sederplate

“In every generation, a person is obligated to see himself as if he himself came out of Egypt, as it is written, “This is done because of that which G-d did to me when I came out of Egypt.”
Pesachim 116b, cited at Chabad.org

THE REDEMPTION

Haggadah_14th_cent

14th century German illuminated Haggadah for Passover

In Parashat Bo (Exodus 10:1-13:16), we come to the conclusion of the cataclysmic Ten Plagues, and the beginning of Redemption. The Exodus from Egypt has been remembered and celebrated by Jews all over the the world for 3500 years. Although believers in Yeshua celebrated the Passover for hundreds of years after Yeshua appeared, open observance was eventually stamped out by Rome – at least publicly. Today, the Passover Seder is being rediscovered by believers as the true origin of the ‘Last Supper’. In the Passover Seder, a text called the Haggadah (‘Telling’) is read recounting the events of the Exodus. One version describes the spiritual condition of the Israelites prior to the Redemption,

“In the Passover Haggadah we say: “If G-d had not taken our forefathers out of Egypt, we, our children, and our children’s children, would still be enslaved to Pharaoh in Egypt…“ Our sages explain that the Children of Israel had become so entrenched in the paganism and depravity of Egypt, that the Exodus came at the very last possible moment, as they approached the very brink of total indistinguishability from the Egyptians. Had they remained slaves in Egypt a moment longer, there would have been no “Children of Israel” to redeem.”
Rebbe’s Haggadah, cited at Chabad.org [1]

The last and final plague, the death of the firstborn, brought Pharaoh to submission, forcing him to let the Israelites go. What is the significance of the firstborn? Exodus says,

“Sanctify to me all of the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of animal. It is mine.”
Exodus 13:2

Chabad.org explains the importance of the בְּכוֹר (bechor), or firstborn,

“Our firstborns achieved special status when, although our nation was spiritually fallen in Egypt and quite similar to our Egyptian neighbors, G‑d spared us during the Plague of the Firstborn. .. The Chinuch adds that this reminds us that everything in the world belongs to G‑d. When we consecrate our very first and very best, we are reminded that everything really belongs to our Creator, and that we must “purchase” it from Him before using it. The Maharal (Rabbi Judah Loew of Prague, 1525-1609) explains that since G‑d is the first being, it is fitting that firstborns are consecrated to Him.”
Chabad.org, Pidyon HaBen, What & Why [2]

R’ Ari Kahn comments on the differences between Cain and Abel,

“…being a firstborn of G-d is about how we lead our lives, it is the manifestation of the image of G-d within, not a question of sequence of birth.”
R’ Ari Kahn, M’oray HaAish, Bo: The Firstborn, Aish.com [3]

Exodus Rabbah links the position of the Firstborn to Israel, and the King Messiah,

”SANCTIFY UNTO ME ALL THE FIRSTBORN (Ex. 13:1). R. Nathan said: ‘The Holy One, blessed be He, told Moses: ‘Just as I have made Jacob a firstborn, for it says: ‘Israel is My son, My firstborn (Ex 4:22) so will I make the King Messiah a firstborn, as it says: ‘I also will appoint him firstborn’ (Ps. 89:28).”
Exodus Rabbah 14:7, Soncino Press Edition

Pesikta de-Rab Kahana comments,

“R. Berechiah taught in the name of R. Abba bar Kahana: Through the merit of obeying the precept ‘Take ye on the first day, etc., I [says God], shall reveal Myself to you as “the First,” and in your behalf influction punishment upon “the first,” and build you “the first” and bring you “the first”. I shall reveal Myself to you as “the First” for it is written of Me, ‘I the Lord am the first, I the last – I am He’ (Isa. 41.4), and will inflict punishment in your behalf upon “the first” – upon the wicked Esau, of whom it is written, ‘The first came forth ruddy (Gen. 25:25), and build you “the first” – the Temple, of which it is written ‘Throne of glory on high from the first, counterpart of the place of the Sanctuary’ (Jer. 17:12); and bring you “the first” – the Messiah, of whom it is written, ‘The first unto Zion will I give, [who will say] “Behold, behold them [returning to Zion], and to Jerusalem a messenger of good tidings.’ (Isa. 41:27)”
Pesikta de-Rab Kahana, Piska 27.10, Translated by William G. Braude, Jewish Publication Society, pg. 566

