Tag Archives: Hospitality

Martha Served

Martha Served

“Now it happened as [Jesus] went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.” Luke 10:38 …And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.’” (Luke 10: 39-42)

I recently put together a fairly elaborate luncheon for a group of ladies. I’d put a lot of thought and effort into it, wanting it to be sort-of-like a seventh inning stretch for them — a sort of coach’s halftime speech that would give them a sense of accomplishment for their work so far, refresh them, and then inoculate them with the energy and enthusiasm to crank out the last ounces of their strength and finish the game.

As they nibbled on their morsels, I remarked to them that this was going to probably be my finest hour, the penacle of parties, and it was going to all be downhill from here. One of the ladies piped up saying that I didn’t really need to go to so much fuss and bother, that she was just as tickled with a loaf of bread and simple assortment of lunch meats. As long as she didn’t have to cook it, or clean up from it, she was totally happy. The other guests agreed.

That’s when the scripture about “Martha, Martha” and Jesus popped into my head. And I have to also say, I love how the scriptures are so honest with Martha’s wording of her question to Jesus, “Do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?” By her words I’m almost certain Martha was probably a firstborn. I’d even venture a guess that she and her siblings may have lost their parents at a young age and Martha assumed the role of mother to her brother and sister. I only wonder this because the three of them are always together, but there is never any mention of parents or spouses. Mary fits the model of a second born – an opposite of the firstborn. The oldest always feels like they have more responsibilities than the other kids, and that younger siblings get away with slacking off much more than they do.

Martha had obviously been brought up with manners and knew how to entertain guests. I bet she kept her house spotless clean, dishes done, beds made with fresh linens, and Refreshments (2)smelling great with scented candles and such. When Jesus stayed I’m sure she tried hard to make sure everything was perfect for Him. Maybe she laid a mint on His pillow and bottle of water on his nightstand. Perhaps she washed his clothes for Him. And what a sweet surprise it would have been to have them pressed and hanging in the bathroom for Him when He got up to shower in the morning. With a name like Martha you have to think she probably did crafts, gardened, was an amazing decorator, and most assuredly a fantastic cook too! Or maybe it is Martha Stewart I’m thinking of? Ha!

Scripture says the Mary/Martha/Lazarus family lived in Bethany. Luke says Jesus came to their village and that’s where He met Martha. I often wonder what Martha was doing when Jesus came through? Was she planting flowers in front of her home, or sweeping off the sidewalks when Jesus passed by? Was she at the market or on her way home and they met in the street? I wish I knew how their paths had crossed? What had He said to her that prompted her to invite Him to her house? And what did she make for supper? Even more intriguing…what did Jesus like to eat?

Like Martha I am a firstborn, with a lot of things on my mind. Always a million plans on my heart. I admire Martha wanting to make her guest comfortable and happy. If she is Refreshments (1)anything like me she probably spent all week deciding on what to make for supper after extending that invitation, and then shopped all over town for the freshest and finest ingredients. I wonder if she scrubbed and dusted and made sure everything was perfect, like I certainly would have. From the cleaning of the bathrooms to the chopping of vegetables, I imagine she stayed busy. And I’m pretty sure Jesus not only cared, but that He noticed, and was grateful.

In fact the more I look at it from my recent experience with the ladies, the more the tone of His response seems to sweetly suggest that she didn’t need to go to so much trouble and fuss for Him; that she had made way too much food and preparations; and that a simple dinner would have done fine. I think Jesus appreciated Martha’s efforts greatly, but what I see that He desired rather than an extravagant meal was the pleasure of her company, which is where Mary comes in.

Jesus often broke the social molds of the age and this is one more example. Mary was allowed to sit at Jesus’ feet and be taught. That was a luxury reserved for the men in those days, but Jesus let Mary be seated in the congregation around Him instead of sending her away to do women’s work. In fact, Jesus wanted Martha to put down the spatula and oven mitt and partake as well.

Jesus loved Martha (John 11:5) and her sister, and their love for Him was mutual, but I see each was different in return. John 11:2 and 12:3 says it was this Mary who anointed Jesus with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair (Matt.26:7). That makes me think Mary (as the Greeks would say) “eros” loved Jesus – with a deep, familial, affectionate love. Martha “philos” loved Jesus, with a brotherly, giving, serving love. And Jesus “agape” loved Mary and Martha, with unconditional, sacrificial love.

God had gifted Martha to serve, and her gift is important. If she hadn’t been there, Jesus would have maybe starved. He’d have had to probably sleep on the cold hard floor or worse, on the street. As special as Martha’s gift was, though, it’s only part of the total package of hospitality. I believe John 12:2-3 lists the total package: Martha served, Lazarus sat, and Mary anointed. As a guest in their home Jesus was provided for, kept company, and well-regarded.

Those two girls, whether they realized it or not, were a pair. Together these two women demonstrate what I think are the two sides of hospitality, giving and receiving (and Lazarus was there to talk sports, right?).

I don’t think it is a coincidence that Luke 10 begins with Jesus sending out His disciples two-by-two and ends with Mary and Martha?

“After these things the Lord appointed seventy other [disciples] also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road. But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’” (Luke 10: 1-9)

I feel like the kingdom of God has come near me today. As much as I love to serve, I have to remember that it isn’t fair to impose my ways on anyone (we are all gifted differently), or expect someone is being lazy who doesn’t share my vision. I need to put away distractions sometimes and just sit at Jesus’ feet, probably a lot more often than I actually do.

And when I do serve, I’m going to try to KEEP IT SIMPLER so that I can receive from the Lord what He wishes to teach me, rather than trying so hard to impress my guests.

It is so true what Jesus says in Matthew 13:17, “For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” I sooooo wish I could see how very different Martha’s first supper for Jesus was from that last one with Him after her brother came back to life?

