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Month 1:13 (Aviv), Week 2:5 (Chamashee/Teruah), Year 5935:013 AM
Gregorian Calendar: Saturday 16 [Red] April 2011
Your First Passover
A Messianic Evangelical Haggadah

    Continued from Part 4

    As you travel around various Messianic Congregations it soon becomes apparent that Pesach (Passover) is celebrated in all sorts of different ways. Most follow one or other traditional Jewish Haggadah, a ceremony which has evolved over the centuries to, in some cases, even include pagan elements. Things the rabbis have said are 'obligatory' turn out, upon closer inspection, to be mere human tradition, something we are cautioned to watch out for in Scripture. It is the position of this ministry to keep the Passover Haggadah to the bare essentials. With this in mind, I would like to present a very simplified version of a Haggadah which we use that might suit the person celebrating alone or with his family.

    The following is to be celebrated this evening on Day 6 of Week 2 of the first month of Aviv. It should be presided over by the Head of the Household in which the meal is being celebrated.

    The New Covenant
    Fourth 2011 Edition

    1. Introduction by the Head of the House

    1. Shalom in Yah'shua's (Jesus') Name and welcome to this special dinner called a Pesach Seder which our Heavenly-Father Yahweh-Elohim has commanded that we observe throughout all generations:

      "It will come to pass when you come to the land which Yahweh will give you, just as He promised, that you shall keep this service. And it shall be, when your children say to you, 'What do you mean by this service?' that you shall say, 'It is the Passover sacrifice of Yahweh, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households" (Ex.12:25-27, NKJV).

    2. Those who obey the Torah or mitzvot (commandments) and trust in Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) as their Deliverer (Saviour) (Rev.12:17; 14:12; 22:14) constitute those who are today's Messianic Israel and are therefore commanded to observe this feast and all Yahweh's Moedim or Appointments, of which this is the first.

    3. However, we are to celebrate this ancient festival in a new way under the New Covenant as the apostle Paul tells us:

      "Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Messiah (Christ), our Pesach (Passover), was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and emet (truth)" (1 Cor.5:7-8, NKJV).

    4. In other words we, as believers, are to celebrate Passover with regenerated hearts that come from living a life in Messiah! Why? Because this Feast is all about the Messiah and how it is that His sacrificial blood guards and protects us from all evil so long as we cling to Him. It marks the beginning of a spiritual journey that finds its complection in the final festival of Sukkot which also includes a meal. Thus Yahweh's cycle of appointments begins with a meal - the passover Meal - and ends with a meal - the Marriage Feast of the Lamb! (Rev.19:19) And in the symbolism of both He is our covering.

    5. Our journey begins when we take Yah'shua's (Jesus's) extended hand and invite Him into the gan (garden) of our lev (heart). Once done, he begins to cultivate the wild jungle of our innermost feelings, soothing, calming and healing. At length the wilderness within becomes a garden paradise as we renounce all the lies haSatan (Satan) has taught us and cease living a lawless life of sin which grow up as choking weeds within. With Satan dethroned and Messiah Yah'shua (Christ Jesus) installed on the throne of our innermost being, we begin a process of inner transformation, becoming more and more like our Master. In eating the roast Lamb this evening we symbolise the incorporation of His Nature into our own until eventually, if we persist, we become like Him, which is our ultimate goal.

    6. You have all heard or read the story of our Israelite ancestors who were made slaves by a wicked Pharaoh who claimed, just like Yah'shua (Jesus), to be the incarnation of Elohim (God). He represents the AntiMessiah or AntiChrist whose Kingdom (Egypt/Babylon) we are commanded in Scripture to free from. He does not, however, let his slaves go easily. And just as there was a show-down between the Creator, Yahweh-Elohim, and the false demonic gods of Egypt so we too must have a show-down with the dark forces that are in our own lives that we have admitted through believing lies about Yahweh and breaking His commandments. No one can escape this. This is one of the other reasons we therefore commemorate Passover, to remind us that we must struggle against sin until we have overcome in Messiah.

    7. In the same way that we have assembled here this evening in obedience, so we must come to Messiah (Christ) as little children in perfect trust. This is where we begin our journey. And we return to this celebration each year both to encourage those who are new on the journey as well as to complete spiritual battles that we may have failed to win the previous times around. We are here to walk in a spiritual tavnith or pattern that will ensure we stay on the strait and narrow derech (way) that leads to the Kingdom of Yahweh. This we must do if we are to partake of eternal life as Yah'shua (Jesus) said:

      "'And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alef (Alpha) and the Taw (Omega), the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last'. Blessed are those who do [Yah'shua's/Jesus'] commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city" (Rev.22:12-14, NKJV).

