Celebrating Passover & Unleavened Bread 2021
The spring festivals are drawing close; Passover, The Feast of Unleavened Bread and First Fruits – what a way to kick off Yahuah’s true new year! On the calendar we follow, the new year will begin on the evening of April the 13th (link to how we understand his calendar). For some of you, this may have become routine by now. However, according to many emails, messages and comments, for some, this will be your first time keeping his set-apart days, this is amazing! Regardless of where you are in your walk right now, it is my mission that you may glean some good information as to the history, deep understandings and prophetic implications for these festival days. Most importantly, it is my mission to help you to know how to keep these most excellent days that Yahuah has given us to remember, forever!
Let’s start with the account of the Passover in Egypt. We will read from Exodus chapter 12 and 13. At this point, 9 plagues have already come upon the Egyptians and one was soon to come. Reading these two chapters is a must (in my opinion) for any Passover gathering. The Word is our best reference; better than any man can teach you. Later, we will cover how Passover was a preparation for the first coming of Messiah, prophecy yet to be fulfilled and how we can celebrate it today, without the leaven of man-made traditions.
If you’re reading the article, I will be expounding on some verses in the video covering this.
Why We Still Celebrate Today
If you’re reading this (or watching the video), perhaps you already understand that we are not called to celebrate the holidays of the world: Christmas, Easter and others. These holidays have been mixed with pagan practices, just as it was thousands of years ago. Referencing pagan practices, this is what Yahuah said about worshiping him that way:
“Take heed to yourself that you be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before you; and that you inquire not after their elohiym, saying, How did these nations serve את eth-their elohiym? even so will I do likewise. You shall not do so unto YAHUAH ELOHAYKA: for every abomination to YAHUAH, which he hates, have they done unto their elohiym…”
DEVARIYM (DEUTERONOMY) 12:30-31 את CEPHER
This is the everlasting command to keep these festivals:
And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to YAHUAH throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever
Nevertheless, some have said that we cannot do Passover today due to this other command:
You may not sacrifice the Passover within any of your gates, which Yahuah your Elohim gives you: But at the place which Yahuah your Elohim shall choose to place his name in, there you shall sacrifice the Passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that you came forth out of Egypt.
With these two sections of scriptures, what are we to do today? We have one command that tells us to keep it forever, then another that says we can only do it in Jerusalem. Here, I offer my opinion. The command in Deuteronomy 16 was given to the people about to inherit the promised land; the inheritance that they lost and forfeited due to disobedience. We are now in dispersion – back in Egypt, spiritually that is. I would humbly suggest that the command to do Passover supersedes the other and let us keep this in mind:
Howbeit the most High dwells not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will you build me? saith Yahuah: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things?
Acts 7:48-50 (Stephen quoting Isaiah 66)
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them
Brothers and sisters, the Ruach Ha’qodesh dwells in us – his name has been placed upon us. He is with us – we are no longer looking to be reunited in physical Jerusalem, but New Jerusalem, which is to be revealed with Messiah Yahusha. It is my conclusion that we should be observing Passover like the Israelite’s in captivity in Egypt, who were waiting for deliverance.
How We Celebrate Today
Before we get into the details, I must say, we have to be very cautious about traditions. The majority of set-apart believers today have left modern-day Christianity, which we know full well is littered with man-made teachings you cant find in the scriptures. What has been extremely unfortunate, is that some have left false Christianity and jumped all the way over to the other extreme — into Judaism. Growing up in this false way, I can tell you Judaism is riddled with even more man-made teachings! It’s the same stuff Yahusha rebuked in his day, plus even more traditions that have been added over the past 2,000 years.