“There they made Him a supper; and Martha served…” John 12:2

Feast of Booths

Feast of Booths

Continuing with our study of the feasts of Israel is this, our final feast, the Feast of Tabernacles.  If you have missed the other studies, you may click the links here:

The Lord Our Passover (Passover & Unleavened Bread)


Happy Firey Tongues Day (The Feast of Weeks – Pentecost)

Feast of Trumpets

Feast of Atonement & The Lamb’s Book of Life



My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”  Ezekiel 37:27 (NKJV)


Do you remember the story in the Old Testament where Moses went on the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments from God, but returned only to find the Hebrew people had constructed a golden calf all that time he was gone, and were worshipping it?  Aaaargh!!!!  I think Moses was pretty much at his wits end with them.  He angrily tossed and broke those stone tablets, and went straight to burn their stupid idol (32:20).  In his frustration he went out and met with the Lord in a tent far away from the camp.  He called it the tabernacle of meeting (33:7) and there God and he talked things out.  The Lord asked Moses to come back up on the mountain and He would show him what to do.

When Moses returned to the mountain, God gave him instructions for building a Tabernacle of worship for the people, so that they could have Him with them in their wilderness wanderings.  God made Himself accessible to the people.

Later, on in the timeline of history, when David became king, he sought to build God a permanent dwelling place, where the Ark of the Covenant (from all the way back in Moses’ day) could be kept.  His son Solomon fulfilled his father’s vision, and the temple was built in Jerusalem.

Through the building of the tabernacle (Exodus 25:8; 29:45; Leviticus 26:11-12) and the construction of the temple (1 Kings 6:13, 14; 2 Chronicles 6:18), God demonstrated again and again an outward expression of His persistent desire to dwell with man. But we are to make no mistake… These tabernacles were only temporary provisions. God’s word tells us that He does not dwell “in temples made with hands.” (Isaiah 66:1-2; Acts 7:48-50; 17:24, 25 cp. Jeremiah 7:4; Matthew 24:1, 2) (*http://www.dianedew.com/habitatn.htm)


“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee; how much less this house that I have builded?”    1 Kings 8:27 (NKJV)


God’s house on earth was regularly robbed and desecrated by evil kings throughout the Old Testament.  And even in the New Testament religious people of that day were using it in ways that God never intended.  Jesus overturned tables when He found that people were turning His Father’s house into a den of thieves.

In 70 AD God’s Tabernacle (Temple) on earth was finally destroyed for the last time when the Holy Land was conquered and God’s people were scattered over the face of the earth.  It has never been rebuilt.  All that remains is the western wall, where orthodox Jews and people from around the world go to pray and press their paper petitions into the cracks between the stones.


Though God’s tabernacle on earth was misused and eventually destroyed, The Father never wanted His people to forget about His dwelling place, because it was after all a copy and shadow of things to come. The design that He showed to Moses on that mountain was and is a copy and shadow of His tabernacle in heaven (Hebrews chapter 8 and 9; Revelation 21).  The purpose of the tabernacle is to give man a place on his/her level to meet with our Maker, for the purpose of fellowship!  A place where we can remember the covenant God has made with us, lay down our sins, learn of His will and His ways, and sup with Him!  The ritual of “church” is a practice that, in it’s very best, gives us a picture of heaven.  Our modern “church” is rooted out of an ancient Hebrew practice ordained by God…


“You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice.”

Deuteronomy 16:13-15 (NKJV)


If you would like to have this coloring page, click the FREE PRINTABLE link below.


The Jewish Feast of Ingathering or Feast of Booths, as it is sometimes called, is the last of the yearly feasts of Israel.  It takes place in the fall, at the end (or ingathering) of the fruit harvest.

In modern Hebrew culture, The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) is celebrated by God’s children who first put up a Sukkah (like a gazebo with an open air roof) in the days leading up to the feast date.  It can be built on a porch (as long as the porch does not have a roof of any kind), or in a back yard (as long as its location is open to the sky and not sheltered under any tree cover).  The Sukkah can be made of an existing structure, as long as the roof is replaced entirely with “sechach,” which is vegetable matter that has not previously been used for any other purpose.  It must be four sided, with one side open for entering and exiting.  The roof cannot be premade – it must be newly constructed of twigs and branches of palms collected for that particular Sukkah that year.  Inside is a table, and all the family meals are taken in the Sukkah for the entire holiday.  Guests are invited and encouraged.

The week-long feast of Tabernacles is book-ended between two Sabbath days of rest – Leviticus 16:30-31; 23:34, 41.  On the first day of the feast the people of Israel were to “take the foliage of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and use them for the roof, and also offer an offering made by fire to the Lord, and rejoice before the Lord for seven days” (Leviticus 23:40,36).  All native Israelites were to go out and dwell in these booths for the seven days of the feast to remind them of their ancestors wandering in the wilderness.

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As with all the feasts, Jesus is the pivotal point on which they all are hinged.  Each of the feasts are a copy and shadow of things to come.

The first four feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and Pentecost) happen in the spring and summer, and each has been fulfilled by Jesus, our Passover Lamb without spot or blemish, the Resurrection and the Life, the Bridegroom of the church, our Messiah.

Three feasts remain: Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles.


Click here for the fall-feasts-free-printable

The ultimate fulfillment of the last three feasts, as it appears, will be when Jesus sounds His trumpet at the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) and gathers His elect “from the peoples” (Eze. 11:17) – the rapture; atones for His chosen (Yom Kippur), taking the sacrifice from the cross and sprinkling the blood on the mercy seat in heaven (Lev.16:3, 14; Rom. 5:9-11), permanently penning the names of those atoned for in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  And then gathering us, His bride, the elect, and the church, from the heavens, from one end of heaven to the other, to gather us from the many mansions (Sukkot) He has built in His Father’s house (where we will be kept safe from the great tribulation to come)…

For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock. 

Psalm 27:5 (NKJV)


…to His great Tabernacle in the New Jerusalem.

“And there we shall all ever be with Him…” (1 Thes. 4:17)



The Wedding Feast

To understand the Feast of Tabernacles with a little more clarity, I feel like we need to understand the Jewish Wedding customs.  I see the two of them just so very intimately intertwined.

