Passover Seder for Believers in Yeshua… a Haggadah.

Unleavened bread, or matzah, and four glasses of wine are key symbols used to celebrate Passover.

Passover begins this evening, Wednesday, April 8th. A Passover Seder (pronounced SAY-der) is a meal and celebration that tells the story of the Exodus of the Jewish people from the bondage of Egypt and Pharoah. The Bible’s book of Exodus tells this story.

What follows is a Haggadah — or Story– that affirms Jesus as the Passover Lamb. Some may suggest it is misguided for Christ-followers to celebrate a Jewish holiday such as Passover. But I would say, Jesus is our Messiah. He was a Jew. This meal is likely the “Last Supper” He celebrated with the disciples in the Upper Room. It is very appropriate for believers in Jesus to celebrate the story of the Exodus, as it represents our own story of being in bondage to sin and death and our journey to freedom and life. In the days of Moses, life was given to people of faith by the blood of the lamb painted over the doorposts of houses. Today, we receive life by way of the blood of Jesus “painted” over the doorposts of our hearts.

This Haggadah was originally written for our family twenty years ago, with input from various people including family friends who are Jewish. Note, most of the symbolic items have been a part of the Jewish tradition of Passover for centuries. Many were not a part of the tradition at the time of the “Upper Room” Passover. Our family added the red scarf/red ribbon as a way to visualize the doors of our hearts being painted with the blood of Jesus. Portions have been directly excerpted from the booklet “Passover Seder and Menu for an Observance by Christians” by Barbara Balzac Thompson, published by Augsburg Publishing House, Minneapolis, © 1984.

Passover lasts for eight nights. Feel free to celebrate a Passover Seder any night, not just the first night. Make it work for your family. This is a great opportunity to invite friends and neighbors to join you. This year, because of social distancing, maybe you celebrate via Zoom or Skype.

Before you gather, you’ll need a few key ingredients for your table:

Two candlesticks in candle holders.

Wine or grape juice. You’ll be pouring four glasses for each participant, so be sure to have enough on hand for everyone.

Matzah bread. You’ll need at least three full-sized squares on a separate plate wrapped in a cloth or linen napkin. Plus, you’ll want enough for everyone to enjoy as much as they’d like.

The Seder Plate includes items which we’ll feature throughout the evening, including: a lamb shank (you can get this from the butcher at your local grocery store), a dollop of horseradish, a sprig of parsley, charoset (which is a mixture that includes chopped apples, honey, and cinnamon). You will also need in separate bowls/small plates enough horseradish, parsley, and charoset for everyone to enjoy at least a small taste.

For your table, you’ll need a bowl of fresh water (like a cereal bowl) and a smaller bowl (like a ramekin) of salt water (just enough salt to taste salty, maybe 1/2 teaspoon).

A red ribbon, scarf or piece of yarn, about three-to-four feet in length, for each participant.

You’ll also want to have prepared your main course of the evening meal, and keep it warm in the kitchen. You’ll take the first 30-45 minutes of the evening telling the story.

In most families, the father will read through the narrative. There are times when there is a responsive or group reading as well, so it is helpful for everyone to have their own copy, or a shared copy, of the “script” for the evening. Also, this is a very family-friendly event! Children are encouraged to participate. There is a specific place where they are to ask questions, but if you’d like, feel free to allow them to interrupt with queries and laughter. Our Seder is a time bathed in much grace. Sometimes we recline on the floor (more on that later). One year, we actually roasted a lamb on an open pit in the backyard. We often have coloring pages and snacks available for younger children. Feel free to be creative as you like as you demonstrate your love for God’s plan of redemption in the life of your family.

WELCOME

Welcome in the name of Yeshua, Jesus our Messiah! Tonight we will celebrate Pesach (PAH-sach)… Passover. This is the celebration of the most incredible feast on the Jewish and Christian calendars. It intricately weaves a story of God’s power, faithfulness and love for mankind in both the Old and New Testaments. It was celebrated in the Ancient World, in Jesus’ time, and is still celebrated in traditional Jewish homes today.

