Yeshua said “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) What does it mean to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? The kingdom describes the rule and reign of the God of Israel in our lives. What does that mean? How is that achieved? The interpretation of Yeshua’s words, he is speaking of prioritization, in which one who is a believer is to place God, His Word, and His Ways above all other things. This is one of the most spectacular points of the festival of Passover, the Lord God working in a powerful way in the lives of His People. Note how Passover makes a distinction between life and death. Yeshua the Messiah also demonstrated the power of God over life and death by his resurrection at this time during the Passover Festival. Because of these things, Passover is one of the most important festivals that is detailed in the Torah. Throughout history Israel has celebrated the Feast of Passover (פֶּסַח, Pesach) to commemorate the liberation of the Children of Israel who were led out of Egypt by the power of God at the hand of Moshe. The most significant part of the Passover is this distinction God makes between His people and the nations as we read according to Shemot / Exodus 12:27 “It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.” (NASB, כז וַאֲמַרְתֶּם זֶבַח-פֶּסַח הוּא לַיהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר פָּסַח עַל-בָּתֵּי בְנֵי-יִשְֹרָאֵל בְּמִצְרַיִם בְּנָגְפּוֹ אֶת-מִצְרַיִם וְאֶת-בָּתֵּינוּ הִצִּיל וַיִּקֹּד הָעָם וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ:) Here Moshe calls out the sacrifice of the Passover which delivered the people from the hand of the angel of death and lead to their deliverance from bondage. In Christian theology, it is taught that during the last Passover Yeshua had with his disciples, that Yeshua instituted what is called “the Lord’s Supper” according to Matthew 26:26-29. Through the passage of time, Christian doctrine has taught a replacement theology saying this replaces Passover, and so celebrating the Passover has become more of a novelty as opposed to a command of God. The Catholic Church on the other hand has claimed that this Last Supper is a sacrament (limited to only the bread and the wine) that is central to the life and worship of Christ’s church. A sacrament is defined as “a religious ceremony or ritual regarded as imparting divine grace, such as baptism, the Eucharist and (in the Roman Catholic and many Orthodox Churches) penance and the anointing of the sick.” This has led to the teaching that the Eucharist is a necessary element for salvation, and without it there is no salvation. This has led to the institutionalizing of salvation, without the Eucharist administered at the hand of the Catholic Church one is not saved. What has happened is the church (both Catholic and Protestant) has for the most part forgotten about the festival of Passover, I would venture to say the church has forgotten the most important part of the Bible, the greatest blessing of all for God’s people, His deliverance of each and every one of us according to the Torah! The reason this festival is so important is because it connects us in a tangible way to the covenant of God that He made with our Fathers. When Yeshua sat with his disciples during the Passover seder, he drew upon the rich Jewish background from the Torah and the tradition of the rabbis to teach his disciples the purpose of eating the bread and drinking the wine. The Passover was established by God on the night that He rescued His people Israel from the bondage of slavery. After having brought upon Egypt nine plagues, Pharaoh refused to let Israel go (Shemot / Exodus 7:14-10:29). It was at this time that the Lord God of Israel sent one final plague against Egypt. This plague was the death of the all the first born sons (see Shemot / Exodus 11:1-10) and the Lord gave His people only one way to escape and to protect their sons from death. The sacrifice of the Passover lamb was a part of the plan, the blood was spread upon the lintel (הַמַּשְׁקוֹף) and the mezuzot (הַמְּזוּזֹת, door posts) and the angel of death passed over their households on seeing the blood. The people of God marked themselves off as God’s people by the blood of the lamb. These events occurred so fast, the bread did not have time to raise and so unleavened bread also became a major part of the festival. The important point is how the Lord God had provided a way to save His people, and their sins did not make them any less worthy of death than the Egyptians. The Lord provided a way for escape from His wrath, and this ultimately looked forward to a future expectation of God’s Messiah delivering His people from the bondage of sin and death. These things reveal the righteous character of our Creator, who, despite our sin, mercifully chose to redeem us His people! This is why the festival of Passover is so important, it is the Gospel Message to God’s people.