    8. The original Israelites journeyed to Canaan, the Promised Land - that was their goal. Ours is the Tree of Life in the Heavenly New Jerusalem which shall be returning with Messiah (Christ). In the meantime, we are journeying within and can partake of the Tree of Life within, which is Yah'shua (Jesus). That is why we are here today - to reconsecrate ourselves so that we may have new chayim (life).

    2. Lighting the Menorah, Prayer and Worship

    9. We begin our celebration tonight by lighting the Pesach Menorah:

    10. Blessed are You, our Heavenly Father Yahweh-Elohim, though Your Son Yah'shua (Jesus), who has commanded us to observe the feast of Pesach during this set-apart season. We invite the Ruach haRishon* to enter into our hearts and minds this evening as we honour and remember Your Son Yah'shua (Jesus) who is the Light of the World, and who invites all people everywhere to admit Him to the Thone of our Hearts as King of kings and Master of masters (Rev.19:16), so that we may be covered in tavnith (pattern) by our fathers and husbands as we once again prepare to leave the world and the kingdom of darkness.

    (*The first of the sevenfold Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) corresponding to the first festival of the year, Pesach.)

    11. We assemble here to glorify Your Name and to lift that Name up in the praises of our hearts, to worship You in song, in ceremonial observance and in meditation at this set-apart time!

    Pesach shalom, in Yah'shua's Name, Ruach haRishon we welcome You again!
    The fire of Yah, El Elyon, has come to Kol Beit Yisra'el Again ||

    Praise to the Father Yahweh! (men), Praise to the Father Yahweh! (women)
    We lift our hands and hearts to the Throne of Yah, and worship Yahweh-Elohim!

    Praise to Yah'shua the Son! (men), Praise to Yah'shua the Son! (women)
    We lift our hands and hearts to the Throne of Yah, and worship Yahweh-Elohim!

    Praise to the Ruach haQodesh! (men), Praise to the Ruach haQodesh! (women)
    We lift our hands and hearts to the Throne of Yah, and worship Yahweh-Elohim!

    Praise to Yahweh's Malakim! (men), Praise to Yahweh's Malakim! (women)
    We lift our hands and hearts to the Throne of Yah, and worship Yahweh-Elohim!

    Praise to Yahweh's elohim! (men), Praise to Yahweh's elohim! (women)
    We lift our hands and hearts to the Throne of Yah, and worship Yahweh-Elohim!

    3. The Seder Display

    12. Here is a Seder Plate. On it are the chief symbols of Pesach. Scripture mentions three such symbols which are the three ingredients of redemption. These are the foods Yahweh commands us to eat tonight.

    13. The first is the Shank Bone of a Lamb and symbolises the lamb eated by the Israelites before they fled Egypt. It represents Yah'shua our Messiah (Jesus Christ) who died for our sins.

    14. The second is striped and pierced Matzah bread. It was made with no yeast or leaven to remind us that the Israelites left Egypt in a hurry and of Yah'shua who was beaten and pierced for our iniquities. The dough that forms the Matzah is ourselves and yeast, in this context, represents sin. It is absent from the Matzah just as sin was totally absent from the life of Yah'shua (Jesus), whose Body we symbolically eat when we eat this bread, just as it is was removed from our home earlier to remind us that we must get sin out of our lives too. We will be eating this unleavened bread today and for the seven days of Chag haMatzah, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is prefaced by Pesach.

    15. Yah'shua (Jesus) said:

      "I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world" (John 6:48-51, NKJV).

    16. The third and last food symbol is bitter herbs representing the bitterness of slavery. Living in sin is slavery too which is another reason we need to get it out of our lives and receive in its place the sweetness of Yah'shua's (Jesus') presence.

    4. The Pesach Meal

    17. This set-apart meal is only for baptised believers, small children and those who have made a decision for Messiah as catechumens preparing for baptism.

    18. We read in Scripture:

      "When the hour had come, [Yah'shua/Jesus] sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, 'With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Pesach (Passover) with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of Elohim (God).' Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, 'Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of Elohim (God) comes.' And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 'This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.' Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you'" (Luke 22:14-20, NKJV).

    19. The apostle Paul said:

      "For as often as you eat this matzah (bread) and drink this cup, you proclaim the Master's death till He comes. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Master in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Master. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Master's body" (1 Cor.11:26-29, NKJV).

    20. This introduces the fourth and last main symbol of Pesach, namely New Wine or unfermented red grape juice. It represents the atoning blood of our Messiah spilled for us. No one should therefore eat this meal or drink this wine unless they have first examined themselves thoroughly, discerning sins, confessing them, asking for forgiveness and covenanting not to repeat them. No one should eat this meal who does not recognise that he or she is partaking of a sacred ordinance that has spiritual and physical consequences for us. In other words, if he has unresolved sin issues that he is aware of, or it he believes that he is just eating a simple fellowship meal, he should not partake. This ia a divinely sanctioned heavenly meal like the one given by Yahweh to Moses and the Elders on Mt.Sinai at Shavu'ot.

