Did You know about the "Miracle Before Passover?"

Today is the Sabbath of the Lord before the Passover. Christians will be celebrating Palm Sunday on April 5th, 2009. To the "Jewish" people this Sabbath is called Shabbat HaGadol (the "Great Shabbat") for a number of reasons:

1) The primary event commemorated on this Shabbat is a great miracle which occurred on this day, several days before the Exodus. The Jewish people were commanded by Moses to take a lamb and tie it to their bedposts on Shabbat, the 10th day of Nissan, five days before they were to leave Egypt. When the Egyptians inquired by the Jews why they were buying lambs en masse, they were told that these lambs were intended for the Passover Offering, which would be sacrificed in preparation of the Plague of the Firstborn. For some reason, this information rattled the Egyptian firstborn, who immediately insisted that Pharaoh grant the Jews the liberty they demanded. When Pharaoh refused their request, the Egyptian firstborn waged war with Pharaoh's army, and many Egyptians who were guilty of atrocities against the Jews were killed on that day. Today in preparing for Palm Sunday we know that the Battle is not ours but the Lords. That for sure He will repay. What is done by the Lord is complete and Finished. "Our Passover Lamb is Jesus Christ" and because He is "Hosanna in the Highest" His blood is covering the "mercy" seat at the right hand of God, our Father which art in heaven. Today, the Lord battles for us. Whatever is coming against us will perish as the "Egyptian firstborn" who were guilty of atrocities against the Jews were killed that day.

2) In this day as it was in that day it being demonstrated that the Egyptians were powerless against the Jews. Like the Egyptians were powerless against the Jews so are the enemies powerless against the body of Christ. Those Egyptians were angry because the Jews were planning to slaughter lambs, an Egyptian deity -- but were incapable of doing anything to hamper their plans. When Christians make up their minds, it's the same thing. Your enemies, whatever, or whoever they are "become powerless" over you.

3) Some suggest that this Shabbat earned the title "Gadol," (which means greatest one of) because it is the day we should be reflecting on the meaning of the "Passover". Our minds should not be on dressing up in our best clothes, Easter bunnies, Easter Egg hunts, and all those things which tie us to the gods of this world. We should remember to place the "Blood of the Lamb" on our hearts and minds.
How should we remember?

A. We often talk about the "Armor of God" as though it was only worn in Ephesians 6:14 "You can't stand against a powerful enemy without "having girded your waist with truth." Like the people of Israel did in the First Exodus, when they ate of the Lamb whose blood was on their door, "And thus you shall eat it; with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord's Passover. Exodus 12:11 This is a Everlasting Covenant and this is the Promise of that Covenant against your enemies. 12. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgements: I am the Lord. 13. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. Exodus 12:12-13

B. If we do not do God's Will, God's Way, we will not see the Promises of God on our Enemies. We will eat in Egypt the "bread of bondage". We should be in haste to shed the "bondage of our Egypt". Not dressed like a lamb led to slaughter. Not dressed like a "sheep" in wolves clothing.

4) The Haftorah is read in many Jewish communities on this Shabbat " The Storyline of the Haftorah is that the Tzaddikim (Righteous) Will Find Comfort in the Rebuilt City of Jerusalem, While the Wicked Will Suffer. The first part of the Haftorah discusses how God does not desire the sacrifices of the wicked. The Lord says: "The heavens are my throne and the earth is my footstool. What house can you build me and what site can be my resting place?" What does this mean? How dare we try to offer the Lord sacrifices that are not spiritually pure. The Haftarah continues with the reassuring words "The loyal Jews will be comforted by the ingathering of the exiles and a state of peace will exist in Jerusalem". As Christians we prosper in the "Passover" because we "pray for the Peace of Jerusalem. "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: 'May they prosper who love you.'" (Psalm 122:6)

The prophet Isaiah predicts that Jerusalem will flourish with the ingathering of the Jewish exiles. He reminds us that the Lord wouldn't bring us this far to let us down. The Haftorah continues with the explanation that in the future the Lord will punish the wicked. The Lord will let out his anger on the evil people and destroy them. On an upbeat note Isaiah informs us that all the nations of the world will help bring back the remaining Jews to Jerusalem from many distant lands via several forms of transportation. Isaiah concludes his book with the thought that: All the righteous people will find comfort in the rebuilt city of Jerusalem, while the wicked will suffer. As we reflect on the "Meaning of the Passover" we must not forget the "true meaning of "Palm Sunday". Why were Palm branches used in holy festivities, as in the feast of tabernacles, according to these words in Moses: He shall take for you in the first day the fruit of a tree of honor, spathes of palm-trees, and a branch of a dense tree, and willows of the torrent; and ye shall be glad before Jehovah your God seven days (Lev. 23:40); How can we Celebrate Palm Sunday without "Passover". Not Easter, Passover....A great crowd that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming into Jerusalem, took boughs of palm trees, and went forth to meet Him, and cried out, Hosanna: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel (John. 12:12, 13). I saw, when behold a great crowd standing before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palms in their hands
(Rev. 7:9).