Shemot / Exodus 12:21-13:3
12:21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, ‘Go and take for yourselves lambs according to your families, and slay the Passover lamb. 12:22 ‘You shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning. 12:23 ‘For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you. 12:24 ‘And you shall observe this event as an ordinance for you and your children forever. 12:25 ‘When you enter the land which the Lord will give you, as He has promised, you shall observe this rite. 12:26 ‘And when your children say to you, ‘What does this rite mean to you?’ 12:27 you shall say, ‘It is a Passover sacrifice to the Lord who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes.’‘ And the people bowed low and worshiped. 12:28 Then the sons of Israel went and did so; just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. 12:29 Now it came about at midnight that the Lord struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of cattle. 12:30 Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no home where there was not someone dead. 12:31 Then he called for Moses and Aaron at night and said, ‘Rise up, get out from among my people, both you and the sons of Israel; and go, worship the Lord, as you have said. 12:32 ‘Take both your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and go, and bless me also.’ 12:33 The Egyptians urged the people, to send them out of the land in haste, for they said, ‘We will all be dead.’ 12:34 So the people took their dough before it was leavened, with their kneading bowls bound up in the clothes on their shoulders. 12:35 Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, for they had requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; 12:36 and the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians. 12:37 Now the sons of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from children. 12:38 A mixed multitude also went up with them, along with flocks and herds, a very large number of livestock. 12:39 They baked the dough which they had brought out of Egypt into cakes of unleavened bread. For it had not become leavened, since they were driven out of Egypt and could not delay, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves. 12:40 Now the time that the sons of Israel lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. 12:41 And at the end of four hundred and thirty years, to the very day, all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. 12:42 It is a night to be observed for the Lord for having brought them out from the land of Egypt; this night is for the Lord, to be observed by all the sons of Israel throughout their generations. 