Shalom Pesach and a Joyous Easter
By Jeanne Gowen Dennis
For the Jewish people, this week is Passover; for Christians it is often called Holy Week, the week we remember the passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus (Yeshua), the Savior of the entire world. During this time, believers usually reflect on the Last Supper (at Passover), why Jesus died, and how it applies to our lives.
Preparing to Celebrate the Resurrection
As you get ready for Easter, or Resurrection Day, I pray you will consider these biblical truths:
- All of us have sinned against the holy God and deserve eternal punishment.
- When our first parents sinned, God promised to punish the devil through the woman’s seed.
- The Old Testament Jewish sacrificial system was a foreshadowing of how God would provide final atonement (a payment resulting in our forgiveness of debt to Him) for our sins.
- The Spirit of God overshadowed a young virgin, and Emmanuel, (meaning “God with us”) was born.
- Because God was Jesus’ father, the sin nature that is passed down from father to children did not pass to Him.
- Jesus was the only man who lived a perfect life (because He was also God) and could pay for the sins that all people committed against the holy God.
- Jesus was the only One who fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah. Some of these prophecies are yet to be fulfilled at His Second Coming.
As You Celebrate Passover
To my Jewish friends, as you celebrate the Passover this week, I pray you will open your hearts to the symbolism in the Seder and the redemption God provided.
God calls Himself the Savior of Israel. Remember the Exodus from Egypt, the temple sacrifices, and Boaz’s redemption of Ruth. These are all pictures of God’s salvation. As you drink the third cup, consider whether Yeshua could be the Lamb of God whose blood made atonement for sin once and for all.
As our latest guest, Joe Amaral says that Yeshua fulfilled the requirements of the Passover lamb. As you hide away the afikoman to be brought out later, consider that Yeshua was hidden in the grave and then rose again to life.
He now sits at the right hand of the Father and will return in triumph to rule and reign, fulfilling the messianic scriptures that He hasn’t already fulfilled.
From the Orthodox Jewish Bible:
“But he was pierced [Yeshayah 51:9; Zecharyah 12:10 Sukkah 52a, Tehillim 22:17 Targum Hashivim] for our transgressions, he was bruised mei’avonoteinu (for our iniquities); the musar (chastisement) (that brought us shalom [Yeshayah 54:10] was upon him [Moshiach]; and at the cost of his (Moshiach’s) chaburah (stripes, lacerations) we are healed” (Yeshayah 53:5).
“O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is lovingkindness,
And with Him is abundant redemption.
And He will redeem Israel
From all his iniquities” (Ps. 130:7–8 NASB).
Yes, as Scripture tells us, the Lord is one. But we are made in the image of God, and we are threefold – body, soul, and spirit. God is also three in one, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Perhaps that’s why the Hebrew word for God Elohim is plural, and maybe that’s why God said, “Let us make man in our own image” (Gen. 1:26).
Why do I include you Jews in my Easter post? Because Jesus said the gospel is for the Jew first. He was a Jew, and like Him, I love His Jewish people.
Shalom and Joy
Shalom Pesach! And a joyous Resurrection Day (or Easter) to all!
© Jeanne Gowen Dennis