A Gift Of Redemption At Passover
Each spring during the Easter season most of the missionary staff of Jews for Jesus take to the road for what we call Passover Tours.” Although much of our tour ministry involves speaking in churches to explain the christological significance of the Passover meal, they are very much evangelistic tours as well. Jewish people invited by Christian friends and neighbors often attend these demonstrations.
One year the first night of Passover fell on Good Friday. While I could not be home with my wife and son for the festive seder meal, I had an opportunity to celebrate the true significance of Passover with a church “family” in Bristol, Tennessee.
Because my program involved only a demonstration of the Passover symbols and not the actual seder meal, the chances of a Jewish person attending that church meeting instead of celebrating with relatives at home seemed slim. That was why I was truly surprised to meet Sheila there.
When the pastor briefly introduced me to Sheila before the service, I noticed that she was dressed elegantly enough for any Passover seder. When I learned that Sheila was from a Jewish background, I had to smile as I mused about my “wisdom” and the Lord’s timing.
Although I had conducted some two dozen seders in the past two weeks of my tour, this presentation seemed special because it was really Passover. I described the focal point of the seder ceremony, which is, of course, the Passover Lamb whose blood was shed so my ancestors might be redeemed from bondage in Egypt, foreshadowing the Lamb of God who would redeem the world from the bondage of sin.
One interesting aspect of the first Passover is that the blood of the sacrificed lamb was to be applied to the top (the lintel) and the two side posts of each door. “Thus when the blood dripped down from the lintel,” I told the congregation, “it formed, if you will, the sign of a cross.”
As I paused to let the impact of those words sink in, I noticed Sheila in the back of the church. Her lower jaw had dropped in surprise, and her eyes held an expression of pure amazement.
After the program I couldn’t wait to speak to her. We sat down in the empty chapel, and she admitted a mysterious attraction to Jesus. I explained to her the essentials of faith in Yeshua, and then asked, “Have you ever acknowledged your sin before God and asked him to forgive and redeem you through the Messiah Jesus?”
“No,” Sheila replied, “but I think I’d like to.”
That night we celebrated an even greater redemption than Israel’s physical redemption from Egypt. Sheila made a commitment to Yeshua, that she might be freed from the bondage of sin, I pray that, like Sheila, this year many more of my Jewish people will see the deeper symbolism of Passover, and realize that this once-for-all greater redemption can be theirs.