The Passover Service
This article explains how you may hold the Passover Service in your
own home. It is not designed to keep you away from Passover Services
organised by the church group in your area. But may be of help if you find
that there is no local group in your vicinity or, perhaps, if they do not
celebrate the Passover according to the scriptural instructions. To begin
with, I will briefly describe the events that led up to the first Passover
ever held. To do this we will together take an imaginary journey to ancient
Egypt, the land of the Pharaohs, the sphinx and the mighty pyramids.
The scene that comes to mind is strange to say the least: but it is true
and very meaningful. Here is a land that is the hub of the ancient world:
where traders from the continents of Africa, Asia and Europe mingle in the
busy market places. Throbbing with energy and spurred on by genius and
ruthless greed, ancient Egypt is the envy of the whole earth. The country is
awake, educated, rich and extremely powerful. She is the cradle of
civilisation, the birth place, some say, of astronomy, mathematics,
architecture, medicine, music and other arts and sciences.
Egypt, however, is proud, proud to the point of blasphemy; proud of her
military might, her scholars, buildings, culture and religion: so proud
in fact that the Pharaoh is worshipped as God, a God on earth. Daily he is
hailed by his court as the visible representation of the divine presence,
the supreme benefactor of the civilised world. The only people in his country
who do not subscribe to this view are the children of Israel who live in the
delta province of Goshen. They are Pharaoh's slave-workers whom he is finding
increasingly difficult to control. You see they do not consider Pharaoh to
be God. Instead they worship Yahweh, the God of their ancestors Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob. They have been in Egypt for hundreds of years, but
somehow know that the time for their liberation is near. But who will
deliver them, and how? How could an unequipped and untrained company of
slaves defy and overthrow the mighty Egyptian army with its war chariots,
skilled fighting men and latest weaponry? There is absolutely no possibility
for the slaves to escape, that is, without the help of Yahweh their
God. And so, with mounting desperation, they call upon the Holy One of
Israel to deliver them from their intolerable plight. From the height of
heaven the God of the Hebrews hearkens to their call and comes to their
||"And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people
which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters;
for I know their sorrows;
And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and
to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land
flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the
Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the
Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come
unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress
Working through His servant Moses, Yahweh the God of Israel proceeds
to humble Egypt, to humble Pharaoh, the mere mortal who dares to pose as a
God on earth. By a series of devastating plagues Yahweh reduces Egypt to a
miserable shambles. The temples, the houses and the countryside are all
systematically laid waste by the hand of the Almighty. Everything in Egypt,
the glory of the ancient world, is utterly ruined: all except the people of
Israel and their possessions in the land of Goshen. Pharaoh, surprisingly,
continues to defy the god of Israel and refuses to let His people go.
||"And the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon
Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall
let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether. Speak now in
the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbour, and every
woman of her neighbour, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold. And the LORD
gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses
was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and
in the sight of the people. And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About
midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: And all the firstborn in the
land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his
throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill;
and all the firstborn of beasts. And there shall be a great cry throughout
all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it
any more. But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his
tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a
difference between the Egyptians and Israel."
The story is well known. At midnight a terrible slaughter took place and the
only homes which escaped death were those which displayed the blood of the
Passover Lamb. This is the instruction that Israel followed to escape
that dreadful slaughter of the firstborn.
||"And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,
This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first
month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel,
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 ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same
month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in
the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side
posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.
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. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the
morning; and that which remaineth 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 the
LORD's passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and
will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and
against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.
And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are:
and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not
be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a
feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by
an ordinance for ever."
That was the first Passover ever celebrated. It was the night when the angel
of death - the Destroyer - passed-over the houses of the believers who
had displayed the blood of the Passover Lamb. If no blood was visible
the Destroyer would enter the house and the eldest son or beast
therein would die. It was a terrifying night for ancient Egypt: a night never
to be forgotten by believer and unbeliever alike.
||"And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all
the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house
where there was not one dead."
To Israel the Passover night was a night of liberation, the memorable night
of their salvation from the tyranny and degradation of slavery. To Egypt it
was a night of unparalleled catastrophe: a night of ignominious defeat and
death. Yahweh the God of the Hebrews had reduced the mighty Egyptian
empire to a dilapidated shambles and set His people free.
But this is all common knowledge to most believers. Indeed the story of
the Passover is so well known to Bible students that they tend to skip over
it when making a serious study of God's Word. This is a tragic mistake;
because the Passover story was in fact a preview, a 'scaled-down model' a
'dramatised prophecy' a 'live object lesson' to the whole universe of how
Yahweh the Almighty God of Israel was planning to rescue millions of
souls enslaved in sin by the super-Pharaoh Satan. The final act of that
real rescue operation is about to take place in the closing days of this age,
when once again the Destroyer will be despatched on his mission of
death. Yes, Yahweh the God of the Hebrews is again going to astonish the
universe in yet another act of deliverance, the second act, the grand
performance! That whole experience of Israel's slavery in Egypt, the
back-breaking toil, the brutality, the hopelessness, the pain and then the
deliverance through the blood of the Passover Lamb, was a living object
lesson of deliverance from sin and eternal death through the blood of Yeshua
the Passover Lamb of God. In view of this amazing fact let us take a closer
look at the Passover Service and learn what the Most High wants us to do in this
generation just prior to the Destroyer's appearance.
