New Hope Notes
Feasting With Jesus
Pastor Alex Michel and Pastor Jon Burgess
PASTOR JUSTIN SMITH: Today, we start a brand new series called, The Table, and we are so excited about it. We have a very special guest speaker, Pastor Alex Michel from New Hope Town, who will teach us about the Passover Feast and prepare our hearts for Easter and Communion. Take a look at this:
[Video] PASTOR JON BURGESS:
Aloha, New Hope! Let me tell you about our brand new sermon series called, The Table, about the Presence of God, The People of God, and Food. Food is my love language and it turns out, it’s also God’s love language!
Colossians 2:16-17 (NIV) says, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.”
Paul is saying that the Old Testament feasts, literally, set the table for us to understand Jesus’ desire from the beginning of creation to have community with His people. The shadow (form) helps us understand who Jesus is and what is in His heart; they are found in the Feasts.
Seven feasts are mentioned in the Bible: The Spring Feasts: Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Pentecost were fulfilled in Jesus’ first coming. The Fall Feasts: Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles will be fulfilled in Jesus’ second coming. The Last Supper with Jesus and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will be when we (God’s people) are in heaven, gathered around the table with food. It’s around the table that we are connected with Christ and with each other. Of the 23 parables in the book of Luke, 15 parables (almost 70%) feature food. We’re created for community through communion. Jesus’ MO (method of operation) to disciple and evangelize people was around the table with food. He wants a relationship with each of us.
Luke 22:13-16 (NIV) says, “They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover. When the hour came, Jesus and His apostles reclined at the table. And He said to them. ‘I have eagerly desired (bursting with joy) to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.’”
The Last Supper is leading to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb; spending eternity with each one of us. He actually wants to hang out with us—not just to put up with us! He also wants us to spend time with each other!
[End of Video with Pastor Jon]
[Seder Meal/Passover Feast with Jewish background music.Hosts Ross and Stef Anderson, Teacher Alex Michel, other pastors and wives seated around the table. Pastor Michel prepares our hearts for the Easter/Resurrection Celebration by explaining what Jesus did for us in the Old Testament and what He is about to do for us in the near future!]
PASTOR MICHEL: I am so blessed to be here with each of you. Moving to Hawaii nearly nine years ago was one of the most beautiful things that has happened to me—learning a beautiful culture, which so radically and beautifully touched our lives. Tonight, I get to share with you (my ohana) part of me. Contrary to appearance, though I’m dark and chocolate on the outside, I’m white and Jewish on the inside. Yes, Oreo cookie (laughter). Although I’m an orthodox, kosher Jew, I was not raised in a Messianic Jewish home. My family came from Europe. I’m wearing what my Jewish grandmother gave me for my Bar Mitzvah when I was 13 years old. God brought me to Himself and to His Son when I was in college.
Tonight, we will be doing something that Jesus did every year of His life and also the very last thing He did—the Seder Meal. We will understand more richly our faith in Yeshua when we actually understand the Jewishness of our Jewish Messiah, as we gather around the Table for Remembrance…
Passover is one of three Holy Days that God commanded all men13 years and older (no matter where he was) to return to either the Tabernacle or the Temple for a specific reason—To Remember! The Jews celebrated the Passover with the same elements that we have here for 1400 year before Jesus came; however, they did not understand that the Passover was to paint a picture of the coming Messiah, so although they actually practiced 1400 times they did not recognize Him when He came. They did not remember!
Purpose For Israel: The Israelites were in slavery for 400 years in Egypt and God delivered them. God’s purpose for delivering Israel was to draw a people to Himself, teach them His ways and give them the stewardship of His Word; they were to live the Torah (Commandments) and become a light to the nations living in sin and darkness, and God would bless them richly!
Passover is a Jewish thing so why, as believers, would we celebrate it? (This may be a shock to you, but Jesus wasn’t a Christian! He was a Jew.) Jesus, our Savior, instituted Communion to follow the Passover Seder.
Luke 22:15-20 (NIV) says, 15 “And he said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.’ 17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’ 19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.’”
He did not just have bread and cup; He also had the elements pictured of what they were to celebrate each year.