In the Old Testament, it was the custom for a son, or his family, to choose a bride.  Having made a choice, the son would then go to the father of the bride and negotiate a “bride price” or dowry.  Once the dowry was paid, the son would ask for the bride’s hand in marriage, seal the covenant with a sip of wine, and place a ring on her finger.  The two were engaged at this point, or in Jewish terms, betrothed.  It was a legally binding agreement.

The groom then left his bride and returned to his father’s house where he would begin building a home for the two of them.  This home was built in his father’s estate.  As you can imagine the groom was anxious to go back and get his bride and get the show on the road, but the son would not be allowed to go back until his father approved of the house that he had built.

When the house that the son built finally passed his father’s inspection and approval, the father would give the son permission to go back and get his bride.

When he went to retrieve his bride, while he was still a ways off, he and his groomsmen would begin shouting, and even blowing a trumpet to alert her.  The bride was supposed to be dressed, packed, and ready to depart at a moment’s notice.  She was to have an oil lamp ready, and all of her bride’s maids as well, in case he came at night.  In her time of waiting she was to remain consecrated, set apart, and bought with a price. And when the groom arrived with his groomsmen, they would then snatch the bride away and begin a joyous procession to the father’s house.  This would alert the townsfolk and bride’s families that the wedding was taking place, and they were all invited to come.

At the father’s house the bride and groom exchanged rings and vows were spoken.  Afterward, the two of them would disappear into the house he had made for them, and there they would remain for seven days.  They were not considered married until the marriage was consummated (John 3:29).  The bride and groom remained in the chamber and spent that time getting to know each other in every intimate way.  The wedding guests continued to celebrate with feasting and drinking wine and dancing until the seven days were finally ended and the bride and groom could share in a grand feast together.

If you are familiar with the scriptures it’s easy to see so many illustrations of Jesus and the church in this beautiful tradition.  If you are not familiar, I encourage you to seek the scriptures for yourself.

First, we are a chosen bride:

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”  1 Peter 2:9

“For I [Paul] am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ.  2Corinthians 11:2

Jesus made a covenant with His apostles (Passover/Last Supper) that passed on to all who of us who have believed and received Christ as Lord.  At the Last Supper Jesus said, “This is my blood of the everlasting covenant, which is poured for many.”

The dowry He paid for His bride, the church, was His suffering and death on the cross (Unleavened Bread/Crucifixion/Passion of the Christ).  “But [you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish or spot.”  1 Peter 1:19 (AMPC)   It was a high price, but greater love hath no man than this, that He lay down His life for His friends.

The figurative ring that Jesus placed on His bride’s finger is the deposit of the Holy Spirit into our hearts when we accept His proposal.  He set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.  And He has identified us as His own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts.  (2 Cor. 1:22 & Ephesians 1:13-14)

It is the seal, the promise, guaranteeing He will return for us someday.  Jesus told His disciples it was to their advantage that He go to heaven, because unless He went, the Holy Spirit could not come back.  The Holy Spirit is the betrothment, the signed contract.

When Jesus told his disciples that “in my Father’s house are many mansions” ( ) and “no man knows the day or the hour of my return, only the Father,” ( ) they understood the symbolism parallel with the wedding custom.

When the apostles preached that Jesus would return with a shout, and a trumpet (1 Thes) to gather up His bride, the Jewish people of that day HAD to have begun to see the mystery of the gospel, as I pray we do.

The feast of Trumpets is fulfilled by the rapture (gathering up and snatching away) of the church (all the believers of the earth) – the Bride of Christ.  And the feast of Tabernacles is fulfilled when the church dwells in heaven in our little sukkah’s (booths, tabernacles) that our Bridegroom has built for us, to keep us safe for the last seven of Daniel’s prophesy – the great tribulation.

Jesus was Jewish, and He used things familiar to Jews to teach kingdom principles; the Jewish people got their customs from the Father to begin with.  It is all patterned after things in heaven.  When we draw the veil back on those Jewish traditions, it gives light to our understanding of the scriptures and how Jesus fulfills all of them.  Oh how I would love to be adopted into a Messianic Jewish family and to know the ways and practices of the people of my Lord.  How I appreciate the knowledge of my Jewish brothers and sisters like Zola Levitt and others, whose wisdom I draw upon heavily in my understanding of the scriptures.

Who is the bride and who are the guests?  I believe I am interpreting Zola Levitt correctly that the bride is the raptured church (Christians and Messianic Jews), and the guests are the family of the Father (the people of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) who repent as a nation (at their feast of Atonement) of their rejection of their Messiah.

It’s maybe a little odd of me, but I am thankful for Israel’s unfaithfulness (the Father knew they would be – as Hosea’s wife was), because it allowed me, YOU (and all Gentiles), the blessed opportunity to be grafted into the promise, and a new covenant, and to share in that great feast in God’s tabernacle in the New Jerusalem at the end of the age.


The Lord’s Time Fully Come

jesuswaterintowineI’ve often wondered about the two places in scripture where Jesus draws back from participating in a certain activity, saying My time has not fully come. The first instance was at the wedding in Cana when Mary, His mother, asked Him to show His works and do something about the lack of wine. Jesus told her His time had not fully come, but obeyed His mother, and did His works in secret. I believe His reluctance to manifest a miracle with wine (especially the wine for a wedding banquet) was because He is saving himself for THE WINE that will be shared with us at THE WEDDING FEAST in heaven…the fulfillment of the Last Supper, which He told his disciples He would not drink of until we are all able to drink it with Him, at His table, in His kingdom.

sukkot_feast-of-tabernaclesThe second time Jesus made that statement (in John 7), His brothers were getting ready to go the Feast of Tabernacles and pushing Him to also go and show His works to the people. Jesus told them to go without Him, as His time had not fully come. Jesus did end up going, but secretly. Hebrews 8:2 tells us, the true tabernacle is with God and not men. Jesus was well aware of the many mansions (Sukkahs, tabernacles) that await us in His kingdom. Our Lord observed the feasts on earth knowing they have a fulfillment in heaven. He has slipped away to prepare our places, that where He is we may be also, and He is waiting for His Father’s command to return for us, His bride.

