Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pesach - Preparing for the Greater Exodus

One of the purposes of keeping the Feasts of FATHER YHVH is to remind us of what HE has done for us as HE teaches us the story of redemption. This story is the foundation of the work that Yeshua did in HIS final day on the earth as HE gave HIS life blood to redeem us from our sins.  We chose to follow HIS leading from the Book of John and keep this feast as HE did.

Another important purpose is that keeping the Feasts is a way of practicing for what lies ahead.  We believe that there is a Pesach coming soon when believers will hear HIS call to go forth from their homes and join in to an exodus that will be even greater than the one told about as part of the Pesach tradition.  
"Therefore behold, the days are coming," declares the Lord, "when they will no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up and led back the descendants of the household of Israel from the north land and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ Then they will live on their own soil."
                                                                                Jeremiah 23:7-8
 
When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I shall be sanctified through them in the sight of the many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land; and I will leave none of them there any longer.
                                                                                Ezekiel 39:27-28
 
We entered into this Pesach celebration with that future journey included in every thought as we also prepared for a long trip.   As far as practice goes, it couldn't get much more real than what we were doing unless it was the literal fulfillment of the prophecies above.  Our hearts were humbled as we considered the meaning of all that we were doing.
 
The day was given over to final preparations for the meal and last minute cleaning tasks to make room for all of our guests.  Although we had celebrated Pesach in previous years, this was our first time to act as "hosts".  Our guests (all except one) had never experienced Pesach before so we wanted to keep it as simple and focused on Scripture as possible.  
 
The limited amount of space in our RV served to increase the level of the challenges we faced.   At first we considered moving everything outside, but the nasty gnats of Georgia combined with mosquitoes guaranteed a measure of discomfort.  Inside we were able to provide a chair for everyone and bringing in a large table once everyone was seated gave us room for plates and food and the required cups of grape juice.  (None of us were inclined to wine.)
 
We began our feast by reading the commandments concerning Pesach.  As it was our intent to follow the leading of Yeshua and as HE began HIS Pesach with a foot washing so did we.  As a part of the learning process, we did discuss the reasons why and also addressed any concerns or discomfort that anyone might have been feeling.  This was doubly complicated by the fact that for many of us, this was our first meeting ever.  Foot washing can uncover a lot of hidden fears or concerns as Peter quickly revealed when Yeshua bowed to wash his feet.  
 
After this time of prayer for each other, we came back inside and attempted to follow the Sedar for eating such things as the bitter herbs, chavoset and matzo and drinking the "four cups".  There was much laughter and discussion as we talked about the significance of each part of the meal and enjoyed the food and fellowship of people united by their love of Messiah.  
 
After a very long evening, we parted company with mixed emotions as we all seemed to feel that we had had a part in something very special, something holy and far beyond a simple meal.  Tomorrow's sundown would begin the 7 day Feast of Unleavened Bread, but the morning would come first and our journey to Alaska was about to begin!

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