27
Mar
10

Passover Journey

I am writing this post as I wait for a connecting flight from Newark to Columbus. I am returning from officiating at my aunt’s funeral and visiting family. My aunt was 100 years old and died very peacefully. It was my first visit to my hometown without having a home in the town. A little over a year ago my parents sold their home and moved to Columbus to be near me and my family. With no siblings it was a little different staying in a hotel in the city where my parents have always lived and where I always have had a home. I still have several cousins and an aunt and uncle whom I am in close contact but it is still a little strange.  My father is in his 90’s and my mother is in her late 80’s and neither is in good health. With Passover so close, my mind has been preoccupied with the thought of the “journey of life.”  Passover is about the journey. Every year it reminds us of the long journey of the history of the Jewish people as well as our own personal journey of life.  There are sweet times like the charoses and there are bitter times like the maror.  But when does the journey end? What is the final destination? Are we always waiting for a connecting flight as I am here in Newark? Will there always be celebrations and difficulties – the ups and downs of life? Are we forever on the journey?   The answer depends on how much weight you put on the truthfulness of the Scriptures and in the reality of God.

The prophet Isaiah wrote these encouraging words to Israel during a time of great turmoil and disappointment.

Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary. (Is. 40:30-31)

Isaiah says it is not about being young or strong or vigorous –it is about waiting; hoping in the Lord. So no matter what happens in life, God will never abandon us; he will comfort us; he will sustain us. This is true for us as individual Jews and Gentiles who are followers of the Messiah   as it is true for us as the Jewish people.  In the Brit Chadashah, Paul writes about the trials and tribulations of being a follower of the Messiah.

we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;
 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
 always carrying about in the body the dying of Yeshua, so that the life of Yeshua also may be manifested in our body. 2 Cor. 4:8-10
He is saying that there is great difficulty but he endures. He is not forsaken; he is not destroyed; he is not lost.  He can say that because he trusts in the Lord. He knows that the Messiah has come. He know that the Messiah has risen from the dead, assuring his own resurrection.   The sufferings of the Messiah gives meaning to his own suffering.   The sufferings of Yeshua displayed the power of God. Paul is saying that his own sufferings display the power of God in the fact that he can endure and therefore “defeat” the suffering like the Messiah did. He knows that there will be a resurrection of the dead. We can also say that our own suffering has meaning in the suffering of the Messiah.  By enduring the difficulties of life, we display the power of God as we endure and remain faithful to God and to his promise of resurrection.  This does not mean that we should suffer; it means that when we suffer there is meaning  just as there was meaning in the sufferings of the Messiah. This is our personal hope and it the hope of Israel. The sufferings of the Jewish people also display the power of God. Historians will tell you that given the history of the Jews, there really should not be a Jewish people today. Our survival is a testament to the power of God and to his faithfulness to his covenant promises. From a human perspective, the survival of Israel is a testimony to the hope that has sustained our people for thousands of years. Even though most of our people do not yet accept Yeshua as the Messiah, many still hope in the promises of God.   The suffering of Yeshua give meaning to our people’s sufferings in that Yeshua is the personification of the history and destiny of Israel. He suffered and died and rose from the dead.  This is a powerful statement that   sustains us on the journey. It is prophesied in the 37th chapter of Ezekiel which describes dry bones which enter a process of coming together and rising from the dead – the sufferings, death and resurrection of Israel. There will be a day when our people will indeed recognize Yeshua.

This leads us to   the destiny of the journey. I have spoken here mostly of the journey itself but the Scriptures are clear that there is a destination.  As I wrote above there is a resurrection of the dead. This is our hope. Daniel writes about the destiny of individuals – that those who follow the Lord will arise to everlasting life and the rest to everlasting contempt.  The destiny to those who arise to everlasting life is described as a place called a “New Heaven and a New Earth.” We read this is Isaiah ch. 65 and in Rev. 21. It is described in glorious terms. It is important that we read these passages often and remember that the journey does indeed have a destination. It is a wondrous place in which there is not more death, or crying, or disappointment or misunderstanding or persecution or war or suffering of any kind. It will be a place in which there will be world peace and security.  When life gets us down let us remember that the Messiah came in order to prepare us and to prepare this place for us.  At his last Passover Seder he taught his disciples:   

In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. Jn. 14:2-3.

This is the hope of Israel. The day will come when our people will recognize that Yeshua is the Messiah. Israel as a people will reach the destination. The journey for Israel will end with a glorious arrival.  But for individual Jewish people as well as all people our personal journey ends when we die. That is why it is so important to repent of our sins and turn to God and believe in the Messiah who takes away our sins. In this way we assure our own future destiny in the New Heaven and New Earth. This is my hope and I trust it is yours as well.  Yeshua is our Passover!  Chag Sameach!

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6 Responses to “Passover Journey”


  1. 1 Easter Bunny
    March 27, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    This blog’s formula for Jewish religious holidays:

    #1 Ignore the major Christian religious holiday that so happens to fall at about the same time.

    #2 Pump out yet another Christianized reinvention of the Jewish holiday.

    #3 Retain the Jewish holiday’s Jewish name.

    #4 Gut the Jewish holiday of its Jewish meaning.

    #5 Cite an unrelated Hebrew scriptural source that has nothing to do with the Jewish holiday.