His time fully comes in that day, when we shall sup with Him in His tabernacle, and He with us.


“Come away with Me…” Mark 6:31 (NKJV)


…is an invitation that Jesus continues to extend to anyone who can hear His voice.  It is the essence of “Tabernacles” to come out from the lives we’ve built for ourself and commune with God.

In Jesus the intent of God’s heart is fulfilled. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt (or, tabernacled) among us…” (John 1:14) His name was called “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God With Us.” (Matthew 1:23) The tabernacle of Moses was only a type of “the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man…” (Hebrews 8:2, 5; 9:25) “… Behold, the tabernacle (the abode) of God is with man, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people …” (Revelation 21:3)

God’s ultimate intention, however, has been to make His abode within the heart of every believer (John 14:23). Jesus promised that the same Spirit that “dwelleth with you … shall be in you.” (John 14:17) His place of habitation is within His people: “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.” (Zechariah 2:10)

In Old Testament times the Spirit of God would “come and go” – His Presence would enter, bless, and depart (Numbers 9:15-23; 11:25; 2Chronicles 5:13-14). Yet the Lord longed for a place in which He might continually dwell, or make His abode. “For the Lord hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for His habitation … here will I dwell; for I have desired it.” (Psalms 132:13, 14)  (*http://www.dianedew.com/habitatn.htm)


 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.  “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”  John 15:4-6 (NKJV)


“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”  John 15:2 (NKJV)


“And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. I [John the Baptist] indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”   Matthew 3:10-12 (NKJV)


“And the fire will test each one’s work (our Firstfruits), of what sort it is.  If anyone’s work endures, he will receive a reward.  If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.  Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?  If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”   1 Corinthians 3:13-17 (NKJV)


“Blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.’  Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved to the sake of the fathers.  For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable”  Romans 11:25-29 (NKJV)


So while our Jewish brothers and sisters celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, gathered around tables inside their little outdoor huts, covered with palm branches, let us all remember, our bodies are the temple of the Lord, and let us eagerly look forward to the ingathering (harvest of souls) that shall take place, and the great supper that the Lord is preparing, where we will ALL share that communion cup with Jesus finally, after all this time.


‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’”

Revelation 19:9 (NKJV)


“Surely I am coming quickly.”  Revelation 22:20 (NKJV)





Are you ready to accompany me on another captivating adventure into the Biblical Feasts of Israel? Are you as addicted to this series of adventures as I am?  If you missed our first excursion into the Biblical holidays of the Hebrews, please get your passport up to date by clicking on the link under recent posts (or here: The Lord Our Passover) to catch up, and then be sure to come back here for FIRSTFRUITS, the second stop on our tour.


“For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.”  Romans 11:16

The Firstfruits observance rose out of the sawdust of the construction of the very first ever “church” (the tabernacle) and its priesthood. The Hebrew people, wandering in the desert, on their way to the Promised Land, were instructed to give their first best of their first spring crops to God and in return God would bless their spring harvests. He would also use these offerings and tithes to fund the operation and ministries of His house on earth.

“But you shall seek the place where the Lord your God chooses…to put His name for His dwelling place; and there you shall go.”  There you shall take your offerings, your sacrifices, and your tithes. “And there you shall eat before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice in all to which you have put your hand, you and your households, in which the Lord your God has blessed you.” (Deuteronomy 12:5-7)

God established that His people (the Hebrews) seek His dwelling place (the tabernacle), and go there, packing their tithes and offerings, partaking of the communion (which had been established between Melchizedek king of Salem and Abraham their ancestor in Genesis 14:18-20), and there rejoice before the Lord.

“And it shall be, when you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and you possess it and dwell in it, that you shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground, which you shall bring from your land, and put it in a basket and go to the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide.

And you shall go to the priest in those days…then the priest shall take the basket out of your hand and set it down before the altar of the Lord your God. And you shall say…I remember what you delivered me from ‘and now behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land which you, O Lord, have given me.’

Then you shall set it before the Lord your God and worship before the Lord your God. So you shall rejoice in every good thing which the Lord your God has given to you and your house, you and the Levite and the stranger who is among you.

When you have finished laying aside all the tithe of your increase…and have given it to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your gates and be filled…then you shall say, ‘I have obeyed the voice of the Lord my God, and have done according to all that You have commanded me.

Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Your people…’”
(Deuteronomy 26:1-15)

According to Leviticus 23:9-12, the priest would wave a sheaf of green barley from each offering of the new harvest before the LORD (north, south, east, and west); a male lamb was then sacrificed as a burnt offering to the LORD; there was also a grain offering of unleavened bread made with oil, and a drink offering of wine.


Green barley

16 Firstfruits

I took this photo of a crop of wheat growing in a field near my house.  The farmers all around me planted winter wheat in their fields last year.  When spring came, with perfect warm and dry conditions, most of them were counting their chickens, as the saying goes, hoping to cash in on the terrible, relentless drought we were suffering with exactly the right low maintenance/minimum water required crop.  I enjoyed watching as the beautiful fields of green slowly began turning amber gold, and the warm Texas sun dutifully accomplished its work.

One late afternoon weeks before the harvest those still green grains got bent over and blown down by a tornado and wind squalls.  The gusts mischievously pounded the crops with down drafts in the night while we were all sleeping, and in the morning when we rose the fields looked as if aliens had crafted crop circles in the night, or as if herds of elephants had bedded down in the middle of them.  Every field was sculpted with strange mazes and patterns of wheat pinned to the ground in random fashion.  The farmers kept their optimism that their crops were still harvestable.

Just when the wheat was almost perfectly aged and ripe for harvest, south Texas got smashed with a month of flooding rains.  Inches and inches of rain.  Rain that carried houses away, washed bridges away, washed all our firewood and even our picnic table away, and filled up all the lakes and rivers to overflowing.  The wheat fields sat in standing bogs.  After a few weeks the amber waves, well, what remained of them, began turning a grayish tan.  Even so, the farmers held out hope that the sun would come out, dry everything out, and there would still be something enough to salvage.

