In Response to Evangelicals Embracing Passover

For example, (Paula) White hosted a controversial Messianic-styled teacher named Ralph Messer, on her television program in 2009 to explain the meaning of Passover. Messer is the founder of Simchat Torah Beit Midrash, a school and congregation that teaches the “Hebrew Roots of the Christian Faith” and is perhaps best known for performing ceremonies during which he will wrap church leaders in a Torah scroll.

In the segment on White’s television program, Messer offered his own explanations to White about “Passover’s meaning to Christians.”

from “Evangelicals Are Falling in Love with Passover – Is There Anything Wrong with That?”
written by Sam Kestenbaum for
Forward.com

messer
Ralph Messer – Found at STMB.org

Is there anything wrong with that? Depends. Paula White and Ralph Messer aren’t, in my opinion, particularly credible representatives of Christianity and Messianic Judaism respectively, so I would tend to discount their input.

Of course, “Forward” would be likely to pick such poor examples of those two traditions in order to re-enforce the exclusive Jewishness of Passover.

I kind of don’t blame them, actually. Here’s another example of why:

And in 2013, American televangelist Jim Bakker hosted a lavish televised Passover Seder alongside Messianic author and teacher Jonathan Cahn.

Bakker, who sat alongside Cahn at the head of the stage, added enthusiastically: “It’s not a Jewish holiday, it is a fantastic Christian time,” he said. “I mean, every detail of Jesus is in the Passover.”

Cahn sought to clarify. “It’s both. It’s Jewish and Christian, because it’s all one.” Jesus, Cahn said, “is the center of the church and Israel, really we’re supposed to be one.”

-ibid

Well, that was horrible. I know that in the future Messianic Age there may well be aspects of the Passover that can be applied to the Gentile (certainly not partaking of the Pascal meal however), and maybe there can be some takeaways for the Gentile believer in the present age, but we’d better watch our step.

Bakker’s statement about Passover being a Christian rather than a Jewish holiday is outrageous. Sure, Cahn backpedaled for him and said it’s both Christian and Jewish, but who was the original Passover directed at? Certainly not Christians who didn’t even exist yet.

christian at kotelThere are times when I get a little tired of churches seeing “types and shadows” of Christ in every little detail of the Tanakh (what Christians call the “Old Testament”), as if Passover and many other sacred events had no intrinsic meaning to Israel in and of themselves.

Christianity just can’t stand being left out of the party, so it has to rewrite the invitations to exclude the Jews and bring in the Evangelicals.

But then there’s this:

“As Messianics, we see ourselves as a bridge,” said Mitch Glaser, head of Chosen People Ministries, another major Messianic organization. “With anti-Semitism on the rise, we want more evangelicals to be pro-Jewish and pro-Israel. Helping evangelicals see the Jewish roots of their faith is a way to open that door.”

-ibid

Yes, the flip side says that by encouraging Christians to embrace the Passover, it could actually reduce anti-Semitism in the Church. Maybe, but it seems to be re-enforcing supersessionism | replacement theology, which is hardly desirable.

The article does cite both Christian and Jewish objections to Christians holding their own seders:

A 2014 article on the website Religion Dispatches — written by a Christian and titled “Why Christians Should Not Host Their Own Passover Seders” — the author decried Christian Seders as theologically dangerous and culturally insensitive. “One of the privileges that comes with being part of the majority culture is that nobody is likely to call you out on your cultural appropriation,” the post read. “So, call yourself out. Don’t host a seder.”

And Rabbi A. James Rudin, director of interreligious affairs at the American Jewish Committee, previously denounced Christian Seders as “distorting the meaning” of the Seder by introducing Jesus into the ceremony — imposing a Christian reading onto what Rudin sees as the true Jewish narrative.

-ibid

And of course, Christians who choose to hold their own seders often aren’t really attempting to observe all the traditions of Passover:

This evangelical fascination with Passover also appears mainly focused on the Seder, just one part of the traditional Jewish observances of the holiday. Jews also abstain from eating any leavened foods for the eight days of Passover. For the most observant, the first and last two days of the holiday are spent in synagogue in prayer.

-ibid

That’s actually a good thing since there’s no actual attempt to “observe” Pesach in the Church in the manner of the Jewish people.

I’m a Gentile believer in Yeshua (Jesus) as the Jewish Messiah King, and I’m married to a Jewish wife who is not a believer.

Every year, we have our small family seder, and even though I’m not Jewish, because my wife and children are, I attend the seder and lead in the readings.

If I have my own personal interpretation of what the seder and the Passover season means to me, it is kept within the privacy of my own mind and heart.

I know there are “Messianic Gentiles” who have a more liberal view on this issue, but my perspective is born out of painful experience, both within the family and in more congregational venues.

PassoverUltimately, people will approach Passover based on their identity, beliefs, and often on their desires. I only represent my personal point of view. It’s a wonderful thing for a Gentile to be invited by a Jew to join their seder (and depending on the branch of Judaism involved, it might be forbidden to invite a non-Jew), but just remember, it’s their seder, not ours.

If we are invited now or in the age to come, it is an act of graciousness. It’s not our right to be there.

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41 thoughts on “In Response to Evangelicals Embracing Passover”

  1. Because the Passover is a traditional season of remembrance for Jews in regard to their history, it seems a bit rude to shoulder your way into a Sedar in a Jewish fashion if a Gentile even in the privacy of your home since you cannot possibly claim you were a slave in Egypt, but the Passover is ours as well as Believers in Yeshua. I simply treat it as a Shabbat, serve lamb, and take communion. The Feast of Unleavened Boread is an interesting reason to clean your house yearly, but not eating any of the forbidden grains anyway, I don’t worry too much about the ‘bread of affliction’, and I try to recall that my times of testing in the wilderness have nothing to do with coming out of the original Egypt, but only the present one.

  2. I see that today you devoted your essay to a topic that brings out various kinds of “April Fools”. [:)]

  3. @Q: As I said, there are some applications for non-Jewish believers, but In the examples I cited above, some non-Jews take it way too far.

