Our Passover Privilege
By Laurel James
“How can a person hear the Gospel through a Jewish Feast like the Passover?”…
I was surprised by my friend Jean’s* question. It was the day before our annual Passover Seder outreach and as I was out shopping, I ran into Jean, a very sweet lady who is a believer and committed member of a church in our area. When she asked me how things were going at Word of Messiah, I told her how excited I was about our upcoming Seder, especially because of the Jewish people yet to believe in Messiah who would come and hear the Gospel presented through this incredible Feast. In response to her follow-up question, I tried to share as much as I could in two minutes about this God-given witnessing opportunity. Far from being a side note, it is hard not to see Yeshua in the Passover, for, from beginning to end, the entire Seder testifies of Him!
The following day, about 430 people filled the room as the Seder began. At my table was a group of believers from various churches. For some, this was their first Passover Seder. They all had a wonderful time learning profound truth from God’s Word, worshipping God, fellowshipping with each other, and laughing at those who took a bit too much of the horseradish from the Seder plate! Many who come to our Seders for the first time have remarked how incredibly eye-opening it has been for them to see how each element of the Seder points to Yeshua, from the broken middle piece of the Afikomen to the third Cup of Redemption, the very cup Yeshua once lifted and proclaimed, “This cup is the New Covenant in My blood…” (Luke 22:20).
At a table nearby, Robert* and Gail* sat through the Seder for about the fiftieth time in their lives; however, for them, this year was different than most. For the past few years, this Jewish couple who have yet to accept Yeshua as their Messiah have come to our Seder at their friends’ open invitation. Though incredibly skeptical at first, they keep coming back, and each year are opening up a little bit more to the Good News. Please join us in prayer for this couple as well as for the many other Jewish people who have yet to respond to the great love of their Messiah. And please pray as well for those who did respond! As Sam closed the evening with an invitation for those who wanted to accept Yeshua, several people responded and prayed to receive Him into their lives!
As always, we take full advantage of the opportunity for the Good News afforded by this foundational Feast, and our Charlotte Seder was one of many we conducted this year throughout the Carolinas.
In Columbia, SC, the Seder was a great success and great opportunity for our congregation plant in Columbia to testify of Messiah as the Lamb of God. Many who came from churches learned not only more about the roots of their faith, but also the calling we all share to get the Good News out to the Jewish community. Out of approximately 100 people, there were several Jewish unbelievers present. As guest speaker, Sam interacted with individuals around the tables, many of whom had questions such as, “How can you be sure Yeshua is the Jewish Messiah?” and were genuinely interested in hearing more about the Good News. At the end, two people responded by giving their hearts to the Lord!
At Hope of Israel Roanoke, a congregation Sam is overseeing the planting of, there were over forty people in attendance at the Seder. Afterwards, Tony Mardian, the leader of HOI Roanoke, had a conversation with one unbelieving Jewish lady, Evelyn* about her impressions of the Seder. When she commented that, when confronted with this teaching, a Jewish person has to “decide whether they want to be a Christian or a Jew,” Tony explained that this is a false assumption that has unfortunately been taught by many Jewish and Christian leaders alike throughout the years. However, the truth is quite clear in Scripture. He showed her the different passages where Rav Shaul (the apostle Paul) claims present-day Jewishness while putting his trust in Messiah’s atonement, and explained that he personally also did not stop being Jewish when he trusted in Messiah. She had never heard this before. Several of the ladies who were sitting with Evelyn later told Tony, “That hit her hard; she had never heard one stays a Jew while becoming a follower of Messiah.” Please pray for Evelyn as she grapples with this truth and the implications of the Good News that were presented through the Seder.
Other Seder outreaches included a banquet in Bath, NC where over thirty churches were represented in the attendance. It was the first Seder for most and the teaching was received especially well by the people because the host congregation, Winds of Change Church, had been studying about the Feasts of Israel and were anticipating learning more about Passover for the sake of their own faith and outreach. Three people gave their hearts to Lord during the evening and are being followed up by their community.
Sam also conducted a Seder in Edisto Island, SC, a first for the majority of the people there. Many of those who attended go to churches where there may not be clear teaching on the Good News nor opportunity to place faith in Messiah. So, when Sam gave a clear presentation of the Good News, explaining how religious ceremonies cannot save, and how just like at the Exodus, we must apply the blood of Yeshua, our Passover Lamb to our hearts, fifteen people prayed to receive the Lord!
We are so thankful for each of these opportunities, as well as the many others, the Lord has provided during this season through Passover banquets and presentations, and we look forward to the next Feast on God’s calendar, Pentecost, which will present new opportunities for the Good News. Until then, we continue to share the Good News of Yeshua, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, with Jew and Gentile alike!
*Names changed to protect the privacy of the individuals
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