Anniversaries help us to remember. A birthday is the anniversary of the day you were born. Married couple’s celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary as a celebration of their lives together. Countries have anniversaries as well: August 15 is the day on which India celebrates her independence from British rule; Quingming is an ancient Chinese holiday, reinstated in 2008, for honoring ancestors, while in the United States and Canada, Thanksgiving is an annual holiday to remember the Creator’s gifts of liberty and plenteous food.

Heaven has anniversaries as well. These anniversaries, carefully laid out in the Bible, teach grand, sweeping truths about Yahuwah’s plan to save His people from sin. The anniversaries of our salvation are divided into three groups: spring anniversaries, summer anniversaries [Pentecost], and fall anniversaries. Each group begins with an extra-special New Moon which signals the soon-coming times of remembrance.

New Moon of the first month in the spring is Heaven’s true New Year. It is followed on the fourteenth of that month with Passover and then a weeklong celebration of Yahuwah’s deliverance. Many people assume that these anniversary feasts were given to the Israelites alone, or that they were somehow “nailed to the cross.” However, it is Heaven’s plan that these special times of remembrance be kept throughout all ages because they keep fresh in the mind the memory of Yahuwah’s great love and self-sacrifice for a world that hated Him.

Satan has sought to counterfeit Yahuwah’s holidays. People the world over celebrate the pagan Christmas. Christians, who should know better, also celebrate Easter and even Halloween! These are all counterfeits specifically designed to divert the attention from the true Holy Days to the false holidays.

Passover

Passover (Pesach) is one of the most deeply moving holidays of the entire year. Far from being simply a remembrance of deliverance from Egyptian bondage, it is a remembrance of deliverance from sin. It was on the Passover that Christ died for you and for me as the Lamb of Yahuwah which takes away the sins of the world. No other day in the year seems as long as Passover to the heart that remembers this anniversary.

The Biblical day started at dawn, so the “third” hour of the day corresponded roughly to our modern 9:00 a.m., or half way between dawn and noon. Scripture states that Christ was crucified about the third hour. At 9:00 a.m., remembering what was being done to Christ for me, one feels the solemnity of the hour. As another hour rolls around, knowing that Christ was in such mental agony over the weight of the guilt of my sins that He scarcely felt the physical pain, one begins to grasp the enormity of sin.

Eleven o’clock. Still on the cross. Still struggling for breath. Still feeling rejected by His Father because of me, because of my sins, a deep desire is born to give oneself completely and fully to such Love.

Noon. Darkness covers the cross. The hours of this day creep slowly past as one realizes that on this very day your Saviour died for you!

Three o’clock. Christ died at the ninth hour, or about 3:00 p.m. It is finally over. The Son of Yahuwah has triumphed. The blood of atonement, the blood which allows us to be at-one with Yahuwah, has been shed.

Passover is not a day of idleness, however. During the Feast of Unleavened Bread which begins the very next day, all leavening is to be removed from the house.

Leavening (Click to Expand.)

includes yeast, baking soda, baking powder – anything which leavens dough. For a family or an individual alone, these items may be used up ahead of time, or stored in an outdoor freezer, garage or some other such place. When one is alone in an unbelieving family, it is not always possible to remove all leavening from the house, nor is it ever advisable to force one’s own convictions on others.

However, if a person or a family is united, the searching out of leavening on Passover becomes a living parable of how carefully all should search out sin in one’s own heart. It is amazing how many, many prepared foods or mixes have some form of leavening in them!

In the evening, the family gathers for the special Passover meal. This can be a time when friends whose hearts are inclined to the truth are invited to join you for a very sacred special time. There is no one right way, nor is there a wrong way to keep the Passover. Obviously, because the Lamb of Yahuwah has been slain, there is no longer any need to ever again kill a lamb. The animal lambs only pointed forward to the Lamb of Yahuwah. His blood has now been shed, but we still remember this anniversary with love and gratitude for His great sacrifice.

Foot Washing

The communion service which Christ instituted at the time of the last supper just before His crucifixion is a beautiful way to worship during this holy time. The foot washing itself is a most beautiful ceremony. Foot washing symbolizes the blood of Christ which washes away our sins. As Yahushua washed the feet of the disciples, so we are to wash one another’s feet as a demonstration of Christ’s own love in our hearts which inspires us to acts of love and service to one another.

Even if a person has no other human being with whom to share this meaningful ceremony, there is no reason why he or she cannot wash his or her own feet. It is, after all, a reminder of the cleansing Christ gives us individually. Some families enjoy singing a hymn of fellowship after the foot washing.

