Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 says, “When you vow a vow unto God, defer not to pay it, for He has no pleasure in fools; pay what you have vowed, better is it for you should not vow, then you should vow and not pay.” Some of us are more concerned about our vows to man, than our Vows to God. When we accept the New Covenant, we also accept the terms of the Covenant. The one who presents the Covenant has the right to change it, the one who accepts it doesn’t.
The Call: We cannot change the Covenant; neither can we presume things have changed. The call is still to preach the truth in Love, but it was never to “ignore the obvious”.
Communion is the time for us to reflect on our deliverance, as well as why we were delivered. The Blood grants us the position with the New Man to proclaim, “I am crucified with (means or method) with Christ; Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the Faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal 2:20). And it is only through the Cup that we can understand, “Greater is He in me, than he in the world” (I Jn 4:1-6). To become a member of the “Dead in Christ,” we must be Crucified with Christ. We are told to “pick up our cross,” which means that we accept the responsibility of death by imputing the old nature dead.
Luke tells us that we were given another “Cup” first; so could Jesus have given us two Cups? (Luke 22:17-20). This other Cup is the “Cup of Separation”; the Children (in the wilderness) gave us a “shadow” of this Cup when they crossed the Sea. In Luke the disciples took the Cup of Separation as a symbol of crossing over the water to enter the kingdom of heaven. But, when do we take it? We take it when we are water baptized; thus it’s not at issue in the Communion service for us, it’s a matter settled as our Token when we become members of the Body.
To the Jew the Passover is also a “symbol of Redemption,” not the redemption itself, yet there are callings to enter therein:
1) All the congregation must keep the Passover to be a member of the congregation (Ex 12:47); however, for us as members of the Body, we take Communion to recall how we became members of the Body (I Cor 10:17 & 11:28-30).
2) No stranger must eat of the Passover: in our case it’s the stranger who attempts to gain entry some other way; thus the stranger is outside of the Covenant (Ex 12:43-45 & Jn 10:5). Yet Jesus tells the Remnant, “when I was a stranger..” (Matt 25:35-44); thereby showing they kept Him out until they look upon Him they have pierced; therefore, if the Remnant are blinded to the Gospel, it’s God who has blinded them for a purpose (Rom 11:7 & 11:25).
3) They must eat the Passover in one house (Ex 12:46): however, we can’t eat the Passover in the House of David, nor can we eat part in the House of God and then part in the house of Baal (I Cor 10:14-22).
4) They must consume the Entire Passover, not just a piece here or there, or simply the pieces fitting their theology (Ex 34:25); we must receive it all, rather than making the Word bow to us, we bow to the Word (II Tim 3:15-17).
5) They must put away all leaven from their tables; and in our case this would be to put away the leaven of the flesh by bringing it to the Table of the Lord as we confess it (Ex 13:6-7, I Cor 10:20-22 & I Cor 5:6-8). Knowledge without the Spirit turns to leaven as it puffs up the heart of man, it doesn’t exalt the Lord (I Cor 4:6, 4:18-19 & 8:1).
6) They must offer the Blood of the sacrifice without leaven (Ex 34:25); yet for us, we can’t partake of the Cup of the Lord until we judge ourselves to the Body of the Lord, as we present ourselves a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1-2, I Cor 11:27, 10:17 & 30-32).
7) They must not break any bones of the Passover Lamb (Ex 12:46); the Bone contains the Marrow, the place where the Blood is produced. The Bones keep the Unity of the Body, thus no Bone was broken at the Cross (Heb 4:12 & Jn 19:33-34). After Jesus gave His life, the Spear pierced His Side; the Spear is a foreign object in the hands of a heathen, yet all things are created by Jesus. Thus the Spear opened the Heart of Jesus and both Water and Blood came forth (I Jn 5:7-8). The Water is the Mercy of the Father, the Blood the Grace of the Son, one must receive and act upon Both or they have not received the Father and Son (I Jn 2:22).
8) They must sacrifice the Passover only at the place appointed by God (Deut 16:5-6); in our case the place is in our hearts and souls, where the tabernacle of God resides. This is a matter of submission and obedience, the removal of hindrances and the cleaning away of the pride of life (self-confidence – I Pet 1:9, James 1:21, Eph 4:23-24, 4:27-32, 5:9-10 & 5:17-26).
9) All males of the congregation must appear before the Lord at Passover time (Ex 23:17 & 34:23). This is not “against females,” rather it displays “positions”; the Bread points to us as “sons of men,” while the Blood as “sons of God.” We come boldly (by the faith of Jesus – Eph 3:12) to the throne of Grace (position) to obtain Mercy (condition based on the will of the Father) to find Grace (ability to apply Mercy – Heb 4:16).