The Spiritual Realities of the Passover Service
Faith in Yahweh, faith in His son Yeshua and in His Word - the Bible, faith in
each other and the family, faith in the church will all be tested severely. To
stand upright at that time of temptation will require total dependence on the
Spirit of the Almighty. The PASSOVER NIGHT is the only night in the year
which believers are commanded to observe. Great care should be taken to
follow this divine instruction. The disciples failed to watch and pray even
after the Saviour's repeated warnings. As a result they all forsook him and
fled: and the Apostle Peter denied him on three occasions. Had Peter prayed he
would not have denied the Master. But we are in even greater danger than those
early disciples. Most certainly we are no stronger than them. The midnight of
the world when every soul will be tested to near breaking point is
approaching at speed. It is almost here. If we watch and pray regularly,
especially on the Passover Night our prospects of standing upright are
much better. If we do not watch and pray we will collapse as surely as Peter
did. The Passover Night is a night to much observed. This is what the holy
- Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah) is the true Passover Lamb and all
who put their faith in him and apply his life-saving blood to their souls will
||"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the
Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
||"Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I
will raise him up at the last day
||"He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I
- True Israelites include those who have put their faith in Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus the Christ) the seed of Abraham.
|Galations 3 26-29
||"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as
many of you as have been baptised into Christ have put on Christ. There is
neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male
nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are
ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."
||"But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the
heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but
- Since the Saviour's death on Calvary the blood of a literal lamb is no
longer used. Instead the new covenant emblems of unleavened bread and wine have
been authorised by him.
||"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake
it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he
took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the
remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit
of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's
||"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."
- The appointed Time and Date for the Passover Service is just after sunset
on the evening of the 14th Abib, the first month in the sacred calendar.
(See Calendar Chart 1993-1999 and Calendar Chart 2000-2005 for dates)
||"And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month:
and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the
||"In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye
shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at
- Strictly speaking Jerusalem (Israel) is the Passover site: and during the
millennium it will again be the place to congregate for Yahweh's feasts. In
this age, however, the Passover may be celebrated anywhere on earth: even in a
private home if needs be. We have the Saviour's guidance on this.
||"Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the Passover unto the LORD thy God, of
the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD shall choose to place his name there ...
||"Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which
the LORD thy God giveth thee: But at the place which the LORD thy God shall
choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at
the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt."
||"The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our
fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place
where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour
cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship
the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation
is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall
worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to
worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in
spirit and in truth."
- The size of the company is unimportant. If even two or three believers
are present the Spirit of Yahweh will be there.
||"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in
the midst of them."
- The Passover Service itself consists of hymns, prayers, scripture
readings and spiritual exhortations of what the Saviour did to save humanity.
Suggested readings are as follows: Exodus chapters 12 and 13, Isaiah 53, John
chapters 13 to 19, 1 Corinthians 11:23-34, Matthew chapters 26 and 27. The men
present should take turns in reading selected passages. The pastor or elders
should lead out, asking Yahweh's blessing on the bread and the wine.
- The Feet-Washing ceremony described in John 13 should be carried out
before the Passover emblems are taken.
||"Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou
wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now;
but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my
feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon
Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is
clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all."
- The feet-washing ceremony is a miniature baptism. It symbolises the
washing away of sins and grievances against God and one another which have
accumulated during our walk on the dusty road of life. He that is 'washed'
(baptised) by immersion doesn't need to be re-baptised: but does need this
service performed each Passover to be 'clean every whit.' The men and women
should separate for this part of the service: each man washing another man's
feet and each woman washing another woman's feet. Should Christians keep the
feet-washing service? The answer is yes we should. The Master's instructions
are as follows:
||"If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought
to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do
as I have done to you."
- After the feet-washing ceremony the Passover emblems of unleavened
bread and wine should be taken. They represent the Saviour's broken body and
shed blood. Leavened bread (bread made with yeast) should not be used; because leaven is a symbol of sin, and the Saviour was sinless - unleavened. See recipe for making unleavened bread. All new
covenant Israelites, that is all true believers in Jesus (Yeshua) should
eat the bread and drink the wine. By doing so we symbolically apply the
Saviour's blood to the lintel of our souls - the mind. When a believer
partakes of the wine he/she may be sure that just as the blood stream will carry
the qualities of the wine to every capillary in the body, so too will the blood
of the Saviour reach the very extremities of his body - the church: and bring
it life, health, power, beauty and warmth. This is an important truth that all
must understand. How true is the old hymn which says - There is power in the
blood of the Lamb!
||"Then Jesus 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 eateth my flesh, and drinketh 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 eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me,
and I in him."
|1 Corinthians 11:23-30
||"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you,
That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And
when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body,
which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner
also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new
testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the
Lord's death till he come.
Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord,
unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man
examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For
he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to
himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly
among you, and many sleep."
- After the Passover Service believers should Watch and Pray that they
enter not into temptation. A fearsome testing time called the
'Hour of Temptation' is coming upon the world, when everything that can
be shaken will be shaken.
||"Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet
once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once
more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things
that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain."
||"It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out
from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the
children of Israel in their generations."
Yeshua the Saviour loves us with a love far beyond human imagination. He
gave his life to redeem us from sin and eternal death. His aim is to present
a faultless church to his Father; one that is washed clean of every sin and
filled with the Holy Spirit. If you follow his instructions and keep the
Passover Service at the appointed time and in the appointed way, and
continually pray for his presence and power in your life, you will be kept in
the Hour of Temptation. That is his
promise as quoted below.
||"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee
from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them
that dwell upon the earth."
If you plan to observe the Passover Service in your own home, then make sure
you and your company read the following:
"Yahweh bless thee, and keep thee:
Yahweh make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
Yahweh lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless
This is my prayer for you for His Name's sake.
Author: D B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland