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Hebrew Pesaḥ, or Pesach, in Judaism. This is one of the 3 greatest festivals in the Jewish year. It commemorates the Hebrews’ liberation from slavery in Egypt. The Israelites had been in Egypt for generations, but now that they had become so numerous, a Pharaoh who did not know of Joseph feared their presence. He feared that one day the Hebrews would turn against the Egyptians. So, he forced them into slavery.

The slaves built the great 'treasure cities.’ But Pharaoh was still worried that his Hebrew slaves would rise up against him, so he passed a terrible law that all the baby boys of the Hebrew slaves were to be killed, thrown into the Nile as a sacrifice to the Nile God. We read a couple of days ago about one baby boy saved from drowning in the Nile to become a Prince in Egypt - Moses. As an adult he had to flee Egypt after finding out his true Heritage and killing an Eqyption overseer. Then we read about his encounter with God, which changed his life forever.

God sent him back to Egypt to free his people. It took supernatural evidence of God in the form of 10 plagues, one after another descending upon the Egyptians, before Pharoah let them go. Each plague conquered one of the Egyptians gods. The NIle God - The plague of blood in the Nile, The Sun God - 3 days of darkness, etc. Finally the last and greatest plague of all, was the death of every firstborn in every household of Egypt. The Hebrews had been told by Moses and their elders to kill a lamb and keep it’s blood in a bowl, then using a bunch of hyssop as a paintbrush, to paint the doorposts and lintel of the doorways of their houses with the blood, then to roast and eat the lamb sharing with those who didn’t have enough to afford a lamb. They were all to be dressed ready for a journey. That night the Angel of Death entered and killed the firstborn in every home except those whose doorways were painted with the “blood of the lamb”.

The next day the Israelites left Egypt, in a great Exodus loaded with treasure, given to them by their masters the Egyptians. When Pharaoh changed his mind and came after them with the full might of the greatest army of that time. God opened a path through the sea, allowing the Hebrews to escape.

Gods miraculous saving of their people is commemorated each year - Passover. Saved by the “blood of a lamb” and passing through the waters. We are saved by “the blood of the Lamb of God” - Jesus Christ and by passing through the waters of baptism. It is NOT a coincidence. Passover begins at Sunset tonight. If you choose to celebrate this great festival, as Jesus did every year. Remove anything containing yeast from your home.

Many Christians may have celebrated Passover on Maundy Thursday as the Last Supper. But the Jewish Passover starts at Sunset tonight and is a Great Sabbath so we will put the ordinary Sabbath prayers at Vespers for those who had a Passover Sedar early. For those wishing to try a Messianic Passover download a shopping list with recipes here, and a printable HAGGADAH (book of the prayers for the passover meal) here.