These nine areas are all representative of the nine areas of the Manifestation of the Spirit (I Cor 12:7-11), as well as the nine areas of the Fruit (not fruits) of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23); therefore, they must relate to us in some manner. If our souls are formed of the Spirit to be Spiritual, then we are being prepared to fit in the Resurrected Body which Jesus has for us. Can someone have the Spirit, yet not be spiritual? Yes, the Corinthians proved it. Communion is the place where we put away the natural, to engage in the spiritual.
1) The Love of God provided the Passover and we keep Him in our heart, producing the “Greater is He in me.”
2) The Joy of the Lord is found in the Strength of the Lord; and no stranger can invade our Joy.
3) Our Peace is found in the Tabernacle of God within our hearts.
4) Our longsuffering makes it through The Day.
5) Our Gentleness is found in the removal of the leaven at the Table of the Lord.
6) Our Goodness is found in the Blood of Jesus.
7) Our Faith is hidden in the Marrow of the Lamb’s Bones, the hiding place of Grace.
8) Our Meekness allows us to face Jesus.
9) Our Temperance of the brethren displays our love for the Lord and His people.
There is also the Ma’ot Chittim which is a collection of money taken to buy matzos, wine, or food for the poor. This practice was around during the earthly ministry of Jesus, explaining why the disciples thought that Judas went out to buy something for the poor (Jn 13:26-29).
The dishes used cannot be the same as those used during the rest of the year; many Jews use Crystal, without knowing it they still hold a special place at the Passover table for the Bride of Christ, metaphorically seen as Crystal (Rev 21:9-11).
We viewed the Napkin prior with its three compartments, and how the pieces of bread are removed, blessed and replaced. Adding; all three are blessed with the promise to Abraham or Chag ha-matzot ha-zeh, zman cherutenu, giving thanks to God for choosing His people Israel. The third piece changing from Jacob to Israel, also points to the Remnant, the time when the Night comes, as God puts His hand a second time to recover the Remnant (Isa 11:11-14).
It is when” Isaac is broken” that the mystery is seen by us. We know Abram became Abraham, Jacob became Israel, but Isaac never had his name changed; really there was no reason to take the piece named Isaac a second time, unless, it wasn’t Isaac, but Jesus….. Ahh, the mystery; the shadow shows the Body of Jesus “will be broken” as one breaks one part from another, but at a time yet future.
The Matzo Bread: The Matzo Bread itself comes in various types; the one used on Passover must be Kosher in all ways. Regular Matzo is called Sh’mura Mishaat K’tsira; however the Jews have a Special Matzo called Matza Sh’mura Mishaat T’china or The Guarded Matzo. It is so special that its guarded against any and all defilement from the time the seed is planted until the bread itself is baked. This is reflective of Jesus, He was watched over as The Word; thus in the Beginning was the Word, and then the Word took on flesh for us. Jesus as the Bishop (Helps) and Shepherd (Governments) of our soul, watches over us by The Spirit.
Stripes: In order to insure the protection against leaven, the bread is pierced and stripped, it can take no longer than seven minutes from the time the first trace of water touches the flour until it’s completely cooked; or the dough must be tossed out. The Jew assumes the holes and stripes promote the cooking; however, we know by the stripes of Jesus, we were healed (I Pet 2:20-25 & Jn 10:1).
First Night of Passover: On the first night of Passover the bread is broken into pieces about the size of an olive, the Jew doesn’t know why, but we see the Mount Of Olives where Jesus taught us the “Least Commandments of Mercy.” Least doesn’t mean inferior, rather it’s the least we can do. The Special Matzo is a shadow of our justification, as we are protected from the time in which the Seed of God is planted in us until the time we are Glorified.
Five Elements of the Meal: The meal which Jesus held was like the one today; it had five items, which are termed the: Betsa, Zero’a, Maror, Charoset, and Karpas.
1) The Betsa is an egg which is hard-boiled, then roasted in an oven to commemorate the offering of the pilgrims who went to the temple in Jerusalem for the holiday; but in our case, it’s reflective of being Born Again, with the promise of “everything produces after its own kind.” It is clear that this was not a part of the Moses Passover, since there was no temple then.
2) The Zero’a is a roasted bone with “a little meat” on it, to symbolize the Passover Lamb; it becomes the remembrance of those things done for Israel, just as the Bread and Cup for us is in Remembrance of what Jesus did for us, rather than reenacting the event.
3) The Maror is the bitter vegetable dish. Among the Ashkenazim Jewish people it is usually a fresh sliced horseradish, but any bitter radish is acceptable; for us it’s reflecting the bitterness of falling from Grace; for the Jew it is the bitterness of Egypt. This would be the herb dish which Moses had.
4) The Charoset is a thick paste made of grated apples, ground-up almonds, walnuts or other nuts, honey for sweetening with a little wine; and for the Jew it represents the mortar in Egypt. But for us, it’s the Seed of God, the Honey of Prophecy, the almond pointing to the Resurrection, and the paste representing how Jesus clings to us by the Spirit.
