Saturday, April 16, 2011

Gearing up for Passover!

We are celebrating our memorial Passover service tonight and we are all very excited!
We know that while we don't live in Israel, have a temple or have Torah as the consitution of the nation it is impossible to 'do' a proper Passover celebration BUT we can 'keep' it (or guard it) in our hearts and to the best of our ability whilst here in exile (ie: away from land of Israel).

And so we do!

We use it as a special teaching time for ourselves and our children and those who join us. Tonight, there will be 14 of us together to celebrate and learn. We read passages from the Word in both the Tanach ('old testament') and the Apostolic Record ('new testament') remembering that Yeshua our Passover Lamb has been sacrficed (1 Cor 5:6-8). We do some craft, have prayer and worship and maybe even some dancing!

I'll be posting more about how we remembered Passover for 2011 a little later on.
Right now, we have lamb cooking away in the oven, I'm finishing off some of the craft and preparing the rest of the Scriptures for our readings.

Is anyone else 'remembering' Passover tonight?
May YHVH bless you!
And we'll be thinking of our other Mishpokha (family) around the world doing the same.

Love to you and more to come,

11 comments:

Moira said...

Luci~I pray you have a blessed and wonderful time! Next year in Jerusalem!?????
Chag Sameach Pesach!
Chag Sameach Matzah!
Chag Sameach First Fruits!
Shalom Shalom.
Moira

Jamie said...

Hi Lusi,

We will be celebrating Passover for the first time tomorrow night. I am so excited. Are you a day ahead of us? I live in America and tomorrow is April 18th. Thanks for sharing.

kewkew said...

Hi, I just found your blog while hopping around looking into celebrating Passover for the first time. I have never celebrated before, but have wanted to because Jesus did. Now I am discovering so much about Torah and I am just overwhelmed. I was also wondering what Jamie was wondering, because according to my calendar Passover starts on the 19th, which I understand to be sundown on the 18th. Still trying to figure it all out.
I am now following your blog.
Blessings

lusi said...

Hi kewkew! I was so encouraged by your comments! We did Passover and a couple of the other feasts before understanding how they fit into the bigger picture of Torah. Now it just all makes so more sense! I pray Yah will continue to show you more of his truth as you journey with him!
Hi Jamie! I hope you have a wonderful Passover celebration with your family! This year we have been learning a little about watching the new moon. It's still early days but from what we looked at, the new moon was when there was actually no moon in the sky and then 14 days from that time took us to Sunday night here in Australia which was the 17th. I'm not sure this is how we'll do things every year but it's just what we've been looking at this time round. Also we had stuff on for the Monday night ;-) and feel that as a memorial we are trying to just do our best! Hope that makes sense!!!
Anyway hope it's a wonderful time for you guys!
Love to you too Moira!
Love lus x

nettypike said...

Blessings to my fellow graftees (into Israel)in NSW! May this week of unleavened bread be rich in application and meaning. Trust all is going well with bubby boy 5.
Annette in SA

Jamie said...

Lusi,

Your sweetness just oozes out of your writings. It is evident that you love the Lord.

We too are just trying to do our best with celebrating Passover. We are starting early (around 4:00) instead of sundown.

I have a ? for you about circumcision. I have always thought that before Jesus came things were more physical, now they are more spiritual. For example: circumcision was physical in the OT and now are hearts are circumcised once we are saved. What do you think about what Paul says about circumcision?

Also, what would you tell family when asked to celebrate Easter with an Easter egg hunt? I don't see anything wrong with having dinner with family in remembrance of what Jesus did for us on the cross but I do have a problem with the mixing of the paganism with the Holy.

Thanks for your help!

lusi said...