With this word of caution, I think we ought to apply it to the Passover meal. Some man-made traditions added to the Passover meal include: The seder plate, the ‘commanded’ four cups of wine, and leaving a seat empty for Elijah (who’s coming was fulfilled with John the Baptist). These traditions are not found in Torah and need to go out the window. Drinking wine is not prohibited by Torah. However, I’ve seen first-hand that for some people, 4 cups = drunkenness. Some of these ceremonies and rituals can be really fun, I get it, although I think it’s time we learned our lesson – let’s do it his way. After all, it’s about him, not us.
Here is the commandment in Leviticus:
These are the feasts of YAHUAH, even holy assemblies, which ye shall proclaim in their appointed times. In the fourteenth day of the first month at evening is YAHUAH’S Pecach (Passover). And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Matstsah (Unleavened Bread) unto YAHUAH: seven days ye must eat matstsah (unleavened bread). In the first day ye shall have a holy assembly: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto YAHUAH seven days: in the seventh day is a holy assembly: ye shall do no servile work therein.
Here in Jubilees, the timing is a little clearer:
Remember the commandment which Yahuah commanded you concerning the Passover, that you should celebrate it in its season on the fourteenth of the first month, that you should kill it before it is evening, and that they should eat it by night on the evening of the fifteenth from the time of the setting of the sun. For on this night -the beginning of the festival and the beginning of the joy- you were eating the Passover in Egypt, when all the powers of Mastêmâ had been let loose to slay all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh to the first-born of the captive maid-servant in the mill, and to the cattle.
What is really neat about this verse; is that it lets us know that the changing of the day comes when it switches from evening (sunset) to nighttime.
The Passover meal is to be eaten at night, on the 15th day of the month. This feast starts the week of Unleavened bread and continues for 7 full days. Prior to the the Passover meal, all your leavened breads, yeast and baking soda (b.soda is debated) in the house should be tossed in the garbage. After the week of Unleavened bread, you can purchase more. Yes, I know your sourdough starter is amazing and it’s tough to let it go, but obedience to the Word is more important!
I will be celebrating from the evening of April 27th (Passover meal that night after sunset) and keeping the week of unleavened bread until the evening of May 4th. Evening to Evening at this period is how Yahuah taught us to count seven days. First fruits will be the evening of May 1st to the evening on May 2nd.
If you would like some help pinpointing the correct dates to celebrate this year and how I arrived at these dates, here are some resources:
Quick Reference: Why April 27th for Passover this year
The scriptures keep it simple, and that’s how we’ll be doing it. The meals that follow after Passover, during the week of unleavened bread, you can get fancy (no leavened bread though), but let’s stick to the Word:
And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and matstsah (unleavened bread); and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remains of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is YAHUAH’S Pecach (Passover).
Lamb, unleavened bread and bitter herbs, that’s it.
I know some of you out there are vegetarian and or vegan; I get it. Personally, I don’t eat flesh other than fish at this time. However, this is the one day of the year I will — it’s a command. If you would say, Messiah Yahusha is the Passover lamb and fulfilled this requirement, couldn’t we also then say he fulfilled all the commandments and we no longer need to do those either? Just something to consider.
Most of us are not livestock owners, so it may be difficult to do the lamb ourselves, which is totally understandable. If you are going to get your meat somewhere, I would recommend doing your homework prior – we should care where the meat came from and how it was handled. Was the blood drained properly, was it processed in a plant that is Halal? This is a very intense subject that needs to be discussed. Halal is a practice of slaughtering animals in a scriptural way, which is good. However, there is much speculation, that during this process, the animal is said to be slaughtered in the name of Allah. This is not something I have been able to prove or disprove, but I often think of this:
But I have a few things against you, because you have there them that hold the doctrine of Bil’am, who taught Balaq to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Yashar’el, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. CHIZAYON (REVELATION) 2:14 את CEPHER
The enemies of Yahuah are acting like Bil’am on a worldwide scale: A constant barrage of convincing the masses to walk in error to the Most High’s ways. I wouldn’t be surprised if the claim about the majority of the meat available in the stores today to be unlawful flesh.