The Midrash and Zohar explain (based on Proverbs 8:22-30) that one of the names of the Torah is ‘Reisheet‘, the “First.” Paul identifies the Torah, the Instrument of Creation, to the Messiah,

“The Father (has) made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the holy ones in light, who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love, in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins, who is the image of the invisible G-d, the Firstborn of all creation. For through him all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, all things have been created through him, and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things are held together. He is the head of the body, the assembly, who is the Beginning, the Firstborn from the dead, that in all things he might have the preeminence. For all the fullness was pleased to dwell in him, and through him to reconcile all things to himself, by him, whether things on the earth, or things in the heavens, having made shalom through the blood of his cross.”
Colossians 1:10-20

THE MONTH OF NISAN

The book of Exodus tells that the month of Nisan, also called Aviv, is to be reckoned as the “beginning,”

“HaShem spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, ‘This month shall be to you the beginning (ראשׁון) of months. It shall be the first month of the year to you.”
Exodus 12:1-2

To determine the beginning of the festivals, HaShem placed the sun, moon and stars in the sky, allowing the beit din, the court on earth, to determine and declare the seasons, as the book of Genesis says,

“G-d said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of sky to divide the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be for lights in the expanse of sky to give light on the earth, and it was so.”
Genesis 1:14-15

These heavenly bodies arranged in patterns and designed to be signs, that is, they are tools for determining days and years. HaShem arranged to stars as tools to determine the times of the year, and encoded great significance into their patterns. Unfortunately, pagan astrology has perverted the interpretation of the stars, and is absolutely forbidden. Yet despite this perversion of interpretation, the arrangement of the stars in the night sky is not without significance. In Jewish tradition, the constellation of the Taleh (Aries) is identified with Pesach. Gad Erlanger describes the connection,

“In the month of Nisan, says Rashi, as the constellation Taleh, rises in the east, the Moznayim sets in the west. A Taleh was the animal sacrificed on Passover when the Temple stood in Jerusalem.”
Signs of the Times: the Zodiac in Jewish Tradition, Gad Erlanger pg 11, 34

Opposite of the Taleh, in the ‘wheel of the stars,’ is the Moznayim, the Judgment Scales (called Libra). They appear on Rosh HaShanah,which is associated with the Day of Judgment,

“On Tishrei, the first month of the new year, the constellation of Moznayim (balance scales) is first to appear in the east, for it is during that month that man’s deeds are weighed.”
Signs of the Times: the Zodiac in Jewish Tradition, Gad Erlanger pg 13

When the Lamb appears, the Judgment Scales are hidden. When the Judgment Scales are present, the Lamb is hidden. The Artscroll Siddur speaks of the month of Nisan,

“With the coming and arrival of the season of God’s love…the gazelle (God) observed through the lattice windows, and applied a cure to the bloodied nation. He leaped across time to perform wonders and to multiply new commandments upon the old…From the beginning the Lord established Nissan as the first, but He did not reveal its understanding in the book possessed by Adam…it was sanctified at its beginning, after a third [the tenth of Nissan], in its middle and after its majority to observe, to sanctify the new moon, to take a lamb for the Pesach…its beginning is reserved in every generation, for the coming of the pauper riding on a donkey [Messiah]…”
Yotzer for Parashas HaChodesh, Artscroll Nusach Sefard Siddur, Mesorah Publishers, pg. 949

On the tenth of Nisan, the first generation to be redeemed from Egypt were commanded to take a lamb into their house on the 10th,

“Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, On the tenth day of this month, they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to their fathers houses, a lamb for a household…”
Exodus 12:3

Incredibly, it appears that Yeshua entered the Temple on the tenth of Nisan, based on a verse in John,

“Then six days before the Passover, Yeshua came to Bethany, where Elazar was, who had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. On the next day a great multitude had come to the feast. When they heard that Yeshua was coming to Jerusalem, they took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet him, and cried out, Hoshia’na! Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the L-rd, the King of Israel!  Yeshua, having found a young donkey, sat on it.”
John 12:1, 12-13

