What do the Jewish Passover and Jesus' Last Supper have in common? Richard Muller, speaking on behalf of Jews for Jesus, will answer that question in a presentation called "Christ in the Passover" followed by a Seder dinner at Scandia Covenant Church at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 9
Using a visual display of traditional Passover accouterments, the "Christ in the Passover" presentation enhances the Christian's understanding and appreciation of the Jewish background of the Christian Communion. Ancient and modern Jewish customs will be discussed and described with an emphasis on the aspect of redemption that Christ accomplished at Calvary. A table will be set with the traditional Jewish Passover items, including representative foods which are explained, but not eaten. The ceremonial seder plate, the three-compartment pouch in which the matzo (unleavened bread) is kept, as well as the traditional cup of Elijah will be presented, and new insights to their christological significance will be provided.
Jews for Jesus has presented this demonstration in more than 16,000 churches. It was originally written in 1956 by Moishe Rosen, the founder and former executive director of Jews for Jesus. The presentation was abstracted from the writings of the late Rabbi pold Cohn, who came to faith in Jesus in 1894 and died in 1936.
Dr. Rosen contends that some of the most important elements of Christian doctrine, such as the Trinity, the principle of substitutionary atonement and salvation through a personal relationship with the Messiah, are implied in the Seder (Passover feast) as observed by Orthodox Jews even today. The "Christ in the Passover" presentation is one Jews for Jesus can help churches appreciate the Jewish roots of the Christian faith.
Rosen says, "Though our primary ministry is to those who do nor yet believe in Jesus." Jews for Jesus is an evangelistic agency best known for creative methods and materials. Their literature deals with contemporary themes including anything from current films to chemical waste. "Broadsides" use humor and clever illustrations yet have a serious message: namely, that Jesus is the promised Messiah for both Jews and Gentiles.
Jews for Jesus also communicates through original Jewish gospel music and drama, which is presented by mobile teams such as the Liberated Wailing Wall. The organization has permanent branches in seven North American cities as well as more than 70 chapters spanning some 30 states and has international branches.
Dr. Rosen says, "Our message is not new, but we're telling it in a new way. For too long the Jewish roots of Christianity have been forgotten." He and his wife also have authored a book, "Christ in the Passover," focusing on Passover to demonstrate the continuity of the Old and New Testament scriptures, and Jews for Jesus has published an illustrated edition.
David Brickner, who has served with Jews for Jesus since 1980, was elected Executive Director in 1996, when he was 37. Brickner sees Jews for Jesus as a ministry that is 2,000 years old. "We began in 32 A.D., give or take a year. Jesus' first followers were Jewish men and women and since then there have been some of us in every generation."
Those attending the special "Christ in the Passover" program at Scandia Covenant Church on Thursday, April 9, at 6 p.m. will also have an opportunity to share in a Seder dinner in the fellowship hall immediately following the presentation. The dinner includes leg of lamb, rice, gravy, endive salad, and dried fruit. The program and meal is open to the general public and Richard Muller will be available to answer questions those attending might have.
There will be a freewill offering taken to help support Jews for Jesus and defray the cost of the meal.
RSVP by contacting the church office at 757-8052, firstname.lastname@example.org.