The first Passover was not a celebration (see Exodus 12). It was a night of apprehension, fear, and expectation for the beginning of a new journey for the children of Israel. The Bible tells us that the Hebrews were to take the blood of a perfect lamb and paint it on their doorposts. By following this command, the Angel of Death which moved through Egypt that night would “pass over” their homes. But since the Angel of Death did not pass over Pharaoh’s house, and his firstborn son was taken from him, his hardened heart was finally softened and the next morning Pharaoh let the Hebrew slaves go free. This meal that we celebrate tonight, the Seder, is symbolic of the rush to leave Egypt and the bondage it represents.

We also celebrate the significance of Yeshua’s last meal, sometimes called the “Last Supper,” a traditional Passover meal, with His disciples in the Upper Room. There is a lot of symbolism between the Old Covenant meal and the New Covenant meal. We hope you’ll enjoy learning how Yeshua tied the two meals together… and how it is applicable to us all.

Tonight, we tell a story, the Haggadah (hah-gaw-DAH), of how the blood of a lamb saved the people of God in the Ancient times… and still saves today.

John 1:29: The next day, John the Baptizer saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

Reading: Luke 22:7-20. (This can be read by one of the children).

Let us celebrate the Passover together!

Continue reading Passover Seder for Believers in Yeshua… a Haggadah.

Passover Seder for Believers in Yeshua… a Haggadah.

Unleavened bread, or matzah, and four glasses of wine are key symbols used to celebrate Passover.

Passover begins Wednesday evening, April 8th. A Passover Seder (pronounced SAY-der) is a meal and celebration that tells the story of the Exodus of the Jewish people from the bondage of Egypt and Pharoah. The Bible’s book of Exodus tells this story.

What follows is a Haggadah — or Story– that affirms Jesus as the Passover Lamb. Some may suggest it is misguided for Christ-followers to celebrate a Jewish holiday such as Passover. But I would say, Jesus is our Messiah. He was a Jew. This meal is likely the “Last Supper” He celebrated with the disciples in the Upper Room. It is very appropriate for believers in Jesus to celebrate the story of the Exodus, as it represents our own story of being in bondage to sin and death and our journey to freedom and life. In the days of Moses, life was given to people of faith by the blood of the lamb painted over the doorposts of houses. Today, we receive life by way of the blood of Jesus “painted” over the doorposts of our hearts.

This Haggadah was originally written for our family twenty years ago, with input from various people including family friends who are Jewish. Note, most of the symbolic items have been a part of the Jewish tradition of Passover for centuries. Many were not a part of the tradition at the time of the “Upper Room” Passover. Our family added the red scarf/red ribbon as a way to visualize the doors of our hearts being painted with the blood of Jesus. Portions have been directly excerpted from the booklet “Passover Seder and Menu for an Observance by Christians” by Barbara Balzac Thompson, published by Augsburg Publishing House, Minneapolis, © 1984.

Passover lasts for eight nights. Feel free to celebrate a Passover Seder any night, not just the first night. Make it work for your family. This is a great opportunity to invite friends and neighbors to join you. This year, because of social distancing, maybe you celebrate via Zoom or Skype.

Before you gather, you’ll need a few key ingredients for your table:

Wine or grape juice. You’ll be pouring four glasses for each participant, so be sure to have enough on hand for everyone.

Matzah bread. You’ll need at least three full-sized squares on a separate plate wrapped in a cloth or linen napkin. Plus, you’ll want enough for everyone to enjoy as much as they’d like.

The Seder Plate includes items which we’ll feature throughout the evening, including: a lamb shank (you can get this from the butcher at your local grocery store), a dollop of horseradish, a sprig of parsley, charoset (which is a mixture that includes chopped apples, honey, and cinnamon). You will also need in separate bowls/small plates enough horseradish, parsley, and charoset for everyone to enjoy at least a small taste.