    @PL: I did indeed.

  4. I lead a Seder every year, using a Haggadah that is true to the Jewish tradition. Takes forever! But one of the reasons I do it, and celebrate the whole week of unleavened bread, and count the Omer, is because Yeshua did. As a disciple to the Master, I would rather celebrate the festivals taught in the Tanach as best I can, than follow the Christian Tradition of Easter. Although, I do eat as many hot cross buns before pasach as possible.

  5. My guess is that Yeshua and his talmidim didn’t use anything like a modern Orthodox Haggadah, so we can’t be sure of how his seder would have worked. I used one exactly once and the Passover meal had to be carried over to the next day. As a family, we use a more modest Haggadah, especially for the sake of my grandchildren.

  6. Far prior to time, this year, for getting the leaven out, my cousin-in-law and I were standing by a dumpster [at someone else’s home where I was out of town], throwing out expired cans and boxes and other packages of food from a cupboard which hadn’t been cleared for years (and was a repository of sale/coupon items and survivalist buys). She, handing item over and relaying she’d earlier been throwing stuff to the far side [not at her/their home either] said to me, “It’s therapeutic, isn’t it?”

    She besides being Jewish is a near doctorate in psychology, but doesn’t bring that up; it wasn’t part of the dynamic, as it usually isn’t. “Yes,” I said, with full agreement and subtle memories. She and I have never been together for a seder. She began telling me of straightening her parents’ home some years ago, and coming across a pink napkin wrapping. “Clearly, we never found the afikomen one year.”

    It was a nice moment.

  7. Peace be to all and a good health.
    Hello guys, in regards to the topic on the passover which really originate from OT Period, which thou really still continuing up to date in the NT Period, is not anymore an obligatory ritual to the Israelite people and what more to the gentiles! Because of the fact, that upon the fulfillment effectivity of the New Covenant Plan of God or the NT gospel this literal ritual offering of passover was already change by Yeshua M. into the spiritual ritual in the “last supper,” were in his body flesh as the unleaven bread that were cut in to pieces and his blood as the spiritual drink that could clean one’s sin, read Mt. 26:29 & 1Cor. 5:7-9.

    So, Yeshua M. is now the new impose mandatory spiritual ritual covenant as the sacrificial animal offering to God and not anymore to the literal animal ritual sacrifice in this NT/ New Covenant Period, and this spiritual ritual application was a personalize work by Yeshua M. (Holy Spirit), in his blessing ritual or annointing of the baptism of the Holy Spirit to all the Chosen Caĺl Out Israelites, Rev. 14:1-5.. And no to all religion ritual of the gentiles and even Israelites.

    And in this present Parousia Period, the application of this last supper or passover ritual is will be in the caught in the cloud procedure that will be work out by the Holy Spirit in the father’s Authority, Mt. 16:27. So, we are iinviting all to this last supper of Yeshua M., Rev. 19:9.
    May our living lord God Bless us all.

    LOVE : New Jerusalem – Holy City

  8. One year, after I had cleaned the leaven and so forth out of my own home and prayed that any left be as the dust of the earth, I later noticed I had forgotten to take a gifted, sealed science kit out of the library. This kit had a packet of yeast in it. I left it untouched through the days of unleavened bread. When we did get the kit out, I’d forgotten it had been left during the observance… until we tried to use the yeast for an experiment (and I remembered the prayer when it didn’t work, a prayer I’d believed when I’d prayed it… not specifically this way).

    It was a nice moment.

  9. I find it interesting that every year, there are now more and more internet articles that discuss whether or not Christians should celebrate the Passover. This was first brought tomy attention by a Jewish friend, who had come to my own seder for years and whose more “traditional” seders I have attended. She found an article last year on the net that declared why Christians ought to avoid having any kind of Passover seder–whether traditional or non-traditional–and she wanted me to write a response to this. So I decided to research this, and I was
    delighted to find that Passover celebrations have become a staple feature of Holy Week worship for all kinds of churches, in addition
    to Messianic congregations and fellowships of all kinds and
    theolgoical flavors. This trend has grown for the last 35 years or
    so and shows no sign of slowing down–the growing awareness
    fueled, by the rise of Jewish Messianic ministries, and the general
    American ecumenism in which interfaith events have become
    commonplace.

    1. I have also noticed that these articles may veer to the NO column or to the YES column, with both traditional Jews and Christians/
    Messianic Jews/Messianic Gentiles weighing in on the
    rest of us who don’t fit in their theological spectrum. I’m also amused by what I call the GTM (Guilt Trip Ministries) articles that send the message–whether subtly or blatantly–that we folks out there in
    Christendom who decide to have some kind of Passover festival are committing all kinds of theological faux pas; “cultural mis-appropriation”
    errors; and “liturgicide” of various sorts. Guilt Trip Ministries works
    in either the YES spectrum–you BETTER have a Passover Seder
    or God will smite your pagan little Easter sunrise service; or the NO
    spectrum–You celebrators are declaring that Jesus really didn’t finish
    the work of redemption if you chow down on that matzah. Let’s not
    forget the plethora of articles that discuss whether or not the goyim
    can even be INVITED to a seder–again, there are the YES-people
    and the NO-people, and you can read what laity and rabbis across
    the Judaic theological continuum think about that topic.

    2. Then there are the Clergy Control Freaks who insist that all we
    uninformed feasters ought not EVER to attempt to do Passover
    without one of THEM in attendance, to make sure we “do it right”
    and don’t offend people who may or may not know we are having
    a seder(or care that we do.) The CCCF crowd is quick to wag ecclesiastical and rabbinical fingers at us while they audibly sniff at
    at the Theologically Incorrect who dare to hold a Passover Seder in their church, community fellowship or even their own home. I’ve read articles that suggest that, based upon the author’s “awkward” or “uncomfortable” experiences they had at one of those Passover events at the First Community Church of the Cultural Isolates, no one should
    have a Passover celebration and “we don’t need it anyway, because
    we have our own_____________service and that ought to be
    enough.”