12:43 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘This is the ordinance of the Passover: no foreigner is to eat of it; 12:44 but every man’s slave purchased with money, after you have circumcised him, then he may eat of it. 12:45 ‘A sojourner or a hired servant shall not eat of it. 12:46 ‘It is to be eaten in a single house; you are not to bring forth any of the flesh outside of the house, nor are you to break any bone of it. 12:47 ‘All the congregation of Israel are to celebrate this. 12:48 ‘But if a stranger sojourns with you, and celebrates the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near to celebrate it; and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person may eat of it. 12:49 ‘The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you.’ 12:50 Then all the sons of Israel did so; they did just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. 12:51 And on that same day the Lord brought the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts.
כא וַיִּקְרָא מֹשֶׁה לְכָל-זִקְנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם מִשְׁכוּ וּקְחוּ לָכֶם צֹאן לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתֵיכֶם וְשַׁחֲטוּ הַפָּסַח: כב וּלְקַחְתֶּם אֲגֻדַּת אֵזוֹב וּטְבַלְתֶּם בַּדָּם אֲשֶׁר-בַּסַּף וְהִגַּעְתֶּם אֶל-הַמַּשְׁקוֹף וְאֶל-שְׁתֵּי הַמְּזוּזֹת מִן-הַדָּם אֲשֶׁר בַּסָּף וְאַתֶּם לֹא תֵצְאוּ אִישׁ מִפֶּתַח-בֵּיתוֹ עַד-בֹּקֶר: כג וְעָבַר יְהוָֹה לִנְגֹּף אֶת-מִצְרַיִם וְרָאָה אֶת-הַדָּם עַל-הַמַּשְׁקוֹף וְעַל שְׁתֵּי הַמְּזוּזֹת וּפָסַח יְהוָֹה עַל-הַפֶּתַח וְלֹא יִתֵּן הַמַּשְׁחִית לָבֹא אֶל-בָּתֵּיכֶם לִנְגֹּף: כד וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת-הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה לְחָק-לְךָ וּלְבָנֶיךָ עַד-עוֹלָם: כה וְהָיָה כִּי-תָבֹאוּ אֶל-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יִתֵּן יְהוָֹה לָכֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֵּר וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת-הָעֲבֹדָה הַזֹּאת: כו וְהָיָה כִּי-יֹאמְרוּ אֲלֵיכֶם בְּנֵיכֶם מָה הָעֲבֹדָה הַזֹּאת לָכֶם: כז וַאֲמַרְתֶּם זֶבַח-פֶּסַח הוּא לַיהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר פָּסַח עַל-בָּתֵּי בְנֵי-יִשְֹרָאֵל בְּמִצְרַיִם בְּנָגְפּוֹ אֶת-מִצְרַיִם וְאֶת-בָּתֵּינוּ הִצִּיל וַיִּקֹּד הָעָם וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ: כח וַיֵּלְכוּ וַיַּעֲשֹוּ בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוָֹה אֶת-מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן כֵּן עָשֹוּ: ס [ששי] כט וַיְהִי | בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה וַיהוָֹה הִכָּה כָל-בְּכוֹר בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מִבְּכֹר פַּרְעֹה הַיֹּשֵׁב עַל-כִּסְאוֹ עַד בְּכוֹר הַשְּׁבִי אֲשֶׁר בְּבֵית הַבּוֹר וְכֹל בְּכוֹר בְּהֵמָה: ל וַיָּקָם פַּרְעֹה לַיְלָה הוּא וְכָל-עֲבָדָיו וְכָל-מִצְרַיִם וַתְּהִי צְעָקָה גְדֹלָה בְּמִצְרָיִם כִּי-אֵין בַּיִת אֲשֶׁר אֵין-שָׁם מֵת: לא וַיִּקְרָא לְמֹשֶׁה וּלְאַהֲרֹן לַיְלָה וַיֹּאמֶר קוּמוּ צְּאוּ מִתּוֹךְ עַמִּי גַּם-אַתֶּם גַּם-בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל וּלְכוּ עִבְדוּ אֶת-יְהוָֹה כְּדַבֶּרְכֶם: לב גַּם-צֹאנְכֶם גַּם-בְּקַרְכֶם קְחוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתֶּם וָלֵכוּ וּבֵרַכְתֶּם גַּם-אֹתִי: לג וַתֶּחֱזַק מִצְרַיִם עַל-הָעָם לְמַהֵר לְשַׁלְּחָם מִן-הָאָרֶץ כִּי אָמְרוּ כֻּלָּנוּ מֵתִים: לד וַיִּשָּׂא הָעָם אֶת-בְּצֵקוֹ טֶרֶם יֶחְמָץ מִשְׁאֲרֹתָם צְרֻרֹת בְּשִֹמְלֹתָם עַל-שִׁכְמָם: לה וּבְנֵי-יִשְֹרָאֵל עָשֹוּ כִּדְבַר מֹשֶׁה וַיִּשְׁאֲלוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם כְּלֵי-כֶסֶף וּכְלֵי זָהָב וּשְֹמָלֹת: לו וַיהֹוָה נָתַן אֶת-חֵן הָעָם בְּעֵינֵי מִצְרַיִם וַיַּשְׁאִלוּם וַיְנַצְּלוּ אֶת-מִצְרָיִם: פ לז וַיִּסְעוּ בְנֵי-יִשְֹרָאֵל מֵרַעְמְסֵס סֻכֹּתָה כְּשֵׁשׁ-מֵאוֹת אֶלֶף רַגְלִי הַגְּבָרִים לְבַד מִטָּף: לח וְגַם-עֵרֶב רַב עָלָה אִתָּם וְצֹאן וּבָקָר מִקְנֶה כָּבֵד מְאֹד: לט וַיֹּאפוּ אֶת-הַבָּצֵק אֲשֶׁר הוֹצִיאוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם עֻגֹת מַצּוֹת כִּי לֹא חָמֵץ כִּי-גֹרְשׁוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם וְלֹא יָכְלוּ לְהִתְמַהְמֵהַּ וְגַם-צֵדָה לֹא-עָשֹוּ לָהֶם: מ וּמוֹשַׁב בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר יָשְׁבוּ בְּמִצְרָיִם שְׁלשִׁים שָׁנָה וְאַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה: מא וַיְהִי מִקֵּץ שְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה וְאַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַיְהִי בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה יָצְאוּ כָּל-צִבְאוֹת יְהוָֹה מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם: מב לֵיל שִׁמֻּרִים הוּא לַיהֹוָה לְהוֹצִיאָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם הוּא-הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה לַיהֹוָה שִׁמֻּרִים לְכָל-בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל לְדֹרֹתָם: פ מג וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָֹה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן זֹאת חֻקַּת הַפָּסַח כָּל-בֶּן-נֵכָר לֹא-יֹאכַל בּוֹ: מד וְכָל-עֶבֶד אִישׁ מִקְנַת-כָּסֶף וּמַלְתָּה אֹתוֹ אָז יֹאכַל בּוֹ: מה תּוֹשָׁב וְשָֹכִיר לֹא-יֹאכַל בּוֹ: מו בְּבַיִת אֶחָד יֵאָכֵל לֹא-תוֹצִיא מִן-הַבַּיִת מִן-הַבָּשָֹר חוּצָה וְעֶצֶם לֹא תִשְׁבְּרוּ-בוֹ: מז כָּל-עֲדַת יִשְֹרָאֵל יַעֲשֹוּ אֹתוֹ: מח וְכִי-יָגוּר אִתְּךָ גֵּר וְעָשָֹה פֶסַח לַיהֹוָה הִמּוֹל לוֹ כָל-זָכָר וְאָז יִקְרַב לַעֲשֹֹתוֹ וְהָיָה כְּאֶזְרַח הָאָרֶץ וְכָל-עָרֵל לֹא-יֹאכַל בּוֹ: מט תּוֹרָה אַחַת יִהְיֶה לָאֶזְרָח וְלַגֵּר הַגָּר בְּתוֹכְכֶם: נ וַיַּעֲשֹוּ כָּל-בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוָֹה אֶת-מֹשֶׁה וְאֶת-אַהֲרֹן כֵּן עָשֹוּ: ס נא וַיְהִי בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה הוֹצִיא יְהֹוָה אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם עַל-צִבְאֹתָם: פ
One of the most significant points of the Passover festival is that each and everyone of us must personally experience the power and deliverance of God! This is why we read what we do in the Mishnah Pesachim 10:5:
משנה פסחים י׳:ה׳
(ה) רבן גמליאל היה אומר: כל שלא אמר שלשה דברים אלו בפסח, לא יצא ידי חובתו, ואלו הן: פסח, מצה, ומרור. פסח – על שום שפסח המקום על בתי אבותינו במצרים. מצה – על שום שנגאלו אבותינו ממצרים. מרור – על שום שמררו המצרים את חיי אבותינו במצרים. בכל דור ודור חיב אדם לראות את עצמו כאלו הוא יצא ממצרים, שנאמר (שמות יג) והגדת לבנך ביום ההוא לאמר, בעבור זה עשה ה’ לי בצאתי ממצרים. לפיכך אנחנו חיבין להודות, להלל, לשבח, לפאר, לרומם, להדר, לברך, לעלה ולקלס למי שעשה לאבותינו ולנו את כל הנסים האלו, הוציאנו מעבדות לחרות, מיגון לשמחה, ומאבל ליום טוב, ומאפלה לאור גדול, ומשעבוד לגאלה. ונאמר לפניו הללויה.
