2nd April 2015
We greet you this Passover and pray that it will be a blessed and
refreshing time for you and your family. During this season we are
celebrating Israel's escape from the slavery of Egypt, as well as our
escape from the slavery of sin, through the blood of Yeshua, who is our
eternal Passover Lamb!
Some think that Passover Seder (Passover Supper) consists of the
lengthy readings from the Hagadat Pesach (the written guidelines for
the Passover supper), obscure symbolism of the items on the Seder plate,
four cups of wine (which may seem strange to some conservative Christians).
The songs don't always make sense to non Hebrew speakers. Retelling of
different rabbinical interpretations can also seem strange. Tired listeners
eagerly wait for the main dish to be served. Many people see Passover Seder
There is, however, another viewpoint. Passover Eve is a special night. The
week before Passover is reserved for the preparation and thorough cleaning
of the house. Families gather together. Passover can be fun and
interesting. Again, there is plenty of food. Even if the Passover Seder
ceremony is long, it is interesting and can be conducted in creative ways.
There is wine, but each cup has a symbolic meaning. This is a positive view
of the Passover Seder.
There are countless articles written about Passover. Today, some
researchers say that the first century celebration of Passover was a lot
less complicated than it is today. It used to be a family assembly, that
consisted of the blessings and eating of the Lamb. After the appearance of
the young rabbi from Nazareth, the prophetic meaning of Passover ceremony -
receiving the bread and the wine - was revealed in a new light.
In fact, this "Last supper" tradition created a competition between the
traditions of Yeshua's followers (also known as anashei haderech -
people of the way) and those following other branches of Judaism, such as
the followers of Rabbi Akiva some decades later. The actions of Yeshua
during the Last supper as recorded in the New Testament created an
alternative branch of Judaism, and the Passover Hagada written by the
Rabbis decades later may well have been influenced by Yeshua's example. It
is also possible that Yeshua simply repeated, what Jews had always done,
and asked his followers "to teach their children that the Lord has brought
us them out of Egypt". We may never now what the fact is.
The essence of Passover is to remember, to give thanks and to be
- To remember, that the Lord brought the people of Israel out of
Egypt with His own hand. The Scriptures teach that everyone who belongs to
Israel must experience the Exodus as if it happened to him personally. This
changes us from the inside and gives our life a different meaning. Through
this personal "exodus" one can become truly free.
- To be thankful: to glorify God for His mercy and faithfulness,
that do not leave us as sinners, but redeem us instead. We are not to get
frustrated in our hearts, but need to cultivate hope and faith.
Unfortunately, the world is filled with problems that each one of us faces.
May God help us to see things from His perspective, as quoted in the Jewish
prayer "fill my mouth with joy and I will praise thee."
- To be strengthened as family. It's great habit to spend time as a
family around the dinner table, and share stories before and after the
meal. This way young men learn to imitate their fathers and daughters learn
from their mothers. Godly traditions are passed on to the next generation.
If your family hasn't been able to enjoy the tradition of family dinners,
by God's grace it's never too late to start.
Faith in Yeshua
Faith in Yeshua gives a deeper meaning to the Passover Seder, instead of
reminiscing only about the exodus. Yeshua is the catalyzer of the Passover
celebration. It is not so important, how many cups are raised and how
punctually we arrange the Seder plate. The most important thing is to do
everything by faith and by will.
The Lamb of God has died for us - for you and for me. Prophet Isaiah said,
that "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our
iniquities" Isaiah 53:5a (ASV). You have come out of Egypt, not only
externally, but the power of atonement has helped you to overcome sin and
judgement and it gives hope. The Lamb of God has become the outstretched
hand of the Creator, and is constantly there to lead and strengthen you.
Even those that were not part of Israel, and did not have contact with the
Creator, can through Yeshua partake in eating of the passover lamb. "now
in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the
blood of Christ." Ephesians 2:13 (ASV). By eating the Matza (Unleavened
bread) we become partakers of God's divine nature. By drinking the wine, we
allow the blood of the Lamb to wash our interior of all curses of this
world, and allow God's kingdom operate in us more and more.
John the Baptist says "He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and
fire" (Luke 3: 16). Receiving the Holy Spirit is a visitation of the
Creator, which provides strength to serve. One just needs to trust Him,
which is not always easy.
I believe the above scripture may well point to the same fire that Moses
and the Israelites encountered on the mountain, when they received the two
stone tablets as mentioned in Deuteronomy 5. Somehow every Jew and every
believer in Yeshua was hidden in the loins of Moses as he stood on that
mountain ablaze with fire. Passover becomes alive for you, as you have
personally come out of "Egypt". You now belong to the Creator. The Lamb has
taken away your sin, and has made you pure before the Judge, and the Lion
of the Tribe of Judah has become the Lord of your life.
Your kind gifts and prayers have enabled us to extend our hands to many new
immigrant families in Haifa.
We have been able to bless them with food
packages, toiletries, kitchen utensils, quilts, bedding and warm clothes.
Contents of a grocery package (+ frozen chicken)
Return to Zion has decided to do more for our hard-working soldiers in
2015. Young men and women from our congregation are serving the country in
IDF units; some of them are in the Special Forces.
We have built a plan and have started collecting support to enable
messianic soldiers, who finish their service, to travel to a quiet place,
to spend some time alone with God, to receive teaching and travel around.
We hope that they will return to Israel with new power for their next step,
which is serving the Lord.
to visit our project page.
Thank you for standing with Israel and Return to Zion! We wish you a Happy