Part 1: Passover in Genesis
Why is Passover so significant this year?
Lately I’ve been giving a great deal of prayer and thought to why this year Passover seems so very important. Something deep in my spirit just won’t let go of how crucial this season is for God’s children. I’m sure that the current COVID-19 situation has many of us in a much more reflective state than usual. Perhaps this is the most significant gain to be had in our current crisis. Many of us are searching a bit more, looking inward much more deeply, and asking God to reveal Himself to us far more than we have in the past. I know that I’ve been asking questions like, “Father, why now? What’s the bigger picture here? What are you wanting us to hear from You right now? Why have You allowed everything to be shut down like this right as we enter the season of Yeshua’s death and resurrection… and the remembrance of the great Exodus?” He has been answering. I want to share with others what He has been speaking to me in response.
There are some significant parallels between our current situation and that of the Hebrew people in the Exodus account. Those parallels apply to the work of Yeshua in our lives as well. I believe Yehovah has allowed us to be slowed down, even stopped, from the modern flurry of our daily lives, to give us opportunity to make some adjustment and corrections. We are be given a tremendous opportunity to fully return to Him and experience more deeply His destiny for lives. This is true not only individually but as His people, His Kingdom of priest and kings upon the earth. Just as He has always called His people out from the nations of this world, He is calling us out again. This season of Passover is His selected time. I believe it is urgent and imperative that we see, hear and respond to all that He is revealing to us. Let those who have eyes see, and those who have ears listen.
I’ve kind of been taken back by what Father has shown me in the Exodus story that I had not seen or understood before. Like many, I get caught up in the remarkable intensity of the plagues sent on Egypt, the night of the great Passover, and the dramatic departure of the Hebrew people from their oppressors. However, this year I am seeing subtle principles that are perhaps not so subtle but were missed by me in the past. They make up what I am seeing this year as the most powerful part of a story began in Genesis, repeats itself in the Exodus, and repeats itself again during the time Yeshua walked upon the earth. I believe these principles are repeating again in our time…and that this Passover is about to bring them once again to a pivotal crisis point as we look forward to Messiah’s return. Father is indeed telling the Bride to prepare herself. The coming of the Groom is at hand, and far too many of us are not ready.
I’ve just spent my morning pouring over The Beginnings; those first 4 chapters of the book of Genesis taking us from the creation account to the time of Noah. I heard the Father telling me that until I better grasp what was lost by humankind in our fall, I would not truly understand what the Hebrews in Egypt experienced in their process of deliverance. Notice I said process of deliverance. That day they walked out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses and Aaron was not their moment of complete deliverance or even the beginning of their deliverance. No. Their deliverance started with the first plague. But I get ahead of myself! We are embarking on a journey through human history from God’s perspective right now. Let’s go back to Genesis.
Something went horribly wrong back in The Beginnings, and Yehovah has been going above and beyond on His part to help us get this corrected ever since. The choices humankind has been making since that time have led us down one wrong road after the other. The King of the Universe has been making a way for us to return and be restored time after time after time. His love, compassion, grace and mercy are astounding. I am and always be awestruck by Him.
First, let’s consider what we had. We need to understand what was lost before we can have the slightest glimpse of what He is trying to restore us to. When Yeshua formed our world, He literally created heaven on earth. I think we do need to make one thing very clear right here in the beginning. In the oneness of God, we need to understand that Yeshua was there. In fact, He is the one whose hands shaped our world and formed mankind. His words spoke into existence things that did not previously exist and established the order that His creation would function by.
He is the visible image of the invisible God. He is supreme over all creation, because in connection with him were created all things – in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, lordships, rulers or authorities – they have all been created through him and for him. He existed before all things and he holds everything together. Colossians 1:15-17
Adam and Eve’s disobedience amounted to a rejection of Yeshua’s Sovereignty. In so doing they also rejected the preciousness of what Yeshua had created and given to them. This means we need to get a clear picture in our minds and hearts of what Yeshua had created. He indeed revealed the immeasurable vastness of His own character and nature in the scope of what He created. Consider this very brief summary:
- Light: His very first act was to drive away the darkness that covered this unformed and void mass He was ready to shape into our world. He divided the light from the darkness. They cannot exist in the same space together. Wherever there is a glimmer of Light, there is no longer complete darkness. Darkness flees.
- Sky: Amazing. There was light and darkness before there was a sky. The sky was a dome over the earth that held back water. There was water on this slowly forming mass that was now separated by a dome from the water in the sky. This water above the dome would one day flood the earth, and from that point on rain would become understood as a blessing from God.
