מַה נִשְׁתָנָה הַלַיְלָה הַזֶה
Tonight begins Pesakh, the Passover of יהוה , commemorating the SALVATION of our Jewish people, and all those who would trust in Him through His Son, Yeshua the Messiah. Yet most of our Jewish people, including many of those who are Jewish and also believe in the Son of G-d, are not holding Pesakh until tomorrow night. And many who are not Jewish but who do trust in the Son of G-d for Salvation will not observe it at all, with many of whom who have declared this previous first day of the week “Palm Sunday”; all of that group will celebrate the time they ‘think’ the resurrection occurred, on the next first day of the week. ALL OF THESE ARE WRONG.
Yeshua is the Son of G-d. He is also, as declared in the Brit Khadashah [NT] scriptures, our ‘Kohen Gadol’, or High Priest. As such, it is Him we follow in regard to keeping the sacred observances set down by His Father, the Creator of the Universe, and observed by Him as a Jew while He was here on earth. Yeshua kept His Pesakh Seder [Passover meal] the night before the Jewish Rabbis of the day did. They had moved it, for convenience’s sake. Another group of religious Jews, and many observant Jews not in a particular religious order, kept it the same night as Yeshua, including His own Talmidim [Torah Students, known now as ‘disciples’]. His Talmidim came to Him on the third day of the week, a Tuesday, and asked Him, “Where do you wish that we go and prepare the Pesakh for you to eat?” As this was a day earlier than the Rabbis, the P’rushim [Pharisees], kept their observance, we see that the Talmidim aligned with many in Yisra’el who had not yet conformed to the erroneous observance of the P’rushim. Yeshua kept His Pesakh, therefore, according to the instruction of Torah, ON the EVENING of the FOURTEENTH day after the observed Khodesh [crescent new moon] was seen along with the ripened, “Aviv” barley. That is how the calendar was set in Yisra’el, by the Kohen Gadol. This, the Rabbis still did right at that time, blowing the shofar at the Khodesh that was observed along with the ripened barley, to declare the 1st “month” of the new, sacred year, rather than observing a 13th month. [The Aviv barley is how the Creator determines when Pesakh is, and when the new year is].
Since Yeshua was in Beit Anya for six days leading up to this day, and travelled back and forth to Yerushalayim for the four days leading up to His Pesakh, then Yeshua’s ‘triumphal entry’ would NOT have been on a ‘sun-day’, but on Shabbat! Our ‘saturday’. The day they waved palm branches and hailed Him as King, they sang part of the Hallel, Tehillah 118, “Hoshia Nah! Barukh HaBa B’Shem יהוה , ” a traditional Pesakh song [Ps 113-118 are the Hallel] “Please save us now! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of יהוה .” Yeshua then held His Seder four days later, being examined as the spotless Pesakh Lamb for four days, just as Yisra’el was instructed to do in Shemot 12 [Exodus] for the first Pesakh offering. They drilled Him with questions and insults more than any other year during that four days, and found Him to be ‘without fault’. On TUESDAY night, Yeshua held His Pesakh Seder with His Talmidim [Matti 26, Yokhanan-Markos [Mark] 14, Luka 22, Yokhanan 13]. He was tried after midnight that night, in violation of the Torah, without the whole court present. He was ‘examined’ by Herod, and by Pilatos, and found innocent. He was yet sentenced to death, whipped and beaten, and executed at 3:00 P.M. on Wednesday afternoon, and was taken down off the tree just before sundown on Wednesday evening, just before the Rabbis, the “Shammai” sect of the Pharisees, observed their erroneous Pesakh on the FIFTEENTH evening of the 1st khodesh, as most of our Jewish people today still do, missing Messiah, blind to His leadership, as is the rest of the world.