The incredible text Pesikta Rabbati elucidates the link between the month of Nisan and Mashiach,

“In the month of Nisan the Patriarchs will arise and say to the Messiah: ‘Ephraim, our true Messiah, you are greater than we are because you suffered for the iniquities of our children, and terrible ordeals befell you, such ordeals as did not befall earlier generations or later ones; for the sake of Israel you became a laughingstock and a derision among the nations of the earth, and sat in darkness, in thick darkness, and your eyes saw no light, and your skin cleaved to thy bones, and your body was as dry as a piece of wood; And your eyes grew dim from fasting, and your ‘strength was dried up like a potsherd’- All of these afflictions on account of the iniquities of our children…the Holy One, Blessed be He, will lift the Messiah up to the heaven of heavens, and cloak him in something of the splendor of His own glory…”
Pesikta Rabbati, Piska 37, translated by William Braude, Yale University Press, Pages 685-686

The Talmud speaks of Nisan as the month in which Redemption will come,

“R. Joshua says, ‘In Nisan they were delivered, in Nisan they will be delivered in the time to come’. Whence do we know this? Scripture calls [the Passover] a night of watchings, [which means], a night which has been continuously watched for from the six days of the creation.”
Rosh HaShanah 11b, Soncino Press Edition

The Mekhilta contrasts the months of Nisan, which is represented by the Taleh, and the month of Tishri, represented by the Judgment Scales,

“On that night [the fifteenth of Nisan] they were redeemed, and on that night they are destined to be redeemed,” The words of R. Joshua . . . R. Eliezer says: On that night they were redeemed, but in the age to come they shall be redeemed only in Tishri.”
Mekhilta de Rabbi Ishmael, Brown University Press, pg. 85

BETWEEN THE EVENINGS

The Torah specifies a particular time to make the Pesach sacrifice,

“Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You shall take it from the sheep, or from the goats: and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill at twilight.”
Exodus 12:5-6

The Hebrew for the word “twilight” is the phrase, בין הערבים (bein ha-arbayim)” which literally means “between the evenings.” The Mekhilta comments,

“Rabbi says: ‘Behold it says, “There thou shalt sacrifice the passover-offering at even.” I might take this literally, i.e. in the evening. But Scripture goes on to say: “at the time that you came forth out of Egypt.” When did Israel go forth out of Egypt? After the six hour of the day…”
Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael, Tractate Pischa, Chapter 5, Translated by Jacob Z. Lauterbach, Jewish Publication Society, pg. 30

The Ramban, R’ Moshe ben Nachman (1194 CE – 1270 CE) states,

“Thus Scripture is saying that we should slaughter the Passover-offering in the midst of the arbayim, since the time prescribed by the Torah for the slaughtering of the Passover-offering is from after the sixth hour of the day till the commencement  of sunset.”
Ramban, Shemot, translated by Rabbi C. Chavel, Shilo Publishing House, pg. 123

The Gospel of Matthew states that this was the exact time that Yeshua was on the execution stake,

“Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. About the ninth hour Yeshua cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lamah shavachthani? That is, ‘My G-d, my G-d, why have you forsaken me?”
Matthew 27:45-46

Joseph Good explains,

“This phrase suggests the time, a point between the sun’s declining in the west and its Setting (approximately 3pm). Within the Temple, the day was divided into quarters. The quarter between 12 noon and 3 pm was called the minor evening oblation, while that between 3pm and 6pm was called the major evening oblation. Therefore, “between the evenings” means between those two periods, or 3pm…The ninth hour when Yeshua was slain would therefore be 3pm, the same time the lamb had been slain in Egypt.”
Joseph Good, Rosh HaShanah and the Messianic Kingdom to Come, pg. 19

ancienttime

MIGDAL EDER

The Gospel of Luke mentions an incredible detail regarding the location of the birth of the Mashiach,

“There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock.”
Luke 2:8

It is likely that these shepherds were raising sheep in the same fields as David himself,

“…David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.”
1 Samuel 17:15, ESV

The Mishnah tells us that sheep raised within the vicinity of Migdal Eder, which located  on the outskirts of Bethlehem, have a special quality: They are fit for the Passover sacrifice. The Mishnah says,

