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Celebrating Who?

Jeff Raymond on April 15, 2014

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I don't know if you watch March madness or not. You have the nation’s top college teams battling head-to-head in game after game of single elimination basketball.  Imagine getting to the final game – the national championship.  Millions are watching.  The broadcast announcer calls the entire game without one reference to either of the two teams who have worked so hard to earn their spot in this definitive event.  No reference to any of the individual players.  No mention of the coaches’ names.  Sound ridiculous?  The whole purpose of the national championship game is to celebrate the teams and players who make it that far.

These thoughts were going through my head last night late as I celebrated the Passover Seder with a group of Christian friends.  The Jewish ritual feast celebrating God's deliverance of Israel from bondage in Egypt is saturated with symbolic references to Jesus Christ, The Messiah. Yet Jews celebrate every year with no mention of Him.  No understanding.  No acknowledgment.  No credit.

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The judicious order in which the meal is observed includes:

Matza (unleavened bread) which is

  • Striped, representing Christ being beaten
  • Full of holes, representing Christ being pierced
  • Broken, representing Christ being killed

Specially designed matza bag with three compartments

  • Representing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
  • The middle matza (representing the Son) is broken in half, one half is wrapped in a linen napkin and hidden from view, later to be discovered and redeemed by the children
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Four cups of the fruit of the vine

  • The 4th and final cup is called the Cup of Consummation.  It is filled to overflowing, but not drunk at all.  It is the one to which Jesus referred when He said, “I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29)

The Jewish Passover actually has symbolism of the return of Christ!  How cool is that? 

These are but a very few of the many connections between the old covenant and the new covenant in Christ.  I had a number of “light bulb” moments as I identified links I’d not seen before.  What’s more amazing is that what I had always understood to be traditions created by Jews to remember God’s deliverance from slavery, were not created by the Jews at all.  These “traditions” were designed and given to them by God with clear symbolism to point them to the Messiah.