Passover Blessings in 2018
By Sam Nadler
Our many Word of Messiah Ministries (WMM) Passover outreaches this year were truly blessed of the Lord with numerous people responding to His invitation, for His lovingkindness endures forever!
There were both Jewish people and non-Jewish people responding. There were men and women, young and old. In New York City, dozens came to a saving knowledge of the Lord, and many more in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the Carolinas. God is truly an equal opportunity Savior!
There are 5 elements (the introduction and the four Passover cups) in WMM’s Passover outreaches that are instrumental in communicating the Good News of Yeshua to all with ears to hear:
First, at the introduction, we speak about the need to be spiritually prepared to personally participate. From Messiah’s teaching to the disciples in Luke 22:7-13, where He repeats the word “prepare” four times, we show that there can’t be real participation without proper preparation. This not only refers to cleansing the home of all leavened baked goods (Exodus 12:15), but as the New Covenant applies the teaching of Moses, Paul instructs all of us that we need to clean out the spiritual chametz (leaven) from our hearts (1Corinthians 5:6-8). It is always a heart issue with God. This element provides people with the opportunity for a personal spiritual inventory and to see if there is anger, bitterness, fear or arrogance in their souls. But God mercifully prepares us, even as He promised and provided His herald of the Lord (from Malachi 3:1) to prepare the way of the Lord through the ministry of John the Baptizer, who declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
Second, during the first cup, we review why we needed redemption as we discuss and partake in the bitter herbs, remembering the bitterness of bondage in Egypt. This historical matter is the biblical picture of the universal problem of the bondage of sin, which brings bitterness to every soul. People do not mind sin, per se, but it is the consequences of sin – the bitterness, hatred, anger, fears, arrogance – which reveal to them their desperate need for God’s redemption in the Lamb, our Messiah. We once more emphasize the tragic consequences of sin and how it is a bondage of the human soul.
Third, during the second cup, we tell the Passover STORY of how God brought 10 plagues, or judgements, upon Egypt to convince Pharaoh to let go of Israel, God’s firstborn son of the nations (Exodus 4:22-23). For redemption, God had Israel sacrifice an unblemished lamb, and place the blood on the doors of their homes. As strange as that may seem today, God still seeks a people who will trust in His way of redemption, by the shed and applied blood of the Lamb. Here, we emphasize the only means provided for redemption from the bitterness of bondage as well as from the judgement we all deserve, for all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). There is no other help but in the Lamb of redemption – the Messiah of Israel, who alone perfectly fulfills the type of this Lamb!
Fourth, after the meal, we partake of the Afikomen (the broken unleavened bread) and the third cup, the cup of redemption. Both traditional elements were used by Messiah to memorialize His own sacrifice as the Lamb of God. He states that this cup pictures His blood that establishes the New Covenant. We explain from Jeremiah 31:31-34, that this New Covenant states that through it we come to “know the Lord” and not merely know about the Lord. Knowing about the Lord is mere religion, but knowing the Lord is the eternal life relationship that God desires us to have in Messiah (see John 17:3). Here we emphasize not only the removal of the bitterness of bondage through forgiveness of sins, but of the fullness of life in a relationship with God by faith in Messiah. This only occurs if we apply the Lamb of God’s blood to our heart’s door (Revelation 3:20).
Lastly, with the fourth cup, the cup of praise, we close with the final traditional chant, “L’shana Haba B’Yerushala’im!” (Next Year in Jerusalem!). We ask everyone, “Why ‘next year’? Because by tradition the removal of bitterness and a restored relationship with God isn’t happening now! For by tradition, the soul is still as empty as the chair that awaits Elijah. For our lives are fulfilled in Yeshua, for it’s the truth that sets us free, not tradition. Now is the day of salvation!”
As we closed in prayer, we invited people to respond to the Lord’s gracious invitation to receive His pardon for sins, new life and a relationship with the Living God by simple faith in His provision, Yeshua the Messiah, the Lamb of God. By His mercy many responded, trusting in the blood of the Lamb of God. Please pray that they will grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord. Thank you for standing with Word of Messiah in prayer, as we endeavor by His gracious support to bring the Good News of Messiah to all with ears to hear, even to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile! (Romans 1:16)