“If cattle were found in Jerusalem as far as Migdal Eder, and within a like distance on any side (of Jerusalem), males (must be considered) as burnt offerings, and females as peace offerings. R. Yehudah says, “If they were fit for the Passover offering, (they must be considered as) Passover offerings, if found within thirty days before the feast of (Passover).”
Mishnah, Shekalim 7:4, cf. b. Kiddushin 55a

The prophet Micah also speaks of Migdal Eder, which was close to the location of the Tomb of Rachel,

“And you, O Tower of the Flock (Migdal Eder), The stronghold of the daughter of Zion, To you shall it come, even the former dominion shall come, The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.”
Micah 4:8

The Targum interprets this verse and connects it to the Messiah,

“But you, O Messiah, who are hidden because of the sins of the congregation of Zion, the kingdom shall come to you.“
Targum to Micah 4:8

The Jewish scholar Alfred Edersheim (1825CE – 1889CE), who was a believer in Yeshua, comments,

“(Messiah) was to be revealed from Migdal Eder, ‘the tower of the flock.’ This Migdal Eder was not the watch-tower for the ordinary flocks which pastured on the barren sheep-ground beyond Bethlehem, but lay close to the town, on the road to Jerusalem. A passage in the Mishnah leads to the conclusion, that the flocks, which pastured there, were destined for Temple-sacrifices, and, accordingly, that the shepherds, who watched over them, were not ordinary shepherds. . .”
Alfred Edersheim, the Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Book 2, Chapter 6

The shepherds that visited Yeshua when he was born were Temple shepherds, raising sacrifices for the Temple in Jerusalem.

THE BLOOD

The night before the Exodus,the blood of the Pesach lamb was to be put upon the doorposts and the lintels,

“The blood shall be to you for a token on the houses where you are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and there shall no plague be on you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.”
Exodus 12:13

The question may be asked, how can the Passover sacrifice be considered an atonement for sin? It is important to note that all of the korbanot (sacrifices) derive their merit from the Akeidah. The korbanot are all facets of a singular diamond, and are interrelated. The Pesach is connected to the Red Heifer, the sacrifice for the leper, Yom Kippur, and the Daily Tamid offerings. Pesikta de-Rab Kahana comments,

“Concerning the meaning of kebasim, “he-lambs” (Num. 28:3), the disciples of Shammai and the disciples of Hillel differ. The disciples of Shammai read kebasim as though written kabbasim, “that they put out of sight.” That is, the daily offering of the lambs brings about that God puts Israel’s iniquities out of sight, as the verse tells us…’he will put out iniquities out of sight (yik-bos) (Micah 7:19). But the disciples of Hillel said, ‘The phrase kebasim bene shanah, “he-lambs of the first year’ (Num. 28:3), is to be understood as though written kabbasim bene shanah, “that they cleanse the things which are of many a year.” That is, the daily offerings cleans the sins of Israel, as is said ‘Though your sins be as many of a year, they shall be white as snow.” (Isa. 1:18). And Ben Azzai said: The phrase kebasim benei shanah means that they cleanse the sins of the people of Israel and make them as innocent as an infant in its first year. . . each lamb will serve as an advocate for Israel on the day [the day of judgment]…”
Pesikta de-Rab Kahana, Piska 6.4, translated by William G. Braude, Jewish Publication Society, pg. 181

The Mekhilta comments on the phrase, ‘I will see the blood,’ linking it to the Akeidah,

וראה את הדם רואה הוא דם עקדתו של יצחק שנאמר ויקרא אברהם שם המקום ההוא יי יראה וכתיב ובהשחית בעם ראה וגו’ מה ראה ראה דם עקדתו של יצחק שנאמר אלקים יראה לו השה לעולה
מכילתא דרבי ישמעאל ,מסכתא דפסחא

“And When He Sees the Blood. He sees the blood of the sacrifice of Isaac, as it is said: “And Abraham called the name of that place HaShem-Yireh” (the Lord will see), etc. (Gen. 22:14). And it is also written: “And He was about to destroy, the L-rd beheld and it repented him” (1 Chron 21:15). What did he behold? He beheld the blood of the sacrifice of Isaac, as it is said, “God will Himself see the lamb for a burnt-offering.” (Gen 22:8).”
Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael, Tractate Pischa, Chapter 11, Translated by Jacob Z. Lauterbach, Jewish Publication Society, pg 61.