5) The Karpas is any green vegetable which is blessed with Boreh Pri Ha-adama (Mishna, Pesachiim 10:3); this dish is designed to “excite the children” just as knowing that our New Man is the Seal securing us in Grace (Eph 4:24).
The hard-boiled egg among the Ashkenazim is placed in salt water, to represent the people passing the Red Sea; however, the children passed on dry land. The thinking of the Ashkenazim for adding the salt water was to represent the endurance of the Jewish people. The hard-boiled egg is the only item which gets tougher the longer it’s in hot water, but in our case it shows the softer we get by the washing of the Water by the Word.
The publican and the Pharisee were both at the altar in the temple; the publican judged himself to himself by seeking Mercy while the Pharisee judged himself to another and exalted himself. We compare ourselves to Christ as we pray for God to keep us on the Path of the Faith of Jesus. We also pray for any self-deception to be exposed in us along with any self-nature, pride, ego or hindering attitude. We are ready to join with the New Man as we allow the Washing of the Water by the Word to clean us. This is working out our own salvation by fear and trembling.
The Wine used is not a pure wine, rather it’s mixed with water; thus without knowing, the Jew holds up Jesus who came not by Water alone but both by Water and Blood. This helps explain Paul’s teaching to Timothy, “drink no longer water (mercy alone), but use a little wine (mixed with water, only place the Greek word appears) for you stomach’s (gullet, or place where words are formed, only place where the Greek word is used) sake and your often infirmities (weaknesses of the flesh – I Tim 5:23); with the verse we find, “lay hands suddenly on no man” making sense (I Tim 5:22 & 5:24).
Mercy alone isn’t enough; we need both Mercy and Grace to know the heart of God. Merely having the knowledge of God isn’t enough; we need the Wisdom of God to deal with events and people. We obtain knowledge in our Study Hall experiences, however, Wisdom is gained in the wilderness of God, and discernment in the Cave.
Five Songs for Passover: John doesn’t record the Communion. He does however record the teachings in reference to the Communion (Jn 13:31-17:26). We know that they sang; but what songs did they sing and why? There were Five songs for Passover, each representative of Grace and our walk with the Lord.
1) “As the deer pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after Thee, O God” (Ps 42:1) This is denying the self as we secure ourselves in the Mercy of God.
2) “How amiable are Your tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yea, even faints for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh cry for the living God” (Ps 84:1-2); there was only one Tabernacle, thus this points to us as the Tabernacles of God.
3) “I was glad when they said unto me; Let us go into the house of the Lord. Our feet shall stand within Your gates O Jerusalem” (Ps 122:1-2); no one goes down to Jerusalem, regardless of where they are, they always “go up” to Jerusalem, thus pointing to New Jerusalem, the place where we will be lifted in a twinkling of an eye.
4) “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity”(Ps 133:1); this is the unity of the Faith and Spirit; we join to the Faith of Jesus by the Spirit, thus unity is found in Christ, not in natural religious facades, or winds of doctrine.
5) “Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord, which by night stand in the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and bless the Lord. The Lord who made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion” (Ps 134:1-3); we worship by Spirit and Truth in the Spirit of Truth, no one calls Jesus Lord but by the Holy Ghost (I Cor 12:3), and in order to be a true Servant one must be Born Again.
The Jews say thanks for their meal after they eat, which is, Birkat ha-Mazon, or “when you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord for the good land which He has given you”. This is an after the fact thanks, we thank the Lord before, during and after. There is much for us at the Lord’s Table; it is the place of Remembering all that the Lord has done for us. It is far better to discern, and learn, then stumble and fall. Selah.
By Pastor G. E Newmyer – All rights reserved.
Note: The use of SOZO Bible Study Lessons, Newsletters or Short Studies (written/penned by Pastor G. Evan Newmyer as scribe and author, prior to his passing from this world) has been given to Ann M. Wolf by written permission from the author, as was customarily granted to alumni of the Sozo Bible Institute. This limited permission is given under clear agreement to never “charge” specific amounts for the Lessons with the intention of obtaining specific profits, but rather to share the material with others as the Spirit leads, for the purpose of “edification and encouragement,” on a free will offering basis, and while honoring the biblical principal to “teach the truth in love.” We ask then, that the desires of the original scribe (Rev. Newmyer) be respected; therefore the material can be shared among those who are dedicated in their study of the Bible, but shared freely on an offering basis and with respect to the copyright laws of the land and states. All rights are reserved. Read More.
Learn about lending a hand to MOTL Library: Read More.
King James Version – KJV: For greater understanding of these commentaries, please use the Authorized Version of the King James Bible for confirming the Scripture passages mentioned. Please see the article, “Why KJV” by Ann M. Wolf for information regarding why we use KJV. Thank you for visiting our Sozo Short Bible Studies area.