Halal meats are flooding our country and this world, do your own research on the matter. For me, it’s not worth the risk of eating something slaughtered to another god. But the decision as to where you get your lamb from (and any future meat) is between you and Yahuah. Do a little bit of investigation, you may be able to source local farmers who slaughter and butcher the animals the right way.
Regardless of where you source the lamb meat, it needs to be roasted in fire. I would recommend keeping this part as close to scripture as it is possible for you to do. Also, whatever remains after the meal is over, again, if you can, burn it in fire.
There are so many recipies out there! My recommendation is in the weeks leading up to Passover, try different recipes and get a feel for how you prefer it. Here was mine last year:
4 cups of flour, 2/3 cup water, 2/3 cup olive oil, salt to taste. Knead. Make into 4-5″ flattened circles. 450 -8-15 min (oven’s and altitudes vary).
- I would avoid recipes using honey or sugar.
You can also buy premade matza crackers or even some tortillas. However, be careful with these as most have baking soda in them. Typically, the only ones you can get without baking soda are the refrigerated kind that you cook at home (be careful however, the ones I used to enjoy were made with gmo’s). Honestly, I found the homemade unleavened bread quite delicious.
There has been some discussion as of late that the bitter herbs are an insertion and that this word actually means that the feast was to be observed in bitterness. Alongside this, some have said that the whole week of unleavened bread – you are to eat unleavened bread only, as in no other foods whatsoever. Here is my study and conclusion on the matter (I do not agree with these claims): https://pofthevineyard.wpengine.com/feast-of-unleavened-bread-joy-or-mourning/
Bitter herbs can come in many forms, lettuce, parsley, dandelion leaves and many others. Last year, I enjoyed making a salad from a combination of dandelions and parsley. This command is sort of wide open, especially since we are in dispersion and have different availability, depending on where we are.
While wine isn’t commanded here, it was consumed during the feast:
And all the families of Mitsrayim wept upon that night, each man for his son and each man for his daughter, being the firstborn, and the tumult of Mitsrayim was heard at a distance on that night. And Bathia the daughter of Phar`oh went forth with the king on that night to seek Mosheh and Aharon in their houses, and they found them in their houses, eating and drinking and rejoicing with all Yashar’el. YASHAR (JASHER) 80:48-49 את CEPHER
And all Yashar’el was eating the flesh of the paschal lamb, and drinking the wine, and was lauding, and blessing, and giving thanks to Yahuah Elohim of their fathers, and was ready to go forth from under the yoke of Egypt, and from the evil bondage.
Lastly, I think most of us remember that Messiah Yahusha drank wine also at this feast. Remember, the grape harvest was almost 6 months prior – the only way to preserve grape juice at that time was fermentation, wine (with alcohol). You don’t have to drink alcohol, but I would recommend having some wine or grape juice, if you abstain from alcohol.
Eaten in Haste/Anticipation:
And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is YAHUAH’S Pecach (Passover).
I think this is a good time to discuss the prophetic implications of Passover. While Yahusha our Messiah has fulfilled these feasts (He was sacrificed on Passover, entombed on and was our Unleavened Bread and rose on First Fruits) there is still a future fulfillment.
Removed from the Masoretic text (what the KJV, Cepher and other popular translations come from) but left intact in the Greek Septuagint text (roughly 1,100 years older), there is a prophecy about another regathering — the big one that we are all waiting for. In the Septuagint only, it gives us the timing of this prophecy. This passage is found in Jeremiah 38:8, which is the equivalent of Jeremiah 31:8 in the Masoretic:
Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.
Jeremiah 31:8 Masoretic
Behold, I bring them from the north, and will gather them from the end of the earth to the feast of the Passover: and the people shall beget a great multitude, and they shall return hither.