The Midrash Rabbah says,

“And Abraham placed the wood of the burnt-offering on Isaac his son” (Gen 22:5). Like a man who carries his cross* on his shoulder.”
Genesis Rabbah 56:3

* Soncino has “stake” with the footnote: The stake upon which he is to be executed.

Exodus 12 says,

“…they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household.”
Exodus 12:3

Here is a literal translation,

וְיִקְחוּ לָהֶם אִישׁ שֶׂה לְבֵית־אָבֹת שֶׂה לַבָּיִת

My hyper-literal translation:

“And they shall take for themselves, a man, a lamb, to the house of the fathers, a lamb per house.” 

It appears like the word “Ish” is superfluous, and perhaps is where Nahum bar Simai came up with the below statement:

“According to R. Berechiah, citing R. Abbahu, Nahum bar Simai, discoursing in Tarsus, took the verse to read ‘They shall take unto them the Man’ (Exod. 12:3), that is, take the Holy One, of whom it is said, ‘The L-rd is the Man – [that is, the manager] – of war’ (Exod. 15:3. How do you take Him? With the two lambs offered up daily in the Temple, [even as you took God unto yourselves when you daringly took the lambs in Egypt.”
Pesikta de-Rab Kahana, Piska 5.17, translated by William G. Braude, Jewish Publication Society, pg. 160

The prophet Isaiah calls Mashiach a “lamb,” in Isaiah 53,

“He was oppressed, yet when he was afflicted he did not open his mouth. As a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before its shearers is mute, so he did not open his mouth.”
Isaiah 53:7

The Shelah, R’ Isaiah Horowitz (1565-1640), comments,

“The Mashiach ben Yosef, when he comes, does not come in order to establish his own dynasty, rather he comes to help re-establish the Davidic dynasty. He will even sacrifice his own life in order to accomplish this. His blood will atone for the sins of the Jewish people. His atonement will take the form of the Davidic dynasty being restored to the Jewish people as an everlasting kingdom.”
Shelah, Shnei Luchot HaBrit, Vayeshev-Miketz-Vayigash, R’ Isaiah Horowitz , translated by Eliyahu Munk, pg. 317

Shimon Kefa, Simon Peter, says,

“If you call on him as Father, who without respect of persons judges according to each mans work, pass the time of your living as foreigners here in reverent fear: knowing that you were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from the useless way of life handed down from your fathers, but with precious blood, as of a faultless and pure lamb, the blood of Messiah.”
1 Peter 1:17-19

The Book of Revelation speaks of the blood of the ultimate Lamb,

“These are those who came out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes, and made them white in the Lamb’s blood.”
Revelation 7:14, cf. Isaiah 1:18

THE LAST SEDER

Due to chronological challenges, some have questioned if the “Last Supper” was actually a Passover Seder. However, the text of the Gospels make the identification of the final meal of Yeshua and his disciples as a Passover Seder inescapable, as the following verses illustrate,

  • “He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.”
    Luke 22:8, Mark 14:12, Matthew 26:17
  • “…and they prepared the Passover.”
    Luke 22:13, Mark 14:6, Matthew 26:19
  • “Tell the master of the house, ‘The Rabbi says to you, “Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”
    Luke 22:11, Mark 14:4, Matthew 26:18
  • “He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer . . .”
    Luke 22:15

However, we do know that Yeshua had the seder the night before the traditional seder was held. In truth, Yeshua would not be able to celebrate the seder the night after the sacrifice of the lambs, as he himself was the Lamb. Any meal had during this season with these elements would definitely have been a seder ritual connected to Pesach. Everything Yeshua does in the Gospels has a mystical connection to the Torah. Before the Pesach meal, Yeshua does something incredible, paralleling the Urchatz (washing of the hands) portion of the Seder,

“…he poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples feet. . .”Do you know what I have done to you? You call me, ‘Rabbi’ and ‘Lord.’ You say so correctly, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Rabbi, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.”
John 13:5, 12-15

