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Jesus the Messiah in Seder night and the story of the Four Sons

Image: Wikimedia

On Monday evening, millions of Jewish families worldwide gathered around the Seder table to commence the seven-day celebration of Israel's exodus from Egypt with a festive feast. Among the biblical commandments, observing the Seder is one of the most universally practiced traditions, embraced by believers and atheists alike, encompassing almost everyone who identifies as Jewish. In contrast to the primarily synagogue-centered nature of other Jewish holidays, this one is specifically a family celebration, with three or four generations gathering around the festive table.

For Messianic Jews, the biblical narrative of the collective liberation from Egypt is intertwined with the concept of rebirth through the redemptive death of Yeshuah HaMashiach - Jesus the Messiah. This symbolism signifies personal liberation from the inherited bondage of human nature. Every believing parent desires their children to encounter this miracle of liberation and rebirth, embracing it as their own celebration.

One of the notable passages from the Haggadah, traditionally recited during the Seder evening, is the story of the Four Sons: the Wise, the Wicked, the Simpleminded, and the One Who Cannot Even Ask Questions. The text illustrates the diverse relationships of family members to their parents' faith, as well as to family and collective tradition.

The Wise seeks deeper understanding and poses relevant questions, demonstrating openness to answers and a hunger for detailed learning. In contrast, the Wicked's questions are dismissive, indicating a rigid detachment from the community. He appears to be hopelessly trapped in his world. Let us approach him with patience and gratitude, rejoicing in his participation in the family celebration, and thanking God for his presence.

The Simpleminded's questions may be superficial, but he listens with curiosity to the miraculous stories of freedom from slavery. Let us continue to recount the wonders of God's saving power, knowing that these stories may one day become rich with meaning and significance for him as well.

Then there is the 'One Who Cannot Even Ask.' Perhaps because he is still so young, or for other reasons, but everything is new to him. It is important that he also hears and learns the biblical narrative of Israel's liberation from Egypt, the symbolism of the Passover lamb pointing to Jesus's death as the cause of the ultimate Passover, through which God's grace reaches all people, offering them freedom from the bondage of sin.

This year's Passover won't pass without every family reflecting on the Israeli hostages held by terrorists for over half a year, their loved ones, and all the grieving families on both sides. In our holiday prayers, let's also remember the masses displaced by the war in Israel and Gaza, those suffering in the Ukrainian-Russian conflict, and all those worldwide in need of redemption from the bondage of sin.

On our celebration of freedom and redemption today, let us express gratitude for God's liberating power, which is evident throughout Israel's past and present, as well as in our personal lives, and for His promises for the future. Because Jesus the Messiah came to seek and preserve what was lost due to original sin: humanity's direct relationship with God, which serves as the foundation of genuine freedom and peace.

Yehuda is a former mathematics and science teacher in Israel's first accredited Messianic school, based in Jerusalem, holding academic degrees in mathematics, physics, and philosophy. He joined the ALL ISRAEL NEWS staff in August 2023.

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