A few years ago I was given a gift, an antique Haggadah. My Father purchased it at an auction. A Haggadah is a Jewish book which you read during the Seder meal. The silver covered book is ornamental, but quite functional. It is in both Hebrew and English with colorful illustrations and words. It was published in Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem. It feels old and sacred when I hold it in my hands. I feel the pages that have been wrinkled with wine and crusted with bits of time, and I feel known, as if I belong to something greater. I have never celebrated Passover with such an authentic piece. I’m excited because sometimes a break from the routine reveals something spectacular.
Dear Messianic Jews and Christians who think it necessary to rewrite the Haggadah, in order to include Messiah: I respectfully and politely disagree. Changing the text removes the thrust of the message, which stands true for every man today Christian or Jew – that is we are awaiting Messiah. Messiah is all over the traditional Haggadah, but in a fresh way, in a way that ignites our anticipation, and reminds us that he is coming!
After reading through the Jewish Haggadah I realized it’s one of the most messianic pieces of literature I have ever read. The traditional Haggadah is a rich reminder laced with the spirit and message of Messiah, salvation, deliverance and waiting for liberation. It is a delicate balance of looking back and looking forward in one swift act of obedience – passover.
If Passover is for Jews alone, than why does it say in Exodus 12:41, that “all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt”, and in verse 38, “a mixed multitude went out with them.”
Each year since the first Passover there is an opportunity to be delivered from the world powers and the forces of darkness to which we are enslaved and by which we are captivated. At the great Passover when the Lamb of God was slain and His blood spilled, not just for the doors of Israelites, but for all men who obey. Passover continues to be an opportunity to be saved from slavery.
Paul goes to great lengths to utilize the spiritual facet of Passover: “For all who are being led by the spirit of God these are the sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery, leading to fear again but a spirit of adoption, as sons…and the spirit bears witness that we are children of God. And not only this, but we ourselves having the first-fruits of the spirit even we ourselves groan within ourselves ,waiting eagerly for our adoption , as sons the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved and if we hope for what we do not yet see, we wait eagerly for it.” Romans 8: 15 & 22
Passover should be celebrated by all those who have been spared and passed over by death. Some were delivered that first Passover, others on the great Passover and still others during future Passovers. “so Messiah also having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await him.” The first time he appeared he was slain as the paschal lamb , but the second time will be to lead those out who are awaiting freedom.
Are we not instructed to be looking and hastening for the coming of the day of the Lord, Consider the correlations the new testament authors use to refer to the passover when speaking of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. … be found spotless, blameless and in peace, this is in reference to being found without leaven. Girded (with truth), readied with your sandals on (in peace) 2 peter 3:1, “With our lamps and oil prepared, (Matthew 25). He stands at the door and knocks. For we do not know the hour, it was at night when Pharaoh released Israel. And God had told them to be ready.
Celebrating the Lord’s passover helps us to remember and it keeps us in a mindset of preparation. Passover is a message for us who believe today. It is an ancient message with a modern relevance. According to 1 peter 1:5 “we are waiting for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
We await eagerly, we wait for Messiah and we wait for the day of the Lord. Jesus said he would return. Night is coming and our freedom draws nigh. How shall he find us ?
This year I remember that Passover is not just about blood and being spared from death, but life and freedom. Not just the death of the lamb but the life given to the sheep. The feast of unleavened bread reminds us that Christ is returning to bring us into the Promised Land, just as Moses returned from the wilderness to lead Israel out of Egypt. Christ, the one who rose during the feast of unleavened bread and ascended will emerge from his place and with no uncertain words declaring to the enemy, LET MY PEOPLE GO!
It’s important that we, the children of God, do not forget God is still working towards the next big chapter in his story. This earth is not the new earth. Jerusalem is not yet the New Jerusalem. There is more to do, more to come, more for which we wait! Messiah is coming. Do not be complacent, do not settle in to Goshen, do not return to Egypt-the Promised Land is not far. Passover is the feast of the Lord which reminds every Jew homeborn or adopted that He brought us out in order to bring us in. The feast of unleavened bread is a reminder that there is more to come, more deliverance, more of his will and instruction and more of eternity to unfold. We are still waiting for a salvation yet to be revealed, for our savior to descend with a shout to gather us up and lead us out!