A lot of what we understand as culture is formed by memories. Any deliberate attempt to mark a special occasion helps to create identity and traditions. Passover is one of the three most significant memorial events on the Jewish calendar [i]. Celebration of Messianic resurrection is one of the key remembrance days among Christians.
Passover memorializes the demonstration of God’s covenant faithfulness to Israel. After 400 years of Israelite captivity in the land of Egypt, the Lord God stretched out His arm, and with His unstoppable might, He liberated the Jewish people from slavery. That is the memorial significance associated with Passover.
Followers of Y’shua (Jesus) remember that after three days in the grave, during the Passover week, He was raised back up to live again: the bikkurim or “first fruits” from the grave. God demonstrated in that act the Messiah’s atoning death and the Lord’s full acceptance of it as redemption for sin. The sinner participates in salvation by doing nothing more than believing in what God has accomplished.
Even as the Lord explained to Moses the manner by which He would free Israelites, He commanded the Jewish people to annually remember this event. “Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance” (Exodus 12:14). The idea was to create a perpetual remembrance of God’s greatness and His faithfulness to His people Israel and His character as the Savior God.
The annual remembrance was for the sake of every descendant of Israel and “your children forever.” It was to provoke children to ask, “What does this rite mean to you?” It was the teachable moment when a parent would respond, “It is a Passover sacrifice to the Lord Who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes” (Exodus 12:24-27).
The Messiah Y’shua provided a festival too. It reminds His followers of resurrection power through the atonement in His body and blood (Luke 22:19-20). As often as His followers partake of those elements, they participate in the mystery of the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
Therefore, Passover and the celebration are wonderful opportunities when Jewish-Gentile couples build spiritual harmony in their home. They are appropriate means by which to teach their children spiritual truth and to affirm their continuity with the history of all other Jewish people who have gone before them. They can affirm their place among all who trust in the Messiah who has come and will come again to sit on the throne of King David.
There were many non-Jews, Egyptians, who came out of their land with the Israelites. They affirmed their faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They saw His power in the ten plagues manifested against the gods of Egypt, including Pharaoh. They, too, learned to trust in the saving power of Yahweh. And though almost all the first believers in the resurrected Messiah Y’shua were Jews, many more non-Jews have come to faith in Him over the millennia.
Passover and the season of the resurrection are perfect times to teach spiritual truth to your children. They are teachable moments to build memories together as a family of faith.
Building spiritual harmony is one of the goals of jewishgentilecouples.com. If we can be of any help in doing that, please let us know. We also can provide information to help you plan a family Passover Seder, utilizing the Messianic Family Haggadah (BK007).