Condensed, Modified Messianic Jewish Passover Haggadah

Written by Rev. Moshe Elijah


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General Explaination and Overview

"Pesakh", the Passover Festival, is celebrated by Jewish people throughout the world to make them remember of God's deliverance of their ancestors, the children of Israel, from 430 years of bondage and slavery (Exodus 12). God used the Jewish prophet, Moses (Moshe in Hebrew) to lead the twelve tribes of Israel out of the bondage of Pharaoh, about 3,500 years ago.

Every year Jewish people celebrate this Passover memorial feast according to a program or "order" of service - called a "Seder" in Hebrew. The book that is used with the program is called the "Passover Haggadah".

The first Passover occurred in Egypt, with the Jews being commanded to kill lambs without spot or defect, and to put the blood of the lambs on the top lintel and the two side door posts of each house. That night, when God saw the blood, He would "pass-over" that house and His judgement - which was the killing of the first-born - would not fall on that household.

This is symbolic of Christ (Messiah), our Passover Lamb (John 1/29, I Corinthians 5/7) who died for us and shed His blood for the atonement of our sins. Thus, when a person believes in Christ (Messiah), the blood of Christ (Messiah) would atone for his sins, and God would see the blood of Christ (Messiah) having already covered that believer. Hence, the judgement of God would "pass- over" that believer and not fall on him.

The believer is translated out of the kingdom of darkness, bondage and sin, into the Kingdom of light, freedom and forgiveness - the Kingdom of God and His everlasting Life.

Since 70 A.D., when the second Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, the Jewish sacrificial system for the atonement of sins ended, as there can be no sacrifices without the Temple. Therefore, the Passover lamb is represented by the burnt shank bone of a lamb, which cannot be eaten. The Hebrew name for this symbol- is "zeroah", which means "arm". It points to the "arm of the Lord" as mentioned in Isaiah 53/1. It also points to the outstretched arm of the Lord, to free His people from bondage.

The blood of the Passover Festival is represented by the four cups of wine, taken at specific times in the Service (Seder). It is the third cup that is very meaningful, which is called the cup of redemption, the cup of blessing. It was the third cup that Yeshua (Jesus) took and said, "This is my blood of the New Covenant" (I Corinthians 11/25, Matthew 26/(27-28). In Matthew 26/(27-28), Yeshua (Jesus) said "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the New Covenant, which is poured out for many, for the forgiveness of sins.").

Before Pesakh, orthodox Jews clean their houses, to ensure there would be no "leaven" (yeast) in them. This includes breads, cakes and anything else with leaven - Exodus 12/15,(18-20). The bread to be eaten during Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, must be Matzah - unleavened bread. Leaven is symbolic of sin. The matzah points to Christ (Messiah), the unleavened bread from heaven, the sinless Son of God. John 6/35: "Then Yeshua (Jesus) declared,

"I am the bread of Life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry".
As orthodox Jews search their houses for leaven, to cast out, so we see the symbolism here, that before we partake of Holy Communion (the "Lord's Supper") we should search our hearts for hidden sins to confess, repent and forsake. Thus the blood of Yeshua (Jesus), our Passover Lamb, will wash us clean - I John 1/9, I Corinthians 11/(26-32). For example,
I Corinthians 11/28: "A man ought to examine himself, before he eats of the bread, and drinks of the cup."

Most Jewish people are not aware that they need the sacrificial Blood of atonement for the forgiveness of sins. The average Jew thinks that if his good deeds outweigh his bad deeds, he will get to Heaven. Some Jews do not believe there is a "hell".

However, the Torah, the five books of the prophet Moses, is explicit in blood atonement, such as is expressed in Leviticus 17/11): "It is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul!" This is repeated in the New Testament in Hebrews 9/22: "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin!" Even in the Talmud of the orthodox Jews, this is emphasised -
Book of Yoma 5(a).

Christ (Messiah) provided the Blood of atonement - Romans 3/(23-25):

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Messiah Yeshua (Jesus). God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in His blood."

Christ (Messiah) is our "ASHAM" - trespass offering, as indicated in Isaiah 53/10: "the Lord makes His life a guilt (trespass) offering" - in Hebrew, the word ASHAM is used. Thus we have peace with God - Romans 5/(1-2):

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace".

Also, Isaiah 53/(5-6):

"But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace (with God) was upon Him; and by His wounds (shed blood) we are healed (atoned for). ... and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."

Yeshua (Jesus) kept the Jewish feasts, having been brought up as an orthodox Jewish Rabbi. He ushered in the New Covenant at a traditional orthodox Jewish Passover festival, during the Passover Seder service. The New Covenant Holy Communion was started at the "Last Supper", when Christ (Messiah) modified the Pesakh (Passover) Seder service, by referring the bread, and the wine of the third cup, to His body and blood. Thus Christ (Messiah) ushered in the New Covenant which had been predicted by the Jewish prophet, Jeremiah, in the Old Testament, in Jeremiah 31/(31-34). Yeshuah (Jesus) did not abolish the Passover feast, but fulfilled it - Matthew 5/17:

"Do not think that I (Yeshua - Jesus) have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets: I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfil them".

