PREPARATION FOR PASSOVER
 

    Yahweh, in His wisdom and love, has blessed His people with Holy Days, Sabbaths, and Feasts.
    Yahweh’s Holy Days are an image of His plan.
    Some of the Holy Days are an image of the future which we call prophecy. They look forward to wonderful, important times still in the future. The Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day are that kind of Holy Days — full of hope and anticipation.
    The other Holy Days are an image of things already done. Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread are Holy Days like that. They call to our minds the great exodus from Egypt and one of the most important events in history, the death of our Savior. And Pentecost reminds us of the giving of the Torah, the great Mount Sinai Covenant with Yahweh and then later the pouring out of the Holy Spirit of Yahweh.
     Why is it that Yahweh wants us to look backwards at these times? What do we have to learn from events that are already complete?
     Well, I love the Passover particularly because that is the time when it seems that Our Elohim is so close to us. At the first Passover in Egypt the presence of Yahweh kept the Israelites alive when the firstborn were killed! He brought them out of Egypt with a mighty hand!  And on Passover in 31 AD(we think), our Savior showed his love for his brethren, prayed his submission to his father’s will, was cynically kissed by a man whose feet he had just washed, and then stood silent as he was tried in an illegal trial, was convicted with false witnesses and executed by brutal Roman soldiers.
     We read about that night in 1 Corinthians 11:23-25. Then in verses 26-32 we read: For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the master's death till He comes.  27  Therefore whoever eats the master's bread or drinks the master's cup in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the master.  28  But LET A PERSON EXAMINE HIMSELF, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  29  For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the master's body. 30  For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.  31  For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.  32  But when we are judged, we are chastened by Yahweh, so that we may not be condemned with the world.

OUR PREPARATION

     When they came into the promised land, the Israelites prepared for Passover at Gilgal. They renewed their covenant with Yahweh by circumcising every man.
     Then Yahweh said to Joshua, "This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you." Therefore the name of the place is called Gilgal to this day. Now the children of Israel camped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight on the plains of Jericho.  (Joshua 5:9-10)
     Today we need to prepare for Passover in a similar way. We also need to renew our covenant with Yahweh. However, there are differences:
     Romans 2:28  For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;  29  but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart. In the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from Yahweh.
     The symbol of the new covenant in Yahshua the Messiah is different from the symbol of the ancient Covenant with Abraham. The symbol is baptism:
     Colossians 2:11-13  In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, BY PUTTING OFF THE BODY OF THE SINS OF THE FLESH, by the circumcision of the Messiah,  12  BURIED WITH HIM IN BAPTISM, in which you also were RAISED WITH HIM through faith in the working of Yahweh, who raised Him from the dead.  13  And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.
     Paul tells us in Galatians that there is a big difference after baptism into Yahshua the Messiah.
     Galatians 6:15  For in the Messiah Yahshua NEITHER CIRCUMCISION nor uncircumcision avails anything, BUT A NEW CREATION.
     So, just as circumcision was the requirement for taking  the old covenant Passover (Exodus 12:43-48), baptism is the requirement for taking the new covenant Passover. It is only with Yahweh’s spirit working with our spirit that we can properly prepare for Passover.

SPIRITUAL PREPARATION

     2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in the Messiah, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
     Galatians 5:5  For we, through the Spirit, eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith  6  For in the Messiah Yahshua neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but FAITH WORKING THROUGH LOVE.
     Now, as we prepare ourselves for Passover what are some of the things we need to be thinking about and doing? Consider these scriptures:
    Luke 12:42  And the master said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season?  43  Blessed is that servant whom his master will FIND SO DOING WHEN HE COMES.  44  Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.  45  But if that servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,' and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk,  46  the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.  47  And that SERVANT WHO KNEW HIS MASTER'S WILL, AND DID NOT PREPARE HIMSELF OR DO ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, shall be beaten with many stripes.  48  But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.  49  I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!  50  But I have a immersion in which to be immersed, and how troubled I am till it is accomplished!”
     When Yahshua prepared for that last Passover he did so WITH ALL HIS HEART. While we are not looking forward to our planned painful death we do need to be deeply concerned that we come before Yahweh at Passover having done everything that we could do to prepare.
     This preparation is a spiritual activity to be worked with the help of Yahweh’s Holy Spirit within us:
     1 Corinthians 2:9  But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which Yahweh has prepared for those who love Him.”  10  But Yahweh has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of Yahweh.  11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of Yahweh except the Spirit of Yahweh.  12  Now WE HAVE RECEIVED, not the spirit of the world, but THE SPIRIT WHICH IS FROM YAHWEH, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by Yahweh.  13  These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  14  But the natural [carnal] man does not receive the things of the Spirit of Yahweh, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
     Romans 8:5  For those who live according to the flesh SET THEIR MINDS ON the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT.  6  FOR to be carnally minded is death, but to be SPIRITUALLY MINDED is LIFE AND PEACE.  7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against Yahweh; for it is not SUBJECT TO THE LAW OF YAHWEH, nor indeed can be.  8  So then, those who are IN THE FLESH cannot please Yahweh.
     We need to be aware whether we are spiritually minded or whether our minds are often on things of the flesh. Do we concentrate on things and how to get them? Do we concentrate too much on our flesh and how to gratify it? Are there things we do just for the fleshly body, which are not right in Yahweh’s eyes? If we have a problem with turning loose of these things we have a source of help! Think about things like smoking, eating or drinking too much, inappropriate sexual thoughts and actions, overworking to make more money than you need.
     1 Corinthians 3:16  Do you not know that you are the temple of Yahweh and that the Spirit of Yahweh dwells in you?  17  If anyone defiles the temple of Yahweh, Yahweh will destroy him. For the temple of Yahweh is holy, which temple you are.
     Romans 8:9  But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed Yahweh’s Spirit dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of the Messiah, he is not His.  10  And if the Messiah is in you, (then on the one hand) the body is dead because of sin, but (on the other hand) the Spirit [your spirit] is life BECAUSE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.  11  But if the Spirit of Him who raised Yahshua from the dead dwells in you, He who raised the Messiah from the dead WILL also give life TO YOUR MORTAL BODIES through His Spirit which dwells in you. 12  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors; not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.  13  For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by [Yahweh’s] Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of Yahweh these are sons [or children]  of Yahweh  15  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again [to smoking, drinking, sex, etc.] to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry out, "Abba, Father."
     16  The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of Yahweh 17  and if children, then heirs; heirs of Yahweh and joint heirs with the Messiah, if indeed we suffer with Him [in our flesh] , that we may also be glorified together [in the spirit].  18  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed IN us.  19  For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of Yahweh.  20  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in HOPE;  21  because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of Yahweh.  22  For we know that the whole creation groans and labors together with birth pangs until now. 23  Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
     24  For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?  25  But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.  26  Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
     Let Yahweh’s spirit help you today to know what to ask for and how to ask. Let Yahweh help you. If you want to fix it, He wants to help!
     James 4:8  DRAW NEAR TO YAHWEH AND HE WILL DRAW NEAR TO YOU. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  9  Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  10  Humble yourselves in the sight of Yahweh, and HE WILL LIFT YOU UP.
     Ask yourself some searching questions.