We will now unpack the wonderful things they did to remember to focus on the things connected to God:
Table of Communion: Common Union with God, also Community. As we are connected to God, it connects us to one another; we are the people of God. He has given us His Word and Himself.
People of His Presence: The Israelites had thousands of tents in the wilderness and in the middle was the Tabernacle with a flame of fire blowing (not a little flicker—about 50-100 feet tall) by night and a cloud by day. People looking from afar would see that their God dwells in their midst.
The Blessing and The Candles: The very first act in the Passover is the Blessing led by the pious women lighting the candles, represent lighting the way.
Four Glasses of grape juice, representing four promises:
Give thanks to God as Our Promise Maker and Provider. Drink the cup to the full.
Time of Purification: Wash hands as symbol of coming clean before God. The person to the right would dry his hands with a towel (because Jesus put a towel around his waist and washed each of His disciples’ feet to show them this is a purification by water; I’m showing you an example of what it means to serve, to cleanse, and to help one another walk in purity and clarity). The next person would dry the next person’s hands, etc. This would remind us to serve each other and to remember when you come to God—come clean because He is a holy God and we are to be a holy people.
Parsley Reflects Life (God is the giver of life): Break off a piece of parsley and dip in salt water to remember the bitterness of life our ancestors experienced—the bitter tears they suffered under Egyptian rule. Chew and eat the parsley. Remember the life God gives; our life is tied to the Jews with one of bitterness because of the severe slavery they were under.
Selah in Psalms: To pause, consider; let it marinate. This is a truth and if you let it pass by, you will miss it.
Matzos: (Unleavened bread reminds the Israelites how quickly God delivered them out of Egypt. They went to bed as slaves, arose the next morning and walked out as free people of God; He is worthy of being followed!) Three pieces of matzos wrapped in a napkin (reflects unity); take the middle piece of matzos, and hide it in a napkin. After the Seder Meal the children would look for the hidden napkin; the one who finds the broken piece wrapped in napkin gets the reward. Picture: Three in one; middle one broken (Son of God) wrapped in strips of linen; those who recognize the one who was broken and died for us receive a reward. Our God is one God, not three, but He reveals Himself in three persons. Personhood in Israeli and Hawaiian cultures is one who enters into relationship and doesn’t exist apart from them—Three in One!
Lamb (shank): God said there must be a sacrifice—a Passover Lamb—at every Time of Remembrance. By putting the blood of the Lamb on the doorposts and top beams of door, the Angel of Death sees two crosses that reveal the people in the house are believers—and death passes that house!
That Would Have Been Enough! As we recount this story, God delivered the Israelites from Egypt. That would have been enough! And when they got to the Red Sea and the Egyptian army was pursing them, God brought them through the Red Sea! That would have been enough! But when there was no water in the wilderness and they were thirsty, the Lord gave water from the rock. That would have been enough! And when they were hungry, He gave manna from heaven. That would have been enough!
Yeshua always does more than enough! Our God is not satisfied until He brings us into the fullness of His blessings. He could have done this, but He went and did even more!
[End Video. Jewish dance by all present.]
PASTOR JON BURGESS: I hope you have gained a brand new look at how much Jesus loves you; that He came for community and communion to be with you. Take some time this week and go on a walk with Jesus; just talk to Him—spend some time reconnecting with Him and see the sacrifice of Christ in a new light. Besides just connecting time with the Creator, connect with others this week. Next week, invite people from work to your home and see what happens!
PASTOR JUSTIN SMITH: The Passover Feast is a shadow of what is to come. The reality is that we will ultimately see Jesus in His power and authority. His plan is to have community with his people to pursue relationships; He chose us simply because He loves us!
The Israelites went to bed as slaves and woke up the next day as victorious children of God! Passover honors God and reminds me that I am a chosen child of God!
Celebrating Passover helps us to remember that as the blood covered the doorposts for Israel, Jesus’ blood covers our sin! As the Son Rose on Easter, we have a brand new identity!
List five elements of the Seder Meal/Passover that are the most meaningful to you and the reasons you chose them.