The sun did eventually come out. The wheat did eventually dry out.  When the wheat was finally dehydrated enough for harvest the farmers turned the key on their gargantuan tractors, and lowered their combine blades down to the ground to rake up their pitiful, drowned, and wind damaged wheat.  The blades dragged across rocks and hard clumps of dirt, in an attempt to reap every kernel possible.  The damage to their equipment ended up exceeding the small pittance they netted from those fields.  There was little to no profits that year, only tax write-offs and equipment repairs.

So when I read this scripture about green barley I realized that there is still a lot of faith to be had between green FIRSTFRUITS and that actual golden harvest, at least in south Texas.

“Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the firsfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine” Proverbs 3:9-10.

“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. And try me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sake, so that he will not destroy the fruit…” Malachi 3:10-11.

“Do not think that I [Jesus] have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 5:17-20

The Firstfruits Resurrection

Now, here again is a mystery which gambols and pirouettes on the chiastic ring structure of scripture – the focal point of all the mysteries, Jesus!  Let’s begin with the amazing coincidence that Jesus, our male Lamb, sacrificed, arose from the grave on the very day of Firstfruits – three days after Passover/Unleavened Bread.

“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order; Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-23)

So, not only did Jesus rise again, but as He did, He waved a “firstfruits” offering to His Father in heaven, as our High Priest, passing through the rent curtain of the Holy of Holies on earth and entering the Holy of Holies in heaven.

“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.  Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.” Matthew 27:50-53

We learned in the Passover study that Jesus’ body is the unleavened bread, pierced, striped, and broken for us.  His shed blood is the wine of the new covenant.  When we partake of the communion, we remember His sacrifice until that day when He shall eat and drink it anew with us at the wedding feast of the Lamb, in His kingdom.

“We have a High Priest, (in the order of Melchizedek Gen. 14:18 ) who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man” Hebrews 8:1,2,5.

Jesus is the first-begotten of the Father (Heb. 1:6); the Firstborn of Creation (Col. 1:15-16); the first-begotten of the dead (Rev. 1:5) and is the Firstfruits of those who are to be resurrected (1 Cor. 15:20-23). And just as He is our Firstfruits, “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.” (James 1:18).

There are 50 days between the waving of the green barley and the next “firstfruits offering, the waving of the two loaves of wheat bread. Those fifty days are called “the counting of the Omer.” Each day of the Omer a sheaf of grain is waved by the priest before God.

“So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

Our High Priest, Jesus, spent the first 40 of the counting of the omer showing Himself to His disciples and others, by many infallible proofs. He spent the time preparing His disciples, telling them He would be gone for a while, and though they grieved over it, it was to their advantage that He go, for unless He went He could not send the Holy Spirit back for them. He instructed them that after He was gone to go and take their place in the city and wait until they were given the seal of promise. Then He went to the Mount of Olives where He bid farewell to all and a cloud hid Him away. His beloved disciples then went and waited, as instructed, as we also must, for the promise of their redemption.

“…but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:23)  

“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14

“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

The green barley was the waving of the firstfruits – and corresponds to the resurrection of the O.T. Saints. The Lord descended into Paradise after His death on the cross to preach the gospel to them, and sprinkle His blood on the mercy seat for them, and they were resurrected.

The two loaves that are waved at Shavuot/Pentecost represent Jew and Gentile, who are commissioned by Jesus to take the gospel (plant and water seeds, in the fields which are white for harvest) to all the word. Jesus waved them to the north, south, east, and west. It has taken 2000 years, but the gospel had to be preached in all the world as a prerequisite for Jesus to return for His bride. When our job is complete, He will rapture the living and resurrect the dead of His church (N.T. Saints).

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

Our Lord has gone to make a place for us! His promise that He will return for us is the seal of the Holy Spirit, which came at Shavuot/Pentecost, at the firstfruits of the wheat. We accept His bridal contract when we ask Jesus to live in our hearts and take His cup (communion). The dowry He paid was His blood on the cross. The Bridal gift that He left is the gift of the Holy Spirit who can only come to live in us when we are made clean by His blood sprinkled on the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies in heaven.

Acts 2 was the “early rains” upon the fields. There will also be “latter rains” poured out, Joel 2:28-29 just before the Lord comes for His church. The wise virgins had their lamps full of this, but the foolish did not. See the blog post about the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (in the list of recent posts on the right side of this page).


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There is a famous credit card commercial on TV that asks, “What’s in your wallet?”  In the same vein I ask,


“What’s in your BASKET?”


This is the question on my heart now every time I walk down the isles of the big box stores at Easter, strolling among the purple baskets, green baskets, yellow baskets, pink baskets, and blue baskets…baskets filled with candy and toys…baskets for little girls and little boys…baskets filled with grass and eggs.  Longaberger baskets, Peterboro baskets, and great big Texas baskets filled and decorated with bread, or flowers, or fruit, used as centerpieces on our dining room tables.  What’s in your basket?  What do you have to present to the Lord?

Jolee Wheat

With our High Priest now seated in His heavenly sanctuary, what firstfruits will we present to Him in our baskets?

There is one thing I know, we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out when we die (1 Timothy 6:7).  Not our riches.  Not our fame.  Not our social calendar.  Not our church attendance.  The only things to follow us to heaven are the souls of people whom we have invited to the great banquet, AND our other good deeds, which were done in obedience, and in secret, without fanfare, if they survive the fire (done out of love) – 1 Corinthians 3:14-15.

“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27)

“And he who reaps receives wages and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together” John 4:36.

I wonder, could the firstfruits in our baskets be the PEOPLE whom we’ve brought to the house of God (church), shared our faith with, helped in times of need, and fed and fellowshipped with around our tables?


Are my firstfruits fireproof?

Why was Cain’s offering not accepted (Genesis 4:3-5)?  I believe there is a big hint in the wording of the scriptures that tells us he gave an offering, but it was not of his “first” fruits.   Abel’s offering, on the other hand, was of the “first” born of his flocks.