    Brethren, I love you. I long to see my spiritual family as a tightly knit family reflecting more of Yahweh’s love and peace/shalom and faith.
     We need to ask ourselves, “What am I really DOING?” A couple of examples: I met a couple who both read the bible through every year for the last thirty years! I met another man who cared for homeless people every winter. I also met a man who read a chapter of Proverbs every day for three years.  These dedicated people were DOING something based on their beliefs!
     Romans 8:27  Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of Yahweh  28  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love Yahweh, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
     29  For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, [did Yahshua do those things of the flesh - of course not!] that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  30  Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.  31  What then shall we say to these things? If Yahweh is for us, who can be against us? [even ourselves?]  32  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not, with Him, also freely give us all things  33  Who shall bring a charge against Yahweh's elect? It is Yahweh who justifies.  34  Who is he who condemns? It is the Messiah who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of Yahweh, who also makes intercession for us.  35  Who shall separate us from the love of the Messiah? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword  36  As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. [as Yahshua was] 37  Yet in all these things WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS through Him who loved us.   38  For I am persuaded that NEITHER DEATH NOR LIFE, NOR ANGELS NOR PRINCIPALITIES NOR POWERS, NOR THINGS PRESENT NOR THINGS TO COME,  39  NOR HEIGHT NOR DEPTH, NOR ANY OTHER CREATED THING, shall be able to separate us from the love of Yahweh which is in the Messiah Yahshua our master.

     With Yahweh’s help, Joshua of old was a great conqueror! BECAUSE YAHWEH OF ISRAEL FOUGHT FOR ISRAEL. (Joshua 10:40-42) We just read in Romans 8:37 that we are more than conquerors! This is the time to seize that promise! With Yahweh’s help, we can conquer those things that are keeping us from being all that we want to be, and all that Yahweh wants us to be!
     Hebrews 4:15  For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
    16  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
     Gird yourself up to use the power of Yahweh through faith to conquer!  Put away the unclean thing from yourself and Yahweh will be your father and you shall indeed be his sons and daughters! You can do it with Yahweh’s help! Yahweh wants you to succeed in this.
     Luke 11:9  "So I say to you - ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  10  "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
     You too can produce all the fruit that Yahweh wants you to bring forth. Ask the Elders to pray for you to have all those obstacles removed.
    Renew your covenant with Yahweh before this Passover.
    Present yourself as a living sacrifice that is suitable to be offered to the king of the universe.
    Matthew 25:34  "Then the King will say to those on His right hand [who showed love], 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit THE KINGDOM PREPARED FOR YOU FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD:
     It has been Yahweh’s plan for thousands of years that YOU should have a place beside Him in his kingdom. There’s a special place there with your name on it if you keep your covenant with him; if you love Yahweh with all your heart and with all your mind and with all your strength.
And if your love your neighbor as yourself and if you love Yahweh’s children in the assembly the way Yahweh and Yahshua love them - enough to give your life for them. Dedicate yourself to these ends! Let Yahweh help you. Don’t try to do it yourself and fail again. Ask in faith, believing and Yahweh WILL help.

CONCLUSION

    Colossians 4:2  Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.
    Ephesians 6:10  Finally, my brethren, be strong in Yahweh and in the power of His might.  11  Put on the whole armor of Yahweh, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  12  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  13  Therefore take up the whole armor of Yahweh, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  14  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  15  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  16  above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of Yahweh;
     1 Thessalonians 5:11  Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.  12  And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the master, and admonish you, 13  and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. Be at peace among yourselves.  14  Now we exhort you, brethren, Warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.
    15  See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
    16  Rejoice always,
    17  pray without ceasing, [Do not stop praying!]
    18  in everything give thanks; for this is the will of Yahweh in the Messiah Yahshua for you.
    19  Do not quench the Spirit.
    20  Do not despise prophecies. [sound spiritual messages]
    21  Test all things; hold fast what is good.
    22  Abstain from every form of evil.
    23  Now may the Elohim of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, mind, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our master Yahshua the Messiah.
    24  HE WHO CALLS YOU IS FAITHFUL, WHO ALSO WILL DO IT.
    28  The grace of our Master Yahshua the Messiah be with you. Amen.

May your Passover be a rich blessing!

Br Tom Schattke

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6-27-2001