With His twelve apostles, Yeshua (Jesus) had come to Jerusalem to celebrate and fulfil the Passover festival - Pesakh. Christ (Messiah) knew that the symbols of Pesakh pointed to Him, and his sacrificial death on the Cross.

It is amazing how the symbols of the traditional Jewish Pesakh point to Christ (Messiah).

For example, three Matzahs are put inside a Matzah bag - this points to the Holy Trinity. However orthodox Jews have different interpretations, like the three Patriarchs - Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. The middle Matzah (which points to the second person of the Holy Trinity - Adonai Yeshua Ha Mashiach, the Lord Jesus Christ (Messiah)), is taken out and broken into two pieces. This symbolises the broken body of Christ (Messiah). One part is then wrapped in white linen and is hidden. This points to the burial of Christ (Messiah). This hidden matzah is called "AFIKOMEN", an ancient Greek word which means "I have come". Incidentally, "ERKHOMEN" means "I come". The Jews argue and say this means "desert", as this "AFIKOMEN" is to be eaten later as "dessert".

However, it is very strange that a "gentile" word, the Greek word "AFIKOMEN", finds itself in the midst of the orthodox Jewish Holy Pesakh. How did this occur?

Finally, a child is sent to look for the hidden AFIKOMEN, and is helped to find it. When he finds it, he brings it to the table and the father or leader of the Pesakh "Seder" unwraps the AFIKOMEN. This points to the resurrection of Christ (Messiah).

The Pesakh service is conducted with everybody sitting in a reclining position. The reason given is because a slave must stand rigid before his master, but a free man can recline and relax.

This points to freedom from bondage of sin through Christ.
The light of the two candles symbolises the shekinah glory and light of Christ (Messiah), the Son of God, who said "I am the Light of the world" - John 8/12, John 1/(1-5), 14.

The above is a general overview and explanation of the main points of Pesakh.

How did all these symbols and clues, which point to Christ (Messiah), get into the traditional Jewish Passover Seder service, which is conducted by millions of Jews worldwide for many centuries?
Some Bible scholars state that this Passover Seder was instituted in the first century, after 70 A.D., by the Jewish Rabbinical leaders, and that they were silent "Nicodemus" believers in Yeshua (Jesus), as the Messiah of Israel. Thus the mystery of the symbols, in the form of a "puzzle" for Jews to ponder about. Maybe some of them would become enlightened and see Yeshua Ha Mashiach from the clues and symbols, fulfilling the Passover feast.

In one book written by Messianic Jews on showing Christ in the Passover, it was stated that the "AFIKOMEN" came into the Jewish Passover Haggadah Seder after the destruction of the Second Temple - i.e. after 70 A.D. - and it was a wafer of unleavened bread to represent the Paschal sacrifice (i.e. sacrifice of the Passover Lamb). This was done as it was not possible any more to sacrifice an animal, without a temple.

In this condensed modified version of the Pesakh Haggadah, the "four cups of wine" is filled only once, and is not drunk. Later, during Holy Communion, everybody partakes, and drinks a cup, as explained in the Haggadah.

The whole Passover Service should take about 1.5 to 2 hours.


John Heininger:

"This book gives a penetrating insight into the Passover Haggadah, in terms of the Messiah and the New Testament revelation.
The person and work of Jesus Christ (Yeshua Ha Mashiach) are clearly revealed, demonstrating that Jesus (Yeshua) is both the theme and the fulfilment of the Passover Haggadah celebration.
This condensed format makes it practical to conduct for Christians, while maintaining its essence."
Credentials of John Heininger: Chairman of the Evangelical Apologetics Society of Australia, Graduate of Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, Further post-graduate studies at Simon Greenleaf Theological University of California.

Tony Le Maistre:

"Jesus Christ (Yeshua Ha Mashiach) had celebrated previous Passover festivals, but the last one he changed to identify the Passover with himself. Jesus (Yeshua) showed that he was the Passover Lamb, fulfilling all the scriptures, including Isaiah 53 and Psalm 40/(6-8).
In this book, I find the explanation connecting the New Testament with the Old Testament, with the Judaic expression of the Passover festival, enlightening. I think the explanation would be enlightening to the born-again believer, as well as to the non-believing Jew and Gentile. I strongly suggest that every Pastor should read it, and meditate on it, because this book makes clear the thread that started that fateful night in Egypt with the prophet Moshe (Moses), right down to Yeshua (Jesus), and finally on to us, to receive God's Passover Lamb for our salvation, with all the accompanying blessings."

Tony Le Maistre is a leader of a regular intercessory prayer group for Israel. He is also a friend of Israel. Tony is also a member of the "Australian Fellowship of Faith Churches and Ministers, International".

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