“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”  Matthew 6:1-4

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.”  Matthew 23:23  “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 5:20

And perhaps the biggest of all, if we do the good we know to do out of obligation rather than love, we may as well not done anything at all (1 Corinthians 13:3).  Love suffers long, is kind, does not envy, doesn’t parade itself, and if not puffed up.  It doesn’t behave rudely, seek it own, or easily provoked.  It thinks no evil.  It doesn’t rejoice in other people’s misery, but rejoices in the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, and never fails.

Something the Holy Spirit put in my heart to consider also is Matthew 5:23-24: “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled with your brother, then come and offer your gift.”

“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors and their works follow them” Revelation 14:13.


I’m excited for our next adventure in the feasts (the Feast of Weeks, Pentecost).  You’ll find it under the title: Happy Firey Tongues Day!  Come take your place at my Lord’s table, and let us sup together these blessed feasts that the Lord has laid out for us in His word.  Let us be rich and well fed on the Word that we may have hope for our future!


“Do not lay up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

The Lord Our Passover

The Lord Our Passover

The word of God is such a trip! Passover was the first Jewish feast that opened the wardrobe door for me into a fascinating “kingdom of Narnia” waiting on the other side. The feasts of the Hebrews are sooooo darn …well, enrapturing! They paint a portrait of such amazing detail about our Savior, in a parable sort of way, that’s hidden in plain sight. The feasts are a living picture of God’s beautiful, hospitable plan for His people (Jew and Christian) – each with a humble beginning, a kind of boring ritual middle part, and then an <angel chorus> let there be light – gleaming fulfilment in God’s kingdom. Each is a dim reflection, a copy and shadow of things to come, given to us by a God who, like those feasts, was and is and is to come. We Christians are grafted in with our Jewish brothers and sisters, and they with us, as two parts of a whole. We come together at this Passover feast for a full and rich understanding of our Creator and His amazing plan of salvation.

Christian, come celebrate Jesus the Christ this Easter in a way you never imagined. And Jewish person, come dine at the table of the Lord, the Last Supper, and drink the cup, and break the bread, and comprehend the beautiful covenant He has made with us both.

14 Lord our Passover

“I [Jesus] will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” Matthew 26:29

We never know what an act of hospitality will mean in the grand scheme of things. All we know is that God expects us to do it. He has set Himself up as our example and He promises we will be blessed if we show hospitality out of love for Him. Moses, who was on the run from the Egyptians for killing one of the task masters over his cruel treatment of a Hebrew slave (which were the people of Moses), encountered the incredible hospitality of Reuel (Jethro), a kenite shepherd and the priest of Midian. And because of Jethro’s generosity to open his home, Moses was kept safe from his enemies, and was free to hear from and commune with God, and in the process, found his purpose and calling in life. (Exodus 2)

God said to Moses from the burning bush: “I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10)

Moses went to Pharaoh and beseeched him to “Let my people go!” But Pharaoh would not, not until God sent plagues, and a final plague that would take the life of every first born male in the land.

To be spared this plague, the people of God were instructed to take a lamb from their herds, a year old male without flaw or defect, on the 10th day of the month Nisan and keep it until the 14th day Nisan. This gave them time to inspect the lamb to make sure he had no flaws, and it also gave them time to get to know their lamb and become personally attached so that he would not be just a lamb, but their lamb.

The morning before the Passover, the Jewish people were instructed not to use leaven (yeast) in the bread they made that night, perhaps because leavened dough takes time to rise and the people would not have time for that. The Hebrews were also instructed to slaughter their lamb at twilight, and to use the blood from that lamb to paint the door frames of their homes. The innocent little lamb became their substitute for the death sentence (final plague) to “pass over” them. They were to roast their lamb over fire, eat it all that night, and burn up all the leftovers. The meal also included bitter herbs, which God intended to be used by the children of all future generations to ask the questions that would enable the Passover story to be told and retold and practiced from generation to generation, until the feast would be fulfilled by God. (God’s great plan has been to release us all who are slaves of sin, and brings us all into His rich kingdom, flowing with milk and honey).

The spirit of death indeed passed over God’s people that night, but not the Egyptians, and in his grief Pharaoh finally let God’s people go.

Did you know … that Passover has been observed by the Jews continuously for the last 3,500 years? It is the oldest observed feast in existence.

This is what a modern Jewish Seder looks like. It tells a story going backwards and forwards that I am blessed to share with you.



Because leaven is used as a metaphor for sin in the scriptures, Jewish homes are thoroughly scrubbed (kind of like a spring cleaning), to rid them of every single tiny particle of leaven that might be hiding in the cracks and crevices, the bottoms of pants pockets, or lingering in bowls, pans, or on the kitchen utensils before Passover.

We can all observe this practice symbolically by taking to heart the words of the psalmist, king David:

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

Passover begins at twilight and often lasts until midnight or longer. The meal begins with the lighting of the candles on the table, and the meal blessing is given by the woman of the house:

We, who have metaphorically been sitting in darkness of God’s great plan can imagine a candle being lit in our hearts tonight as we study the Jewish Seder and heed the words of Isaiah 9:2:

“The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” (Matthew 4:16)

As the woman of the house, I offer a prayer that God will speak to your heart and bless the words that I’ve placed here as food for your soul.


In Hebrew tradition, the youngest person is to sit to the right side of the leader at the table, and to his left is the guest of honor.

AT THE LAST SUPPER: It is traditionally believed that John, the “disciple whom Jesus loved,” the younger son of Zebedee, one of the pair that Jesus called Boanerges, or “Sons of Thunder” was the youngest disciple. Perhaps this is what triggered the discussion (arguement) between James and John and the other disciples, who would sit on His right and left in the kingdom of heaven (Mark 10:35-45 and Matthew 20:20-28). If John would get to sit at Jesus’ right, of course their mother wished that her other son James would get to sit on His left. And of course this caused a hue and cry with the other disciples (Luke 22:24). Jesus lovingly rebuked them (and remained discreet about the seating arrangements of His kingdom), except to say…

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28)

“I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Luke 22:29-30)


THE FIRST OF FOUR CUPS OF WINE (Exodus 6:6-7): The meal begins with a cup of wine – the first cup… “I will bring you out,” says the Lord. The father pours the first cup and asks everyone to stand, and then he raises it to heaven and prays the prayer of sanctification (or Kiddush).