The Midrash Rabbah illustrates the connection,

“G-d did not conduct Himself with them in the usual manner, for usually when one purchases servants it is on the understanding that they wash and anoint him, help to dress him and draw his carriage and light the way before him. G-d, however, did not do so … but He washed them, as it says: ‘Then washed I you with water (Ezekiel 16:9).”
Exodus Rabbah 20:11, Soncino Press Edition

The Midrash cites that HaShem washed Israel, illuminated their way and guided them to their destination. In the Ancient Near East, meals were an integral part in enacting and confirming a covenant. In Exodus 24, before the inauguration of HaShem’s covenant with Israel, the Torah says,

“He said to Moses, ‘Come up to HaShem, you, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship from a distance. Moses alone shall come near to HaShem, but they shall not come near, neither shall the people go up with him…Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, ‘Look, this is the blood of the covenant, which HaShem has made with you concerning all these words. Then Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up. They saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was like a paved work of sapphire stone, like the skies for clearness. He did not lay his hand on the nobles of the children of Israel. They saw God, and ate and drank.”
Exodus 24:1-11

In this passage above, the Torah leaves out an important detail. It says “He said to Moses…” The Torah does not tell us who “he” is! Who is the one inviting Moshe to come up to the mountain? Some English translations attempt to clarify this by inserting the words, “The L-rd said to Moses,” but this is completely absent from the Hebrew text. The Talmud describes an ancient debate on this peculiar omission,

“Once a Min said to R. Idith: It is written, ‘And unto Moses, He said, ‘Come up to the L-rd.’ But surely it should have stated, ‘Come up unto me!’ ‘It was Metatron [who said that],’ he replied, ‘whose name is similar to that of his Master, for it is written, ‘For my name is in him…’
Sanhedrin 38b, Soncino Press Edition

The Zohar comments,

“R. Jose said: How are we to understand the words, and they saw the God of Israel (Ex. 24:10)? Who can see the Holy One? Is it not written: No man can see Me and live? It means that a rainbow appeared above them in radiant colors resplendent with the beauty of His grace. Therefore the saying that he who gazes at a rainbow gazes, as it were, at the Shekinah. For the same reason it is not right to look at the fingers of the priests when they spread out their hands to bless the people (the Shekinah showing Herself through the lattice, i.e. through the priests fingers).’ R. Jose further said: ‘They saw the light of the Shekinah, namely him who is called ‘the Youth’ (Metatron-Henoch), and who ministers to the Shekinah in the heavenly Sanctuary.”
Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2,Page 66b, Soncino Press Edition

THE MATZAH AND WINE

“And you shall observe the feast of unleavened bread.”
Exodus 12:17

matzot-mitzvot2The Mekhilta connects the word matzot with mitzvot,

“Rabbi Yashia taught: “Do not read the word as Matzos [meaning unleavened bread], read it as Mitzvot [meaning positive commandments]. Just as we are forbidden to leaven the Matzas through delay – they must be prepared with the utmost haste – so also, we cannot leaven the Mitzvot, which must also be done with utmost haste. If a Mitzvah comes to your hand do not allow it to become leavened. Do it immediately.”
Mekhilta, Tractate Passover, Bo, 9, cited at Chabad.org

R’ Yaakov Yosef, a disciple of the Baal Shem Tov, interpreted chametz as a symbol of the yetzer hara,

“According to ritual law, a Jew may not have hametz [anything which is leavened] in his possession during Passover. Before the holiday every dwelling and shop was carefully examined and all traces of hametz removed. Explaining why we are required before Passover to inspect even the synagogues for hametz, Rabbi Yaakov Yosef said: “It is well that we are taught to ‘examine’ the synagogues too, for the houses of study and the houses of prayer need be searched for the hametz of the yetzer hara, the evil impulse…it is well to search out idle gossip, arguments jealously and hatred there.”
R’ Samuel Dresner, The Zaddik, Shocken Books, pg 33

Paul, the disciple of Gamliel and Yeshua, says exactly the same thing,

“…purge out the old chametz, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Mashiach, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old chametz, nor with the chametz of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
1 Corinthians 5:7-8

Chabad says,

“Leaven, which is dough that has fermented and risen, represents self-inflation and pride, and there is nothing more abhorrent to G‑d. In the words of the Talmud, “G‑d says of the prideful one, ‘He and I cannot dwell together in the world.'”
The Chassidic Masters, cited at Chabad.org

