As we read the story of Passion week, we often bump into scenes that don’t quite make sense. A few pieces of historical data can shed a lot of light on this story.
The people who called for Jesus’ crucifixion were not the same crowd as those who hailed him as Messiah. Those who taunted him were corrupt priests and Roman soldiers. Jesus was as popular with the masses at his death as he was at his triumphal entry.
Part III: Prophecies Fulfilled [Start at Part I] During the week of the Passion God was fully in control, allowing evil men to put to death his righteous Son. Even the details that we may not have known are actually part of what was prophesied about the coming of the Messiah, and they show […]
If you’ve ever been part of a traditional Passover, you’ve sung a song called Dayenu (die-AY-nu). You may think of it as an upbeat children’s song, but its actually an ancient liturgy that brims over with profound wisdom. The earliest known copy dates from before 900 AD, and some scholars think it’s far older than […]
As often as you’ve read the prophecy of Jesus’ suffering in Isaiah 53, you’ll be shocked at the implications of one widely overlooked line.
We talk about Jesus as the true lamb of Passover, but moderners have a hard time imagining what that means. We have no mental imagery of what a Temple sacrifice ceremony was like. We know that the disciples joined crowds of other worshipers in the Temple to sacrifice a lamb, which they roasted and ate […]
Yesterday night, Jews around the world sat down to celebrate the Passover Seder meal. At the same time, they also began the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which lasts seven days. Still today Jewish people make a great effort to observe the commandment to remove all leaven from their homes and eat only unleavened food for […]
The “Night of Watching” (Leil Shimurim – ley-EEL shi-mur-EEM) is the name of the night after the Passover feast, when God redeemed Israel by slaying the firstborn sons of Egypt (Exodus 12:42). In Jewish tradition, it is said that “just as God redeemed his people on this night, so he will one day redeem them […]
As Passover and Holy Week approach, we are reminded once again to celebrate God’s amazing acts of redemption on our behalf. First he redeemed Israel from slavery in Egypt, and Christ redeemed us from death through his atoning sacrifice for our sins. What are the implication of these holy days for the rest of the […]
Some people have rejected Christmas and Easter because of their origins. But the examples of the standing stone and bronze serpent shed light on whether a practice is “pagan” in God’s eyes.
Prior to celebrating our Passover Seder, I had always thought the crowds unimaginably fickle, cheering Jesus one day and then shouting for his head the next. But Jesus’ supporters never changed their minds. The entire plot unfolded in the wee hours, after the late-evening Passover feast had ended, while most people were sound asleep.