Monthly Archives: March 2017

Cup of Redemption

The Cup of Redemption is the third cup of the Passover Seder and is the first cup to be drunk after the meal. It is believed that it is the Cup of Redemption that Jesus instructed the disciples to partake of in the last supper, since both accounts in Matthew 26:27 and Luke 22:19 describe the cup being taken after the meal. Luke’s account even refers to the last meal Jesus had with his disciples as “Passover” (Luke 17:15). In this verse specifically, Jesus tells His disciples: “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” The Cup of Redemption traditionally signifies the slaying of the Passover lamb that spared the Israelites from the 10th plague of the slaying of the first born. This cup traditionally remembers how the Lord redeems Israel with an outstretched arm.

Therefore, it is so very poignant when Jesus tells His disciples that the wine in this cup is “My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.” As the blood of the Passover Lamb covered the believing Israelites and Egyptians back in Egypt, so the blood of Jesus covers Jewish and Gentile believers today!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Passover

Finding God In Middle Earth

Dear friend in the Messiah,

Shalom in the glorious name of Jesus our Messiah! This newsletter will highlight our various short-term outreach ministries around the globe where we give volunteers and staff the opportunity to reach Jewish people.

Just recently, I was in New Zealand where I was able to witness the amazing work there among Israeli backpackers. Thanks to hundreds of Christians here who have opened up their hearts and their homes to traveling Israelis, Jewish ministry in New Zealand has exploded!

This morning I had an unforgettable experience as I walked outside my hotel room very early and came face to face with stars and constellations (in reverse configuration!). All I wanted to do was shout Hallelujah!, but it was too early so I restrained myself. I had what I can only describe as a “King David moment” as all I could think of was the Psalmist’s description of what he saw in the night sky above 
Israel reflected in Psalm 8.

David declared, 

O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth, who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens! (Psalm 8:1)

And, dear friend, all you have to do is to take one look at the pristine array of stars filling the night sky rising high above the mountains of the South 
Island in New Zealand and you would want to do the same!

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Jews and Christians

The Cup of Judgment: The Second Cup of the Passover Seder

These days, no one likes to talk about the judgement of the Lord. Yet, it is a biblical truth that all people, both Jew and Gentile, are under God’s judgement unless they accept salvation, that is, substitutionary atonement, through Jesus the Messiah (Romans 5:9, 1 Cor. 15:1-5, John 14:6). There are teachings out there that say Jewish people do not need Jesus to be made right with God—but this is against the very Gospel itself. In John 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one comes to the Father but through me.” Even in the story of Passover itself—the children of Israel could not rest on their status as Israelites. They had to respond to the method that God chose—the slaying of the Passover lamb—to be spared from the 10th plague of the slaying of the firstborn. In the same way, until the Jewish people respond to Jesus, the way of eternal salvation, Jewish people are still under God’s judgment. Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

Let us have a sense of urgency as we share with our Jewish friends and family, knowing that just as the children of Israel escaped Egypt in haste, so is our time on earth fleeting – each moment is precious. I encourage you to share Jesus with your Jewish friend or family member and perhaps even invite him or her to a Chosen People Ministries Passover banquet near you!

In Messiah,

Mitch

Leave a comment

Filed under Passover

The Cup of Sanctification: The First Cup of the Passover Seder

The first cup is the cup of sanctification. Four cups of wine are poured during the course of the Seder. When drinking the cup of sanctification we recite, “I will bring you out from Egypt.” Isn’t the Lord wonderful? Think about it, the children of Israel were enslaved in Egypt for 400 years. Their tears were bitter! They started out their time as dignified guests but with time and regime change, they became slaves. The yoke of slavery was burdensome and heavy. During Passover, we remember how God brought the children of Israel out from slavery and made us into a great nation with a name and a great purpose.  You see, Israel always had a purpose and calling—to be light to the nations (Isaiah 42:6, Isaiah 49:6, Acts 13:47) and to bring Messiah Jesus into the world! Without the Jewish people, without Passover, we would not have the Messiah—what a humbling thought!

When drinking the cup of sanctification, we remember God bringing Israel out of slavery and the miracle that the Messiah came through the line of David. We also earnestly pray for the many Jewish people who are still in spiritual slavery, who have yet to embrace Jesus, their very own Messiah.

Your brother,

Mitch

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Understanding the Significance of Purim

Jewish people around the globe will celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim for two days beginning Saturday evening March 11 and concluding Sunday evening March 12.

This is one of my favorite holidays as it focuses on God’s faithfulness and the preservation of the Jewish people during a difficult and dark season.

The original story of the Purim holiday, found in the Book of Esther, describes the ways in which Queen Esther and her “smart-as-a-fox” uncle, Mordecai, outwitted the evil Haman and shifted the balance of Persian power, enabling the Jewish people to survive an attempt to destroy them.