Mishnah Pesachim 10:5
(5) Rabban Gamliel used to say: Whoever does not mentioned these three things on Passover does not discharge his duty, and these are they: the Passover-offering, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs. [The] Passover-offering [is offered] because the Omnipresent One passed over the houses of our ancestors in Egypt. Unleavened bread [is eaten] because our ancestors were redeemed from Egypt. [The] bitter herb is [eaten] because the Egyptians embittered the lives of our ancestors in Egypt. In every generation a person must regard himself as though he personally had gone out of Egypt, as it is said: “And you shall tell your son in that day, saying: ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came forth out of Egypt.’” Therefore it is our duty to thank, praise, laud, glorify, exalt, honor, bless, extol, and adore Him Who performed all these miracles for our ancestors and us; He brought us forth from bondage into freedom, from sorrow into joy, from mourning into festivity, from darkness into great light, and from servitude into redemption. Therefore let us say before Him, Hallelujah!
According to the Mishnah, every generation, each person is obligated to engage himself with this festival as one who went forth from Egypt. This statement is based on what was said at the beginning of the Haggadah, had God not taken our ancestors out of Egypt, we, and our children would still be enslaved; that is, we must say, God took “us” out from there because we are included in all the miracles. Because of this, we are obligated to give thanks and praise God at this wonderful occasion. The sad part about the history of the church is today, a large majority of Christians do not feel a need to give thanks and praise unto God because of these things that are written in the Torah.
According to the Passover Haggadah, we read “Ha Lachma Anya” the bread that our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt was the bread of Slavery and Affliction. We are also told anyone who is famished should come and eat, anyone who needs should come and partake of the Passover sacrifice. The story telling begins with “Now we are here, next year we will be in the land of Israel; this year we are slaves, next year we will be free people.” This phrase in the Haggadah comes right at the beginning of the Magid section of the Seder, before the story telling begins. The Talmud states, matzah is called lechem oni because it is bread over which we answer [onim] many things. (Talmud Bavli Pesachim 115b) What is Lechem Oni? What does it mean? What is the meaning of eating it? The Torah refers to the matzah as lechem oni (the bread of affliction). The Gemara (Talmud Pesachim 36a) explains that it is lechem she’onim alav dvarim harbeh, “bread over which we say many things.” Rashi explains this to mean that one recites the Haggadah and the Hallel while the matzot are on the table. The word “oni” (עוני) has the numerical value of 136, as does the word “kol” (קול) meaning “voice.” The name of the festival is “Pesach” which the rabbis say can be read as two words “peh” and “sach” (פה-סח) meaning “the mouth that talks and relates.” As slaves the Jews were unable to open their mouths to pray to Hashem, and when they were freed they were able to speak freely. Thus, when the matzah is on the table, we demonstrate our freedom by opening our mouths to speak loudly and joyously about the miraculous Exodus that Hashem brought about for us.
At the seder there are many foods and props that are used to help us get into the mind-set of re-experiencing the exile of Egypt. It is not enough to just retell the story. We have to feel as if we are living through it. We taste the bitterness of the maror dipped in brick mortar-like charoset, point to the shank bone symbolizing the korban pesach, and drink the wine of freedom. The matzot too help us remember how our forefathers rushed out of Egypt and how the dough did not have time to rise making matzah bread. Considering these things, The Lord God Almighty delivered us, and his deliverance happened so quickly, there was no tarrying in the land of sin (Egypt), He delivered us immediately, this is the story of the matzah. Remember also how Yeshua referred to himself as the lechem from heaven and during the seder we read “He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said, ‘Take this, and eat it. This is my body.’” (Matthew 26:26) Matzah is referred to as lechem oni because it reminds us that all blessings are those that come from above. We are given the opportunity to ask and answer from the Scriptures and from our lives what God has done for us! We were impoverished. Without the divine plenty that God rains upon us, we would have nothing. All of the preparations before Passover are meant to remind us that God is the true source of blessing. This draws in the context of Yeshua saying that He is the bread which comes down from heaven (John 6:51), we are to trust in God and in His Messiah Yeshua.
