The message of Passover is not simply one about God delivering His people Israel thousands of years ago. It is also about God delivering His people today. The Passover Seder begins looking back (in time) to Pharoah and the pyramids. It begins by celebrating what God did in the past, but after dinner it changes direction.
A person opens the door to see if Elijah is there waiting to join their Seder. If he’s not there, the person calls out, “Come out, come out wherever you are. Elijah you are our special guest of honor. We want you to join us tonight. Look, we’ve made a special cup and your name is written on it. It’s the prettiest cup on the table. We have some horse radish, charoset and matzah waiting for you. We also have a glass of Manischewitz Wine poured for you.” People have always known that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
Why do we invite Elijah to our Passover Seder? Elijah was not in Egypt during the time of slavery. He didn’t grow up with Moses. Elijah and Moses did not graduate from Pharoah High School together. What’s so special about Elijah?
As I thought about it, it’s not really Elijah people want. It’s what Elijah will do for us. It’s about who Elijah will bring with him. Elijah never died; he was physically taken up to heaven. People want Elijah to come because he will come back to earth, and when he does, he will bring the Messiah.
Once we invite Elijah to our Seder we are no longer looking back in history, but ahead to the future. Then we drink more cups of wine. The cups of wine were added to the Seder to remind us of the promises of God found in Exodus 6.
The fourth of cup reminds us of God’s promise: “I will take you for My people.” The 3rd cup reminded us that God will redeem or purchase us. When He does, we are His possession and belong to Him; He is Adonai our Lord and Master. This is important, but God wants more out of our relationship with Him. He wants to take us to be His bride. God purchased or redeemed Israel so He could marry them at Mt. Sinai.
Then Exodus 6 contains one more promise. This means we need to drink 5 cups (not 4). God’s 5th promise is: “I will bring you into the land.” God did not simply bring Israel out of Egypt. He did not just marry them at Mt. Sinai. God did not have their honeymoon last forever. After “enjoying” a 40-year honeymoon in the wilderness, God brought His bride home to Israel.
Israel was passing through Sinai on their way home. We too are passing through earth on our way home to heaven. We are foreigners and strangers on earth so don’t get too comfortable here. Yeshua is preparing our eternal home. Once it is ready, He will get us to bring us home. We end the Seder declaring, “Next year in Jerusalem.” It’s not just earthly Jerusalem we’re longing for, but the heavenly Jerusalem. Thank God for what He did in the past and look forward to what He promises to do in the near future. May we all be together next year in (the heavenly) Jerusalem!
Ron Goldberg is a Jew who belongs to Jesus. He regularly speaks to all denominations and faiths about his spiritual journey. Ron was raised as a traditional Jew and was sent to deprogramming by his parents and rabbi in hopes of getting him to reject Yeshua (Jesus). He shares how he met the Jewish Jesus and helps other people meet the Jewish Jesus. Have you met the Jewish Jesus?