Enjoy these testimonies from our recent Passover Seders!
Thank you so much for the beautiful evening we spent at the seder dinner – the food was superb and the ceremony was spiritually very meaningful to us! At the end of the dinner, we were asked to fill out an address card. Our table was one card short, so my husband Dave was missing his. A friend insisted he fill hers out, and after some back and forth, he acquiesced. During the drawing to receive a seder plate, the winning card, to our delight, was Dave’s!
We arrived home after midnight and Dave placed the plate, along with several Haggadahs, on our dining room table. The following afternoon, we had some neighbors over. Abigail (name changed) saw the plate, and asked with shock, “What are you guys doing with a seder plate?”
What followed was an interesting “God-incidence.” Abigail was raised in a Reform synagogue, although her grandfather was an Orthodox Jew. She has been a serious student of Buddhism for years. She asked about our church and wanted to know what “evangelical” meant, and we talked for a long time about our beliefs. I know we have established a basis to revisit our sharing again – soon I hope!
– April and Dave K.
I was invited to conduct a “Messiah in the Passover” banquet at Folsom State Prison in California on Resurrection Sunday. The audience included 300 inmates (about half of them believers in Jesus). Speaking on bondage, redemption and God’s grace in the midst of sharing the Passover elements with the inmates, I received a very positive response. Many inmates responded to the powerful message of Messiah in the Passover. At the end, I led the men in the sinner’s prayer and was blessed to witness twenty inmates who made a decision for Yeshua (Jesus)! They all got very excited when I told them that they would be with God in “The New Jerusalem.” L’Shanah Haba B’Yerushalayim – Next Year in Jerusalem!
– Olivier Melnick
Chosen People Ministries – California
I was able to attend a seder at the Yale Club in Manhattan sponsored by Chosen People Ministries. In the middle of the meal, the leader asked someone at each table to take a broken piece of matzah (unleavened bread) and to hide it. Towards the end of the meal, a child went to find the hidden piece. In response, all of us rejoiced in its finding and subsequently shared in the matzah.
This wasn’t the only instance of group involvement in the seder. We also recited numerous Psalms together and sang a few hymns. This being my first seder, I was impressed with the community-oriented aspect. Although we each had individual plates on which to eat, we passed community plates of food. In order to eat this way (“family-style”), we had to share with one another. It was different from a typical benefit dinner, in which we would order individual portions with our own preferences – for me, no gefilte fish!
Yet which mimics God’s community more accurately – the seder or individual plates? The seder is a more accurate representation because it recognizes our need for covenant relationships that lies deep in our hearts. Paul prays for the central requirement for such relationships, namely, love:
“And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13)
– Bethany Jenkins is a recent graduate from Columbia Law School who has started a non-profit called The Park Forum
When I speak, I often ask that church members invite Jewish friends to hear the message – and this is most often true when I speak about Passover. After all, it was a message about Passover that prompted my father to begin his spiritual journey to the Messiah. This Passover, a Jewish man came with a friend and heard me speak at a church. He heard me assure him that he doesn’t have to stop being Jewish if he believes that Jesus is the Messiah. After two lunchtime discussions, he was ready to receive Jesus. This is what I live for!
In another example, I am the leader of a young adult group in New York City and we have an annual Passover seder meal that is attended by both believers and seekers. This year we had over sixty young adults, five of whom are not yet believers, and heard me clearly express the Gospel through the Passover. I am currently meeting regularly with one of these young people and will be meeting with more as the weeks go by.
It is so encouraging because God has been faithful to share the Gospel with the Jewish people through the Passover for two millennia since Jesus, and I have the opportunity to highlight Messiah in the Passover for Jewish people to see. It is a great privilege!
– Ryan K., Chosen People Ministries – New York