Christians Join Israelis in Observing Passover in Israel

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Adrienne S. Gaines

Many Christians living in Israel joined with Jewish
families Monday evening to celebrate the Passover while others prepared their own seder dinners in honor of the holiday.

“We’ve been here
12 years now and almost every year we get invited to a seder with a
Jewish family and we rarely turn it down. It’s just a special time,”
David Parsons, spokesman for the International Christian Embassy
Jerusalem (ICEJ), told Travelujah, describing participation in an Israeli seder
as a privilege.

first experienced Passover in Israel in 1983. He recalled walking
around around Tiberias at  11 p.m. and noticing that all the children
were awake. It was then he realized the significance of a 3,500-year-old
tradition still being played out annually on a national level.

“It struck me as
probably the most important Jewish family holiday of the year,” he said.

The ICEJ makes
sure that all of its volunteers from overseas has a seder to go to,
whether at a congregation or someone’s house, Parsons said.

“A lot of the
Christians who move here are already interested in their Hebraic roots
so [for them] it is a very natural thing,” he said. “They realize there
is a rich spiritual legacy in the seder meal for us to draw from.”

Living in Israel
enhances one’s spiritual walk with the Lord according to many Christians
who have spent time in the Holy Land. Andre Tischer, who is from Germany, has
lived in Israel for about four years now and said since he’s been here his
own faith has leaped forward.

Tischer told
Travelujah that before he came to Israel he only celebrated Passover
once. Now, he and his wife Hanna, from Finland, are conducting their own
biblical seder, based on Leviticus 23:5-6, on Tuesday, which they
believe is the biblical date for the festive meal.

Had he not moved
to Israel, “I cannot say I would have such a connection with my biblical
roots, also with Christianity, the language, the origin, especially
being rooted in Jerusalem,” he said “To live here you are so close to
God’s people, you live prophecy. All around what you see is a living
prophecy, a fulfilled prophecy.”

For their seder,
Andre and Hanna, plus their weeks-old daughter Tziona Eden, will use a
Messianic Hagadah and serve a biblical menu of lamb, bitter herbs and
unleavened bread. After the seder they will pray then watch the movie Prince of Egypt.

“We don’t
consider ourselves as [just] Christians, but as grafted in,” Andre said,
explaining that they follow Torah guidelines and identify with the
nation in which they live. The family also clears the house of hametz,
leaven and observes the Sabbath.

Parsons explains
that it is not strange for Christians to have such a strong connection
to Passover, especially as it usually falls near the same date as Easter
and to Christians the two events are connected. Many Christians
believe that Jesus celebrated the Passover meal the night before he was

“Because of the
Last Supper, it is very important to Christians to capture in our faith
the Jewishness of Jesus at the seder,” he said

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