    3. As a Black Pentecostal believer who celebrates both the
    Christian Year AND the Shalosh Regalim within that context,
    I’ve had the joy of writing my own Passover Seder and using this
    since 1985, for both home and church/fellowship use. The greatest
    joy for me has always been seeing eyes “light up” as participants
    literally connect to the Exodus event and the Last Supper as they
    “eat their way” through the narrative texts. I’ve had the privilege
    of presenting this paschal celebration in various churches and
    homes; and every year, the joy of enriching the Holy Week
    worship with Passover sedarim designed to involve everyone.

    4. To borrow a little from Occam’s Razor, I’d like to propose that
    the simplest reason to have a Passover Seder is:

    It’s in the Bible and Jesus did it.

    CHAG SAMEACH and HAPPY HOLY WEEK TO ALL!

  10. It’s interesting that in their book ‘The World of the Ger’ Rabbi Chiam Clorfene and David Katz suggest the first step to the Creator is the Passover. That resonated with me as it was my first step.

    I recently watched a five-part teaching by Rabbi Fohrman (alephbeta.org) connecting the Exodus to Jacob’s burial procession. It was an amazing teaching that suggested the Exodus was intended to bring Egypt to worship along with the Hebrews, and ended with the thought that one day Jew and Gentile will come together (as they did in Joseph’s time) togive honor to the Father of all.

    As to haggadah, I once butchered my way through the traditional one then found ‘The 30-minute Seder’ in a Judaica shop. It actually takes a little more than an hour, depending on how much we sing and worship. Personally, I avoid using Messianic ones, as there is usually one or two Jewish people in attendance who do not believe Yeshua is the Messiah. I do a short teaching connecting the lamb of Passover to The Lamb of God. In my mind, this plants a seed in both the Jew and the Christian in attendance, praying they both make the connection to Yeshua and the Torah as one in the same.

  11. A big, ‘YES!’ to Ro and Charlty Dell! No, I am not doing it, but wish I was competent to do it. I will perform a small baby step. It appears to me that we are called ..’to examine ourselves.’ twice a year, now and later for Yom Kippur. Yeshua was declared Lamb of G-d by John the Baptist, in my opinion, connecting Him to Pesach. Yes, I think we should …’as often as you do this do it in remembrance of me..’ restore the proper observance of our Faith, rooted in Torah and Yeshua, (as Ro said) one in the same. I may be stumbling in my walk, just like baby steps, I just keep walking.

  12. CYNTHIA–You ARE competent enough to do it! You have the Bible
    and you can read, so frankly, you do not need to consult umpteen
    “experts”. There IS NO ONE WAY to have a Passover Seder, because
    it really is a simple service that is centered on these elements:

    1. LAMB–you can roast lamb chops, a lamb leg, or a rack of
    lamb. I squeeze the juice of lemons on the leg and on the chops,
    which tenderizes the meat and cuts the sweet gamey taste.
    I also use lemon pepper seasoning.
    2. BITTER HERBS(maror)–this can be ANY bitter herb, including
    endive, horseradish or escarole.
    3. MATZAH–I like the whole wheat variety, but you can use ANY
    unleavened bread.
    4. CHAROSET–I use a simple mixture of apples, walnuts, cinnamon,
    honey and Welch’s Grape Juice, the dark Concord variety.

    I use GRAPE JUICE for the entire seder, which is good because
    all can partake and recovering alcoholics can ALSO partake.
    Just choose what scriptures you want from Exodus and the
    Gospels.

    That’s essentially it–a Passover Seder that brings out the Old
    and New Testament narratives. You do NOT have to do 15
    steps; you do NOT have to rigidly follow any seder format,although you can use them as a loose guide to construct your own. There are
    many good Judeo-Christian and Messianic seder services on
    the internet. You do NOT have to add commentaries or anything else. Invite a friend or family members and VOILA–you’ve got PASSOVER! 🙂
    Have a Blessed Passover, Holy Week and Firstfruits/Easter/Resurrection Festival of Freedom!

  13. Peace be to all and a good health
    Hello guys, can”t anyone still understand the importance of our open revelation on the passover ritual that was already changed into the last supper ritual by Yeshua M. as also the sacrificial lamb ever since 1st Century in Mt. 26:29 and to A. Paul in 1Cor 5:6-9, why not read this quotation to know the truth, since what thou only knew were already an optional or obsolete doctrine in the NT Period to the Israelites, but to the literal gentile people is really nonsense! Is it not this was what your preacher (priest, pastor, minister, rabbi, imam and others) have still taught you or thou were the one who teaches this awkward faith believe, thats why thou are now making a good excuses in it. Or your preachers promises thou that they could mediate thou to God by this ritual? 

    And this is already a fact, that thou have already know that all the literal gentile nations have been already been condemn judged by Yeshua M. in Mt. 25:31-41 since 1st Century. How could everyone could still refer or even mention of a gentile christian religion can be a follower of Yeshua M., as if they were not affected of the judgment and even their passover ritual is legal? Anyway, what do you think or do you understand of the judgment that were already written and executed in the NT gospel book by Yeshua M. which is our God! Is it only a joke or an excusable means of Yeshua M., or it can be bribe? Since many of the comments, seems they don”t really like to follow on what Yeshua have order us to eat his flesh as the unleaven bread and drink his blood to cleanse our sins as the Spiritual New Covenant Plan of God in the NT gospel book.

    These information letter were only to give help for the purpose of enligthening the true understanding of the way the New Covenant Plan of God was prepared by God, and even his applied judgment were really clear to its being final and executory judgment, that even their slightest reaction of ignoring can be condemn to a direct rejection to God! Thats why, this is now called as the “Last Call of God” to all the Leftseeds Covenantal people that were “crossbreed” with those gentile people, to listen and to comply and may be caught in the cloud together with those Original Iiving Messianic to enter into heaven and meet the Lord and to live with the Lord forever more! Reminder: we are oblige to conform to his present Will Plan and not of the will plan of any religion. And to A. Paul in Heb. 12:24-29, he give us a warning to all and please read it.
    May our living lord God Bless us all.

