Passover and Resurrection

God is a God of times and seasons.  He created an annual calendar to teach us, encourage us, give us hope and empower us.  There are so many distractions in life that He knew we’d need these annual reminders, to bring us back into alignment with the plans He has for all creation.

As we start the new Biblical year we first encounter God’s memorial of the Passover, the reminder of Israel’s freedom from Egyptian slavery. During this season those of us who are Messianic rejoice and relive our own deliverance stories, that have also come as a result of God’s mighty right arm!  Prophetically the Passover teaches us that our beloved Messiah is the Lamb of God whose sacrifice sets all mankind free from slavery to sin, and death.  You can read more about Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread HERE.

In Acts 12 we read about the Apostle Peter’s miraculous escape from prison.  Guess what season it was?  It was Passover! Just like He did in Egypt thousands of years ago, God sets people free from prison at Passover!  What prison are you, or your loved ones currently chained in?  Believe in God and be ready to experience breakthrough and freedom during Passover!   God opens doors for us to walk through to take us into our destiny during Passover!  Why?  Because He has set times and seasons, and He has purposed our lives to accomplish very specific things!  Nothing will stop His plans, as long as we’re willing to step through the doors that He opens!

When Jesus/Yeshua laid down His life as the Passover Lamb there were supernatural miracles that occurred proving both His identity, and the fact that God sets prisoners free at Passover.  We read about this in Matthew 27:   50 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52 and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. 53 They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people. 54 The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”

The curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two! What does that mean?  It means that the separation between God and His People was destroyed forever.  This mending of relationship is the key to our experiencing eternal life, as promised by God in John 17:3.  And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.

We know God by choosing to dwell in His Presence! This is only possible because the curtain was torn in two. That’s what Yeshua accomplished for us through His death as the Passover Lamb.  His sacrifice allows us to experience God’s wondrous Presence, learning about Him and discovering the reason that we were created, and then walking out God’s unique plans for our lives.  Intentionally seeking God’s Presence is the only way we can learn about God, and the freedom He’s provided us.  This isn’t about seeking His Hand, or “manifestations that can deceive even the elect.” Matthew 24:24  This is about seeking God’s Face, and the peace that comes from drawing near to Him, growing in the character and likeness of Messiah, and fulfilling the destinies that we were created for.

When was the last time you just sat and experienced God’s Presence in your life? He demands that we cultivate times of silence and solitude. These are necessary in order to experience the depths of His Presence. He wants each of us to have a passion and a yearning to be in His Presence, because it’s there that we find all our needs satisfied. Acts 17:25

After Yeshua went to the cross and died at Passover, He miraculously resurrected from the dead three days later.  This was confirmed by over 500 people, which is more than is necessary to establish anything as truth in a court of law. 1 Cor. 15:6

This “life from the dead” proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that nothing was too difficult for God.  He delivered an entire nation from slavery in Egypt and He raised a dead man to life in Jerusalem!  Both are intricately connected in God’s plans for Israel and the Messiah of Israel.  He raises our lives from the dead. He unifies us as a nation of People hungry for His Presence, led by His Spirit, fulfilling our destiny on earth, for such a time as this.

In Acts 13 Scripture says: 32 “And now we are here to bring you this Good News. The promise was made to our ancestors, 33 and God has now fulfilled it for us, their descendants, by raising Jesus. This is what the second psalm says about Jesus: ‘You are my Son.  Today I have become your Father.34 For God had promised to raise him from the dead, not leaving him to rot in the grave. He said, ‘I will give you the sacred blessings I promised to David.’ 35 Another psalm explains it more fully: ‘You will not allow your Holy One to rot in the grave.’ 36 This is not a reference to David, for after David had done the will of God in his own generation, he died and was buried with his ancestors, and his body decayed. 37 No, it was a reference to someone else—someone whom God raised and whose body did not decay. 38 “Brothers, listen! We are here to proclaim that through this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. 39 Everyone who believes in him is declared right with God—something the law of Moses could never do. 40 Be careful! Don’t let the prophets’ words apply to you. For they said, 41 ‘Look, you mockers, be amazed and die! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe  even if someone told you about it.’” (NLT)

King David prophesied that Messiah would be raised from the dead! And because of His resurrection God promised that through Him there is forgiveness.  The Greek word that was used for forgiveness in this passage in verse 38 is aphesis, which means release from bondage or imprisonment.  Yeshua’s resurrection is tied to our release from bondage or imprisonment.  Sounds like the Passover to me!