    #6 Cram a Christian message from the New Testament into the gutted skin of the Jewish holiday.

    #7 For good measure, mistranslate Christian names like “Jesus” and “New Testament” as “Yeshua” and “brit hadasha” to make Christianity sound really, really Jewish.

    -the Easter bunny

    If you’re falling for this, if you have taken the bait and declared yourself at once Jewish and Christian, if you believe the G-d of Israel and Jesus are both deities, then I would like to discuss with you some swampland in Florida that you just might be able to talk me into selling to you.

    • March 31, 2010 at 10:43 am

      Dear Easter Bunny,
      ( Disclaimer ) Now I not upset just really concerned about you.

      This bloggers formula for success.
      ————————————-
      1.Uses many different handles or fake names to make people think that there are many people that appear on this site that disagree with Messianic Judaism. Here are just a few of the people that this blogger is not.
      Phil fill
      anne arkie
      Loren Neiermeier
      Anonymous
      Elmer
      Roger D.
      Eric Yoffe
      Mary philbin
      Ron meisner
      McKinley Harris
      Z. bop
      Annabell Lee
      Dune Bug
      Chico maria …
      Chris Goldberg
      Bert Zeeland
      Helen Ista
      Marna Finklestein
      2.Or He is ashamed of the opinions he spews and doesn’t want anyone to know who he really is.
      3.Trying to appear that through each of your characterizations you are mentally healthy,but clearly these actions are not what might be considered normal.
      4.Expectations that we should Ignore the biblical names of the Holidays and festivals that the bible tells us all to celebrate.And how to celebrate them in a Biblical way.
      5.Says that we gut the Jewish holidays when in fact He or She really knows little or nothing about how we specifically celebrate anything.
      6. He or She uses a broad brush to paint a picture that is not at all true but on the contrary quite dishonest.
      Let me remind you of several things,being Jewish is a ethnicity, your reform Judaism allows Buddhist, Atheists the the Secular and almost any other belief system including ones mentioned in the Bible as being an abomination to God and they still remain Jewish.So whats up with that.
      The swampland that you want to sell might be where YOU are living,No thanks. The Messiah has come and will return again.I will pray that you find a relationship with Him so you can move out of that swampland and into the promised Land.

  2. 3 Janice Stewart
    March 27, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    The motif of” the journey” posted by Rabbi Silverman in this article echoes somewhat with the message delivered by Shamasheem Russ Beaudet today at Beth Messiah in Rabbi Silvermans’s absence.

    His message was entiled : “Preparing for Passover”. He took us back to the new generation of Israelites’ journey to Gilgal after the 40years of wandering in the wilderness. ( Joshua 5).

    We walked back through the experience of the circumcision of the males of the new generation and the keeping of the passover on the evening of the 14th day of the month in the plains of Jericho as they were camped in Gilgal.

    We walked back through the drama of Joshua circumcising the males of the new generation after 40 years of not practicing the ritual. We felt the experience that the new generation must have felt as they partook of the Passover, now that they were in covenant with God through the circumcision ritual.( Ex. 12)

    The nuances of the meaning of the Hebrew “galal” to roll for the English translation of the word Gilgal is best expressed in verse 9 of Joshua chapter 5. ” The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt.” And so that place is called Gilgal to this day.

    Rabbi Silverman stated, “This is the hope of Israel. The day will come when our people will recognize that Yeshua is the Messiah. Israel as a people will reach the destination. The journey for Israel will end with a glorious arrival. But for individual Jewish people as well as all people our personal journey ends when we die. That is why it is so important to repent of our sins and turn to God and believe in the Messiah who takes away our sins. In this way we assure our own future destiny in the New Heaven and New Earth. This is my hope and I trust it is yours as well. ”

    Just as the new generation in Joshua 5 renewed the covenant and continued on the destined journey for the Israelites as a nation , may we we embrace and pursue this admonition by Rabbi Silveman and reflect upon the admonition presented to us today by Shamasheen Russ Beaudet.

    We were admonished that as we prepare for Passover, we should remember the journey to Gilgal and reflect upon it’s importance as a place of “Rememberance, Reward, Renovation, and Renewal.”

    I agree with you Rabbi Silverman:

    Yeshua is our Passover! Chag Sameach!

    Janice Stewart

    • April 11, 2010 at 12:38 am

      Yes Janice how blessed we are to have so many qualified leaders /teachers to lead us through this great journey.I am always amazed by the telling of the Passover and how much it changes our very walk.With each step through the the remembrance.Shema Israel. We will hear and obey.Janice thank you for you great heart to follow as you also lead.
      Mark B.

  3. 5 Jeff R.
    April 21, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Howard,

    Well written!! Great reflection and we are so blessed to have this assurance.

    Thanks

  4. 6 Ralph Loren (with an "O")
    April 21, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Howard wrote “it is so important to repent of our sins and turn to God and believe in the Messiah who takes away our sins.”

    But G-d instructed Moses to write in Deut. 29:29 that His scriptural commandments to the Jews “belong unto us [the Jews] and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

    And Ezekiel (36:27) prophesied that in the messianic age “I [G-d] will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.”

    G-d says His commandments are forever binding on all Jews. Missionaries say Jesus came along and “fulfilled” or “completed” the commandments G-d called eternal, rendering them obsolete. Now who ya gonna believe?


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