As a Jewish believer in Messiah Jesus, I find a special significance in Passover. Of course I have fond memories of our family gatherings around the seder table, and my father’s off-key chanting of the Exodus story in Hebrew. But it has been only in the last five years that I have grasped the real and prophetic meaning of the Passover story and of the blood on the doorpost.”
A few weeks before Passover during my time of ministry with Jews for Jesus in New York City, I was having a missionary visit with Evelyn, a Jewish lady. She asked me how I celebrated Pesach, and I shared with her the symbolism of the Exodus from Egypt as illustrating the grace of God in setting his children free from spiritual bondage. I explained that the children of Israel had to obey God’s Word as spoken through Moses, and that in order to be saved from the angel of death, they had to apply the blood of a perfect lamb to the doorposts and lintels of their homes. Merely being Jewish would not save their firstborn. I presented the analogy that similarly, we today must believe God’s Word and by faith apply the blood of the Messiah, God’s perfect Passover Lamb, to the doorposts of our hearts.
Evelyn was deeply touched by this and realized her own sin and need for redemption. Acknowledging that Yeshua the Messiah is God’s perfect Passover Lamb, she asked God’s forgiveness, and then prayed to receive Jesus into her heart and life as her Lord and Savior.
A few days after Passover, Evelyn and I met for Bible study and prayer, and I asked her how her seder went. She said that instead of chanting the story in Hebrew, she had read the Exodus story in English directly from the Scriptures and had been deeply blessed by the reality of God’s gracious dealing with his people. During her first Passover as a believer, Evelyn was taught by God of its true significance.
She realized that Jesus, too, on the eve of his death, was partaking of the ancient Jewish festival of Passover. It came to her that when he celebrated the Last Supper with his disciples, the cup he held aloft while saying, “this is the blood of the new covenant…this do in remembrance of me” was the third cup of the Passover seder, the one called the “Cup of Redemption.”
At that seder Evelyn’s eyes were opened for the first time to the true meaning of the Cup of Redemption, for she had met her Redeemer. Now she could fully rejoice in the fourth cup—that of praises—and she could cry out along with all Jewish and Gentile believers in the Messiah, “I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD” (Psalm 116:13).
EDITOR’S NOTE: Bette Lehrer Caley served with our New York Jews for Jesus branch from November, 1984, until May, 1986. She has now returned to her native country of Australia and resides with her husband, David, in Brisbane.