In Shemot / Exodus 12:23 we read something that is a very interesting, כג וְעָבַר יְהוָֹה לִנְגֹּף אֶת-מִצְרַיִם וְרָאָה אֶת-הַדָּם עַל-הַמַּשְׁקוֹף וְעַל שְׁתֵּי הַמְּזוּזֹת וּפָסַח יְהוָֹה עַל-הַפֶּתַח וְלֹא יִתֵּן הַמַּשְׁחִית לָבֹא אֶל-בָּתֵּיכֶם לִנְגֹּף:, 12:23 ‘For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you. (NASB) The way the Hebrew text is written, we are told the Lord God (YHVH, HaShem) Himself went from door to door and if the blood of the lamb was there he would not allow the destroyer to go in and strike the first born son. The Lord God Almighty is our protector. When we think about the destroyer that went forth to kill the first born son, we sometimes think that this angel of death went on his own. The Scriptures however describe God Himself was going from house to house and sending the destroyer in to kill the first born son if the blood of the lamb was not to be found. This brings a powerful context to the Lord dwelling in our midst and to the type of people we are supposed to be. Studying chametz we learn that chametz (leaven) represents sin. Prior to the Passover, we are told to remove all of the chametz from our homes. The rabbis describe how both chametz and avoda zara (idol worship) share the unique prohibition against possession, they must both be destroyed, and one may not derive benefit from them. In addition, both chametz and avoda zara cannot be nullified in a taarovet (תַעֲרוֹבֶת, a mixture of permissible and prohibited foods), and both chametz and avoda zara (in certain circumstances) may be “nullified” through and oral declaration (bittul, in order to completely remove chametz from one’s property and not to violate the prohibition of owning chametz on Pesach, there is a procedure in which one nullifies one’s chametz, called Bitul Chametz. This text is said twice; once after the bedikat chametz at night, and again in the morning of Erev Pesach before the sixth hour of the day.). Just as we check our houses for chametz before Pesach, the Jewish people were commanded to search the Land of Israel for remnants of idolatry. Here sin (chametz) is related to idolatry in our lives. These things describe how there is a connection to what we do here on earth that has a heavenly counterpart.
The Mishnah Pesachim has a considerable amount to say concerning the Passover. Specifically, Rabban Gamliel states there are three things that one must mention during Passover in order to fulfill the obligation of observing the Passover.
Mishnah Pesachim 10:5
רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל הָיָה אוֹמֵר, כָּל שֶׁלֹּא אָמַר שְׁלֹשָׁה דְבָרִים אֵלּוּ בְּפֶסַח, לֹא יָצָא יְדֵי חוֹבָתוֹ, וְאֵלּוּ הֵן, פֶּסַח, מַצָּה, וּמָרוֹר. פֶּסַח, עַל שׁוּם שֶׁפָּסַח הַמָּקוֹם עַל בָּתֵּי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ בְמִצְרַיִם. מַצָּה, עַל שׁוּם שֶׁנִּגְאֲלוּ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ בְמִצְרַיִם. מָרוֹר, עַל שׁוּם שֶׁמֵּרְרוּ הַמִּצְרִים אֶת חַיֵּי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ בְמִצְרָיִם. בְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר חַיָּב אָדָם לִרְאוֹת אֶת עַצְמוֹ כְאִלּוּ הוּא יָצָא מִמִּצְרַיִם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות יג), וְהִגַּדְתָּ לְבִנְךָ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לֵאמֹר, בַּעֲבוּר זֶה עָשָׂה ה’ לִי בְּצֵאתִי מִמִּצְרָיִם. לְפִיכָךְ אֲנַחְנוּ חַיָּבִין לְהוֹדוֹת, לְהַלֵּל, לְשַׁבֵּחַ, לְפָאֵר, לְרוֹמֵם, לְהַדֵּר, לְבָרֵךְ, לְעַלֵּה, וּלְקַלֵּס, לְמִי שֶׁעָשָׂה לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְלָנוּ אֶת כָּל הַנִּסִּים הָאֵלּוּ, הוֹצִיאָנוּ מֵעַבְדוּת לְחֵרוּת, מִיָּגוֹן לְשִׂמְחָה, וּמֵאֵבֶל לְיוֹם טוֹב, וּמֵאֲפֵלָה לְאוֹר גָּדוֹל, וּמִשִּׁעְבּוּד לִגְאֻלָּה. וְנֹאמַר לְפָנָיו, הַלְלוּיָהּ:
