Shabbat HaGadol - The Great Sabbath of Passover

The Sabbath immediately preceding Passover is called Shabbat HaGadol, the great Sabbath. According to tradition, the 10th of Nisan in the year of the exodus was a Saturday. A possible reason for the name is that Malachi 3:4-24, a prophetic portion, speaks of the “great day” of God on which the Messiah will appear. Passover (in Hebrew, Pesach) not only commemorates the exodus from Egypt, it anticipates and celebrates the ultimate Messianic redemption. As believers in Yeshua, we celebrate this Passover Shabbat as the day proceeding the resurrection of our Messiah.

Messianic Jews celebrate Passover traditionally and remember our ancestors’ redemption out of Egypt through symbolism & tradition. We celebrate this time because we know that we have been redeemed from the greater bondage that is sin. It’s on Passover that we remember our redemption out of Egypt and the redemption we have through Yeshua’s blood, the sacrificial spotless lamb of God himself.


The Hunt For Leaven

While the Passover sacrifice is no longer made, we still rid our homes of leaven each year to remember how we fled Egypt (Exodus 12:14–17). Many Jewish families have turned this into full-on spring cleaning as they search for leaven!


Check Out This Video of Magi & Gilad Removing the leaven from their home for Passover!


Seder: The Main Course of Passover

God commanded the yearly reenactment of the first Passover night as a reminder to all generations of His salvation. The Seder is a ceremony that means “order,” a term to describe a series of rituals carried out in specific order.


Here is the order of Seder:

Kaddish: blessing of the wine

Urchatz: ritual purification

K’arah (Seder plate): “the focal point of the Seder”

Shulhan Orech (Passover meal): eaten reclining to represent a time for rest and fellowship

Afikomen hunt: a substitute for the Passover sacrifice


Bible Readings for The First Day of Passover:

  • Exodus 12:21–51

  • Numbers 28:16–25

  • Joshua 3:5–7; 5:2–6:1; 6:27


Passover in The Gospel of Luke


"But the festival of Matzah, known as Pesach, was approaching; and the head cohanim and the Torah teachers began trying to find some way to get rid of Yeshua, because they were afraid of the people....When the time came, Yeshua and the emissaries reclined at the table, and he said to them, “I have really wanted so much to celebrate this Seder with you before I die! For I tell you, it is certain that I will not celebrate it again until it is given its full meaning in the Kingdom of God.”

Then, taking a cup of wine, he made the b’rakhah and said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on, I will not drink the ‘fruit of the vine’ until the Kingdom of God comes.” Also, taking a piece of matzah, he made the b’rakhah, broke it, gave it to them and said, “This is my body, which is being given for you; do this in memory of me.” He did the same with the cup after the meal, saying, "This cup is the New Covenant, ratified by my blood, which is being poured out for you." Luke 22:1-2;14-20


Seder is a time to celebrate God’s redemptive power for those who put their trust in him throughout history & today. We give reverence to Yeshua as our Passover sacrifice who redeems us from slavery & the death sentence of sin. We rejoice because there is promise of redemption for those who trust & follow Yeshua HaMashiach, our blessed Lord & savior.