Yeshua remained in the grave for THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS, just as HE SAID He would. [Matti 12:40] Wed night through thursday, thur night through friday, and friday night through saturday DAY. Yeshua ROSE from the dead at the END of Shabbat, at ‘deep dark’, at the beginning of the Jewish week: SATURDAY NIGHT! The end of Shabbat and the beginning of the week are marked by “Motza’ei Shabbat”, the ‘exit of the Sabbath’, with a ceremony called “Havdalah”, or “Making Distinction”. We Messianic [Peshitta] Jews and Gentiles celebrate the Sabbath as a Mini Pesakh [as do all Jews, but not seeing Messiah in it]. We mark and commemorate His death and atoning for our sins on Erev Shabbat, the beginning of the Sabbath on fri night; we rest and assemble on saturday day, and then hold Havdalah on Saturday night after sundown, at ‘deep dark’, to commemorate the TRUE time of His Resurrection on a weekly basis. But we fully celebrate the Pesakh, just as Sha’ul [Paul] says we should [1 Cor 5, “Let us celebrate the Khag”], each year in its proper time.
I’ve said all of that to say this. “Ma Nishtana HaLailah Hazeh?” That is the question at the top of this article. It is a question the children at a seder ask in song, “Why is THIS night DIFFERENT from all other nights?” For us, it is so vastly different this year!!
My family and I used to have to observe Pesakh at home with just us, because twenty years ago there were NO OTHER MESSIANIC JEWS assembling in our town! After we began to build His Congregation, we started holding public Pesakh Seders, just as Yeshua did for His last Seder. This year, we ‘have’ to observe our Seder in our HOMES again! And this time, NOT because there are no others to observe it with us, but because there is a PLAGUE! And because we have been ‘commanded’ not to have gatherings more than TEN people, the SAME number to which Elohim [G-d the Creator] limited the first Pesakh Seders!
Further, THIS year is one of those RARE years when we are doing it on the SAME DAY as Yeshua, when He held His LAST SEDER and declared to Twelve JEWISH MEN , “This [the cup after supper, the third cup in every Jewish Seder] is the cup of the Brit Khadashah in my blood, which is shed for you.” That was spoken on a TUESDAY NIGHT, roughly 1990 years ago. Because the ‘khodesh’ is declared by the observance in Israel of the crescent moon and the Aviv barley, and because Pesakh is always the 14th evening of that khodesh [NOT the 15th as most Jews do today], Pesakh is hence not always on the same night of the week. It moves. But, THIS YEAR, in the midst of a PLAGUE, it IS on the same night that Yeshua observed it, and I contend ALSO the same night of the original Pesakh.
THIS year it is indeed different for those who keep The Word according to it’s PLAIN MEANING [Peshitta/Peshat]. We are in lock step with the TRUE “Savlanut” [suffering, ie ‘passion’] of Messiah. He was plagued that night with false accusations, curses, beatings, etc; and that ‘day’ [wed] He was mocked, scourged, and executed, shedding His blood for the very people who were doing it to Him, and for ALL the world. He was put into the grave on the first ‘day’ of Matzot, the second day of eating Matzot, with six days remaining [Deut 16:8] , the day of commemorating having made MORE Matzot [unleavened bread] for their journey out by NIGHT on the FIFTEENTH evening [THAT is what we SHOULD be commemorating/meditating over on the actual 15th night, that AND Yeshua’s journey into the netherworld for us, for three days and nights]. Note that Yeshua marked the ‘cup of the renewed covenant in His Blood’ while His blood was still contained in His living Body. That is the night we celebrate the Brit Khadashah [Jer 31:30-34], the fulfillment of G-d’s promise to write His Torah upon our hearts. That process BEGINS when we truly understand Yeshua’s work for us, and ‘trust’ that HE ALONE can redeem us from our sins, and that He was RAISED from the dead THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS LATER, at the END of the Sabbath, at the START of the [Biblical] week, on Saturday night.
This year COULD be the LAST year ever that we have a somewhat “peaceful” Pesakh Seder, observed in relative freedom [although already abridged this year], before terrible things change this earth. This night is indeed different from all other nights! ESPECIALLY for the VERY, VERY SMALL strand of believers who actually follow Yeshua in His observance of this, HIS PESAKH.
