More Recent Articles
We have been resurrected in Yeshua from the death of sin and brought into the fullness of life in HaShem. As disciples of Messiah we have individually experienced the prophecy of the valley of dry bones. Passover and the exodus from Egypt symbolize this for us. Just as the Israelites left the slavery and death of Egypt, so we have left the slavery and death of sin.
The most important detail we receive is that James’ death took place right before Passover. Although neither Jewish nor Church literature preserves an actual date for James’ death, it seems from Josephus’ and Eusebius’ information we may conclude that James was martyred in 62 CE during the week before Passover.
Passover Seders take a long time. That is a scientifically proven fact. But there is no sense in making them drag on longer than they need to be. And even though they do take a lot of time, they don't have to feel like an eternity.
Sitting on my kitchen floor, wiping out a cabinet the night before Passover last year, I thought about how much we need examples. We need people who have gone before us and learned how to do this, but sometimes we don’t have them. We might need to be the ones to clear the path and be that example for someone else.
Judaism considers the Festivals of Passover and Unleavened Bread as the prototype for the final redemption. The tradition of setting a place at the seder table for Elijah the prophet reflects the ardent belief that Messiah will bring redemption at Passover. As the anticipated herald of the Messiah, Elijah will need to be present as the festival begins.
As we clean our homes, we realize that we must clean our souls from any dirt that may be hidden. As we scrub our drawers and table tops, we realize that we must also look inward and deal with the lurking evil so relentless and so easy to miss, or explain away.
The exodus from Egypt is the Bible's paradigm for what salvation looks like. The salvation from Egypt is the Torah's clearest picture of what salvation is and how it works. In those events, God was planting a seed, foreshadowing the Gospel, showing us how it is that He saves His people. The exodus story sets up the pattern.
Teaching EventsMar 29
Recently, I presented a paper at the Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism (LCJE) conference in Denver. My topic was “Paul within Judaism: The Implications for Jewish Evangelism.” Going into the presentation, I knew that this subject would generate a strong reaction. I was not wrong.
In the days of the apostles there were many God-fearing Gentiles who celebrated Passover along with the Jewish people. Even rabbinic literature made room for non-Jews at a seder. In the Second Temple Era, Gentiles were not permitted to eat the actual Pesach sacrifice, but they were allowed to participate in the rest of the meal.
Rosh Chodesh is a time of renewal. Just as the moon is made new again so there is a spiritual power present at that time for us to begin again and transform our lives. But Rosh Chodesh Nisan is even more special.
Just when you think the Passover seder is over, it’s time to start singing some more. One of the most famous after-seder songs is Chad Gadya, which means “one little goat.” It starts out like a silly nursery rhyme, but by the end it takes a dark, mysterious, and prophetic turn.
Life in IsraelMar 26
Little children are taught, and encouraged to recite songs like “Oh sons of Zion, Oh the most evil of creatures, Oh barbaric apes,” and avow their desire to die as suicide warriors. School textbooks indoctrinate children with anti-Semitic stereotypes and statements: “Jews are cowards whom Allah has prepared for the fires of Hell.”