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Passover (Exodus 12:13-49)
by Bobby Bruno  
5/27/2014 / Bible Studies


"For seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the very first day you must remove any yeast that you have in your houses. Whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh day must be excluded from Israel."
Exodus 12:15 (GW)

"There should be no yeast in your houses for seven days. Whoever eats anything with yeast in it must be excluded from the community of Israel, whether he is an Israelite or not."
Exodus 12:19 (GW)

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "These are the rules for the Passover: "No foreigner may eat the Passover meal. 44 "Any male slave you have bought may eat it after you have circumcised him. 45 "No foreigner visiting you may eat it. "No hired worker may eat it.
46 "The meal must be eaten inside one house. Never take any of the meat outside the house. "Never break any of the bones. 47 "The whole community of Israel must celebrate the Passover.
48 "Foreigners may want to celebrate the LORD'S Passover. First, every male in the household must be circumcised. Then they may celebrate the Passover like native-born Israelites. But no uncircumcised males may ever eat the Passover meal. 49 The same instructions apply to native-born Israelites as well as foreigners."
Exodus 12:43-49 (GW)

During the Passover, God placed certain restrictions on who were and was not allowed to partake of the Passover meal. The only people who were allowed to participate were the Israelites themselves, but with one stipulation: if any Israelite baked and ate anything with yeast in it for the seven days of the feast they were to be put out of the nation whether they were an Israelite or not. To be considered an Israelite one must be a believer in Yahweh, have been circumcised slave or stranger, or a non-Israelite who has decided to believe in Yahweh as the true Israelite did (p. 168). Those who weren't included in the feast were foreigners, pagan unbelievers, travelers visiting the Jewish nation, or hired workman who lived outside of Israel but commuted into the nation the do their work (p. 168).

What was the purpose of these restrictions? Why exclude those who didn't believe in Yahweh, and/or didn't follow the rules God had set down for the Passover meal? God answered this question when he said to His people in Exodus 12:26-27: When your children ask you what this ceremony means to you, you must answer, 'It's the Passover sacrifice in the LORD'S honor. The LORD passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he killed the Egyptians'" (GW). This Passover feast and celebration was for the people of Israel and followers of Yahweh only, since it was they whom God was rescuing from the Egyptians, who had taken the entire nation as slaves. The Passover meal was to be in honor of what God had done for His people by setting them free to fulfill His glory in them as God mentions in verse 26. These restrictions were the same for the smearing of blood on the doorposts of an Israelites' home. In doing so the home would be protected from the angel of death that would kill the Egyptians. As long as no one ventured outside during the angel's passing, they were safe and secure.

As always, God's restrictions are for the protection of His people from their enemies. When Jesus came along and shed His blood for humanity, He took away all restrictions to allow anyone who believed in Him, as the Israelites believed in Yahweh, to come and enjoy God's protection for as long as they lived where evil and enemies were present. The Israelites no longer had to spread lamb's blood on their doorposts because Jesus had spilled His own precious blood as "God's Passover Lamb! He forgives the sins of the world" (John 1:29/ MSG)! Here was the new lamb to be used for the Passover sacrifice. No more blood will be shed, for Jesus shed His own for the purchase of the people of the world. But even though blood would no longer need to be spilled from the bodies of perfect little lambs, Passover is still celebrated by the Jews, and whoever else wants to join in, as long as the same restrictions apply as to who may participate, the same as it has been since the beginning. To commemorate the occasion, a Passover Seder is performed on the 15th day of March or April depending on whether the Passover is being celebrated in or outside Israel. The Jewish nation must celebrate Passover until God tells them to cease doing so. Jesus' death on the cross caused the eventual cessation of all animal sacrifices because He alone is now the Lamb chosen by God to save His people and those who choose to follow Him. Jesus' own blood now covers those who believe in Him, and His blood never dries up or wears off for the believer who puts their faith in what He has done on the cross. The cross became the doorposts and Jesus became the sacrificial lamb who covered the doorposts of Calvary shaped like a cross and set all of His followers free.

Reference

Hamilton, V. (1982, 2005). Handbook of the Pentateuch, second edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic

Comment: "I don't actually believe that they are celebrating the "Passover" today per se. I think it is more in line with the "Feast of Unleavened Bread".

Author Response: All I can say is that my calendar says Passover during the week the Jews celebrate it and Seders are still done during that week, according to the Messianic Jews that I know from church who still call it Passover and an Orthodox Jewish woman I used to work with who would give me some unleavened bread every year at Passover time who was always very surprised that my old church does a Seder every Passover season since it relates to Jesus Christ, even though it's not a Jewish Synagogue or Temple. They don't do the blood thing anymore, but they do still celebrate it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs according to my sources.

Comment: "Why are these restrictions put on Passover? Because it was the Law of Moses it was before Christ came and banished the law. Jewish had these restrictions because it was the law."

Author Response: When it comes to the Passover and why the Jews had such restrictions, we need to look at the bigger picture of why these restrictions were put in place. You see, God is a jealous God and wants His people to remain pure and loyal to Him in all things. Before they were taken as slaves, the Jewish people had taken other gods in some cases when they began to live in non-Jewish, pagan nations. I believe that God allowed His chosen people to be taken as slaves so He could get them all back in one place again from where they had scattered themselves, so He could them show, again, that He was their only God and that He had the power to lead them again. I believe that the plagues and their resolutions were for the Jews to see just as much as much as for Pharaoh and Egypt the mighty nation to experience. Both would see the power of God and then to decide whether to follow Him or not. Of course, Pharaoh refused until the end but changed his mind anyway. It's amazing that after all the power God had shown both Pharaoh and the Jews that it wasn't that long after the Jews left Egypt that both quickly forgot what God had just done -- Pharaoh on his throne; the Jews at the Red Sea. To me, the rules written by God for the Passover were to, once again, show His people more than anyone else that they were to keep themselves separate from any other nation and that His promise to Abraham would still be kept. They would, someday, see the Promised Land. God just needed to remind the Jews just who they truly belong to and who loved them the most.

Comment: "We are informed that about six hundred thousand men not including women and children, left with them so the total would have approximated two million."

Author Response: Think about that number for a second. Two million people! These two million people watched their God tear Pharaoh a new one; stood there and watched as the Red Sea parted (unless you were standing at the back of that two million people); watched as manna fell from heaven every single morning; watched as God defeated their enemies on the way to Sinai, and yet they turned their back on this God in a matter of days. It boggles the mind how this could have happened. If you or I watched God do all of these things wouldn't we bow down in humility and thankfulness? Today, there are millions of Christians hungering for a touch from God, and even though we may not receive it, we still believe it could happen. But these two million got exactly what we long for. They received the ultimate touch from God in so many ways and yet didn't believe, even after God had just performed some of His biggest miracles to date. A man could rise from the dead and still no one would believe him. Thank Jesus that we believe Him and in Him. We see our miracles every day in Jesus' eyes when He looks at us from above. Unlike the Israelites who saw, we have not seen yet believe. Glory to God for His mercy on us!

Bobby Bruno was saved 15 years ago in a way that left him no doubt that Jesus wanted him to reach others with His great and abounding love. He started writing at the age of 12 and hasn't stopped since. He achieved Associates Degree in Biblical Studies from Ohio Christian University in early 2014.

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