Hi there Jamie :) Great questions! Thought I would share with you some of my heart thoughts on what you have asked. Edited to add: I have had to split my reply into a couple of sections since there were too many words! lol! Sorry about that :)

Circumcion of the flesh has always been (and remains still) a sign of circumcision of the heart. In the 'OT' God was always interested in both. Abraham who walked in realationship with God and according to all His ways (Genesis 26:5)had an obedient, circumcised heart and was given circumcision of the flesh as a sign of the covenant between he and God (Genesis 17:9-27. He was told that it would be an 'everlasting covenant' (Genesis 17:13) and the physical circumcision was just a sign of this covenant (Genesis 17:11). Jeremiah 4:4 tells us that the LORD had said through the prophet, 'Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, circumcise your hearts...' and a little further on in Jeremiah chapter 9 He says this, “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh— Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the wilderness in distant places.For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart." (Jer 9:25-26). Physical circumcision means nothing without the circumcision there of the heart first. However, he still desires the physical sign to be there - he wants BOTH!

In Judaism today and back in the days of Paul, the thing that was being taught in the oral law was not circumcision according to the Torah instruction given to Moses by God, but rather a RE-CIRCUMCISION of the flesh. So if a man decided to follow after God and say he had been circumcised alredy on the 8th day after his birth according to God's command, the Pharisees or those in the 'circumcision party' would tell the man to be re-circumcised. This is called the 'Hatafat Dam Brit'. You can read about it and about other Jewish laws of circumcision here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brit_milah. Just keep in mind that these were NOT ordained by God and so the Pharisees in Paul's day were pressuring people to be re-circumcised according to these Jewish laws. And Paul is telling them it is not necessary to do that!
Paul circumcised Timothy (Acts 16:2). If he had preaching that circumcision was no longer important then he would have been a hypocrite to do such a thing. However, since Timothy's dad was a Greek, he would not have had the 8th day circumcision that God set out as a sign for those in covenant with him.
Paul, in his own day, was accused of teaching that circumcision was no longer necessary (Acts 21:21) and that he was teaching that the law of Moses was no longer important. So to prove that this was not the case, he showed that 'he was living in obedience to the law (torah)' (acts 21:24) and as such, he took a nazarite vow (outlined in the torah in Numbers 6) and kept the law according to that. He said that he 'upheld the law' (romans 3:31) and 'agreed with everything that was written in the torah and the prophets' (acts 24:14). He even ministered and evangelised from the Torah and the Prophets (Acts 28:23). We've just sadly been taught all these years that Paul was trying to 'do away with the law' when scripture says otherwise.

lusi said...

There is a very clear explanation made by Avi Ben Mordecai over at M7000 and the link to it is here: http://www.m7000.com/Avi/Galatians.htm#Slide7 It is in a teaching about the letter to the Galatians. That was helpful to us and maybe it will be to you too.

In the book of Ezekiel, where it talks about Jesus coming again, it says this, "No foreigner uncircumcised in heart AND flesh is to enter my sanctuary, not even the foreigners who live among the Israelites.' (Ezekiel 44:9)

To us, when we've looked at the scriptures, it seems that before the law (abraham's time) circumcision of the flesh and heart was important to God, then after Jesus was here it was still important to Him and even at the end of time it is still something that He desires for His people.

I hope that is helpful in some way. Of course, believe nothing here I write without first checking it out against the Scriptures and I know that through prayer, Yah will continue to lead you into all freedom and truth!

Much love,
Lusi x

lusi said...

Oh and I forgot to reply to the bit about the Easter Egg hunt. Well, for us, we've been up front with our families and friends about how we feel about easter and christmas and any pagan symbols that are associated with these church days. It is actually a great built in chance to share why we believe what we believe and it has often led to conversations about 'what we do as a family instead'. We then get to share about how we do Passover and the God given symbols built into this celebration. Sometimes, depending on the people, of course we have just politely said thanks but no thanks to invites of things like that. But other times we have had a chance to share our heart. The narrow walk is supposed to look different from the world.
Just last year, we shared with one couple (dear friends of ours) why we had a problem with the pagan fertility symbols of the goddess Ishtar which of course has now become known as more commonly as Easter. They immediately asked why and wanted to know what we did instead and then when we told them about Passover, the hubby invited himself to ours!!! which of course was wonderful! This couple is now walking in the grace, joy and freedom and Torah (the father's loving instructions to his children) and are set to host their own passover for the first time with many of their family friends. It really can be a great opportunity for God to use to teach others and open eyes and hearts. Will be praying for you and your precious family!

