Friday, Anna had a post concerning Pesach. I didn't have time then to get my thoughts down (and I stay off the 'puter on the Sabbath, since I'm on it so much during the week), so.....I'm going to try to "talk out" what I'm thinking. I haven't "polished" it - our friends were here for 8 hours yesterday (it was GREAT! - but I'm all peopled-out right now. My little hermit-heart needs time to recuperate. :lol:)
1. Jewish sites say that last Friday (3/30) was a "Great Shabbat", beginning a week of super-preparation for Pesach. The only thing I've found that talks about this is from my book "The Jewish Holidays" - it says that the reason this is called the "Great Shabbat" is because "the special haftarah for this Shabbat refers to the great and awesome day of the final redemption. (Mal. 3:23)." However, it doesn't mention a week of intense prep......so I'm not sure where that part of the Tradition came in.
2. The 7 days of Unleavened Bread. I've been thinking about this. The entire "festival" of Passover is 8 days - you have 1 day set aside, then 7 days of Festival. This mirrors Sukkot - only, flipped. Sukkot is 7 days of Festival, and 1 day (the 8th) set aside. (I'm ignoring the fact right now that the first 3 days of Passover are 3 separate Feasts). "The Jewish Holidays" totally ignores the fact that there are, in fact, *3* Feasts (OK, so I'm NOT ignoring it....) that occur during the time period commonly called "Passover" - Passover itself isn't even - really - a full day; it's just - technically - the evening meal on the 14th of Nisan - Torah says "between sundown and complete darkness comes Pesach for Adonai" (we'll ignore the fact that it's the day of Messiah's - JESUS - crucifixion and death; don't want to sound too Jewish here :wink:)(and, also, those that don't do the Seder until the evening of the 15th? Have already MISSED the window of time. Sorry - it says "14th day, between sundown and complete darkness." Better get your Feast *on*! :lol:) . The 15th is the start of the 7 day Feast of Unleavened Bread ("Matzoh"), the 16th is the Feast of First Fruits (which, BTW, is the day that Messiah - JESUS - was resurrected, but let's not sully the waters by pointing that out, right? :wink:) I'm not sure where to go with this "mirroring" thing....I just thought it was interesting. (And....there are 3 Feasts surrounding Sukkot, too - only not as close together. RH, then 10 days, then YK, then 15 days, then Sukkot. So...the Fall Feasts take almost a full month, while Passover/Matzoh/First Fruits take 8 days.) (And, Hanukkah doesn't fit - it's 8 days, but each day is equal, and it's not laid out in Lev. I'm not saying it's not "kosher" - it is - but it's a different shebang.)
3. The first day of Matzoh is when you begin counting the Omer....7 weeks later it's Shavuot/Pentecost. I'm wondering.....what exactly does that 49 days represent? I don't think that it mirrors anything; there are 2 full months between Shavuot and Rosh Hashanah (8 weeks, plus some extra days, since Shavuot doesn't fall exactly in the middle of a month)....so I'm wondering. I know that 7 is the number of completion, and 8 is considered "super complete" (or something like; the 8th day of Sukkot is treated as a "super-festival" - Simhat Torah. (It's also the day Messiah - JESUS - was circumcised. :wink:)
4. Why 7 days of unleavened bread? Since Messiah's death and resurrection has cleansed all Believers from ALL sin (which leaven represents)...why 7? "The Jewish Holidays" says that the 7 days are to force you to question your sense of what is permitted and not. To sort of......force you to face all the sin in your life (OK, it doesn't SAY that, but that's what it's implying. I sometimes wish that Rabbis would SAY what they mean, instead of using a LOT of words to convey the *meaning*. 3 paragraphs to say that you need to be aware of sin. :rolls eyes:), and - my words here - to see that you NEED Messiah to remove the stain of sin. I guess.....maybe the 7 days are to help Believers remember that? Because....I know I sin, not on purpose, but I can't *not* sin. I've tried......if it weren't for God's Grace and the covering blood and water of Messiah, I'd be hosed....and thinking about these 7 days has really focused me on that fact. :hmmm:
4a. But still - why 7? I know that it takes a month to change habits....7 days would get you started, but wouldn't remove all the leaven (sin) in your life. It'll focus you on all the bad stuff...but only if you are open to it (how many people just go thru the motions? Like Lent, for example - "everybody" gives something up for Lent...but how many people actually give up something *important*? Very few, I bet. It's easier to just go thru the motions.)......I'm wondering if it has anything to do with the parting of the Red Sea, but Exodus doesn't give me a timeline of the first Pesach to the drowning of Pharoah's army. :sigh: So....I don't know WHY 7 days.
Even if you say, well, 7 days to fully purify you and remove ALL leaven from your body doesn't work, because - again - Messiah's already DONE that. (And it only took him 3 days; you could argue the point that His death alone did it - 1 day - and you would be right. First Fruits was the Resurrection; at that point all atonement had been done.)
Anna said something in her post - I'm going to copy it: "Firstfruits follows the Feast of Unleavened bread, as Messiah rose from the dead, the firstfruits of those who will do so in the future. A rapture reference? Absolutely. Several passages in the NT confirm that in no uncertain terms. But we're still eating unleavened at this point. WHY?!?!?! Unless in the future we'll be gone and only those left - those without The Life - will be eating unleavened? I don't know. Just guessing..."
IF Believers are gone - the UNleavened are gone. Those without The Life are full of leaven - sin - so that can't be it. I......don't know. I have this little niggling thought that it does have something to do with Temple purification - but, again, MESSIAH has already DONE that for those who believe. ALL the cleansing rituals have been done for Believers, thanks to His water/blood from the crucifixion. (Just like ALL sacrifices have been done thru Him. HE paid for it all - no more poor animals having to die for us!)
I've got books scattered everywhere this morning, and I'm still no closer to "solving" this. The Jewish books all focus on the Traditions of Passover - and they kinda skim over the actual *meaning*. (And, of course, they ignore all the Messianic points....:sigh:) Chrischun books ignore the entire Jewish body of Tradition (which I have learned a LOT from - Tradition is FULL of meaning, if you know what you're looking for!), and they basically gloss over the *need* to keep the Feasts at all (they tend to ignore the fact that Lev. says - quite clearly! - these are a PERPETUAL thing. Not "you do this until Messiah comes and replaces Torah" - which, He didn't. Replace Torah, I mean - He said THAT quite clearly in Matt. 5:17 (why yes, I CAN quote NT. :lol:) ) Nobody tries to dig into the WHY - they just say, well, this is how it is, and this is what Tradition says you do. :grumble:
I...don't know. I do know that I need to finish removing ALL leavened items from my house - this year I feel like I need to do a very through job of it. Which means the freezers need to be gone thru - I forgot last year. :sigh: I always have a humorous thought this time of year - I think the whole "leaven-hunt" is Yah's way of getting us slack housekeepers to actually do a proper Spring-cleaning. :lol:
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