    Love : New Jerusalem – Holy City

  14. The last supper or communion or whatever one would want to call it would be on the night before Passover (it isn’t on the Passover day itself). And, as someone said, there is no way to keep Passover (although I mean that differently). Passover lamb is sacrificed at a precise temple in a precise way at the right time in Jerusalem. But we don’t need to worry about this.

    Nevertheless… instruction and remembrance can be found in bitter herbs and matza, and happy planning. I’ve had lamb before, while this can be discouraged… and more likely so [generally discouraged, that is — and a plain saved bone is preferred, simply set on a nice separate plate, if anything… a Seder plate, but, again, if you are doing this for your own family, I wouldn’t recommend worrying about what kind of plate you have].

    However, if you’re of a Greek Orthodox background, which is not what we’re talking about, it will be encouraged and appreciated to have lamb [and missed otherwise]. And as far as I know, there is no effort to remove leaven or cook anything without it.

    Final note: Don’t do anything like Paula White or Ralph Messner — except (rhetorically speaking) maybe brush your teeth in the morning. This is not to say I know how or if they do so.

  15. Thank you James for this important observation. Very right and on point. This so called christian pasovers just make matter wors. It make me cringe when I (as a Jew) hear this silly attempts to simulate something that not belong to those people. I actually have the same around me when some messianics making this pasovers yet they have not made any move to invite me or consult me about Pasover. This truly (as you stated) just hidden replacement theology theater, and it getting worse with time. Example to the Jews? No…. we have nothing to do with this pasovers. I actually just like to screa about and say: “Live us alone, Pesach not your business” (Biblicly speacking). But yet I see encouragement in one thing: despite all this hype and abomination, in the end of times Hashem Himself will set things straight and all will be good (lots of people will be disappointing but never mind, they took it on themselves) I wish you and your family very Happy Pesach. Hag Pesach Sameyah.

  16. While ordinarily I just ignore the linguistically-challenged ravings of Mark Santos, today he made a statement that seemed to me too serious to ignore. He claimed that the “passover ritual was … changed into the last supper ritual by Yeshua”. That supercessionistic statement is so outrageously wrong, and yet still so widely believed among Christians, that it must be challenged at every opportunity. Suffice it to say, Mr.Santos and most Christian interpreters are insufficiently versed in the Jewish technique of midrash to be able to recognize Rav Yeshua’s references and their meanings. Therefore I’ll take this opportunity to describe just what was that “last supper”, and to review Rav Shaul’s reference to it in 1Cor.11:20-34.

    First, let’s clarify the timing. Yohanan offers numerous statements in his gospel that unambiguously place that final meal with the disciples on the evening before the Day of Preparation when the lambs were slain, so that the arrest later that evening, followed by the trial, execution, and burial, all occurred before the Passover holiday actually began. Hence Rav Yeshua died at about the same time as numerous Pesa’h lambs being prepared for the holy day. Statements about the first day of Unleavened Bread and the readiness of an upper room for the Passover, such as in Mt.26:17 and Mk.14:12, must therefore be recognized as slightly mis-rendered in translation. Clearly they should have been rendered as talking “about” or “regarding” that first day and the Seder preparations, rather than as if they occurred “on” that first day (which would have been rather a bit late to start preparations). Greek prepositions can be tricky that way. Nonetheless, what we can derive from these texts is that Rav Yeshua’s final meal with his Jewish disciples was not the actual Seder, even though he clearly took opportunity at that meal to teach them to view some Seder symbols in a midrashically-augmented manner that would reflect his ministry and his emphasis on Jeremiah’s description of a covenantal renewal and internalization and on the pursuit and realization of the “kingdom of heaven”. In fact, he said as much in Lk.22:15, in that he had wanted to celebrate Passover with them before his suffering would begin. We know, however, that his desire was denied him as he was already dead before the next sundown when Passover actually began and Seder meals would be eaten, which is why Roman soldiers were breaking legs to ensure that the crucified men would die as quickly as possible, as reported in Jn.19:31-34. Thus we must recognize that Rav Yeshua’s final meal was effectively a demonstration Seder, conducted one day prior to the regularly-scheduled Seder, whereby he could teach his disciples how they might conduct future Seders. [The historical development of the modern Seder out of the more primitive Seder of the first century, and the contributions to it of Jewish disciples, must remain a topic for another time.]

    Now, let’s consider what Rav Shaul was writing to gentile disciples in Corinth. Let me emphasize that he was criticizing them for disorderly conduct of communal fellowship meals. They were not really eating together, rather some were rushing ahead to finish their own meal while others had hardly started and were still hungry, and some who finished early continued drinking until they were drunk (viz: 1Cor.11:21). Consequently Rav Shaul reminded them of the example of the orderly conduct of a Passover Seder where everyone shares together at each stage of a carefully programmed and staged meal which includes also opportunities to share words of teaching interspersed with the eating and drinking. Particularly, he reminded them of Rav Yeshua’s demonstration Seder, which served two purposes: one, to shame them because their conduct was so far removed from his selfless example, and two, to show that even a meal that was not exactly a Passover Seder could be conducted in a similarly orderly manner.

    Let me emphasize also that Rav Shaul was not instructing these gentile disciples to perform some ritual alternative to the Passover Seder. As gentiles, they were not required to celebrate the Passover at all, despite the importance they should attach to it because of the midrashic representation of Rav Yeshua as a sacrificial lamb, and a Passover-like redemption from the metaphorical slavery of sin. Jewish disciples, of course, would celebrate Passover with all its symbols, remembering also Rav Yeshua’s augmented interpretation of them. Gentile disciples would be prohibited from participation in the Passover unless they were circumcised (viz: Ex.12:48), and Rav Shaul’s vehement criticism of the Galatian gentile disciples to prevent them from becoming circumcised should suggest to us that these disciples were not expected to attend Passover Seders.

