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DON’T UNDERSTAND? NO, IT WAS NOT A DINNER ROLL.
Can you remember a time when you were in school and you didn’t understand something the teacher was explaining? You didn’t want to raise your hand and be labeled a dunce so you waited until after class to ask the teacher to explain it to you…and she did. Further, she offered you some extra material that you could take home for your personal study. This week as CrossTalk continues our study of the Passover we will do our best to help you understand….and even offer you some material to take home.
Passover: the Jewish Connection to the Last Supper. The Bible says, “The first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover?” 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 the disciples did as Jesus appointed them; and they made ready the Passover.” Matt 26:17 KJV
Passover was, kind of, the first one of the three primary feasts of the year. While other scholars have suggested a much lower number, the historian Josephus says that the population of Jerusalem would swell to 3 million people during Passover. Passover: The night the angel of death killed the firstborn son of all those who lived in the land of Egypt but passed over the houses of those Israelites that had the blood of the lamb painted on the doorposts of their homes. This day was commanded by God to be remembered and so it is celebrated by devout Jews to this day.
We hope that it’s obvious why Jewish families should celebrate Passover. But some of our non-Jewish friends might still be wondering why a Jewish holiday is relevant to Christians. Christianity was a first century Jewish phenomenon. In the apocalyptic world of Roman-occupied Jerusalem, it was the Jewish people who waited for their expected Jewish Messiah. And Jesus never told his friends to give up Judaism.
Just consider the Eucharist, or as many call it, The Lord’s Supper, the Christian communion service. If you take just one thing from this newsletter, at least remember that the wafer and wine, as elements symbolic of the flesh and blood of Jesus in the sacraments, were first found in the wine and matzo of the ancient Jewish Passover Seder. When Jesus broke the bread, it wasn’t a dinner roll. It was the lechem onee, the bread of affliction, the unleavened bread that we call matzo.
We all must face this fact. The New Testament Church didn’t even have a New Testament. They read the Jewish Bible and obeyed the God of Israel who declared that the Passover was to “… be celebrated as a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.”
There are three primary issues that are addressed at Passover. They are kind of the three Passover non-negotiables.
- Number one is that the children of Israel must retell the Exodus story.
- The second non-negotiable is we eat matzo, unleavened bread.
- The third commandment is covered in most modern homes by the Passover Seder
The yatzir hara, as seen in the Jewish tradition is symbolic. It is identified in the symbolism of the leaven, the khametz. The removal...when a Jewish person cleanses his home from the leaven, he removes the products that are not kosher, le Pesach, for Passover. The removal is seen as a metaphor for an inner process of purging and freeing ourselves of impurity.
What we want to ask you to evaluate in this Passover season is the leaven that is in your life, that which, in your personal world, in your mind, in your actions, in your practices, in your home that is sin. In this season you should consider what God sees as wickedness, what God sees as worthy of judgment if it is not repented of, if it’s not cleaned out. If you don’t have a Spring cleaning this Spring of the evil in you, are you really living up to God’s expectations for your life? Are you living up to your own expectations for your life?
You’ve heard someone tell a story and when it did not get the expected response say, “You had to be there.” In our last newsletter we offered a DVD and an audio CD of an actual Passover Seder conducted by Dr. Weiss’ Jewish family. If you missed that offer and would like to have those great teachings in your home, you can “be there.” CLICK HERE.