Rabbi Cal Goldberg
Over the past few weeks I have been going through a series of messages on Passover. We have been studying through the four Parasha portions in Exodus that describe the whole historical account of this feast. I have also been speaking on the messianic significance of these Parasha portions and how Yeshua is seen in each one of them.
We looked at Shmot – “Names”, Va’era – “He appeared”, Bo – “Enter” and now the fourth one B’Shalach – “When he let go”. Each one of them has a powerful message in describing the Passover story. The main theme of Sh’mot was intended to demonstrate God’s purpose in making a name for Himself among the nations and proclaiming that He alone is the God of Israel and there is no other. I AM has sent you.. We saw how Yeshua is the great I AM…. I AM the bread of life, the door, the way, truth and life, the resurrection… and that one-day every knee will bow…
Then, Va’era- God appeared to Israel and Egypt with great signs and wonders nowhere seen in all of history. D’varim (Deuteronomy) 4:32- Yeshua appeared 2,000 years ago as the Passover lamb and one day he will appear again not as the innocent Lamb of God, who came to take away the sins of the world but as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who will execute judgment and justice in all the earth.
Revelation 19:11-16 says that He will come with a robe dipped in blood and His name is called the word of God and from his mouth will come a sharp two edged sword so that he might smite the nations and on His robe and thigh He has a name written King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Last week we look at Bo – How God entered into time and history to deliver Israel from bondage and it was during this third Parasha that the final plague, the death of the firstborn of Egypt brought about Israel’s deliverance and freedom from slavery. We also heard of how Yeshua fulfilled every requirement of the Passover lamb. He was the firstborn of the father, He was without spot or blemish, he was slain at a specific time and it was the blood of the lamb that resulted in redemption for all who believe. When God saw the blood, the plague of death passed over their homes.
The fourth and final Parasha – Ba-Shalach – means When he let go. Sh’mot (Exodus) 13:17-17:16
When the pharaoh finally let go, Israel was free at last, There are a number of events that took place after Israel’s exodus from Egypt:
- Evil lets go and God leads His people out of Egypt
- Pharaoh has a change of heart and pursues the Israelites
- God protects Israel from the Egyptian army with the pillar of fire
- God supernaturally parts the Sea and Israel walks through
- The victory song of Moses and Israel
- God provides living water
- Bread from heaven
- The Lord provides meat
- The Sabbath is observed and Israel is tested
- Israel grumbles and God provides water from the rock
- Israel wars with Amalek
Today I want to speak from the final Parasha but I want to give a Messianic focus and show how Yeshua is clearly seen. Of the seven Biblical feasts, Yeshua is seen most clearly in the feast of Passover. This feast is mentioned more times in the Tenach than any other feast, a total of no less than 50 times. It is also referred to more often in the New Covenant than any other. Shavuot is mentioned three times, Unleavened Bread nine times, Sukkoth twice, but Passover 27 times. It is the most celebrated of all the feasts because of its significance. So important was this feast that God even made provision for those who for whatever reason were unable to observe this feast on its appointed time. They could do so a month later on the 14th of Iyar called the second Passover (B’midbar (Numbers) 9:9-14).
Of all the feasts of Israel, this feast emphasized the separation between Israel and the nations. The Torah taught that no outsider was allowed to take part in this feast. Only those who knew Him, obeyed His commandments and kept His covenant were permitted to celebrate it. It was the Lord’s Passover. Even a Jewish male who was not circumcised was forbidden to celebrate this feast. Sh’mot (Exodus) 12:43-49.
There was provision for the stranger, the sojourner among them to partake in this feast but he too was required to be circumcised. The significance of circumcision is that it is the outward evidence of one who is in a covenant relationship with God. For the circumcised sojourner, it revealed that He had accepted the God of Israel as the one true God and had entered into a blood covenant with Him. As one circumcised he would be considered as one born in the land. He would be included as an heir to the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and could inherit the blessings that were part of God’s covenant with His people. The scriptures record that there was a mixed multitude that went out of Egypt and joined themselves to the God of Israel. 12:38
As New Covenant believers we know that it was Yeshua who broke down the middle wall of division between Jew and Gentile and made us one in Him.
And it will only be those who have been born from above, who believe in Yeshua as their Passover Lamb and have been circumcised in the heart who will have the privilege of sitting down at the great marriage supper of the Lamb and partake in this heavenly feast!
Israel’s exodus out of Egypt is a wonderful picture of our Exodus out of this world. That is why one of the statements read during the Passover says, that when we celebrate the Passover we must look upon it as if we have personally been freed from Egypt.