    So now we come to the questions faced by all modern gentile disciples of Rav Yeshua, regarding Passover celebrations: Is it biblically-permissible for them to attend a Seder? Is it biblically-permissible for them to conduct a Seder? Is it biblically-permissible for them to conduct some alternative to the Seder?

    If we wish to answer the first question in the affirmative, we would seem to require some response to the Torah’s demand for circumcision in Ex.12:48. Remember that this requirement is not obsolete, because Rav Yeshua was adamant in Mt.5:18 that the Torah remains valid in all its finest details as long as the heavens and earth endure, and in the preceding v.17 that he should never be misunderstood as advocating or doing anything to diminish or abrogate that Torah. Most modern Jews actually encourage gentile participation in a properly-conducted Passover Seder, because familiarizing them with it tends to counter historical Christian antagonisms against Jews as they celebrate it. It is a good thing to try to prevent any resurgence of the ancient blood-libels that once were waged against Jews, claiming, for example, that the blood of Christian children was mixed into the recipe for matzah or for Passover wine. However, gentile disciples of an Israeli Admor like Rav Yeshua really should be more demanding of themselves regarding biblically-influenced behavior. Hence they must reconcile Rav Shaul’s instructions against gentile circumcision or conversion with the Torah’s requirement for Seder participants. One might try to argue that this particular demand would only apply if an actual Passover lamb had been sacrificed and was being served at the Seder, so it could not apply while the Levitical system was not operational in a standing Beit Mikdash in Jerusalem. This is a reasonable halakhic argument, but it will pose a problem when the temple is restored after Rav Yeshua’s return as Messiah ben-David. Consequently, it doesn’t appeal to those non-Jews who wish to envision their pursuit of the kingdom of heaven as a present symbolic reality. Under such a metaphorical rubric, it may be better to invoke a midrashic view of a metaphorical “circumcision of the heart” as a justification that permits gentile disciples to participate together with their Jewish counterparts in a Passover Seder.

    Now, the second question about a gentile disciple conducting a Seder, especially with a group consisting entirely of other gentile disciples invokes further questions about the content and quality and inauthenticity of such a Seder, and whether it is contributing to a regrettable tendency to usurp Jewish symbols and ceremonies. In such a case, the condition of the “heart” and the intentions of the participants become issues of primary concern. There are so many variables relating to this question that no one answer will suffice. In general, because there is no way to ensure its quality, I would wish to discourage such a practice.

    The third question that I offered above is thus the most challenging. Given that Rav Yeshua’s modern gentile disciples wish to honor his unique role in history and in their own pursuit of salvation, is there some means for them to do so that does not dishonor Jews or the actual celebration of Passover? If the Eucharist or Communion or “Lord’s Supper” traditions were based on a misreading of Rav Shaul’s Corinthian criticisms, and on some even more general mis-readings of the apostolic writings, is there some better way for gentiles to honor Rav Yeshua at this season in particular? Might it be appropriate to celebrate a communal meal, and engage in studious discussion of relevant passages of the apostolic writings, the night *before* Passover? Might it be appropriate also to follow this four days later with an early morning celebration of the resurrection? Notice, please, that I am explicitly *not* recommending or endorsing any sort of Sunday morning “Easter” sunrise service. In the year when Rav Yeshua was raised from death, it happened to occur on the first day of the week, after a “long Shabbat” (“Shabbat Gadol”) that included both the Passover and the regular Shabbat. But Passover does not always fall on the same weekday, thus the subsequent “third day” likewise is not always a Sunday. The creation of a Sunday Easter celebration was part of the Nicene Christian disassociation from and rebellion against Judaism. It is not something that I would expect Rav Yeshua’s modern gentile disciples to emulate, but rather to avoid “like the plague” (much as I would recommend that they ignore Mark Santos’ posts).

    May all who have exercised the patience required to read this post find a fulfilling means to honor Rav Yeshua at this season, when we Jews commemorate HaShem’s redemption of our people, of Israel, from their ancient Egyptian bondage, and the Torah to which He led us.

  17. P.S. — I should have reiterated Rav Shaul’s exhortation to the gentile disciples in Corinth (cif:1Cor.5:8): “Therefore let us celebrate the feast [metaphorically], not in [a state contaminated by the] ancient leaven [of double-minded faithlessness], nor with the leaven of malice and depravity, but with the ‘unleavened bread’ of sincerity and truth.” Pardon my interpretive interpolations, but I think that I have thus best captured the nature of his recommendation about how they might best approach a biblical festival in which *they* could not participate physically without violating biblical commands. Some form of metaphorical approach was a necessary technique by which to honor that which deserved it, and to embrace Rav Shaul’s instruction to them in the entirety of chapter 5. I’ll leave it to the enlightened reader to figure out how to search for the “afikomen” in the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. [;^)]

  18. Peace be to all and a good health
    Heĺlo guys and to PL, so that our explanation will not become another long gospel book, your question can be already answer by the quotation of Yeshua M. in Mt. 26:26-29 and of A. Paul in 1 Cor. 5:7-9.. And about your many quotation, which only make contradiction to one another if properly check. And remember that we are all already in the Ultimate Covenant Plan of God, which is the Parousia Period or the 2nd Advent Period which is very near to its end, 1Cor. 15:23-24.. And the problem to the truth of the passover ritual that was traditional observance of the Israeli people and even the gentile converts in the OT Period but the real problem God have no Covenant commitment to the gentile people! So, frankly speaking, when the New Covenant Plan of God or the NT gospel was fulfill, the TRANSITION RESULT to some required regulation have change and one of this is the condemnation of all gentile nation by Yeshua M. In Mt. 25:31-41 ever since 1st Century unto the 2000 years Set Period which took end last 1993! And so with the literal passover ritual, niether in seder or synagoge observance was also change by Yeshua M. but only taught in his disciples in Mt. 26:29.. And this become a Given and Rewarded knowledge in personalize worked at the later period by Yeshua M. (Holy Spirit). Thus the world religion only immitate what the literal passover ritual observance made by the unqualified Israelites, while other gentile religions make their own format and called it the concentration of the holy eucharist or holy communion. And to the Islam is also the literal passover in their observance by using even other animal like goat! So, the SPIRITUAL OBSERVANCE of this passover which was changed to the term of “last supper ritual” and was REWARDED  to all the Chosen Call Out Israelites in the Messianic Covenant Period. And now at our present Parousia or the 2nd Advent Period, this Spiritual Passover or the Last Supper ritual was again changed into a form of Caught in the cloud application, which is personalize work also of the Holy Spirit, 1Tes. 4:16-17.. So the changes in the terminology is always change in every Dispensational Transition of the Covenant. And this prove to all that all religion were only celebrating the LITERAL OBSERVANCE of the passover, which they thought also as a spiritual? 
    PL, about your qoution in Paul’s writing in 1Cor. 11:20-34, what thou have understand here is only of the literal application!
    May our living lord God Bless us all.