- Land and plant life: Earth (dry land) emerged from the seas at His command. Yeshua made the earth fruitful with grass, seed-producing plants, fruit trees with seed-producing fruit, trees producing seeds and pleasing in appearance. The ground of the earth was created to produce and multiply. But there was no one yet to cultivate it.
- Sun, Moon and Stars: Yeshua set the sun in the sky to shine in the day and the moon and the stars at night. They were made to divide light from darkness, and to serve as signs, seasons, days and years. Hmmm. Looks like Yeshua has something more in mind…
- Swarms of Living Creatures: Now He creates and places fish and great sea creatures in the waters, birds in the sky, and creeping things on the dry ground. He gives them an instruction: “Be fruitful and multiply.”
- Livestock, Crawling Animals, and Wild Beasts: The dry ground on the earth is being filled with life. He gives them every green plant as food. He instructs them: “Be fruitful and multiply.” The King expects what He creates to be productive and create great increase.
- Humankind: Yeshua forms a man out of the dust and dirt of the earth. Humankind is innately connected to the very ground we walk on. We are made of this earth. Yet, He also creates within us something not of this world – His own image. We carry His character and His nature within us. There is a reason, a purpose, for this. The first man on earth, Adam, knew Yeshua’s mind – how He thinks, what He values, what is holy and unholy, clean and unclean, and how He wants the earth He has created to function under His Sovereignty. Adam was a remarkable creation, a remarkable creature – unlike anything Yeshua had already placed on the earth.
- The Garden: Yeshua tells us through Moses that after He created Adam, He planted a garden toward the east in ‘Eden. He then placed the man, Adam, in that Garden. This place was created specially for mankind. It was ours to cultivate and care for. There were rivers with plenty of water and all seed-bearing plants and fruit trees were to provide our food. There was no death and no disease. No weeds trying to choke out good plant life. The soil was fertile. There was no need to worry about enough rainfall, as a mist from the ground kept everything green and growing. We were to subdue the entire earth from this place, managing and governing over it according to the instructions the Sovereign gave to us. In fact, He walked in the garden with Adam. He gave Adam the task of naming all the animals. Imagine the conversations that they must have had! It was here in the Garden that woman was created out of the side of Adam. He named her Havah, Eve, meaning “life” because she was the mother of all the living. In this place, Yeshua gives them their instruction – their purpose: “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air and every living creature that crawls of the earth.” Notice that He did not give them authority to rule over other humans. Only He was to have that position.
- Shabbat: Yeshua crowned His creation with a gift – Shabbat (the Sabbath). He created and established a seventh day to be always and forever a day of rest, remembrance, reflection, and celebration. He blessed this day and separated it from the previous six to be set aside, holy, unlike the other days of the week. He gives this precious gift to Adam and Eve as the first of His appointed times on earth. Note that there were no Jews or even Hebrews at this point. Only humans and the world He had just created and given to them. From the very beginning of earth’s existence, Shabbat was to be woven into all life – human, animal, and even the ground itself. By it He further establishes the times and seasons of the earth. Shabbat had nothing to do with any religion. Shabbat simply was…and simply still is…a part of the order of His universe as the Day He established to honor Him and celebrate His goodness. Yeshua established Shabbat for the benefit of all. He honored it when He walked on the earth. He declared himself to be the Lord of Shabbat. He continues to expect Shabbat to be honored through all of eternity.
So, what went wrong? And what does that have to do with Passover?
Ever hear of the original sin? It took place the moment Eve, with Adam right there beside her, listened to the voice of the Great Deceiver, questioned God’s good intent for her, justified the action she was considering, and willfully chose to disobey a firm instruction. Adam, giving in to the same deception and probably thinking “If she’s going to die, I’m going with her!” dove right into disobedience with her. Both, as one, rejected the sovereignty of their Creator, the King. What were they thinking?!
To be honest, they were thinking pretty much the same way we think. First, they were tempted to question. “Did God really mean what He said?” He wouldn’t really let us suffer and die if we did this one small thing would He? I mean, look at this fruit! It looks so tasty and surely it is good for us to eat it. Then it got worse form there. “What about the wisdom thing? Why should we have to rely on Him to always be telling us what is good and what is evil? I am certain I can do that myself just as well as He can. It can’t be that difficult to figure out! If I eat of this little piece knowledge, I bet I can handle it 100% correctly 100% of the time just like He does. I think I’ll just help God out a bit and do some of this on my own.” I am pretty sure that I would not have done anything much different than they did.