Scripture also teaches that what Yeshua accomplished is even better than the Passover because “by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” (Verse :39 KJV)  The Greek Word for justified is dikaioō which means to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be.

There’s only one condition that needs to be met in order to be pronounced righteous as a result of Messiah’s resurrection, and that is to believe!

Verse 41 shows us that many people ridicule and mock Messiah’s sacrifice, but those same people will die in their sins, without His forgiveness and justification.  But those of us who believe will ultimately experience things that we can’t even imagine. 1 Cor. 2:9 That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,  “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.””

To “believe” means that you accept something as true or real.  You expect it.  You think about it. You do things in your life that demonstrate your belief.

Do you believe in Jesus’ resurrection?  What are you doing in your life to prove that?

Lately I’ve been wanting to demonstrate my belief by spending more time memorizing the Word of God. I know that the act of memorization requires meditation on God’s Word and the Holy Spirit’s power inside of me is helping me retain God’s Word.

The Lord has had me memorizing the passage in Acts 17 where Paul is speaking to the high council in Athens.  The passage is describing to the men of Athens who the “unknown God” is whom they worship.  I want to ask you, is God unknown to you?

The passage in Acts 17 describes God and the fact that He is the Creator of all mankind, and all the nations. Paul explains to the Athenians that there was a time that God overlooked people’s ignorance about Him.  But now God commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. Acts 17:30.

He doesn’t do this because He’s some kind of narcissist who demands to be worshiped.  He commands this out of love and compassion, because He knows there’s judgment coming that will destroy everyone who doesn’t know God, or believe in Jesus, the Passover and the Resurrection.

In verse 31 Paul explains 31 For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”

Why do we need to believe in the Passover?  Because in it we see the outcome for people who choose to ignore God and follow their own ways.  Pharaoh hardened his heart against the Lord and the result was death to every first born in the land of Egypt, including his own son. Believing in the Passover causes us to believe in God’s power and the requirement to follow His instructions.

How are you following your own ways and ignoring God’s instructions?

Do you really think that He’ll turn a blind eye to your rebellion?  That’s what it is you know…

The good news is that it’s not too late to repent of your sins and turn to God.  Judgment may be right around the corner, but until then our God of mercy and grace waits for you to come running into His loving arms with a heart that seeks to lay down your own will, and do the will of your Heavenly Father.

Yeshua is our example.  At Passover He laid down His life and what was the result?  The Resurrection!  God rewarded Him, and us, for His obedience.  God will reward us, and many others, through our obedience as well.

Passover is a wonderful season to spend time thinking about the wonder of Yeshua’s sacrifice and resurrection, and what those mean to us who believe.  Take time examining what you are doing in your life to prove that you truly believe! Don’t just gloss over the Passover and Resurrection and treat them as common place.  They are far from that. Not only are they examples of how God wants us to live, they are miraculous signs of the Love that God has for mankind, as His children.

If we really love God we’ll seek to go deeper into His Presence in our own private times of worship and prayer.  In finding Him we’ll be set free from earthly bondages and we’ll be positioned to fulfill the unique and high calling that He has for each one of us.

The Passover and the Resurrection are our rescue from judgment because they allow us to enter the Presence of the Most High God.  In that place we will find true peace, prosperity, safety, completeness, health, rest and wholeness – ( Shalom,) everything our hearts are longing for.