    LOVE : New Jerusalem – Holy City

  19. @Marleen: Yes, those seem like nice, meaningful moments. Thanks for sharing.

    @Charity Dell: Thank you for your thoughtful analysis of the different sides of this issue. Being just an individual blogger in this space doesn’t give me the right to tell people what to do relative to Passover or anything else. I am only rendering my personal opinion based on my personal experiences.

    There will be many Christians who will hold seders of one kind or another for a variety of reasons.

    I was intrigued at your summation on the issue, citing Occam’s Razor, that Pesach is in the Bible and Jesus did it.

    Those are certainly facts, but a closer analysis of the statement reveals that there are many things in the Bible that Jesus did because he was an observant Jew. It doesn’t necessarily mean that all of his actions and obligations as a Jew carry down to his non-Jewish disciples. Acts 15 makes it abundantly clear that the Gentiles coming into Jewish community through devotion to Rav Yeshua were held to a different standard than the Jews themselves.

    In any event, I wish you well in your continuing worship and devotion.

    @Ro: That certainly is interesting, especially if those Rabbis are suggesting that the Ger participate in the Pesach meal alongside the Jewish community. I wonder what they’d say about the Ger eating the Pascal lamb when Messiah rebuilds the Temple and the sacrifices are once again instituted?

    There are a whole bunch of haggadahs out there. I once tried an Orthodox one and was totally overwhelmed. Our family has settled on a shorter version so that our seder will last only one night.

    @Cynthia: There are haggadahs available that are not too difficult to follow. I think Ro mentioned one if that’s your desire. That said, sometimes we’re called to follow our Rav in different ways as Jews and Gentiles, and sometimes even differently between individual or groups of Gentiles. We’ll all still trying to figure it out, especially the non-Jews who have a somewhat fuzzier “roadmap” relative to Torah observant Jews.

    @Charity again: Just a note on the lamb. Lamb hasn’t been a part of the Jewish Passover seder since Herod’s Temple was destroyed. The sacrifice can’t be made, so usually, another meat course is selected. Some do have a lamb bone to symbolize the future Passover when the Temple is rebuilt and the Pascal lamb can be offered up again.

    @Marleen again: Biblical scholars disagree on exactly what date Yeshua and his disciples held their final seder together, so we really don’t have a definitive date for the event.

    @Eli: Greetings. Thank you for agreeing with and reiterating my main points.

    @PL: Thanks for the fine analysis and I do agree that there is no replacement of Passover with “the Lord’s Supper.” I’m interested in your certainty about the date of that event, since what I’ve heard and read up to this point seems to indicate a general scholarly disagreement. That said, I don’t have your level of scholarship, so I have nothing beyond what I’ve said to bring to the table.

    @Mark: As I’m sure you know, I require that every comment made on this blog go through moderation before being approved, edited and approved, or declined. That’s because I’ve had problems in the past with people turning civil discussion into a “flame war”. I don’t believe that’s what you’re doing and I do approve all comments, whether I agree with the opinions expressed or not, if they are civil and polite. Frankly, I approve your comments because I have no real reason not to. That said, what you write is very difficult to read and often, I just skim your content and then approve.

    You have the right to your beliefs and opinions, but it doesn’t mean others have to agree or even read them. I certainly can’t agree on your conclusion that the Passover was replaced with the Last Supper.

  20. From James:

    @Marleen again: Biblical scholars disagree on exactly what date Yeshua and his disciples held their final seder together, so we really don’t have a definitive date for the event.

    @Eli: Greetings. Thank you for agreeing with and reiterating my main points.

    @PL: Thanks for the fine analysis and I do agree that there is no replacement of Passover with “the Lord’s Supper.” I’m interested in your certainty about the date of that event, since what I’ve heard and read up to this point seems to indicate a general scholarly disagreement. That said, I don’t have your level of scholarship, so I have nothing beyond what I’ve said to bring to the table.

    I don’t think PL or I indicated a date of a Seder.

    As PL (if I remember correctly) did indicate, Yeshua was killed on the preparation day. The Passover was eaten the following evening (you know, a few hours later after sundown). Obviously, that wasn’t a Passover Yeshua ate with his disciples or Seder he had with them. Whatever he did the day or evening before all that was not instead of Passover or a replacement for the next day.

    I don’t know whether or not what Yeshua did that day/evening before was technically called a Seder (or even would amount to a demonstration seder), but it wasn’t Passover and wasn’t having something different from Passover on Passover (ostensibly to show Passover was over with).

  21. “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

    For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”

    – 1 Corinthians 11

    While I agree that in the Messianic Age gentiles will not eat of Pesach, it seems that if we carry this to a logical conclusion the whole church Eucharist is a sham: they take the Cup of the New Covenant even though the New Covenant is for Israel. And they have to because the Bible leaves them no firm heritage or ritual.

    Gentiles can either rudely co-opt or fabricate from nothing. Either results in a bastard faith that eventually discovers that it was adopted and backloaded with fake memories. Quite a nightmare to wake up to.

    I agree with Bilateral Ecclesiology with some minor variances. But I cannot heap scorn on gentiles trying to make sense of the little they were left with for this life.

