Sunday, April 15, 2007

Christian: Do You Celebrate EASTER or PASSOVER?

"Easter is the time when Christians commemorate the death of Jesus Christ, and celebrate his Resurrection. From a series of fraudulent trials, to a willing self-sacrifice that redeemed the whole of creation, Resurrection Day is full of meaning and significance." (source: - but do you know many of those traditions are pagan in origin? By no means does it mean we should not celebrate the sacrifice, death and resurrection of our Messiah, but rather that we should instead attempt to learn how He celebrated His last meal, the Pesech (Passover) meal the night before He was led to slaughter for our sins (yours and mine).

Testimony of a Christian's first Messianic Jewish Passover meal from
by R.C. Burris

My first introduction to the Messianic Jewish Movement and the formation of new, lifelong friendships with Messianic Jewish believers was my first Passover seder at a local San Antonio Messianic congregation.

Over the years I have come to understand that traditional Christians tend to understand the Passover celebration only in terms of Communion and the Last Supper, while Jewish people understand Passover in terms of the traditional retelling of the Exodus story at a specially prepared meal called a seder. By celebrating the feast within the setting of Jewish believers, I have combined the traditional Christian and Jewish elements of the Passover to reach a deeper understanding of the Passover’s fulfillment in Jesus (Yeshua).

Since the first Passover in the land of Egypt, God has commanded the Feast to be celebrated annually. It is a time for all Jewish people to recall the great work the covenant-keeping God of Israel did to redeem them out of their bondage in the land of Egypt. In addition, Passover celebrations provide all believers in Messiah an opportunity to reflect on the greater Messianic significance spoken of in Isaiah 53 and fulfilled in Yeshua (Jesus) — the spotless Lamb of God (John 1:29) — our Passover sacrifice (1 Corinthians 5:7).

Like the unleavened bread (matzah) of Passover, Yeshua was without sin. And like the matzah bread, He was also striped (Isaiah 53:5) and pierced (Zechariah 12:10). The broken bread represents His broken body: His willing sacrifice and death on the cross. And like the afikomen (the matzah hidden then retrieved after the Passover meal), He was wrapped in linen and hidden away. The shed blood of Yeshua is also pictured in the Passover by the third cup of the meal, the Cup of Redemption. Just as the blood of the Passover lamb was to be applied to the doorposts of each home, we too must apply the shed blood of Yeshua, the Lamb of God, to the doorposts of our heart. Bread and wine are also the elements of communion that are symbols of God’s New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34), the covenant of Grace for everyone, whether Jewish in heritage or not.

If in the future you are interested in celebrating Passover Messianic-style with your family, Ariel Ministries offers an illustrated Haggadah, which participants can use to lead them step-by-step through the ceremony. It gives a brief overview of the Passover celebration and basic instructions for how to prepare, including some traditional Jewish recipes.

Another resource from Ariel Ministries is The Unleavened Messiah - A Portrait of Christ in the Passover, a DVD that can be played during the seder meal to guide the Passover celebration. Steven Ger, who leads the celebration, is a Jewish believer. In his presentation, he bridges the cultural gap between modern Christianity and first-century Judaism. "

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