THE WASHING: One of the family members brings water and towels to everyone, that they may all be cleansed to handle the food.

Bodily cleansing vs spiritual cleansing: You’ve heard it said that cleanliness is next to godliness. Clean hands prevent the spread of disease, yes, but the Pharisees of Jesus day had become very legalistic about “the washing.” Jesus rebuked them in Mark 7 after His disciples were caught eating bread with unwashed hands. Jesus distinguished rituals and doctrine from true faith by saying, “Whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it enters his stomach and not his heart…what comes out of a man…evil things overflowing from his heart, those defile a man” (Mark 7:18-23). In other words, a pure heart is better than clean hands. That is the goal of our Savior – to give us a clean heart.

THE GREEN VEGETABLE: A green vegetable is dipped into salt water and eaten. It symbolizes that Passover happens in the spring, and the salt water represents the tears of the pain and suffering of slavery.

God’s word says ( in Genesis 8:21; Proverbs 22:15; Psalm 51:5 and Ephesians 2:1-3) that we are born with a sin nature. I wonder, does that grieve us? Because of our natural bent to sin we prove that we are slaves of sin. It is a commonly preached doctrin that humanity was made a slave of sin in the garden of Eden. For many of us it’s a tearful struggle to truly overcome the powerful temptations that constantly barage us – and to have the strength to stand up against Satan’s flaming arrows that are incessantly fired at us. God sees our tears.

THE MATZAH BROKEN: There are 3 pieces of Matzah (unleavened bread) in a linen bag on the table. In a traditional Seder the head of the house removes the center piece (afikomen), breaks it in half, puts half back and wraps the other half of the broken piece in a napkin and hides it somewhere in the house.

Afikomen is a Greek word (the only Greek word in the entire Passover) and simply means – I came. Isn’t that interesting? It was not part of the observance in Jesus’ day. It was added to the Seder by the Rabbis later; and it represents the lamb, and tradition holds that it must be eaten.

AT THE LAST SUPPER: Jesus broke bread with his disciples and said it was His body that was broken for us. Matzah is unleavened (leaven represents sin) cracker-type bread. It is pierced with a fork and has stripes on both sides from the grill that it is cooked on. Scripture tells us (in Isaiah 53:5) “He [Jesus] was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”

FOUR QUESTIONS: In Exodus 12:26 the children are to ask what is meant by this service. And so the youngest at the table (and often reclining on the leader) gets to ask the traditional questions that will tell the Exodus story: Why is this night different from all other nights?

  • On all other nights, we eat either leavened or unleavened bread; why on this night do we eat only unleavened bread?
  • On all other nights, we eat all kinds of herbs, but why on this night do we eat only bitter herbs?
  • On all other nights, we do not dip even once, but why on this night do we dip twice?
  • On all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining, but why on this night do we eat reclining?

AT THE LAST SUPPER: “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of the His disciples, whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23). This seems to confirm that John was the youngest, and sitting to the right of Jesus at the Last Supper.



THE SECOND CUP…I will rescue you from their bondage. A second cup of wine is poured and the questions are answered with a long and detailed story of the history of Israel, from Abraham’s calling out of Ur all the way through to Moses and the 10 Commandments.

Each plague is described and a little wine is poured out for each.

The Passover Plate is part of the telling of this story. Before the second cup is consumed Psalm 113-118 (which is the Hallel – a word that means praise) is spoken.

It is believed that the Levites chanted this Hallel while the Passover lambs were being sacrificed.

THE MATZAH DIPPED: After a second “ceremonial” hand washing, the top Matzah and what is left of the middle afikomen are broken up and given to each person at the table. Each person dips the bread into the horseradish and haroset (a sweet apple concoction) and then eats it. It symbolizes the sweetness of God’s redemption from the bitterness of slavery. There should be enough horseradish on the bread to cause the person eating to shed tears.

AT THE LAST SUPPER: “[Jesus] rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded” (John 13:4-5). Jesus is the sweetness and the one who washes us. “And Judas, who had dipped with Jesus, went off to his task, as a slave of sin.”

THE MEAL: At this point the lamb is served, with bitter herbs and Matzah. Modern meals include fish, matzah ball soup, glazed chicken, stuffing, potato kugel, honeyed carrots, stewed fruit, and sponge cake. (This is the menu I fervently desire to serve my guests for Easter Dinner at least one Easter in our lives).

AT THE LAST SUPPER: “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 22:15-16)

This just melts my heart, that it was Jesus’ fervent desire to eat this one last meal on earth with His closest friends. Perhaps it was the sweetness that would get Him through the bitterness of the Cross. The taste of which would linger on His tongue as He was bruised for our iniquity. It should linger in our minds until that day when we can savor it WITH HIM, in His kingdom.

It simply astounds me how Jesus was the fulfillment of so much history, but how he is the pivoting point in the chiastic structure of scripture that also shows us our future. These feasts are a picture of what has been, and what is coming, so clearly illustrated in this verse. Jesus celebrated with His friends a meal that had been part of all their lives for all their lives, and part of their culture for as long as people had lived on the earth. And He tells us that it has yet to be ultimately fulfilled in heaven. This very feast, this very meal. Oh my … just very cool!

THE MATZAH FOUND: After supper the kids are excused to go look for the hidden piece of afikomen. Like an Easter Egg Hunt in a way. Whoever finds it is rewarded, and the piece is broken up and shared by all.

THE LAST SUPPER: “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body” (Matthew 26:26) “which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19)

This is the communion bread, the bread of the covenant, and the Holy Communion that He instituted with us His church, that we all practice to this day! And may we continue to practice this ritual, as our Hebrew brothers and sisters practice Passover/unleavened bread, until the day we are seated at His table eating it with HIM! 🍴🍪🍷


THE THIRD CUP…the cup of redemption, is poured and sipped, and one of the children goes to the front door to see if Elijah the prophet is there to welcome him in (Mal.4:5).

