Dear friend in the Messiah,
Shalom in His peace. April is an important month for both Jews and Christians as we celebrate some of our most faith-defining holidays: Passover, Good Friday, Easter, and a number of other sacred occasions, depending on our backgrounds.
Churches will be packed as multitudes remember the death of our Savior and celebrate His resurrection from the dead. Thousands upon thousands of folks who do not usually go to church, many of whom do not know the Lord, will attend services this month, hear the Gospel, and be saved.
Something similar happens in the Messianic Jewish community and throughout the branches and centers of Your Mission to the Jewish People – from Israel to New Zealand and in my hometown of Brooklyn!
Our Messianic congregations and centers will host evangelistic Passover Seders where you can bring your Jewish friends to hear the Gospel in a Jewish context during a holiday they are familiar with and have celebrated their entire lives.
Of course, many of our Jewish family and friends have not yet had the joy of linking the celebration of Passover with the coming of the Messiah. This will be new and eye-opening information for your Jewish friends, presented in a way that is not offensive in any way.
I hope you will be able to bring your friends and family to one of our Passover banquets. If you would like to know where you can attend a local Passover banquet, please call 212-223-2252 and we would be happy to pass along this information to you.
Our staff will also be traveling around North America presenting Messiah in the Passover. This is a wonderful presentation connecting the Last Supper and the Lord’s Supper! May I tell you a little bit more about the Messiah in the Passover Presentation?
During the presentation, a table draped with a white tablecloth is placed on the platform and beautifully set up with the many traditional Passover elements. Our staff member then explains each element, one by one…expounding on the traditional Jewish Passover Seder in light of the Last Supper.
The Jewish backgrounds of the cup of wine and the broken bread Jesus partook of during the evening before His death will be explained, as will the connection between the blood smeared on the doorposts of the Israelite homes in Egypt at the first Passover, with the blood shed by our Messiah on Calvary.
A NEW BOOK: MESSIAH IN THE PASSOVER
There is so much more to tell you about Messiah in the Passover that we decided to write an entire book on the topic! In fact, as you read this letter, the book is being printed and is literally “hot off the press.” I am especially proud of this volume, as it has been a labor of love to produce, and Chosen People Ministries’ staff members authored most of the chapters.
The title of the book is Messiah in the Passover and it was edited by Dr. Darrell Bock, a professor of New Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary and a Chosen People Ministries board member, and myself. We cover a full range of topics including the biblical foundations for the Passover and the Lord’s Supper, the Passover throughout Jewish and Church history, as well as how Jewish people celebrate Passover today.
We provide all that is needed to conduct a Passover Seder in your home which glorifies the Messiah Jesus as the Lamb of God. We have included crafts for the children, delicious Passover recipes, and great detail about how to use the Passover Seder as an evangelistic opportunity to reach your Jewish friends.
A NEW WEBSITE
We have also created a new website entitled—you guessed it…Messiah in the Passover! All you need to do is visit www.messiahinthepassover.com and you will discover the “world of the Passover.” This exciting new site is full of wonderful information, including a number of instructional videos. We also included a very special Passover demonstration that you can send to Jewish friends who do not yet know the Lord.
I hope that you will read some of the book online, order a copy or two, enjoy the videos, and even try some of the recipes! Most of all, I hope you will find the book and the website to be helpful in reaching your Jewish loved ones for the Lord. Passover provides a great way to explain the Gospel to Jewish people in a very Jewish-sensitive way! In fact, one of our most experienced staff members has written a chapter on this very topic.
AN EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
May I share with you a brief section from the book, written by Dr. Rich Freeman? Rich is one of our senior staff members and the following is a brief paragraph from his conclusion. Rich writes,
“Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
He is the fulfillment of Passover. Like the first Passover lambs sacrificed to redeem Israel from slavery in Egypt, Jesus’ death on the cross redeems us from slavery to sin. Reflecting on all of this, the Apostle Paul says, “Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed” (1 Cor. 5:7), and just as the first Passover was very personal and the Israelites personally applied the blood of the lambs to the doors of their houses, we too, by faith, need to personally apply the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, to the doors of our hearts.”
Have you made Passover personal? I am sure you will find the Messiah in the Passover book and website to be enriching, and that it will bless you, your family, and your church. You will discover that seeing the Bible through Jewish eyes, and understanding the Jewish roots of the faith, will draw you closer to the Jewish Messiah you love!
This is my fondest hope for the Messiah in the Passover book and website—that the Lord will use these tools to bring you closer to Him.
THERE IS A REASON GOD CHOSE HIS PEOPLE AND WE LOVE THE JEWISH MESSIAH – A FINAL CONCERN AND PRAYER REQUEST
May I share one last concern and prayer request with you? I mentioned last month that we are now witnessing a tragic rise of antisemitism across the globe. Over the last few months, we have received daily reports of increased antisemitism in Europe, North America, and even on our campuses. Last month, you may have heard about the gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in University City, Missouri–a very Jewish suburb of St. Louis.
This is simply horrible and should not happen in a liberty-loving country like ours. I thought these types of heinous expressions of antisemitism ended with the Holocaust; however, unfortunately, this is not true! Antisemitism is on the rise! I believe that followers of Jesus need to link arms and oppose antisemitism.
We understand from the Bible that God chose the Jewish people for a special purpose; we have received the Bible and our Savior through the Jewish people. We also know that one day the Jewish people will repent and turn to Jesus, and then He will return (Romans 11:11-29)! If any group of people should support and stand with the Jewish community, it should be those who serve the God of Israel and love the Jewish Messiah.
So, may I suggest a few ways you can show His love and grace to the Jewish people?
Of course, the most obvious way to support the Jewish people is to pray for them. As the Psalmist writes, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; ‘May they prosper who love you’” (Psalm 122:6). Please pray for the end of antisemitism, for the protection of Jewish families, and for the Prince of Peace to reign in the hearts of the Jewish people in Jerusalem and everywhere.
Ask your pastor to host a Chosen People Ministries presentation at your church or Messianic congregation.
The Lord has given us a “Great Commission” to reach a broken world with the message of the Gospel (Matthew 28:19-20)—to the Jew first and also to the Gentile (Romans 1:16).
I hope and pray you will reach out to your Jewish friends and neighbors with the Gospel, but, we also need you to speak-up locally if you see some type of antisemitism in your community or even in your state. This will be a powerful testimony to the Jewish community. Thanks again for your love, prayers, and generous support! Have a happy Easter and Passover as we celebrate the Lamb of God—Jesus who is the Savior for all!