Pesach (Passover) 14th of Nisan
The first of seven biblically-mandated feasts, Pesach celebrates G-d’s rescue of His people Israel from the tenth plague in Egypt, the killing of the firstborn. Each family of Israel was instructed to smear the blood of an unblemished male lamb or goat onto the doorpost of their home. The angel of death would then “pass over” their home, sparing them from the carnage. This plague was so horrible that Pharaoh finally yielded and let the Israelites leave Egypt. Pesach has been observed on the 14th of Nisan for thousands of years. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D., Pesach transformed from a communal festival, to one observed at home. The ceremony, known as a seder (order), is presided over by the head of the household. The home seder as we know it today was meant to be a retelling of the Exodus story in response to questions posed by children. The wording of the questions changed over time until they became what are now known as the “Mah nishtanah” (what is different?). Symbolic foods are eaten, reminding the family of the suffering of the Israelites in Egypt and of their miraculous deliverance.
Here at Sanctuary Messianic B’nai Ohr, we have a public Pesach Seder, as the congregation is one big family. We read from a book called the Haggadah (from the Hebrew root “to tell”), which contains the liturgy and serves as a seder guidebook. Music is played at certain times during the seder and everyone enjoys each other’s company while eating the delicious food.
Yeshua was celebrating Pesach with his disciples on the night of his last supper, a Pesach seder. It is amazing, that the final redemption promised by G-d to His people Israel, was to be accomplished when He would offer the Perfect One as the ultimate sacrifice – Yeshua HaMashiach, the Passover Lamb.
Hag ha-Aviv, or Spring Festival, is another name for the festival of Pesach.