Now in this fourth Parasha – B’shalach – Let my people go is found one the greatest and most awesome messianic pictures of the Messiah. Israel’s Passover did not end with their miraculous deliverance from Egypt. There was one last work of God to complete Israel’s redemption. Sh’mot (Exodus) 14: 1-5.
There is an interesting belief that has been passed down within Jewish oral writings regarding the first Passover and the crossing of the Red Sea. The Red Sea crossing is commemorated by the third feast, the Feast of First Fruits. From Egypt to the Red Sea was a three-day journey. God’s supernatural act of parting the Red Sea represented the culmination of Israel’s redemption. After the Pharaoh agreed to let God’s people go, it was believed that Pharaoh thought the Israelites would return to Egypt after their three-day journey into the wilderness. This is what Moses had said to him all along. “Let us go three days journey into the wilderness to worship our God.” Jewish tradition records that when the Pharaoh heard that that tomb of Joseph was empty he had a change of heart. The empty tomb meant to him that the children of Israel would not be returning. In B’resheet (Genesis) 50:25 it says of Joseph:
“And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and then you must carry my bones up from this place. Joseph died at the age of 110 and after they embalmed him he was placed in a tomb in Egypt.”
The empty tomb was a witness against Pharaoh. He realized that his hold upon the Children of Israel was broken forever. Yet after Israel flees from Egypt and begins their journey through the wilderness to the Promised Land there was one last work that God wanted to perform. 13:17,18 Now it came about- B’shalach….
It was God’s purpose to harden Pharaoh’s heart one last time to demonstrate His power. 14:4 Thus I will harden Pharaoh’s heart and he will chase after them and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.”
Vs. 8- 12 They came out in boldness, but that boldness would soon be turned to fear.
As the children of Israel came out of Egypt God brought them to the Red Sea . Israel realized they were cornered, the Egyptians on one side and the Sea on the other.
There was no way out but they underestimated what God was capable of doing. Moses said to the people in 14:13-16
“Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever.” The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent. And God told Moses to stretch out his hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land.”
As the children of Israel walked through the waters of the Red Sea it symbolized their new life and freedom, but it also pointed to ours.
In 1 Corinthians 10:1,2 it says that,
“Our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were immersed into Moses in the cloud and in the sea and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank of the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them and the rock was Messiah.”
Egypt was a type of the world they left behind. There was no turning back. The crossing of the Red Sea, and the feast of first fruits is a picture of resurrection. It was on the feast of First fruits, the third day of Passover that Yeshua rose from the dead.
Satan is pictured as the spiritual Pharaoh of this world. When Yeshua rose from the dead, his empty tomb was a witness against Satan and the gods of this world that his power of sin over man was broken.
The scriptures record that there was a period of three days and three nights when the Son of man was in the heart of the earth. Mattityahu (Matthew) 12:40. I have always believed that the story of Jonah had some prophetic parallel with Yeshua.
“For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
Jonah, who was in the belly of the great fish, was a type of the Lord while He was in the heart of the earth.
If we read the prayer of Jonah we can see that his prayer is a prophecy of the Messiah’s resurrection. It is the Spirit of Messiah speaking through Jonah foretelling His own sufferings in the heart of the earth.
Yonah (Jonah) 2:2,3-
“And I said, I cried by reason of my affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me, out of the belly of the grave. I cried, and you heard my voice, for you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the floods surround me, all your billows and your waves passed over me. Then I said, I have been cast out of your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.”
It is not without significance that the second part of our salvation experience involves water? After salvation we are commanded to go through the waters of immersion as a public testimony of our faith. The significance of water dates back to the time of creation.
Did you know that at the time of creation it was on the third day that God divided the land from the waters of the earth and it was on the third day that the earth brought forth the first fruits of the earth, the earth brought forth the trees that yield fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. Later God destroyed the earth with a flood and only Noah, his family and the animals were saved in the Ark. During the time of the tabernacle and temple times, the priest was forbidden to go into the holy place and worship God until he first stopped at the laver and washed and cleansed himself with water. It is in this Parasha when on the third day God parted the waters of the Red Sea and the children of Israel marched to freedom. The prophet Jonah found salvation by a firmament (the great fish) who God placed in the midst of the waters. It was on the third day that Jonah was saved from the depths of death.
All of this pointed to Yeshua in the heart of the earth, dividing the waters of death from the waters of life through His own life. He was the firmament of heaven so to speak. He was the firmament between heaven and earth between life and death. The book of Hebrews says that His flesh was the veil that separated man from entering into the holy of holies. But His flesh was pierced through because of our sin and as we go through the waters of immersion it is Yeshua who parts the water of sin and death in our lives by separating our flesh from the spirit.