Rabban Gamliel used to say, “Anyone who has not mentioned these three things on Pesach has not discharged his obligation, and these are [the items that he must mention]: the Pesach sacrifice, matsa and bitter herbs. [The] Pesach [Passover] sacrifice [is offered] – because the Omnipresent passed over the homes of our ancestors in Egypt. Matsa [is eaten] – because our ancestors were redeemed in Egypt. Bitter herbs [are eaten] – because the Egyptians embittered the lives of our ancestors in Egypt.” In every generation a person must see himself as though he [personally] had gone out of Egypt, as it is stated, “And you shall tell your son on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came forth out of Egypt’” (Exodus 13:8). Therefore we are obligated to thank, praise, laud, glorify, exalt, lavish, bless, extol, and adore He Who made all these miracles for our ancestors and for us: He brought us out from slavery to freedom, from sorrow to joy, from mourning to [celebration of] a festival, from darkness to great light, and from servitude to redemption. [Therefore,] let us say before Him, Halleluyah!
Note how all of these things are connected the Passover sacrifice, the matzah, and the bitter herbs. The rabbis say that all of these things are related to honoring the Name of the Lord by bearing His testimonies in the celebration of the festival of Passover of our deliverance from darkness into light, and from servitude to redemption. Just as the Shabbat is a witness and a testimony of God’s work, the Passover is a testimony to the powerful and wonderful deliverance of God’s people from slavery and bondage and to being set free. The Passover is also a testimony to the work of the Messiah as the lamb of God. All of the elements of the Passover reveals to us the gift of the grace of God, how gracious He is unto us. This is most likely the reason why Yeshua went to the cross prior to the Passover. As the Messiah he brings deliverance from servitude to redemption, and from darkness into the light. This is consistent with what we read in the Apostolic Writings. The Torah is filled with references to the grace of God and instructs us to be gracious and merciful towards others. Just as in the description of the matzah as lechem oni, the word oni is derived from the idea that we are blessed by divine plenty which comes from above. Hosea the prophet states in Hosea 2:23 “And it shall come to pass that I will respond on that day, says the Lord; I will answer (oneh) the heavens and they shall answer the earth; and the earth shall answer the corn and the wine and the oil.” The word anah (to answer or respond) has the connotation of providing divine blessing from above. This Lechem is the bread that is provided from above. On Passover we are reminded that redemption comes from above. We remember how Yeshua said that he is the one who has descended from above. This describes for us how we have had little to do with bringing about our own redemption. It is an act of divine grace (mercy). The Rabbis also say “It was only through our act of eating matzah that we were redeemed from Egypt. It made us aware that there is no place empty of God’s presence and kindness.” (Yismach Yisrael on Pesach Haggadah, Magid, Ha Lachma Anya 3:1) The NT Scriptures teach us of the importance of believing in the Messiah of God, taking his teachings and making them a part of our lives, and believing in what he has done on our behalf giving his life for ours. He performed one of the greatest mitzvahs in the Torah, to save a life! The Talmud also states, “An infant does not call his parents ‘Father and Mother’ until he consumes flour (i.e. solid food.)” (Talmud Bavli Berekhot 40) This means that wisdom and understanding come from God and we become worthy of them through the food of healing and faith, which teaches us that all things come from God. The NT teaching on the Passover reveals to us that it is through the merit of this faith in the Messiah at this specific time that we are redeemed and we will be redeemed at a future time in the Olam Haba (World to Come). In these things we understand how the Torah and the Gospel Message go hand in hand!