THE FINAL REDEMPTION

During his final seder, Yeshua said something jaw-dropping,

זאת עשו לזכרי

“…do this in remembrance of me.”
Luke 22:19

All over the world, churches repeat this verse every week, without understanding the true implication of the words. This comment has been cited so many times in the world of Christianity, that its meaning has become completely lost. To a modern Christian, this verse appears to make perfect sense and does not raise an eyebrow. It means to do “communion” right? Yeshua commanded, “Do this…” we must ask the question? Do what? What were the disciples doing? As we illustrated above, they were celebrating Passover. Yeshua is saying, “Celebrate Passover in remembrance of me!”

To an ancient Jew, these words would have caused the jaws of the disciples to drop and their heads to turn in bewilderment. We may imagine their thought process,

“Did he just say what I thought he said?! Do this in remembrance of ME? I have done this every year of my life remembering the Exodus from Egypt. Not only me, but my fathers, and my father’s father, all the way back to that first Nisan!”

This would be in accordance with the Torah commandment,

“This day shall be to you for a זכרון (remembrance), and you shall keep it a feast to HaShem, throughout your generations you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.”
Exodus 12:14

Yeshua’s claim is stunning. He is saying that the disciples are about to witness a greater redemption than that of Moshe Rabbeinu. Yeshua is saying that he is beginning the process of Redemption that will surpass even that of the first exodus. This does not minimize Moshe, but magnifies him, because he is a prototype of the ultimate redemption. Mashiach ben Yosef will succeed in bringing Israel into the Land, and rebuilding the Temple, and so he will become Mashiach ben David. In Jeremiah 23, it links the Exodus from Egypt to the Final Redemption,

“Behold, the days are coming,’ says HaShem,’ that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Yehudah shall be saved, and Yisrael shall dwell safely: and this is his Name whereby he shall be called, HaShem Tzidkeinu. Therefore, behold, the days are coming,’ says HaShem, ‘that they shall no more say, “HaShem lives, who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.’ But,’ as HaShem lives, who brought up and who led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.”
Jeremiah 23:5-8

Mashiach ben David is connected to the gathering of exiles, and is given the Name of ‘Yud-Kei-Vav-Kei Tzidkeinu,’ the L-rd our Righteousness. Ben Zoma comments,

“Ben Zoma said to the Sages: ‘Will the Exodus from Egypt be mentioned in the days of the Messiah? Was it not long ago said: ‘Therefore behold the days come, says the L-rd, that they shall no more say: As the L-rd lives that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, As the L-rd lives that brought up and that led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country and from all the countries whither I had driven them? They replied: This does not mean that the mention of the exodus from Egypt shall be obliterated, but that the [deliverance from] subjection to the other kingdoms shall take the first place and the exodus from Egypt shall become secondary.”
Berakhot 12b, Soncino Press Edition, cf. Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael

HaShem does not stop there. Through Messiah, HaShem will create a new heavens, and a new earth, and unite the Heavenly Jerusalem to earth. Mashiach will return us to the Garden of Eden again, rectifying the sin of Adam, and ending the exile of humanity. The book of Revelation says, echoing the book of Exodus,

“One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls, who were loaded with the seven last plagues came, and he spoke with me, saying, Come here. I will show you the wife, the Lamb’s bride.He carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from G-d, having the glory of G-d. Her light was like a most precious stone, as if it were a jasper stone, clear as crystal; having a great and high wall; having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.”
Revelation 21:9-12

Revelation reveals that the Lamb is also the Lion,

“One of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. Behold, the Lion who is of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome; he who opens the book and its seven seals.I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.”
Revelation 5:5-6

Yochanan the Immerser proclaimed teshuva, repentance to all of Israel. He called out to first-century Israel and his voice echoes throughout the ages,

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
John 1:29

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REFERENCES

  1. Parshat Bo In-Depth, Chabad.org
  2. What & Why: History of the Pidyon HaBen Ceremony, Chabad.org
  3. R’ Ari Kahn, M’oray HaAish: The Firstborn, Aish.com
  4. Moshiach’s Meal, R’ Aaron Raskin, Chabad.org