According to Scripture, how does the prospective Bride accept the Bridegroom's offer?
The Bride's acceptance of the Bridegroom's offer of Betrothal is to be made by drinking of the same Covenant cup from which the Bridegroom drank, both literally and figuratively. Let's look at the Scriptures, to see what this Covenant Cup is.
The Bridegroom has stated very clearly:
And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.... And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matthew 26:18-28 )
And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?.... And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. (Mark 14:14-24)
And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer.... And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. (Luke 22:19-20)The above passages clearly reveal that the Body and Blood of Yahushua were eaten and drunk at the Passover meal with Yahushua and His Disciples. We then note that the apostle Paul gives us a summary of the above, in the following passage:
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night [at sunset was the start of the fourteenth day of the first month, known as the day of 'Passover'] in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. (1Corinthians 11:23-26) [note in brackets is in reference to Lev 23:5]In the above passage, Paul reminds us that Yahushua has said, regarding the eating of the bread, and drinking of the cup, that we are to "Do this in remembrance of me."
Have the followers of Yahushua, the Believers of today, accepted the offer of Betrothal given by the Bridegroom? That is, have the Believers of today drunk of Yahushua's Betrothal cup — of "this" cup — the same cup of the New Covenant of which Yahushua told us to drink? Let's look at the Scriptures.
This Cup of the New CovenantWhen someone gives a demonstration, and then says, "Now, you do this..." what is the meaning of the pronoun "this?"
In the above Scripture passages, does "this" bread refer to just any bread, perhaps a piece of toast eaten for breakfast each morning, or even a jelly sandwich eaten for dessert?
Does "this" cup refer to any cup of wine, or perhaps a cup of tea — to be taken as often as one chooses?
No, the word "this" refers us to what is being demonstrated, concurrent with the words being spoken — and the demonstration is that of eating the bread of the Passover meal, and of drinking the third cup of wine (the cup of 'Redemption') after the Passover meal.
Let us re-examine our understanding, and our practice, in light of what the Scriptures actually say.
Let this truth sink in for a moment — let us remember what Yahushua was doing when He said, "Do this in remembrance of me." He was eating the Passover meal, and was having the unleavened bread of Passover; and He was drinking the third cup (the Cup of Redemption) of the Feast of Passover! And this we know to be true, for Yahushua's own words confirm this as the Passover meal (Matthew 26:18-28; Mark 14:14-24; Luke 22:15-20).
Yahushua then tells His Disciples that He expects them to do the same, but with a renewed understanding of the meaning of Passover. He now expects us to keep Passover in a new way — in remembrance that the Lamb sacrificed at Passover represents Him; and that the unleavened bread eaten at Passover is His body, and speaks of Him as the Bread of Life, and of every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Yahuweh; and that the cup of wine speaks of His Blood of the New Covenant, that was shed or spilled for us, as the purchase price of our redemption.
This is the remembrance of the true meaning of Passover, and is what Yahushua's Disciples now remember, as they rejoice together, and as they eat the Passover meal together with a renewed understanding.
So we see that in each of the above passages, Yahushua is revealing to His Disciples the prophetic meaning (the 'now' meaning) of the well-known Passover meal, practiced for centuries by all of Yahuweh's people. Yahushua did not institute anything new, or change anything. He merely revealed the true meaning of Passover.
In the Passover supper, Yahushua simply revealed to His Disciples that He is the Passover Lamb Sacrifice, and that He would bring about the redemption of His people, and the sealing of the Everlasting (New) Covenant by His Blood (Hebrews 13:20).
But why is the Passover necessary for New Covenant believers? Lets look at Yahuweh’s Covenant requirements.
The Blood Sprinkles the TabernacleThe great importance of our participation in the Passover meal can be seen in the following passage:
For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. (Hebrews 9:20-21)First, we see that the original offer of Betrothal came at Mt. Sinai, where the Covenant Promise of Betrothal was sealed in the 'Blood of the Testament' which prefigured the Blood of Messiah. (To see this account in Scripture of the Betrothal Agreement, see The Two Witnesses of Devarim by Brick Parrish.) Most importantly, the Blood of the Covenant was sprinkled on the Book (His Words), the people, the Tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.
Beloved, this action of sprinkling the Blood of the Covenant pictures the physical Blood touching the physical items of the tabernacle, and relates them all to Yahuweh's Everlasting Covenant with His people. We recall that every Covenant between Yahuweh and His people must be confirmed or sealed by blood (Ex 24:8; Heb 13:20).
We are His people, and we are also now in the Tabernacle of this fleshly body, the dwelling-place of Yahuweh (1Co 6:19). Thus we are required to be 'sprinkled' by the physical Blood of the Covenant, by that which represents Messiah’s Blood. This covenant sprinkling is done when we participate in the Body and Blood of the Passover meal.