Passover Supper

Different people find various ways of celebrating the Passover to be meaningful. Some families prefer to keep everything at the Passover meal symbolic only. The main parts of the “meal” are grape juice, bitter herbs, unleavened bread, salt and sop. These are tasted, but not consumed as a meal. Other families, especially those with young children, prefer to make it a meal, adding in other foods which would have been available in Bible times. There is no one right or wrong way to celebrate the Passover. The main point is to find a way that works for you and your family and that is a reminder of Christ, our true Pass-over.

Grape juice: This symbolizes the blood of Christ which washes away our sins.

Bitter herbs: Bitter herbs are a symbol of the bitterness of sin which caused the death of our Saviour. Fresh herbs are best, but if they are not available, powdered may also be used. They can be truly bitter, such as golden seal, something that is only tasted and used as a symbol. (If a family chooses to do this, young children should be warned in advance. The point is to teach, not make a child cry.) More edible “bitter herbs” can be made by finely chopping green and red leaf lettuces, parsley, curly endive, etc. and making a dressing of lemon juice with a light sprinkling of salt. During the meal time, the meaning of all these symbols should be explained to the children and a profitable discussion with all in attendance can be enjoyed.

Unleavened bread: The Biblical illustration of yeast as a symbol for sin should be well-explained to guests or children. The unleavened bread was eaten by the Israelites the night before they left Egypt. They had to get all leavening out of their homes before their deliverance. In that same manner, people of the last generation are to search out, and by the blood of the Lamb, remove all sin from their hearts to get ready for the greater deliverance from this sinful world. Unleavened bread is very good made from whole wheat flour or spelt. It is simple, easy to make, and very tasty.

Salt: Salt symbolizes the tears of repentance. When one has experienced the bitterness of sin, the soothing grace of Christ enters, inviting one to fully surrender the will and experience the peace and joy that only comes from Him. For those who prefer merely a symbolic meal, a dish of salt may be passed around for all to take a tiny pinch. Small, individual dishes of salt may also be placed at each place. Sea salt or rock salt is nice to use if one can get it.

Sop: Sop is a sweet dish. At the last supper before Christ’s death, when John leaned over and asked Yahushua specifically who would betray Him, Christ answered that the one who dipped his hand into the sop with Him would be the betrayer. Sop, also known as charoset/haroset, is a paste from fresh or dried fruits: dates, figs, raisins, etc. Different cultures make it differently, depending upon which fruits are available.

For families who prefer to make a full meal as was done in Bible times, additional foods that may be enjoyed are lentil soup, oranges, grapes, almonds, figs and dates. The bitter herbs, with sprouts is good on the unleavened bread.

For those who choose to have a full meal with the Passover, after dinner comes the most meaningful event of the evening: communion service with additional unleavened bread and the passing of the Yahushua cup. While unleavened bread was usually a part of the meal, an additional plate of unleavened bread is provided for the communion ceremony itself. The host or hostess, as the case may be, provides a scripture reading, usually taken from the scriptural account of the last supper. It is a sacred and holy time.

Passing the Yahushua cup is a highlight of the evening. If the lady of the house has a large goblet, or can borrow one, it makes the Yahushua cup more special. Christ told the disciples, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” It is a privilege still available to His followers. One person drinks from the cup, wipes the lip off with a napkin provided and passes it to the next person. Just as Christ told the disciples, “Drink ye all of it,” so none is to be left of the “blood of the grape” which is a symbol of the blood of Christ shed for our sins. Many families choose to have their children wait until they are 12 before allowing them to participate, since 12 is the age a child becomes accountable to Yahuwah for their own souls.

When the service is over, a prayer of rededication should be prayed and all should join in, thanking Yahushua for His great sacrifice, and the Father for such great love that would lead Him to be willing to sacrifice His own Son to save sinners. Various ways of ending the ceremony include a blessing, spoken by the leader/host/hostess/parents upon the wife/children/guests. This may be read from the Bible, or given in one’s own words. Scripture says that when the supper was over, Yahushua and the disciples sang a hymn and went out. This was not a dirge, but a joyous song. Christ was joyous at the thought that many, many souls would be saved through His sacrifice. Today, although we mourn our sins which demanded such a sacrifice in order to save us, we can rejoice that Christ’s victory has been won and we can be saved by faith in His righteousness.

Suggestions:

Each individual, family or group should feel free to explore different ways to make this holy occasion one that is meaningful to them. Some people enjoy spreading colorful, woven blankets on the floor and serving the food on low tables in baskets. Others enjoy using their best dishes and tablecloths. Candlelight always adds a special glow, whether formal tapers in crystal holders are used, or small votives in colorful glass bowls.

 


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