This week, in Parashat Pesach Matzot-B, God instructs Israel to observe Passover through the generations.
“Observe the month of Aviv and keep the Passover to Adonai your God, for in the month of Aviv[b] Adonai your God brought you out from Egypt by night. C
As a Messianic Believer, one of my biggest struggles was learning how to celebrate Yeshua’s resurrection in a Messianic Jewish context. However, over the years the Lord has taught me how to celebrate Yeshua’s resurrection in an authentic Messianic Jewish way.
Yeshua is ALIVE proclaimed his disciples as they gazed in an empty tomb (Mark 16:1-8). The resurrection of Yeshua is an event that Jewish believers experienced before Christianity even existed. In Messianic Judaism, the resurrection of Yeshua is one of our most treasured truths.
Considering the significance of the resurrection, a celebration of this miraculous event is merited and necessary. However, our faith in Yeshua and our belief in His resurrection sets us apart from the rest of the Jewish community. The death of Yeshua is an extremely sensitive subject to most Jewish people. The subject has been the basis for horrific anti-Semitism. However, I have learned that the best way to heal a wound is to acknowledge that the wound exists and to ask God to heal it.
The resurrection of the Messiah is something Messianic Judaism shares in common with Christianity. However, many Christian traditions were formed at a time when Christianity sought to distance itself from Judaism. Very early in the formation of Christianity, Emperor Constantine asserted, “Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Savior a different way.”
Christianity began as an offshoot of Messianic Judaism. Messiah Yeshua is Jewish and so were most of His early followers. The resurrection of Messiah was an inherently Jewish event. So it is possible to commemorate Yeshua’s resurrection in a Jewish way.
Celebrating Yeshuah’s Resurrection
There are strong indications that the disciples who met together on the “first day of the week” in Acts 20 were meeting on Saturday night and observing a customary meal very much like a Havdalah meal in our day. Therefore, I have found that Havdalah, during Passover, is the perfect time to rejoice that Yeshua Messiah is alive!
The Havdalah ceremony inaugurates each week with the beautiful symbols of a cup of wine, fragrant spices, and the luminescent glow of a multi-wicked candle.
After Havdalah, it is customary to eat a festive meal. Although Shabbat is over, the evening still holds onto the Sabbath’s sweetness and festivity.
Some of our most vivid customs in Judaism occur on Saturday night. In Judaism, nightfall on Saturday is when the first day of the week begins. As I light the Havdalah candle and smell the fragrant spices, I am reminded of the written account of the resurrection of our Messiah. Then, I serve a savory chametz-free meal.
Perhaps celebrating the Lord’s resurrection with Havdalah is not an approach that works for everyone, but it works for me and it helps me to honor the resurrection of Yeshua in an authentic and meaningful Jewish way.
My favorite Havdalah Song – “Yearning” by Yehuda Green:
My favorite Havdalah Celebration Experience – w/the Klatzko Family:
Weekly Scripture Reading
Haftarah Isaiah 10:32 – 12:6
Next Torah Reading: Achrei Mot