A Surprising Encounter on Passover
by Lydia Holly
I wrote the below Scripture in my journal one night and pondered its meaning before I went to bed.
“But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” (I Corinthians 2:9-10)
The next morning I awakened with Passover on my mind.
I am a Gentile believer, and although for many years I have enjoyed learning about my Jewish roots, I have experienced an accelerated desire for such over the last two years. In the past, I had participated in feasts on a corporate level and had even experienced a Passover Seder in someone’s home years ago, but I never expected what my Lord was about to bring to me during this year’s “appointed time.”
I awakened on April 2nd and the first thing that entered my mind was, “Passover begins at sundown.” I hurried to the computer to try and somehow find somewhere “to go” — all along knowing the Holy Spirit was saying I was the one to prepare the Passover Meal! It was as if God had grabbed hold of my heart and wouldn’t let it go, though I struggled and wrestled. The excuses began… “There’s just the two of us, my room mate and me.” “I’m a Gentile.” “I’ve never done this before and I don’t have enough time to prepare.”
One by one the Lord broke through with his Word and confirmation that I was to obey what the Spirit was leading me to do. In the midst of my hesitation I heard a minister on TV who stated that biblically the number “2” stands for power because Jesus said where two or more of you are gathered I am in the midst of you. That took care of my first excuse — two was enough! Jesus would be in our midst and it would be powerful!
I then read the passage in Exodus 12 about the first Passover, and The Lord’s command to Moses for His people to keep it as a feast unto the Lord throughout the generations, by an everlasting ordinance. I became very excited when the Holy Spirit illuminated verse 48 which says,
“And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it.”
Spiritually speaking, as the foreigner, my heart has been circumcised, and therefore I was released by the Spirit to fully enter into keeping Passover, including the preparation of the meal. Ephesians 2:11-13, 19:
“Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh — who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands — that at that time you were without [Messiah], being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world, But now in [Messiah] Jesus you once were far off have been brought near by the blood of [Messiah]. Now therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.”
Excuse 2 taken care of! I sensed Jesus saying, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you…” (Luke 22:15). My desire to obey turned into a fervent desire to prepare and eat this Passover with Him. I felt the lover of my soul wooing me into intimacy with him.
Now, could I really pull off the meal, and the order of service? Though I had participated in a number of Seders over the years I had never done this before. Since I was not able to locate my Messianic Haggadah, my room mate helped with accessing one on the internet. After reviewing a few resources in my home library off to the grocery store I went! It was the most special grocery shopping trip I have ever taken!
Overall, it was quite an easy trip. Items were on sale in recognition for Passover so it was not difficult locating anything. However, as I was approaching the meat section in search of lamb, the Spirit quickened to me that what I was doing was WORSHIP! This revelation was overwhelming; I had never considered grocery shopping as worship, but clearly, I was preparing for my appointment with HIM, and in doing so I was already worshipping him.
The Lord did not stop there. I received yet another revelation as I was staring at the Manishevitz products. As thousands of years of Jewish history went before my mind I began to tear up. As I pushed the cart slowly down the aisle I came to the realization that I was walking out, at another level, being grafted-in, and being connected… joined at the hip… with my Jewish brothers and sisters in Messiah (walking in “grafted-in” reality!). I looked at some of the items in the cart knowing that it was obvious to others why I was purchasing such items. It was no longer the Jerusalem T-shirt, the Matzah purchases, the Jewish roots teachings, or even a few pieces of jewelry that now associated me with my heritage… it was my walk in that grocery store.
For a few seconds I tasted what it might be like to be Jewish these days… how unpopular it is… how anti-Semitism is rising, even in the U.S.A., even amongst Christians… and how I now could be identified by my purchase as “one of them.” All of these things went across my mind in such a short period of time. But just as I am not ashamed of the Gospel, I am not ashamed of my Jewish heritage. I received in my spirit that I am truly part of the family with a Jewish Heart — Mishpochah!
The preparations at home continued to be an act of worship, and I sensed that Lord was saying that He would be showing me more leaven in my life that needed to be removed over the coming days. I was actually looking forward to the Lord showing me more of things that were displeasing to Him!