With much love,
Lusi x

Jamie said...

Hi Lusi,

A friend of mine (the friend that we celebrated Passover with) shared this with me in regards to circumcision.

"One important rule about biblical exegesis is to ask Who, What, When, and Why about any verse. As for Paul circumcising Timothy, this answer sums it up nicely:

Well, this has been much discussed, was Paul wrong? He has Timothy circumcised, and so he doesn’t offend the Jews. Well, Paul says in 1 Corinthians Chapter 9, To the Jew I became as a Jew; to the Greek I became as a Greek. He’s not comprising the gospel. Timothy is already saved, so he’s not saying, Timothy, you are not saved unless you get circumcised, but it’s so as not to give an offense to some of these Jews.

(http://www.thebereancall.org/node/1974)

'Hatafat Dam Brit' is not what Paul was referring to. Read the whole chapter. The word Paul uses for circumcised is "peritemno" #4059 in Strong's concordance. It's derived from #4012 "peri". It is the same word used in Luke 2:21:

21 And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child,[a] His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb".

New King James version


I was reading a book (Adopted For Life, we are in the adoption process) about adoption and it was discussing circumcision. I had this thought while reading it...could it be that Jesus made the cut for us? Our hearts are now circumcised because of what Jesus did for us. We were dead in sin and He chose to save us. These are just some of my thoughts. I write this (and share my friend's thoughts) in love. I also thank you for taking the time to share your beliefs with me. I am still praying about all of this.


Love,
Jamie
Pursuing the Old Paths

lusi said...

Hi Jamie,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think perhaps you and your friend misunderstood what I was saying about the Hatafat Dam Brit. I was not saying that this is the circumcision that Paul was giving to Timothy. This is a form of circumcision that is found in the oral-law of Judaism which Paul was NOT encouraging. Indeed what you found is spot on! The same word peri is used in Luke 2:21 which is the 8 day circumcision which Yeshua received in keeping with the Torah. This is the same circumcision that Timothy received since he had never had the 8th day circumcision.
I too used to think that it was because Paul wanted to ‘witness’ to the Jews that he had Timothy circumcised but it doesn’t say that in the Scripture. Paul says himself that he is not interested in pleasing man (Galatians 1:10) He openly rebukes the Jews and says that he is not trying to please them. So Paul having Timothy circumcised just doesn’t line up with what he’s already said. It does however make sense and is in keeping with the WHOLE context of all the Scriptures that Paul had Timothy circumcised as a sign of the covenant which Yah told Abraham would be everlasting (Genesis 17:13). If we are circumcised in heart, then we want to do everything and anything that God has commanded and desires – including being circumcised as a sign of the everlasting covenant.
I too agree that physical circumcision is NOT a means to salvation! Not at all! There is NO scripture that says that a man is SAVED by fleshly circumcision. We MUST be circumcised in the heart FIRST. However, it still remains a SIGN of a covenant that is everlasting and remains standing today. The Bible tells us that even though men like Abraham and Moses were circumcised in heart, God still desired that they be circumcised in the flesh too.
The belief that ‘it was once about circumcision of the flesh’ and ‘now it is about circumcision of the heart’ doesn’t stand up in Scripture considering that all the way through the old testament it said the both circumcision of the flesh AND heart was what God was desiring and also like I mentioned in Ezekiel too that in the ‘last days’ He still desires both (Ezekiel 44:9).

My prayer is that Yehovah will continue to teach, lead and guide our families into all truth through the love of Yeshua our wonderful Messiah. May his ways alone be our ways and may he continue to circumcise our hearts.
Much love,
Lusi x

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