I pray that all those who are participating in Passover festivities (which begin at sundown this evening) have a blessed one. It is a tradition that has provided holy language for Jews, which has been adopted by Christians and many who pray to God for deliverance from various forms of oppression. Passover is the story of freedom given in the past that gives us hope for freedom in the future.
For those interested, I found this article by Jonathan Klawans “Was Jesus’ Last Supper a Sedar?” thought provoking. It has received at least one response of which I am aware: “Jesus Last Supper WAS a Seder”.
Another interesting article is Hillary Kaell’s “Evangelical Ketubah, Messianic Mezuzah: Judaica for Christians,” which discusses the increased interest from Christians in the Jewish roots of our religion. The author asks this important question: “By (re)claiming their Judaic roots, do Christians in fact strip Jewish people of theirs?”
For those who have not seen The Maccabeats (a Jewish a capella group) Passover themed song Les Misérables I posted it below. Enjoy!
Passover reveals the need for a more perfect ‘Pascal lamb’.
I pray those celebrating Passover turn to and accept the perfect Pascal lamb that God Himself provided, by whose blood the Old and the New covenant were sealed [Gen 22:8][Luke 22:20][1 Cor 11:25][Heb 12:24].
Without the blood of this Passover lamb, the celebration is a mere parody.
Honestly, I haven’t gone to read the referenced articles. But I have also noted what you mention about more interest in Jewish roots, etc. It seems that there may be both overlapping and parallel (not necessarily influencing one another) movements: First, Jewish Messianic belief that follows Jesus but in a more Jewish way, as I am convinced was the basic stance/practice of the early Jerusalem “church.” Quite a few small groups like this, and not descendants of Jews for Jesus.
Second, “Emerging” Evangelicals and/or Mainstream folks who are looking more closely at Pauline theology vis a vis Jesus’ teaching and his apparent self-understanding (in my view, following Schweitzer – whose “The Kingdom of God and Primitive Christianity I recently reviewed, as being the coming Son of Man — somehow “supernaturally” sent by God without being divine, as per Daniel of the Maccabean period). Most of them don’t go that far as to Jesus’ self-identity or actual identity.
BUT they are rightly noting that Paul ended up (after the destruction of Jerusalem, particularly) influencing a whole new theology and understanding of who Jesus was/is (almost always “Christ” or “Jesus Christ/Christ Jesus” or “The Lord” for him). They seem to me to be growing in awareness that Jesus’ teachings and his immediate disciples (not including Paul) looked for a human and Israel-centered Messiah, and followed only “John’s baptism” of repentance in preparation for the coming Kingdom which they still expected months, years after Jesus’ death. (As did Paul, but with some significantly different features per his radically different theology.) They did not, apparently, despite a questionable claim by Luke in Acts, ever baptize in the “name of Jesus” or of “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” as Matt. suggested. And, tying back to the immediate subject, there is good reason to believe the Jerusalem group did still celebrate Seder Supper and Passover in traditional manner, with perhaps some modifications based on their expectations and hopes. Paul? Hardly, though he may not have opposed it.
“By (re)claiming their Judaic roots, do Christians in fact strip Jewish people of theirs”?
Nope, our view is just a more accurate interpretation of the central thrust of the Hebrew scriptures.
Even in the Hebrew text, it is clear there is some type of God-Man(Ezekiel 1 and Jacob wrestling the man whom he ID as God are quick examples) and/or an eternal Davidic king in several texts and modern religious Jews should be concerned about who it was since after 70 AD, none can prove their Davidic lineage.
There’s also a man whose body will not see corruption. A man born in Bethlehem whose days are eternal.
Who is that man, that man that arrived pre 70 AD? I’ve told Muslims the same thing, they believe in the OT text as well.
So, to the extent Jesus of Nazareth bugs them, they at least need to offer themselves an explanation of who exactly that unique man is. It’s been 2000 years already folks, if it isn’t Jesus, there will be no Messiah. Just being honest.
Patrick, I like how you put that ‘Judaic roots’. It’s better than the expression ‘Jewish roots’ as Judeans were Israelites – while its not clear ‘Jews’ were (necessarily).
Still, an even more precise expression might be ‘Israelite roots’ as all of the prophets were certainly Israelites, not all were ‘Judeans’. (Jeremiah, for example, was likely a Levite (through Hilkiah [1 Chron 6:45]), while Joshua, Samuel and Deborah were thought to have been of Ephraim, Isaiah and Hosea are thought to have been from Issachar (Hosea from Bethshemesh))
I know of none who were ‘Jews’ (in the post-exilic sense) or who self-identified as such. (Othniel was of Judah, but that’s not the same as being a Jew)
But then again who really cares about being biblically precise anymore?
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