  22. Actually, I think I remember that some people say preparation day is Passover (per se). Nevertheless, the Passover meal including the lamb can’t be (couldn’t be) eaten on the preparation day (before the lamb is prepared). The Passover meal is after.

  23. Hi, Marleen — Actually, I did state that Rav Yeshua’s final meal occurred the evening before the Seder that year, such that his subsequent arrest, trial, execution, and burial all occurred before the holiday actually began. Refer to my post above, time-stamped 9Apr 5:56am. There are numerous verses which demonstrate this fact, particularly in Yohanan’s gospel. I sent James a summary of them, and if he wishes to make a blog of it, for the sake of wider discussion, I’ll consider authorizing the use of my copyrighted material.

  24. Actually, I was given access to some information backchannel, and it presents a convincing case in support of what you’ve said here. Further, it seems to indicate that the meal Rav Yeshua had with his disciples wasn’t a Passover Seder as such but something of a “teaching meal” using Seder references.

  25. It is true Sleepwalker, that non-Jews are not New Covenant members, but we are allowed to partake of many of the blessings of the New Covenant through our devotion to Rav Yeshua, and by the mercy and grace of God.

  26. An additional day was added for Jews living in the diaspora (though obviously they couldn’t make the sacrifice of the lamb) because in bygone days, there was no instantaneous communication, so the authorities in Jerusalem couldn’t transmit exact dates remotely. To this day, this remains true.

  27. From PL:
    Hi, Marleen — Actually, I did state that Rav Yeshua’s final meal occurred the evening before the Seder that year, such that…..

    I did too (although I allow that they might have started before sundown — as it wasn’t Passover anyway.)

    I don’t see that as a date per se, but we might be able to come up with a date by looking at what years fit the way the Sabbath, etc. fit the week. I’m sure someone has tried to do that.

    While you said that last meal might have been a demonstration seder (or, if I look back at the time stamp you cited, you may not have said maybe), I’m not convinced it was quite that — but it was a demonstration, certainly, of some sort. I would say they already had the same wine and unleavened bread that they would have the next evening/night. So, those elements were to be seen the way he was saying (which you did point out, I think using the word metaphorical).

    It is also interesting that wine is not part of the commandment to celebrate Passover. But it was already part of the Jewish celebration (which thereby is said to be part of the commandments).

  28. “It is true Sleepwalker, that non-Jews are not New Covenant members, but we are allowed to partake of many of the blessings of the New Covenant…”

    Taking of said cup is a covenant act. I’m not saying I agree with One Law, but Corinthians itself blurs those lines.

    It does not seem that G-d, Paul, Yeshua, or anyone gave a clear religion to the gentiles. So again, I cannot beclown them for doing what they can to co-opt or fabricate.

  29. @JAMES–Thanks for your thoughtful reply! Just a few observations:

    1. While I personally believe that all Christian believers can benefit from
    some kind of Passover observance/seder/celebration, I did not mean
    to suggest that all Christian believers MUST hold a seder, or MUST
    substitute any ritual they now enjoy for another ritual. I do believe
    that any believer is free to celebrate however they wish, and that
    this freedom includes celebrating with others!

    I celebrate Shalosh Regalim within the context of the Christian/Church Year; my own church observes Holy Communion on the first Sunday of
    each month, as is common to many Black Protestant churches.
    As I am the worship leader for both the Palm Sunday and Easter/
    Resurrection Day services, I have always included Passover observance as a major focal point of the Palm Sunday celebration.
    In years past, I have held seders for various groups and churches
    not only during Holy Week on Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday
    and Good Friday, but also before or after Holy Week–according
    to what time was most convenient for people to meet. Years ago,
    when my parents pastored a small church during the 1990’s, I was
    blessed to lead several sederim for them on Holy Wednesday
    during Holy Week. There was a sister there whose roast lamb was
    always the highlight of the dinner–and *everyone* looked for this
    annual treat! 🙂 Now that my parents and this dear lady have both
    gone home to be with the Lord, those photographs taken during
    those seders captured warm memories I will cherish all my life. 🙂

    2. I am aware that lamb is not used by many traditional Ashkenazic
    Jews; there are some Christian groups who do not use lamb meat.
    I have always used lamb, simply because the Passover story and
    the Passion narratives in the Gospels clearly depict the lamb/Lamb
    of God as central to the Exodus event, and central to the depiction
    of Yeshua dying at the same time of the priestly sacrifice.

    Sephardic Jews do use lamb, as do Samaritans and many other
    African Hebrew groups.

    I always roast the zeroah–shankbone of the lamb–with the meat
    intact. This zeroah goes on the seder plate and people can see
    clearly the meat attached to the bone. This enables me to teach
    with a more clear visual aid. I also roast a leg of lamb and all people
    present can them sample the lamb meat, along with the charoset,
    maror, matzah, etc. It is always a joy to see what happens when
    people clearly collect eating the lamb to the biblical stories they have
    learned and heard all their lives! 🙂 Chewing the lamb meat really
    drives home the point that our deliverance from Egypt and our deliverance from eternal destruction were both won at the cost
    of lambs, and the Lamb of God.

    Our theme for Holy Week, Passover and Easter this year is:

    IT’S ALL ABOUT THE LAMB!

  30. Hello guys
    PL, James and others. For the concluding facts about the TRANSITION/CHANGE of the passover ritual of the OT Period observance  to the last supper of Yeshua M. as the sacrificial lamb as being the Spiritual observance, read and carefully analyze A. Paul letters in Heb. 8:,9: & 10:.. Which the world scholar religions did not get the TRANSITION ORDER of Yeshua M. as being the sacrificial lamb in this Spiritual Lord Supper ritual in the whole NT Period! And note in Heb. 10:28-29, the COMPARISON of OT Judgment to NT judgment of not accepting this order of  Yeshua M..
    May our living lord God Bless us all.