AT THE LAST SUPPER: Jesus presented “the cup after supper” (Luke 22:20). “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” I will redeem you with an outstretched arm. This is the cup that Jesus used to institute the Holy Communion, which He asked that we keep in remembrance of Him.

In Matthew 17:10 the disciples asked Jesus, “Why do the scribes say Elijah must come first?” Jesus said that Elijah has come (He was referring to John the Baptist – Mal.4:5-6; Luke 1:17), and is coming to restore all things. How curious that Elijah and Moses appeared with Jesus at the transfiguration, since the first Passover came through Moses and during Passover feast the Jews look for Elijah. The name Elijah means Jehovah is God.


THE FOURTH CUP…I will take you as My people. The cup of acceptance or praise is poured and drank.

AT THE LAST SUPPER: Jesus did not sip of this cup. “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” (Luke 22:17) “I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 26:29)

CLOSING HYMN: The Seder ends with the singing of the last part of the Hallel (Psalm 115-118).

THE LAST SUPPER: “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” (Matthew 26:30)

*Much of the information for the Jewish Seder Traditions came from: The Feasts of the Lord, God’s Prophetic Calendar from Calvary to the Kingdom, By Kevin Howard and Marvin Rosenthal


WOW! Is it a coincidence that Jesus and his disciples sang, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone?” Psalm 118:22

Remember the leaven that is purged from all Jewish homes before Passover? Paul, a former Jewish priest said, “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8) which connects directly to the ancient Passover practice of removing all leaven from Jewish homes.

Is it a coincidence that Jesus was perfect, without sin, and that he was crucified on a cross at the exact time as the Passover lambs were being slaughtered and prepared?

Is it a coincidence that fathers break and hide the middle piece of unleavened bread during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, in the exact timeframe when Jesus was taken from the cross and buried in a tomb?

John the Baptist (the New Testament version of Elijah) called Jesus, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29-30).

John, the apostle, who reclined on Jesus at the Last Supper definitely believed Jesus to be the Passover Lamb, referring to him as such 27 times in the book of Revelation.

And Simon (Cephas), whom Jesus renamed Peter, for on the rock (the New Testiment translation of Petra – where the name Peter comes from) He would build His church, said “we were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from aimless conduct received by tradition from our fathers, but the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

And Philip hearing the Ethiopian reading Isaiah the prophet, asked if he knew what he was reading when he read “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before it shearer is silent…” and beginning at this scripture, Philip preached Jesus to him.”

Jesus, it says in Hebrews 9:28, was offered once to bear the sins of many. He was without spot or blemish (Hebrews 9:14).

Jesus our Passover (Rev. 5:9), made atonement for our sins at His death, and as our High Priest forever went and sprinkled that blood on the mercy seat in heaven (Lev. 16:3, 14; Rom. 5:9,10).

When Jesus ascended to heaven forty days after Passover (see my Bible study blog post for Firstfruits), He sent the Holy Spirit back for us, as promised, (see my Bible study blog post for Pentecost) to live in us when we accept Him as Savior and make Him OUR Lamb, as a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance (2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13-14; 1 Pet.1:3-5; Rev. 5:6).

The Holy Spirit invisibly seals us (marks us) on the day we believe. God knows whose are His (2 Tim. 2:19), because we have His Spirit inside of us to mark us.

Marks in Scripture:

“Do not come near anyone who has the mark” (Eze. 9:6). In Genesis 4:15 God placed a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him for what he did to his brother. The mark protected Cain, just like the Passover blood protected the Israelites.

And just as God saved his people Israel from the plague of death in Egypt, Ezekiel tells us of a man dressed in linen with a writer’s horn at his side (Eze. 9:2,11) who will “Go through the midst of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it” This seal will protect them from the one whose job it is to destroy everything wicked.

This part of Ezekiel (9:3) sounds very much like what Revelation tells of a warrior/angel who places a seal on the servants of God, of all the tribes of the children of Israel. (Could this be an application of the blood atonement reserved for God’s chosen people, His elect?). This seal is marked on their foreheads (Rev. 7:1-8; 14:1) (akin perhaps to the phylacteries of the original priests (Exodus 28:38; Exodus 13:16; Deut. 6:8).

These elect are the firstfruits to God (Revelation 14:4).

After that remnant of Israel are sealed/marked, then Revelation says we are all gathered together, of every nation, tribe, people, and tongue, and we shall all worship at the throne of God with palm branches in our hands (Rev. 7:9-12 Palm Sunday in heaven, or likely the Palms we shall bring for our Sukkah’s – which you can read about in my Feast of Booths blog post); for death shall have no dominion over us (John 6:54, 57, 58; Rom. 6:9-11).

Now this one should give you goosebumps, if you don’t already have them … a footnote in my Bible (New King James Version Spirit Filled Life Bible, Thomas Nelson Publisher) for Ezekiel 9:4 says, “the Hebrew word for “mark” is taw, the final letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which in the ancient script looked like an “X” or a cross.” A CROSS, really? Is that amazing? Rev. 22:13 says that Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. What the disciples thought was the end of their Messiah, was just the beginning of a new testament, with an amazing end. What were Jesus’s last words as He gave up His last breath on that cross? “It is finished!” Therefore, He who began a good work in us will see it on to completion (Romans 9:28 Philippians 1:6).

Of course Satan, ever attempting to counterfeit God, will try to force his mark on people (Rev. 13:16). He masquerades as an angel of light. Beware and be watchful. His mark will be a requisite for anything to be bought or sold. Oh how I desire to either be with Jesus by then, or be completely self-sufficient and off the grid – and content with such things as I have, and part of a body of believers who takes care of each other (Acts 4:32). For those will be terrible times.

In Revelation 22:4 it says that we who have the Spirit shall all see God’s face, and the Lamb, and His name shall be on our foreheads. Amen. Christ, our Passover and the I AM, is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Heb.12:2).

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-6