Purim is a joyous festival and loved by young and old. We put on plays, children dress up as Esther, Mordecai, and even Haman, and we eat what is called “hamantaschen,” a delicious cookie filled with fruit and supposedly shaped like either Haman’s hat or ears!

An Expression of Hope

Along with these joyous expressions of deliverance and hope, the message of accountability for how Israel and the Jewish people are treated should be sobering to us all.

I believe the most stunning and bone-chilling line in the inspired story is when the fate of evil Haman, who had tried desperately to destroy the Jewish people, is described.

Then Harbonah, one of the eunuchs who were before the king said, “Behold indeed, the gallows standing at Haman’s house fifty cubits high, which Haman made for Mordecai who spoke good on behalf of the king!” And the king said, “Hang him on it.” So they hanged Haman on the gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai, and the king’s anger subsided. (Esther 7:9-10)

Haman dies on the very gallows he had built for Mordecai. This is an epic end to the life of a man who had made himself an enemy of God by becoming an enemy of the Jewish people.

This is a timeless principle attached to a covenant that has never been rescinded or changed (Genesis 12:1-3)! When individuals or nations curse the Jewish people, it is implied that they could be cursed with similar judgments brought upon the children of Israel for their disobedience (Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28).

I am not suggesting that judgment will fall upon those who disagree with Israel’s leaders over an aspect of policy. This is expected and since Israel is a democratic nation, dissent is woven into the very fabric of the modern state.

I am referring to something deeper. We are expected to have a fundamental respect and love for Israel and the Jewish people. Perhaps the Apostle Paul expressed the rationale for this heartfelt attitude when he wrote,

From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (Romans 11:28-29)

This means we must reject the idea that God no longer has a plan for His chosen people, and practically speaking we must reject any suggestion that the Jewish people do not have a biblical right to the Land of Israel. As the spiritual sons and daughters of Abraham, we cannot affirm one part of our inheritance while denying another.

Purim Today 

We must also oppose any hint of antisemitism, which is making an unfortunate comeback in our present day. In fact, the Jewish people are still threatened by Persia — as in the story of Esther:

Iran is the new face of ancient Persia. Unfortunately, the threats to Israel and the Jewish people do not end with Iran: almost every fundamentalist and radical Islamic movement in the world today, from ISIS to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, are intent on seeking the destruction of the state of Israel and the Jewish people.

The potential danger to the Jewish community and Israel extends to the West as countries like France, England, and even the United States are also afflicted by the rise of a new grass-roots antisemitism that has Israel in its crosshairs.

I do see some immediate hope for the future as the European Parliament finally produced a statement condemning modern day Iranian antisemitism. According to a report in the Jerusalem Post, 

With 590 in favor, 67 against and 36 abstentions, lawmakers at a plenary in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday overwhelmingly backed the amendment, put forward by Dutch Liberal parliamentarian Marietje Schaake, that the house “Strongly condemns the Iranian regime’s repeated calls for the destruction of Israel and the regime’s policy of denying the Holocaust.”

European Jewish Congress President, Dr. Moshe Kantor, expressed great enthusiasm over the statement saying:

“We welcome this amendment, as it is essential to couple Iran’s extremism, Holocaust denial and call for genocide with its nuclear program and relations with the international community. It is vital that Iran is pressured to improve its human rights record and belligerency towards Israel and the region before the European Union resets its relations with the Islamic Republic.”

We live in perilous times and yet we also live in times of great opportunity. Jesus told us what to do in a world that is far from its Creator and in need of redemption. He calls us to be a light to the nations beginning with the Jew first and also to the Gentile (Romans 1:16). 

God Is Working Among Jewish People Today

Thanks to the love and compassion partners like you have for Jewish people everywhere, we are seeing God’s Spirit at work. With your help:

  • We are reaching out to elderly Holocaust survivors.
  • We are engaging secular Israelis through our online campaigns.
  • We are touching the lives of young adults and families through our new Tel Aviv Messianic Center.
  • We sponsor trips to India, New Zealand, and Latin America where Israelis are traveling. We meet them with love and the Gospel message!
  • We are planting Messianic congregations.
  • We are working on campuses, teaching Bible studies, and much more through our Brooklyn Center in the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn, and in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston, where there are large Jewish communities.
  • We are now in 18 countries and 25 cities in North America and we are officially 123 years old as a ministry. I know…we do not look that old!

Again, we live in perilous and difficult times…just like the days of Queen Esther and Mordecai. But, we serve an all-powerful God who gives us a message of forgiveness and hope for His ancient people. Thank you for helping to share it with Jewish people today!

May God bless you for caring, and for your prayers and support.

Mitch

Leave a comment

Filed under Anti-Semitism, Holidays & Festivals