    LOVE : New Jerusalem – Holy City

  31. @Sleepwalker — I really must commend you for your apparent breadth of appreciation for the English language. I don’t believe I’ve encountered the use of the verb “beclown” more than twice in a span of a half century and more of reading. That said, I also don’t believe you can define the drinking of a symbolic cup of wine as a “covenant act” as if that meant claiming membership and obligation under the stipulations of said covenant. Unlike some views within traditional Catholicism, nothing magical or numinous occurs upon drinking a cup of wine, regardless of how many incantations have been pronounced over it. Unless it has been chemically poisoned, it will pass harmlessly through the digestive tract. [Let’s ignore for the moment the possibility of overly sweet wine inducing a diabetic reaction, or the effect of its alcohol on a susceptible individual.] It will not defile an individual spiritually, nor will it sanctify one. Spiritual effects, like the legal status of the consumer, are enacted by something other than the wine itself. Note that I’m deriving this assertion from Rav Yeshua’s observation in Mt.15:17 (also Mk.7:19).

  32. @Mark Santos — If you understood Rav Yeshua’s own explicit statements in Mt.5:17-18, you would not be likewise misreading verses in the letter to the Hebrews as if somehow they abrogated what he taught. The changes or transitions of which you wrote are misinterpretations; they are completely incorrect.

  33. Insisting on ostensible literal reading in some cases and complaining of everyone else [or, specifically and falsely, Jews] not understanding “spiritual” or metaphorical meaning on the other hand — as M.S. does —
    is so presaged by Origen and Eusebius…
    carried out through Nicea.

  34. Hello guys,
    The objection on Hebrew book is not of Paul’s writing were only the criticism made by many pseudo gentile world religion scholars, which at that time overcome those unqualified Israelite scholars because those many Messianic were heavily persecuted and in hiding even up to date! When the truth of the H. Bible was also corrupted but the very truth were all intact in the H. Bible. And thou all now know that God have no Covenant commitment to the gentiles. And what for to Yeshua M. condemnation to aĺl gentile nations in Mt. 25:31-46 ever since 1st Century! Now, how can those criticism can be reliable since they were the one that have already been condemn judged! So, whoever wrote Hebrew book its not a problem but we do believe that it was Paul’s writing, in his keeping secret which thou now know the reason. But thou could check the truth of this writing by thorough analysis of the truth if it is in conformity to the New Covenant Plan of God. And aĺl the written revelation of the letter were all in connection in the Format Plan of God and were all explained weĺl!

    So, we could not accept or even believe your objection base on many reason. Like PL’s understanding that even up to this time do not believe that Yeshua M. have not yet come or fulfill and yet to come in the far future time. Why would those psuedo gentile called them their self christian, if Yeshua M. does not already come and fulfill, when it is also already written in the NT gospel book which the gentile all believed? Who is true or false into this case? So, how could PL check Paul’s writing in Hebrew book, when the book clarifies were well define the TRANSITION COVENANT in the Plan of God, which PL don’t understand the upliftment of the Israelites faith into Spirituality, and many other reason but this is enough. Besides, there is no problem with A. Paul because he is already written in the book and teaches us the truth, while we don’t see anyone among in the blog that could be written in the Book of Life because thou were all just only about to check were your faith stand if it is in God or not!

    P.S. James, the Judgment of God is very hard to express in a polite manner, for it will really always end the proclamation to the very unacceptable judgment matter! Remember, we are just only re-proclaiming it, for thou already know its been written ever since 1st Century. Thank You!
    May our living lord God Bless us all.

    LOVE : New Jerusalem – Holy City

  35. As I’ve said before, your writing isn’t translating as if by “tongues” — and your reading isn’t either (if you care to read… but we can’t really tell if you aren’t capable to perceive what it said or refuse to).

    Mostly, what comes through from what you type in (or speak in, as I don’t known what technology you are using) is the same (or very similar) main message the churches preached for centuries.

    We here don’t buy into what the Church/churches pushed on people and societies for tens of hundreds of years. You claim to adhere to the general idea of not being amenable to that. But…

  36. @Charity Dell: Since my wife is Jewish and not a believer in Rav Yeshua, I don’t celebrate Easter/Resurrection Day. I tried going to a small Baptist church for a couple of years. On one Easter, I was just about to leave for church to attend sunrise services when I took one last look at my wife. The hurt expression on her face told me all I needed to know. She’d never try to stop me, but me, a non-Jewish believer, attending Easter services must have been for her like watching me “sleep with the enemy.”

    I’ll never attend another such observance again.

    @Sleepwalker and PL: I thought “beclown” was a typo. I’ve just learned a new word.

  37. @JAMES–All of us as believers have different life and fellowship situations. I believe all of us can celebrate or not celebrate, according to our own preferences, convictions and ethnic customs. For your wife–as for some unbelieving Jewish people–Easter is difficult because of the
    long history of Holy Week MISERY visited upon Jews in Europe by
    so-called church folks in the Roman Catholic,

    However, blood libel doctrines, curse doctrines and “deicide” charges
    were NEVER part of the African-American church, for several reasons–
    including the fact that many of us are descended from populations
    of African Hebrews. This knowledge was passed down in our churches
    through oral tradition and some written tradition. Also, Black churches
    have always used the Old Testament texts as much as New Testament
    texts; I noticed this when I started working as a choir director in white
    Pentecostal churches.

    Easter/Resurrection/Firstfruits is a VERY festive, exuberant
    day in Black Pentecostal churches. I am the festival leader for Palm
    Sunday, Firstfruits/Easter/Resurrection; Shavuot-Pentecost, and
    Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles. We celebrate Holy Week with a strong
    Passover emphasis on both days, adding the waving of the omer
    on the Yom HaBikkurim, the Day of the Firstfruits. We also talk
    about resurrection and eternal life. At my church today, for example,
    the congregation sang two Easter spirituals:

    He Arose
    Do-Don’t Touch-a My Garment

    Have a blessed spring season, all the way to Pentecost-Shavuot!

  38. @Charity Dell: All that said, and I certainly don’t begrudge you your festive celebration of the rising of Rav Yeshua, it’s not something I can participate in for the personal reasons previously stated.

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