For your table, you’ll need a bowl of fresh water (like a cereal bowl) and a smaller bowl (like a ramekin) of salt water (just enough salt to taste salty, maybe 1/2 teaspoon).

A red ribbon, scarf or piece of yarn, about three-to-four feet in length, for each participant.

You’ll also want to have prepared your main course of the evening meal, and keep it warm in the kitchen. You’ll take the first 30-45 minutes of the evening telling the story.

In most families, the father will read through the narrative. There are times when there is a responsive or group reading as well, so it is helpful for everyone to have their own copy, or a shared copy, of the “script” for the evening. Also, this is a very family-friendly event! Children are encouraged to participate. There is a specific place where they are to ask questions, but if you’d like, feel free to allow them to interrupt with queries and laughter. Our Seder is a time bathed in much grace. Sometimes we recline on the floor (more on that later). One year, we actually roasted a lamb on an open pit in the backyard. We often have coloring pages and snacks available for younger children. Feel free to be creative as you like as you demonstrate your love for God’s plan of redemption in the life of your family.

WELCOME

Welcome in the name of Yeshua, Jesus our Messiah! Tonight we will celebrate Pesach (pah-SACH)… Passover. This is the celebration of the most incredible feast on the Jewish and Christian calendars. It intricately weaves a story of God’s power, faithfulness and love for mankind in both the Old and New Testaments. It was celebrated in the Ancient World, in Jesus’ time, and is still celebrated in traditional Jewish homes today.

The first Passover was not a celebration (see Exodus 12). It was a night of apprehension, fear, and expectation for the beginning of a new journey for the children of Israel. The Bible tells us that the Hebrews were to take the blood of a perfect lamb and paint it on their doorposts. By following this command, the Angel of Death which moved through Egypt that night would “pass over” their homes. But since the Angel of Death did not pass over Pharaoh’s house, and his firstborn son was taken from him, his hardened heart was finally softened and the next morning Pharaoh let the Hebrew slaves go free. This meal that we celebrate tonight, the Seder, is symbolic of the rush to leave Egypt and the bondage it represents.

We also celebrate the significance of Yeshua’s last meal, sometimes called the “Last Supper,” a traditional Passover meal, with His disciples in the Upper Room. There is a lot of symbolism between the Old Covenant meal and the New Covenant meal. We hope you’ll enjoy learning how Yeshua tied the two meals together… and how it is applicable to us all.

Tonight, we tell a story, the Haggadah (hah-gaw-DAH), of how the blood of a lamb saved the people of God in the Ancient times… and still saves today.

John 1:29: The next day, John the Baptizer saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

Reading: Luke 22:7-20. (This can be read by one of the children).

Let us celebrate the Passover together!

Continue reading Passover Seder for Believers in Yeshua… a Haggadah.

Isaiah 61. Chosen to Proclaim the Good News and Heal the Brokenhearted!

The ruins of a synagogue from Jesus’ day. This one is in Capernaum, about 20 miles northeast of Nazareth.

Because of the importance of Israel and its people, and my personal love for The Land, I’m inviting you to join me through the key Old Testament book of Isaiah.  Each day I’m posting some simple thoughts about this complex prophet.

Isaiah 61.

I love this chapter! Before we look at today’s text we must start in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 4. Jesus has just spent 40 days in the desert, being tempted by the enemy. He kicks the devil to the curb each time He is tested. Now, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:14), with a sense of true victory, and preparation for the ministry that is ahead He walks into the synagogue in his Nazareth hometown. Cue the epic music score.

In each synagogue, there were weekly, scheduled readings of the Torah and the Prophets. At that time it was called the “Haftarah.” These were preassigned for a given date. Jesus is so incredible! Because He grew up in this synagogue, He entered the house of worship knowing that a specific text would be the scripture reading of the day! And, He knew He would be chosen to read from the ancient parchments. What scrolls was He handed to read at His hometown synagogue that day? Isaiah 61!