Many believers are cognitively aware that an ‘anti-messiah’ would come. Some are also thus aware that the ‘spirit’ of the anti-messiah is already in the world. But, what most DO NOT know is that this Ben HaAbadon, this ‘son of destruction’, the MAN who would embody that spirit, would ‘Change the Mo’edim’ and the ‘Torah’. “…he shall think to change the Mo’edim and the Torah…” [Dani’el 9] The “Mo’edim” are the sacred APPOINTED FEASTS of יהוה . This happened already in our history! That ‘spirit already changed the Mo’edim, and the Torah. Our Jewish people moved the Pesakh, Matzot, Bikkurim, and Shavu’ot, some 2500 years ago [time, times, half a time]. Since then, they now consider ‘Talmud’ as sacred writ, and observe many mitzvot that G-d did NOT speak, though they claim He did. Notice that they did NOT move Yom Teru’ah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot! The early ones in the spring, the first four, point to what Yeshua HAS ALREADY DONE, and because the Rabbis MOVED those feasts, most of our Jewish people remain BLIND to Yeshua’s fulfillment of them! But, they STILL observe Yom Teru’ah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot on the right days, the ones that teach about His Return and coming Kingship. But, they only coincide when the khodesh of G-d [the seventh crescent from the Pesakh] aligns with their declared ‘Rosh Hashanah’, AS IT DOES THIS YEAR!!!!!!!! Because today, they ‘calculate’ the khodesh, and do not ‘see’ it.
Timing is VERY IMPORTANT! Yeshua said, “KEEP WATCH”, saying that His Day will come as a THIEF, at such an hour as you know not. Our Jewish people do not ‘know’ that Yom Teru’ah could mark the beginning of the Time of Jacob’s trouble [Great Tribulation]. Our fellow believers do not know that Yom Teru’ah is the “Day That No Man Knows”, the “Last Shofar”, the “Day of Judgment”, the day of the Wedding of the King, the “Coronation of the King’, etc.
Tonight is indeed different than EVERY OTHER NIGHT!! Our little group is having virtual fellowship, so we can all observe it in Hebrew, together. But, we will be gathered as families this year, in our homes, safe from the ‘plague’. This feast was the very beginning of the OBSERVANCE of HIS yearly ‘sabbath’ DAYS!!! And it STARTED IN THEIR HOMES!!!! We will also have a virtual ‘q&a’ about ‘end things’, because, with all that is happening in the world, we who trust in Yeshua had BETTER take His advice, “34But take heed to yourselves that your hearts may not become heavy by extravagance, and drunkenness, and the worries of this world, and that day come suddenly upon you. 35For like a downpour it will entrap all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. 36Therefore keep watch always, and pray that you may be worthy to escape all these things which are to happen, and that you may stand before Ben HaAdam.”
Many times when Yeshua was asked and/or began to teach about ‘end things,’ the FIRST thing out of His mouth was, “do NOT be deceived“. That is our prayer. But, since He told us to be alert, and to watch, and gave us the ‘signs’, it would be FOOLISH not to pay attention to what’s going on right now. There are many opinions and streams of thought about ‘why’ we [in the world] are going through what it is we are going through right now. It is so easy to be deceived about it. And there are thousands of interpretations of the prophecies about end things, most of which IGNORE the biblical model of interpretation. THIS night is different tonight, because of the very things going on, for all who actually observe HIS WAYS, and keep the Pesakh of יהוה . It is NOT the “Jewish Passover.” It is HIS! [Shemot/Exo 12:27]. This year, our spring observance is lock-step with the Year Yeshua suffered. And we will likely be on lockdown through ALL the spring feasts. Most believers are forbidden to fully observe their erroneous “easter” observance, but we have been given the OPPORTUNITY to observe the Pesakh in our HOMES, FULLY, the way it was originally observed! Yet we still can ‘relax’, and not eat in haste as did our forebears, but can still eat in a relaxed manner like the twelve did, when Yokhanan leaned against Yeshua’s bosom and asked, “Is it I?” Is not a false observance of HIS PESAKH a betrayal? Yehudah [Judas] the betrayer was not permitted to finish the Seder with Yokhanan and the eleven faithful. Ask yourself if you are among the betrayers. Are you keeping Pesakh for the right reason? At the right time? If you think motive and ‘timing’ do not matter to G-d our Creator and Father, you are sorely mistaken.
Timing is, indeed, everything.