When we drink of the Passover cup, the representation of the Blood of Yahushua goes down into this tabernacle of our body (2Cor 5:4). Our drinking of the Passover cup, just as the Bridegroom did, becomes 'our half' of the Betrothal agreement. When we eat of His flesh (the Passover unleavened bread, or matzo), and drink of His Blood (the Passover cup of Redemption), we are in effect saying, "I do" to the Bridegroom's offer of Betrothal!
Our participation in the New Covenant Passover is so important, that Yahushua tells us a frighteningly important bit of news:
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:53-54)Beloved, let us ask this question. Why is Yahushua here telling us that unless we participate in His Body and Blood, we have no Life in us?
It is because Messiah-in-us is our Life! And it is Messiah who, when living within us, prompts us to participate in the Passover!
It is likewise the lack of Messiah-in-us, that would cause us to reject participation in Messiah's true Passover supper. Perhaps the rejection of the True Passover by Rome is the origin of the counterfeit Passover, called by the Biblical name of 'communion' and 'Lord's Supper,' which most in the Evangelical world have embraced as a substitute for the True. It is time we put away the decrees of Rome — and the many counterfeits and Doctrines of Men that promote these false practices — and receive only the True!
But what is the significance of Passover? Let's look.
The Significance of PassoverWhen Israel was in Egypt, it was the Passover blood on the doorposts that saved the firstborn of Israel from death (Heb 11:28). From that time onward, all of Yahuweh's people are commanded to observe the Passover as a memorial forever, so they might remember that Yahuweh saved them through the Blood of the Lamb (Exodus 12:13-14).
When Yahushua was on earth, He participated in the Passover meal with His disciples. Since Yahushua was to be the 'Firstborn of many' brethren, His participation in Passover was also a part of the pattern for the 'many brethren' (Col 1:18; Rom 8:29).
Yahushua has told us that the Blood of the Passover is His Blood, and is represented in the Passover wine (Luke 22:20). His Blood that was spilled 2,000 years ago is the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant, and it was through this spilled Blood that Yahushua was brought back from death as the Firstborn of many Brethren (Col 1:18; Rom 8:29; Heb 13:20). This same Blood spilled 2,000 years ago likewise saves us from death (Heb 13:20), as we too are a kind of firstfruits unto Him (James 1:18; Heb 12:23).
Our participation in the Passover meal is both a memorial, and a personal agreement to the terms of the New Covenant. It is a memorial of Messiah, who is the fulfillment of the Passover Lamb (John 1:29, 36). It is also a memorial of our redemption by the Blood of the Lamb, in that by His Blood alone, we are redeemed, and set free from the bondage of sin.
Passover is also the occasion in which our personal ratification, or 'signing on' to the terms of the New Covenant, takes place. This ratification by Blood is a Biblical requirement for all covenants (Exodus 24:8; Luke 22:20; 1Corinthians 11:25; Hebrews 12:24). As often as we keep Passover (once each year), we keep it in remembrance of Yahushua Messiah (Luke 22:19-20; 1Corinthians 11:24-25).
The keeping of Passover includes the eating of the Passover meal, the representation of eating of His Flesh (the flesh speaks of His 'Life' according to John 6:51,53), and the drinking of His Blood (the blood speaks of His 'Life' according to Leviticus 17:11).
When we become Born-Again, Messiah becomes birthed within our spirit. When His life is in us, we have a growing, inward desire to walk in obedience to all His Word, and to be a "DO-er" of all that He did when on earth. It is His life in us that moves us to keep the Passover, in obedience to His Word, and according to His example, given to us in the Scriptures!
If we do not keep the Passover, we must question whether His Life is truly in us. Yahushua tells us (John 6:53): "No Passover, no Life."
The Passover may be symbolic in some ways, but is a practical matter for the Bride, who must formally agree to the Bridegroom's offer of Betrothal. The keeping of Passover reveals the heart of obedience, and the heart of yieldedness, of the Bride to her Bridegroom. The heart of yieldedness willingly begins to learn to keep the Passover — and all the other Feasts ('moedim') of Yahuweh, according to the Scriptures. The heart of obedience has the Life of Yahushua living within, for that heart is a "DO-er" of every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of Yahuweh (Deut 8:3; Matt 4:4).
Moreover, the Passover meal is a Scriptural Passover meal only if it is done at the time of Passover, as prescribed by Yahuweh in the Scriptures — on the 14th day of either the first or second Biblical month (Lev 23:5; Num 9:10-11). A 'passover' at any other time, is not according to scripture, and so is a counterfeit passover.
The Final OpportunityThe Feast of Passover is such an important event for Yahushua's Born-Again children, that He gives us two distinct dates each year, and two opportunities to keep the Passover. The First Passover of the year occurs on the fourteenth day of the First Biblical month. The Second Passover of the season is the final opportunity for the Bride, and it occurs on the 14th day of the Second Biblical Month. The calendar dates are determined in mid- to late- March of each year when the new moon is seen.
Beloved, the Bridegroom wishes you to become Betrothed!! Find several others, or have the Passover alone. Let us keep the Feast! (1Co 5:7-8).