    5. Blessing and Drinking the Cup

    21. After the blessing of the cup, the wine will be poured. We will drink it together when I instruct you. As we drink, we will recline on our left hand to denote spiritual freedom, as a slave cannot relax while eating or drinking like a freeman. We have all been called to be freemen and women. We will now bless the wine:

    22. Blessed are You, our Heavenly Father Yahweh-Elohim, who has created the fruit of the vine. We now ask You to bless and set-apart this wine for all Your people gathered here today as we drink in remembrance of the B'rit Chadashah (New Covenant) in the blood of Your Son, which was shed for us on the Cross, that through repentance and faith in His Name we might receive forgiveness of sins and the cleansing of our souls. Therefore we drink this cup, Father, as a witness to you that we shall always remember Your Son Yah'shua (Jesus), that we may enjoy a fullness of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) to be with us this night and always. Amen.

    The wine is poured....

    23. Yah'shua said: "Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matt 26:27-28, NKJV).

    24. You may now drink while reclining on your left hand as a sign of your freedom in Messiah!

    6. Blessing and Eating the Matzah

    25. We will now partake of the Matzah as Yah'shua (Jesus) did during the first New Covenant Passover:

      "And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 'This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me'" (Luke 22:19, NKJV).

    26. Blessed are You, our Heavenly Father Yahweh-Elohim, who has commanded us to remove the leaven of sin from our lives. We ask You to bless and set-apart this Matzah for all your people gathered here as we partake of it in remembrance of the body of Your Son, which was broken for us (matzah is broken), as we witness to You that we are willing to take upon us the Name of Your Son Yah'shua (Jesus), always rememember Him, always obey your Torah, walk in emunah (truth), ahavah (love) and sacred tavnith (pattern), and keep the covenants we have entered into, or are about to enter into, in baptism. We do this that we may always enjoy a fullness of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) as the foundation of our Gospel chayim (life). Amen.

    The Matzah is distributed

    27. Yah'shua said: "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me" (Luke 22:19, NKJV).

    28. You may now eat while reclining on your left hand as a sign of your freedom in Messiah!

    7. Eating the Bitter Herbs

    29. We will now partake of the Bitter Herbs which symbolise the bitterness of slavery and the bitterness of sin which separates us from Yahweh. While we eat the Bitter Herbs we also remember the bitterness of the atonement which Yah'shua went through on the cross for our sins.

    30. Blessed are You, our Heavenly father Yahweh-Elohim, who has commanded us to eat bitter herbs.

    The Bitter Herbs are distributed

    31. You may eat the bitter herbs while seated.

    Servers prepare and set the Passover Meal on the table

    8. Eating the Passover Meal

    32. We will now eat the Paschal Lamb meal after the blessing:

    33. Blessed are You, our Heavenly Father Yahweh-Elohim, who has ordained that we celebrate Pesach as an everlasting memorial. Help us to remember the deliverance of our forefathers from Egyptian bondage, the freedom bought for us by Your Son from sin through His atoning blood, and for the deliverance of Your people Israel out of the world for the Final Gathering that is yet to come. We ask you to bless and set-apart this Lamb which has been prepared in the way You have commanded, and which represents Your Son and our Redeemer, in Yah'shua's (Jesus') Name, Amen.

    Passover Meal is eaten

    9. Conclusion

    34. We now come to the conclusion of our Josephite Passover Haggadah. Let us now go before our Father in Heaven to invoke the blessings of Joseph, our national head, for the year ahead:

      "Blessed of Yahweh is his land,
      With the precious things of heaven, with the dew,
      And the deep lying beneath,
      With the precious fruits of the sun,
      With the precious produce of the months,
      With the best things of the ancient mountains,
      With the precious things of the everlasting hills,
      With the precious things of the earth and its fullness,
      And the favor of Him who dwelt in the bush.
      Let the blessing come 'on the head of Joseph,
      And on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers.'
      His glory is like a firstborn bull,
      And his horns like the horns of the wild ox;
      Together with them
      He shall push the peoples
      To the ends of the earth;
      They are the ten thousands of Ephraim,
      And they are the thousands of Manasseh."

      (Deut.33:13-17, NKJV).

    35. We want to conclude by praying for all the Tribes of Israel wherever they may be and for all of us here assembled:

      "Yahweh bless you and keep you;
      Yahweh make His face shine upon you,
      And be gracious to you;
      Yahweh lift up His countenance upon you,
      and give you peace."

      Amen. (Num.6:24-26, NKJV).

    36. May you all be filled with the Ruach haRishon today and the fullness of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) throughout the days of Chag haMatzah ahead!

    Continued in Part 5

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