The moment they fell, they knew they had blown it. The Scripture reads that they realized they were naked. They had lost God’s covering and protection. Suddenly they could see things they were never meant to see; feel things they were never meant to feel. They could see the Great Deceiver laughing at them. They could see the ugliness of their choice. They felt guilt and shame – something they had never felt before. They had a sense of foreboding – maybe even a touch of terror – in the thought of their next encounter with Yeshua. Evening arrived and Yeshua – already aware of what they had done – came walking in the Garden to meet with them. In their fear and shame, they hid themselves. Yet He persisted, looking for them. “Where are you?”
Yeshua knew what had to be done, and quickly. They must come to him, confess their error, and return. Yes, there would be immediate consequences. But, left unaddressed, the eternal one would be far more serious.
In His great love, grace, mercy and compassion, He would make a way of forgiveness and return for them. Once they stopped hiding, they confessed – unfortunately each blaming the others involved. “The serpent tricked me.” “The woman you gave me made me do it.” But it was out in the open now and could be dealt with.
The penalty of their rebellion had to be rendered. The King had spoken clearly before this transpired, and as a king He is bound by His word. I imagine that all the angels in heaven held their breath as they waited to see what Yeshua would do. When a third of them had rebelled with Lucifer (the Great Deceiver), they had been driven from heaven, expelled from His presence forever with no hope of return. To their astonishment, Yeshua put in place a different plan. Because of Adam and Eve’s willingness to repent (return), there would be a sacrifice. An innocent animal would be slain. Its blood would atone for (cover) their sin. Its skin would cover their physical exposure. The penalty of death, deserved by these first born of God among humankind, would pass by (pass over) them.
Other consequences, too, must occur. Life on earth changed. Humankind had lost our paradise. Our ability to wisely use our authority on earth as He intended had been gravely altered. The earth and humankind would suffer from our now crippled and self-serving ability. In His great mercy, Yeshua removed humankind from the Garden. If we were to eat from the Tree of Life now, we would hopelessly be eternally bound to this miserable fallen state. He placed humankind outside the Garden to where he had formed Adam. We would have to learn how to live outside of Paradise. The ground now produced thorns and thistles. The work of cultivating and multiplying became hard and trying. Even childbirth became hard and painful. We would eat only what our own hands and the sweat of our brows worked for and produced. Physical death would be our only release, with hope of living in a heavenly paradise until this earth is fully redeemed again.
Life on earth would not go on without a means of restoration or hope. Though we are not given all of the details it is clear to see that by the time Cain and Abel were adults God had put in place for us a means of sacrifices and offerings that would continue to address our ongoing need for atonement and provide a means of thanksgiving and worship. Though the days of those remarkable evening walks with Him in the Kingdom Garden were gone, Yeshua would not abandon any human that was willing to learn to walk in the ways of His Kingdom. He gave a promise…a decree from the King that can never be broken. One day a Deliverer and Redeemer would come, as a descendant of Eve, who would completely crush the Great Deceiver and restore His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven; life as it was in the Garden.
The Passover pattern of deliverance, redemption, and restoration had begun. And it continues to this day.
Adam, Eve, and every repentant follower of Yeshua Yahweh since their time have had to grasp and learn how to live by one key Kingdom truth. Until Messiah returns to dwell on and physically reign over the earth again, His Kingdom must thrive in the human heart, mind and lifestyle. We can, and we must, choose to live each moment of our lives according to His instructions – the Ways of His Kingdom. We must confess our failures and return. His Ways always separate light from darkness and they make our lives fruitful, able to produce more of His Light and Life beyond measure. Our loyalty to His Ways proves our love for our Creator and our willing submission to His Supreme Sovereignty as we re-learn how to rule over and subdue the earth as we were intended to do.
We can live in this unseen Kingdom of the heart and mind no matter where on this earth we live! This is what the Israelites had to learn even before they left Egypt. This is what Yeshua taught us while He accomplished his human purpose in becoming our Deliverer and Lamb during the Passover. This is what we must grasp and learn again during this Passover of 2020. The choices before every Jew, Christian, and Gentile alike are getting easier to see, but not easier to make.
Our current crisis is giving us time and space to carefully consider, “What will you do with Passover and the Passover Lamb this year?” Yeshua is asking each of us, “Who do YOU say that I am?” If He is not the promised Messiah found in Hebrew Scripture, then who have you made Him to be? If He is not the Creator, not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not the Lion of Judah and eternal King of Israel, then who – or what – are you worshipping and serving? This Passover season of 2020 is the time to settle this question of His identity, and our own, in each human heart. Our time to see clearly has arrived.
Coming soon: Passover 2020 Reflections, Part Two – The Exodus Began Long Before Passover Night