The name of the Passover festival, Pesach in Hebrew, means the “passing over”, which is derived from the instructions given to Moses by God in Exodus 6:6-8. The Lord instructed Moses of what was to come and how the Hebrews were to prepare for the last and most horrible of plagues against the Egyptians, the killing of the first born.
Passover is known as an Agricultural Feast (Beginning of the Barley Harvest) which ushers in the coming of spring; and as a Remembrance of God’s Love and Deliverance of His people and the Freedom from the Bondage of Slavery to the Egyptians. By having the Blood of Yeshua upon the door frames of our hearts it also represents for believers today the Freedom from the Bondage of Slavery of Sin. It is celebrated on the 14th day of Abib, the first month in the Biblical calendar and is the first of three pilgrimage feasts in which all males were to go to Jerusalem.
Passover is foundational in God’s eternal redemptive plan through the sacrifice of the lamb and the blood on the doorposts. If it were not for the blood on the doorposts, the Hebrews would have suffered the same fate as the Egyptians. But the Hebrews did follow God’s command to put the blood on their doorposts, and by doing so set the example of the “perfect sacrificial offering” that would be followed hundreds of years later when Yeshua our Messiah, as the perfect Lamb, went to the stake on our behalf to take away our sins.
We are commanded each year to “remember” the telling of this story in Exodus and impress it on our children for generations to come. This ceremony not only looks back to the miraculous story of God delivering His people, but it also represents the promise of Messiah’s death and resurrection. It is an exciting experience centering on a mixture of ritual emblems: the matzah, bitter herbs, wine and shank bone. Strange items all telling the story of the exodus from Egypt, but also telling of the death, burial and resurrection of our Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus) HaMashiach.
In Leviticus 23: 1 & 2 it states: “The LORD spoke again to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘The LORD’S appointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations — My appointed times are these”. You may ask ‘Why should I keep these festivals today, especially if I am not of Jewish decent?’ God tells us the answer in Leviticus 23:43b where it states: because “I am the Lord your God.” So for this reason, and this reason only, we are to keep the Lord’s appointed times, starting the Biblical year off with Passover.