The climax of Yeshua’s act of redemption, in bearing the heavy load of the leaven of sin upon Himself is pictured in Jonah 2:5 –
“The waters (of judgment) compassed me to the point of death, The great deep engulfed me, weeds were wrapped around my head. I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars was around me forever, but thou hast brought up my life from the pit O Lord my God”.
What a picture of Yeshua’s suffering in the grave; Yeshua’s soul was in the depths of the earth while his body lay in the grave. The scriptures record that His body would not see corruption. This was true even to the degree that His earthly body was preserved in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. His body did not experience the ordinary process of human decay and death. While the Messiah was in the heart of the earth as Jonah was in the heart of the great sea monster His flesh remained uncontaminated in the tomb. Yet the Spirit of God prophesized in Jonah of Yeshua in v 2:7-
“When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord and my prayer came in unto thee, into thy holy temple.”
At some point in the heart of the earth, as Messiah went down to the bottoms of the mountains, as the earth with its bars closed around him, as the floods of sin engulfed Him, as the billows and waves of God’s judgment passed over Him, at that moment on the third day God’s power was released and Yeshua rose from the dead victorious as the first fruits of the new creation. God was satisfied. The cup of judgment had been drunk. The penalty for man’s sin was accomplished. Nothing more was needed to secure mans redemption. Through Yeshua’s obedience, He had atoned for the disobedience of Adam and of all men. As Yeshua hung on the tree and gave up His soul to death, God’s great act of love and mercy cried out, It is finished.
Yeshua’s work did not end on the cross. Three days later on the Feast of First Fruits, He rose from the dead.
Even as the children of Israel thought there was no way out with the Egyptians on one side and the sea on the other, so also man was without hope. There was no way out. The reality of death was certain. We were doomed to die in the wilderness of this world, but God made a way when there seemed to be no way. Because of God’s great love and mercy, God said stand still and see the salvation (the Yeshua) of your God, which He will accomplish before you. When Yeshua died and rose again from the dead, He did the impossible. He conquered death. He parted the great waters of death and provided a way for us to across the great divide. He made a way to get to the other side. Satan and his hosts of darkness were on one side and death on the other, but Yeshua arose from the dead and made the way for us to pass through death into life. Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory o death, where is your sting? Thanks be to God who has given us the victory through Yeshua Hamashiach Adonai.
Just as God destroyed the power of the gods of Egypt, Yeshua came to destroy the works of the devil. Through His death, He rendered powerless Him who had the power of death that is the devil (the spiritual pharaoh of this world) in order that He might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 2
Water symbolizes our new life in the Messiah.”If any man is in Messiah, the old things have passed away , behold all things have become new.”
Yeshua is the fulfillment of Passover, unleavened bread and first fruits.
But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, the first fruits, of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death by a man also came life. For as in Adam all die, so also in Messiah all shall be made alive. But each in his own order, Messiah the first fruits, after that those who are Messiahs at His coming.” 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 – 26
Yeshua is the firstfruits of the entire creation of God. These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God. Revelation 3:14
All things are being made new in Messiah. All things begin and end in Him and are of Him and through Him.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end saith the Lord, who is, wand which was and which is to come, the Almighty. Revelation 1:8
Col. 1:15-18 – Yeshua is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature, for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, all things were created by him and for him and he is before all things and by him all things hold together. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead and in Him all things have preeminence. ”
First fruits represents the beginning of the barley harvest and the counting of the Omer. A sheaf of barley is taken and waved in the temple as an act of dedicating the firstfruits of the harvest to God. As God accepts this first fruits offering He declares the entire harvest as sanctified and holy to Him. The firstfruits’s offering represents the whole harvest and by accepting the firstfruits it signifies God’s acceptance of the whole harvest.
Romans 11:16 says – For if the firstfruits be holy, (if the first piece of dough be holy) the lump is also holy and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
Because Yeshua’s sacrifice has been accepted so completely, every person who abides in Him and becomes part of Him receives total acceptance by God. If He is holy we as the branches are holy. If He is the firstfruits of the spiritual harvest then we are holy and unleavened because He dwells within us.
Our resurrection is tied to His. He arose and we arose in Him. He ascended and we ascended in Him.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end saith the Lord, who is, wand which was and which is to come, the Almighty.
written and / or assembled by Cal Goldberg, Rabbi, Beth Shechinah
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