Today we wonder with everything that is going on "World Wide" how this can be happening to a "God fearing Nation". When we do not "do the Passover" and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, "which is a everlasting Covenant" between all people of God as "Father of All", we see what Joel predicted we would see: The vine hath dried up, and the fig-tree languisheth, the pomegranate, and also the palm-tree, all joy hath dried up from the sons of man (Joel 1:12). Our Joy has dried up. With the Celebration of Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, we do not come under the law but receive the promises of God. The righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon (Ps. 92:12); The Celebration of Palm Sunday followed by the "Celebration of the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread represents the very thing that "Palm Sunday" should bring for a whole year.... As a palm-tree signifies good, it also signifies wisdom, for wisdom is of good. This was signified by the palm-trees which together with the cherubs and flowers were carved upon the walls of the temple; for the temple signified the Lord Himself, and in the representative sense, heaven. The cherubs, the palm-trees, and the flowers upon the walls signified Providence, wisdom, and intelligence, which are from the Lord, thus all things which are of heaven. That these were carved on the walls of the temple, is evident in the first book of Kings:--
We become Consecrated each "Passover" by the Feast of the Unleavened Bread to be "a Royal Priesthood", a Holy Nation, a people for God's own possession...2 Chron 20:20 In this time in history, that "Royal Priesthood is being tried in the "fire" of the "Most High". Unlike the people of Israel in their "Exodus" we are fully aware of "Jesus as the Passover Lamb of God. Most of them in the "Wilderness didn’t realise their sacrifices pointed to a time when the Being in the cloud, Jesus would come down that so we could be lifted up "by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of our Testimony. (Lev. 10:1-2). Are we using "unauthorized" fire? Moses then said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke of when he said: ‘By those who come near me, I must be regarded as holy: And before all the people I must be glorified.’” (v. 3) Are we eating the Passover in a "unholy" place? This mixture of Paganism with Christianity (Easter/Passover). “Why was the offering left to burn?” he angrily asked. “Why wasn’t it eaten in the holy place, as holy meat to bear the sins of the people?” (vv. 16-18). “Since its blood was not taken into the holy place, you should have eaten the goat in the sanctuary area, as I commanded”, Moses said. Aaron replied to Moses, “Today they sacrificed their sin offering and their burnt offering before the Lord, but such things as this have happened to me. Would the Lord have been pleased if I had eaten the sin offering today?” (Lev. 10:19). When Moses heard this he was satisfied. Are we a "different Priesthood now than then? This priesthood were the sons of Levi, a tribe of Israel. This tribe itself was subordinate to the older order of Melchisedek. Levi was deemed to have tithed to Melchisedek when he was in the loins of his great-grandfather Abraham. This order of Melchisedek represented the new priesthood of the Church, which was open to all nations, or the Gentiles (meaning people of the nations), through the death of its High Priest Jesus Christ. Levi was to give way to and become a part of this order and many would be added to Levi and the tribes, who would all provide priests in the new system.
The "Festivals of God" are not abolished nor are they under the Law. They are Covenant. These are our "Seven Steps to "Renewing our Salvation" on a Daily basis. They serve as a "Reminder of What the Heavenly Father planned for us. His thoughts towards us. Have we forgotten? Israel’s God told Moses that the Plan of Salvation for mankind was so important He would require the people to observe certain annual Holy Days as reminders. The seven steps in God’s Plan are pictured by seven special holy periods of time
the Days of Unleavened Bread
Festival of Trumpets
the Day of Atonement
the Festival of Ingathering or Taber­nacles
and the Last Great Day
People who have forgotten these days have forgotten the true Plan of Salvation, which these days picture. They have come to believe in a counterfeit plan! Today most people do not observe God’s Holy Days. But every human being who has ever lived or ever will live must have the opportunity of learning of God’s great Plan. (2Pet. 3:9; 1Tim. 2:4). God will deal justly with everyone. Each person (Rom. 2:11) will have a full understanding of the right way and must make his or her own decision as to whether he or she will obey God (Heb. 8:11). In this way the people of the world are called out and prepared to join the body of Christ, which is the Church of God. They are prepared to become priests, as were the Levites before them. They become priests after the Order of Melchisedek, and servants of the Most High God, bringing the elect to understanding and to baptism in the Holy Spirit I(Pentacost) so that they too might become priests of the Most High God. This begins in the "Celebration of Palm Sunday". The putting on of the "Breastplate of Righteousness" after you have eaten the Seder Meal, with a Belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord Your God's Passover....
Exodus 12:11

Shirley Shaw

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