Shabbat HaChodesh

Shabbat HaChodesh

This Shabbat is another special Shabbat which reminds the people of G-d that the month of Nisan is just around the corner. On the Shabbat closest to the new month, there is a special prayer added to the normal prayers. This prayer is made by each individual congregation and asks G-d to bless the new month. On the Shabbat prior to the month of Nisan we read special readings to emphasize the fact that in this new month is the festival of Passover. Passover is unique from all the other festivals of Israel. For during Passover G-d established His covenant people. Passover challenged not only the Hebrews who were in Egypt, but also all the other people who were in Egypt during this time to respond to G-d by receiving the blood of the lamb.

It is significant that to receive the blood of the lamb one had to do so in a most public manner, apply it to the outside of one’s home upon the door posts and lintel. This fact reminds us that we need to be public about our faith in our Passover Lamb- Messiah Yeshua. In the same way that by receiving the blood of the lamb each household was spared from death, so too those who receive Yeshua’s blood are spared from the consequences of death. Remember that immediately after the people kept the Passover that G-d gathered them and brought them out of Egypt—the place of bondage—to  freedom with Him. He began the journey that led the people into the land that G-d had promised them. So too, after we receive Yeshua G-d begins a journey for the believer that will end with entrance into His Kingdom. Through the blood of Yeshua we escape sin and the spiritual death that it brings and receive eternal life.

Passover is called the festival of redemption and redemption involves a transfer of ownership. Passover should remind each believer that he has become a purchased possession of G-d and therefore needs to submit to His Master’s instructions. All too often we tend to emphasize the freedom of Passover as giving us the opportunity to do what we want, rather than remembering that Biblically Passover gave the people the liberty to serve G-d. How does your life reflect the fact that you are a servant of G-d? Can other people see the effects of you receiving the blood of the Lamb?

Make no mistake about it—the Egyptians knew immediately who kept the Passover and who did not. For those who did not, their house had death within it. Remember that Biblically speaking, death is related to sin. Therefore those who reject Yeshua, the true Passover Lamb, are going to be living in the midst of sin, while those who have received Yeshua are going to be leaving sin behind, just as the Children of Israel left Egypt in a hurry. If one reads carefully the story of the Exodus from Egypt he will find that there was a joy in the homes of those who had kept the Passover and whom the Angel of death had not visited.

Is there joy in your life? Do you live with a similar sense of gratitude for the deliverance that you have received? One of my favorite verses deals with joy and the power that the joy of the L-rd brings to an individual. It is Nehemiah 8:10,

“…and do not be sad, because the Joy of the L-rd is your strength.”

May the joy of knowing the Lamb of G-d, strengthen you this Passover Season. Shabbat Shalom.

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