Our New York branch presented a Passover challenge that had many Jewish people smiling and scratching their heads. Over a two-week period, teams gathered outside of Brooklyn College, New York University and on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Pictured below is the table they set up with four symbols, a jar for each symbol, and the opportunity for passersby to “vote” on each symbol as kosher or not kosher for Passover by dropping the appropriate answer in each jar.
Three of the four symbols for this “Passover challenge” were edible: a piece of matzah (unleavened bread), a bagel, a hamentasch (leavened cookie traditional for Purim) and . . . a miniature replica of da Vinci’s “Last Supper” painting.
Karol Joseph reports, “Everyone knew that matzah was kosher for Passover, and just about everyone laughed at the bagel and knew that it definitely wasn’t kosher for Passover. Some stared at the hamentasch for a few moments, knowing it was connected with a Jewish holiday, but most eventually realized, that hamantaschen (pl.) are leavened and therefore NOT kosher for Passover. But when people got to the iconic picture of Jesus celebrating Passover at what’s commonly called “the Last Supper,” some of them scratched their heads.”
It was a bit of a brainteaser, after all. Jesus being Jewish fits right in with Passover, yet most Jewish people don’t embrace His claims to be Messiah. Artists like da Vinci popularized a very un-Jewish version of Jesus. (Ever notice the fluffy loaves of bread in the painting? A big no-no on Passover! We can guarantee Jesus was eating unleavened bread that night.)
“In addition to the Passover challenge, we offered people matzah brittle, unleavened bread with chocolate and caramel. (You can see Karol pictured with a tray of the Passover treat, talking to an Orthodox student.) Everyone wanted the brittle and almost everyone wanted to talk. We all had great conversations. One young Orthodox man chatted with me for 20 minutes, and as we discussed who decides what is really kosher, he earnestly told me that he really just wants to obey God and do what pleases Him.”
Will you join us in praying this prayer, “I thank and praise you Father, that you sent Jesus to be our Passover Lamb. I know that you want more people to take hold of the mercy and grace you made available through Him. Please continue to work in the hearts of the people who stopped to talk to the Jews for Jesus missionaries in New York these last few weeks; nurture the gospel seeds that were planted, and may many come to know ultimate redemption in Jesus! In His name I ask this, Amen.”