“The Spirit of the LORD God has taken control of me! The LORD has chosen and sent me to tell the oppressed the good news, to heal the brokenhearted, and to announce freedom for prisoners and captives. This is the year when the LORD God will show kindness to us and punish our enemies. The LORD has sent me to comfort those who mourn, especially in Jerusalem. He sent me to give them flowers in place of their sorrow, olive oil in place of tears, and joyous praise in place of broken hearts. They will be called “Trees of Justice,” planted by the LORD to honor his name.” (v1-3, CEV).

What usually happened following the reading of the Prophets is that the reader would talk, or preach, giving His interpretation of the text He just read. What was Jesus’ sermon after reading Isaiah 61?

“He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” (Luke 4:20-21, NLT).

God sent Jesus to preach, to heal, to bring freedom, to pardon, to announce His grace, to comfort, to care, to bring flowers and messages of great joy!

And He continues to do so. Thankfully, He is no longer confined to a synagogue of unbelievers in His hometown. His offer of joy is available to us all. No matter our geography, race, culture or moment in time.

What is our response? To receive this beautiful gift of healing and freedom! And to offer Him praise!

If you’re new to this journey through Isaiah, you can start here.
(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

Isaiah 53. Creation and Redemption.

Because of the importance of Israel and its people, and my personal love for The Land, I’m inviting you to join me through the key Old Testament book of Isaiah.  Each day I’m posting some simple thoughts about this complex prophet.

Isaiah 53.

How can one read this and not see that this is Jesus, our Messiah?

“He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. The fact is, it was our pains he carried,  our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. It was our sins. He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises, we get healed. We have all done our own thing, gone our own way, and God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong. On him. On him.” (parts of vs 2-6, MSG).

God had to come up with a plan for our redemption. For you and me. And Jesus followed the plan faithfully… humbly… because of His great love for us.

“Still, it’s what God had in mind all along, to crush him with pain. The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin so that he’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life. And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him.” (v10, MSG).

“Life. Life. And more life.” Where else do we see that phrase? Jesus says: “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” (John 10:10, MSG). That’s “life, life, and more life!”

And the reward for Jesus?

“Out of that terrible travail of soul, he’ll see that it’s worth it and be glad he did it. Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant, will make many “righteous ones,” as he himself carries the burden of their sins. Therefore I’ll reward him extravagantly— the best of everything, the highest honors— Because he looked death in the face and didn’t flinch; because he embraced the company of the lowest. He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many, he took up the cause of all the black sheep.” (v10-12, MSG).

We are righteous because of what Jesus did… for us! It was God’s plan! Everything God creates He has a plan to redeem. For centuries, every Friday night Jewish people light two candles as they celebrate the Sabbath. The first is called the Creation candle. The second is called the Redemption candle. God created us and He has redeemed us because Jesus faithfully executed the plan. I’m so thankful for that! That plan IS Shabbat Shalom, the peace of the Sabbath.

Jesus did that for us… and that was 2000+ years ago. I wonder what are we doing for people even two years from now? 20 years from now? 200 years from now? We have been so blessed. How can we bless others? Is there any way we love others the way Jesus loved us?

If you’re new to this journey through Isaiah, you can start here.

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

 

Isaiah 50. God is our Champion.

As certain as Spring follows Winter…

Because of the importance of Israel and its people, and my personal love for The Land, I’m inviting you to join me through the key Old Testament book of Isaiah.  Each day I’m posting some simple thoughts about this complex prophet.

Isaiah 50.

This is the beginning of some of the prophecies of Jesus as “the suffering servant.” Verse 6 is fulfilled in Matthew 26 and Mark 14.

“I let them beat my back and pull out my beard. I didn’t turn aside when they insulted me and spit in my face.” (v6, CEV).

Then: “I refuse to give up because I know God will never let me down.” (v7, CEV). Certainly, our Messiah had to be thinking this on the day He went to the cross.  God didn’t let Jesus down even though He had to suffer. And for those who repent, He will never let us down either!

