"In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover" (Lev. 23:5)
Passover is a permanent celebration, an historic celebration, a set time reminding all of when the children of Israel were delivered from the bondage of Egypt. (Exod. 12:14) This feast is a memorial and an ordinance to be kept and observed throughout all generations.
Passover is the symbol of the time God's people were delivered from the world's sinful system, epitomized by Egypt's god-king, Pharoah. Pharoah is an image of Satan. When we live according to the system of the world, we miss the mark and are subject to the kingship of Pharoah (Satan). We are in bondage to the sin-kingdom of Satan.
The children of Israel were commanded on the 10th day of Nisan (this year, March 23, 2021) for every man to take a lamb according to the size of his family. (Exod. 12:3) The (faultless) lamb was to be kept until the 14th day of Nisan. Then the congregation of Israel was to kill the lamb in the evening. (Exod. 12:6) Did you know that these 4 days were fulfilled by Yeshua, the faultless lamb, during the week of Passover? Remember that Yeshua was inspected for 4 days by the Chief Priests, the elders, Pilate, Herod, Annas the High Priest and Caiaphas the High Priest and found to be faultless.
PURIFICATION AND PASSOVER
Purification is necessary for the observance of Passover. One story regarding the Passover can be found in 2 Chronicles 30:15-19. Hezekiah prayed a prayer for those who were not clean and wanted to observe the Passover. He prayed, "The good LORD pardon evey one that prepares his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. And the LORD HEARKENED to Hezekiah and healed the people" (2 Chron. 30: 18-20). What a wonderful picture of the love and mercy of God! Hezekiah stood in the gap for the people, just as Jesus stood in the gap for mankind and paid the price for the deliverance and healing of all who come to Him.
As I was in prayer early this morning reading the Scriptures in The Passion Translation, I was amazed at a Scripture that was quickened to me and how appropriate it is for this time. "And all who focus their hope on Him (Jesus) will always be purifying themselves, just as Jesus is pure" (I John 3:3). At the first Passover, Moses gave the command that one must be circumcised to eat the Passover. (Exod.12:31-36) This is a description that indicates to us that God wants us spiritually circumcised, so we may walk before Him with a pure heart.
JESUS OR BARABBAS
In Jesus' time, there was a custom that at every Passover a prisoner would be released. "Now at the Feast [of the Passover] the governor was in the habit of setting free for the people any one prisoner whom they chose, and at that time they had a notorious prisoner whose nane was "Barabbas" (Matt. 27:15-16 AMP). Pilate asked the people whom they desired to have him set free, Barabbas or Jesus? (Matt. 27:17).
We can see special Hebraic meaning in the name, BarAbbas. Bar in Hebrew means "adopted." Abba is the Hebrew word for "father." Think for a moment and consider what the people were requesting when they chanted "We want BarAbbas." They were actually saying we want the "adopted" father, a murderer, and not the true Father who can set us free from sin and Satan's bondage. Jesus is called the Everlasting Father in (Isaiah 9:6).
My purpose for this message is to challenge our thinking. Do we want to associate with the true Jesus who asks us to deny self and follow Him? Do we want to associate with the One with whose relationship we're warned, brings persecution and separation, even from family members? Or do we want the BarAbbas (adopted) father who is an image of man's making, a symbol of the enemy of mankind, Satan? The adopted father was a criminal, just as Satan is a criminal. The adopted father, Satan, can never set us free or give us eternal life.
May we spend this week allowing God to purify body, soul and spirit. May we purposely and forever keep ourselves from all idols. (I John 5:21).