Jeremiah 38:8 Septuagint
Every year, for the rest of my existence, I will be hoping this will be the Passover we’ve been waiting for. With this in mind, I will be ready to go; “loins girded”. Below is a fun fact
That day will be bigger and more widely discussed than the Passover and the Exodus of ancient times:
Therefore, behold, the days come, says Yahuah, that they shall no more say, Yahuah lives, which brought up the children of Yashar’El out of the land of Egypt; But, Yahuah lives, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Yashar’El out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.
Come, Messiah Yahusha, gather your people!
The week of unleavened bread has two Sabbaths, the first and 7th days. The evening of the 27th of April (on the calendar I follow) until the evening of the 28th is a Sabbath. Likewise the evening of May 3rd to the Evening of May 4th is a Sabbath. No work is to be done, except food preparation, and it is also a Holy Convocation — a public gathering for worship. I know not all of you can gather in person, but perhaps look for an online gathering as a secondary option.
But you shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahuah seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein
Here are some scriptures giving us guidance:
You also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to Elohim by Yahusha Ha’Mashiach
1 Peter 2:5
Wherefore Yahusha also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to Elohim continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices Elohim is well pleased.
This should be a week-long festival of joy, giving praise and thanks to his name; something we should honestly be doing every day, but even more so, during this festival.
And the children of Yashar’el that were present at Yerushalayim kept the Feast of Matstsah seven days with great gladness: and the Leviyiym and the priests praised YAHUAH day by day, singing with loud instruments unto YAHUAH. DIVREI HAYAMIYM SHENIY (2 CHRONICLES) 30:21 את CEPHER
Yahusha: Our Spotless Passover Lamb
The next day John saw Yahusha coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of Elohim, which takes away the sin of the world.
Who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of Yahuah revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of Elohim, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Yahuah has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opens not his mouth.
Forasmuch as you know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Messiah, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1 Peter 1:18-19
Speak ye unto all the congregation of Yashar’El, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:
And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin
1 John 3:5
- Yahusha had no blemish, no sin.
In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof.
He keeps all his bones: not one of them is broken.
But when they came to Yahusha, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knows that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
None of the lamb remains until morning:
And you shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remains of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.
Now upon that certain Sabbath, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of Adonai Yahusha
Eating the Flesh of the Passover
And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof
The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat Then Yahusha said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eats me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eats of this bread shall live for ever.
This is a great time to transition into Yahusha is also our Unleavened Bread, but before we do, consider what he just said, “so he that eats me, even he shall live by me“. Considering we know he is the Word made flesh:
After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall you not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall you not do: neither shall you walk in their ordinances. You shall do my right-rulings, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am Yahuah your Elohim. You shall therefore keep my statutes, and my right-rulings: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am Yahuah.
And I gave them my statutes, and showed them my right-rulings, which if a man do, he shall even live in them.
Yahusha: The Unleavened Bread
They said therefore unto him, What sign will you show then, that we may see, and believe you? what do you work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Yahusha said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of Elohim is he which comes down from heaven, and gives life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Adonai, evermore give us this bread. And Yahusha said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That you also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which sees the Son, and believes on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Yahusha, the son of Yoceph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? Yahusha therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of Elohim. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, comes unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of Elohim, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believes on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
Expounded at the Last Supper:
Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the Passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the Passover, that we may eat. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when you are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he enters in. And you shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guest chamber, where I shall eat the Passover with my disciples? And he shall show you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the Passover. And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of Elohim. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of Elohim shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
When we eat the unleavened bread, we should be remembering Messiah, just as we should do with the lamb and the wine. Praise Yahuah for sending us his Son, the true teacher of the doctrine from above, without the leaven of man’s doctrine!
Regardless of when and how you celebrate this coming festival season, I am overjoyed to see so many people Yahuah has woken up with a heart for his ways. It is my hope that you have a better understanding of these amazing feast days and know more about why we remember them. I hope we be worthy to celebrate this together forever within the walls of New Jerusalem.
Yahuah bless you and keep you,
Yahuah make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
Yahuah lift up his countenance upon you and give you Shalom