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A collection of excerpts from Torah Club on the weekly Torah Portions, from Genesis to Deuteronomy.
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When the children of Israel left Egypt, they were leaving behind their old culture. They started on a new path, starting over. When we become believers, we are supposed to die to our old way of life and begin life again as new creatures. We have to leave our old ways behind us.
Fourteen hundred years after the exodus from Egypt, Yeshua went to Jerusalem with His disciples to keep the appointed time of Passover. He and His disciples had been to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover many times, but this time, as they neared Jerusalem, Yeshua said, “My time is near; I am to keep the Passover” (Matthew 26:18).
Death came to the land of Egypt—a judgment from heaven, a terror in the night, and it did not spare even the firstborn sons of the Israelites. The slayer of the firstborn took no account of merits of innocence or guilt. Faith and creed did not enter the equation. Previous plagues had shown particularity. The tenth plague, however, dealt its blow impartially.
A person in spiritual bondage might not know (or will not admit) that he is in bondage. He feels as if he is in control of his life, calling the shots and making decisions, but ultimately, he serves a great emptiness. For example, a man with an alcohol addiction continues to deny the problem. In the same way, human beings without faith and without God live in a state of denial.
In the days of the apostles, the Gentile believers were free to remain uncircumcised, but if they wanted to make a Passover sacrifice, they would have been required to first undergo circumcision and conversion to become legally Jewish.
Passover has messianic significance. The Messiah Himself has obligated us to keep the Passover in remembrance of Him. He said, “Do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19). Did He have in mind only the breaking of bread and drinking the fruit of the vine? No. He issued that directive to His disciples within the larger context of the annual Passover celebration. He said, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” (Luke 22:15).
Passover is an opportune time to break with our past and start over as new creatures in Messiah. Passover is an annual reminder that we must leave the old culture behind. We are free from the past, and we need to set aside those things in our lives that continue to enslave us.
The LORD instituted a regimen of repetition by commanding the Israelites to commemorate the Passover sacrifice every year. He commanded them to annually sacrifice a lamb in remembrance of the lambs they sacrificed in Egypt. The blood of that lamb was no longer to be applied to their doorposts—instead it was applied to the altar in God’s Temple in Jerusalem.
The pesach lamb was a sacrifice, but it was not a sacrifice for sin. In discussing the Passover lamb, the Torah does not mention anything about sin, confession or atonement. Not every kind of animal sacrifice was meant for taking away sin. The blood of the Passover lamb was meant as a sign for God.