The two-hour Seder was a special time as we went according to much of the order prescribed in the Haggadah, while allowing the Holy Spirit to guide. The meal, though very simple, was an offering unto our Lord. It was a worship experience, a time to remember and to thank our God for the wonderful things he has done over the generations, in our lives personally, and an opportunity to pray for Him to draw our loved ones into His Kingdom. It was an experience which brought us close to the One who held up the cup and proclaimed “This is my blood… drink in remembrance of me. This is my body… eat in remembrance of me.”
There is power in partaking of His blood and His body. Truly, wholeness comes to us when we do so, on a regular basis. It is also a dynamic encounter to have the wine, His blood, and the bread, His body, within the Passover Seder.
It was late when I went to bed that night. I was satisfied… filled with joy and thankfulness over what had transpired that day. My appointment with God had certainly started off in a unique way. However, it was still not over! I was in that place between being awake and asleep when I ‘saw’ a framed window, long and kind of narrow. There was a light approaching from the outside and it came closer and closer until it burst through the window frame and erupted in glorious light. The framed window disappeared as the light burst through. It was electrifying, so full of brilliance and splendor. Amazingly, it didn’t hurt my eyes. The light, while radiant, was soft. Right after the burst my body jolted; I jumped in the bed and opened my eyes while realizing I had seen something about God’s glory.
I shared the vision the next day with two friends who told me that the light represented God’s revelation that was coming into my life. A day or so later the Lord showed me that the framed window represented the framework to which He presents himself. The frame could be my paradigms, ways or filters of seeing things, my boundaries, my rituals, my traditions, etc… It is through my frame, my window, that I get a glimpse of Him; however, as He approaches and penetrates, my frame cannot contain Him. It’s not a matter of the structure, or the form, being bad or wrong, but it is limited. It is there to support, to aid me in becoming more intimate with Him, not to replace Him. When He penetrates the frame, as in my vision, all I see is His glory… The borders, the frames, the traditions, are overtaken, and all I see is His glory. I was excited, yet humbled by the vision and all of this surprising revelation. I desire so much more now that He will “show up” and “break through” my window over and over again.
As I was completing the rough draft of this article I was reminded of a dream I had several nights ago. A missionary friend was talking to me and I fell asleep during what she was saying. Though I had awakened in the dream while she was still talking I had a sense that I had missed something very important she was trying to say to me. Today, the Spirit was prompting me to look for the last monthly newsletter she and her husband had written, for in it there was something I had not heard. After searching for awhile I finally uncovered it beneath a stack of papers. I recall reading it, but obviously I had not “heard” what she had said. I had been sleeping as I had read what a wonderful revelation the Lord had given her. It reads as follows:
“While walking on the beach at sunrise I saw the Lord’s radiance in a new “light.” As the sun became bigger and brighter, it brought color and warmth to everything around. The hues of color were different on every cloud — some at the top, the bottom, the sides… Even a little cloud that was hiding behind several big dark ones had been touched by the color. It reminded me of how the Father God touches us. There is never a “set pattern” or “specific method” by which His love and light shine into us. We are unique individuals; therefore he orchestrates an encounter that is specifically designed for each of us. We only need to be watching and waiting for the “Son” to rise within our hearts.
Malachi 4:2 – “But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with Healing in His wings.”
So, He had orchestrated a unique encounter with me during this Passover. It was a time that the Sun of Righteousness came through my window as the “Son” had arisen in my heart that day. He had wooed me to partake of an intimate meal with him, the little cloud hiding behind the bigger ones, and honored me as worthy to prepare it. He had showed me what worship was about, and made clear that as I enter into the appointed time(s) with Him He will make Himself known, even in the midst of the preparations and traditional aspects that have been inherited over the generations.
But most importantly, he prepared me for even a greater encounter, the Marriage Supper of The Lamb, a time when we will not be concerned with getting the leaven out of our lives, but a time when we will celebrate with our Bridegroom, and enter into eternal wedlock. What a wonderful God we serve! I am so thankful I wasn’t sleeping during this appointed time. I hope to stay alert, to watch and wait for The One to rise within my heart. I now eagerly await my next appointed time with Him… Shavuot! Come Holy Spirit; manifest The Glory of God in me and in The Body of Messiah!
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright ©1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.