Having faith that God is with us, we can boldly take on His daily assignments, as Jesus did: “Therefore I set my face like flint, confident that I’ll never regret this. My champion is right here. Let’s take our stand together!” (v7, MSG).

God IS our champion! Look at the attitude of the Apostle Paul in the New Testament. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, despite trials and persecutions, he pressed on daily, knowing that God was with him.

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” (Philippians 3:12-14, MSG).

Jesus, our suffering servant, while on the cross kept His eye on His ultimate destination by way of the empty tomb.

Isaiah’s words today end with a stern warning, though, for those who choose to not repent.

However, can we continue to choose obedience and trust? Onward, with our face towards the LORD? Just like we can be confident that Spring arrives after Winter and the sunrise dawns each new day, we will see God’s blessings flow from Heaven. Because He is our champion. He will never let us down!

If you’re new to this journey through Isaiah, you can start here.

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

Isaiah 48. Celebrate! Be Happy! Shout as You Go!

Because of the importance of Israel and its people, and my personal love for The Land, I’m inviting you to join me through the key Old Testament book of Isaiah.  Each day I’m posting some simple thoughts about this complex prophet.

Isaiah 48.

This is the culmination of 400 years of Babylonian captivity. Today is a day to rejoice!

“Today I am doing something new, something you cannot say you have heard before.” (v7, CEV).

The Lord says He tested the people of Israel in the hard times of captivity, tested them to refine them as silver is refined in the fire. You’ve heard this example, I’m sure: As silver is purified there is a black dross that separates from the genuine silver. How does the silversmith know when the silver is perfectly refined? When the dross is completely burned off and he can see his reflection in the pure silver.

So, today, the refining process is complete. Israel finally, once again, is reflecting the image of God, not of other idols or gods.

So, this leads to their freedom!

“I am the holy LORD God. The One who rescues you. For your own good, I teach you and I lead you among the right path… Now leave Babylon! Celebrate as you go! Be happy and shout for everyone to hear: “The LORD has rescued, has redeemed His servant Israel!” (v17,20, CEV).

He has redeemed us, too. The people of Israel were rescued by God at the hand of King Cyrus. We are redeemed by Jesus!

Celebrate! Be happy! Shout as you go!

And as for the people of Babylon? “There is no peace, says the LORD,  for the wicked.” (v22, NIV).

I believe the flip side is also true. There IS peace in abundance for those who live in goodness and grace. In Jesus, there is freedom from the captivity of sin and an overflow of peace. His perfect Shalom. His perfect joy!

 

If you’re new to this journey through Isaiah, you can start here.

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

Isaiah 32

Because of the importance of Israel and its people, and my personal love for The Land, I’m inviting you to join me through the key Old Testament book of Isaiah.  Each day I’m posting some simple thoughts about this complex prophet.

Isaiah 32.

“When the Spirit is given to us from Heaven, deserts will become orchards thick as fertile forests.” (v15, CEV). Guess what? I believe the Holy Spirit has been given to us! It happened first on the day Jesus rose again. And then again on the day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts 2.

From John’s Gospel: “Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”” (John 20:22, CEV).

From Luke’s account of Pentecost: “Peter said, “Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is targeted to you and your children, but also to all who are far away—whomever, in fact, our Master God invites.”” (Acts 2:38-39, MSG).

Back to the promise from Isaiah 32: “Honesty and justice will prosper there, and justice will produce lasting peace and security.” (v15-16, CEV). He continues: “And where there is right there will be peace… quiet lives and endless trust. My people will live in a peaceful neighborhood in safe houses in quiet gardens.” (v18, MSG).

When does this happen? After the Spirit has been given to His people. Again, this is something that has already happened. He has given us the opportunity to live in peace as we trust in Him.

Deserts will become orchards. Peaceful neighbors. Quiet gardens.

For those with endless trust.

There’s that word again. Can we trust God above all else? We must!

 

If you’re new to this journey through Isaiah, you can start here.

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.