Don’t Settle for Only Half of the Passover Story

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Rabbi Eric Tokajer

Every year in homes all over the world, Jewish people will gather with their family and friends around their tables for their annual Passover Seders where they will read from the Bible and tell the story of Israel’s exodus from Egypt.

They will remind their families of the powerful way that G-D used the 10 plagues and the parting of the sea to redeem His people from their bondage in slavery.

Believers in Yeshua, both Jewish and non-Jewish, will also be gathering to celebrate Passover and they will also gather around their tables and tell the story of the Exodus. However, they will not only share the powerful message of redemption through the blood of the lamb that was slain in Egypt, they will also share the message of redemption through the blood of the Lamb slain in Jerusalem, Yeshua (Jesus).

While the observance of Passover provides the narrative of both of these redemption stories, almost all Passover Seders focus their attention on G-D’s redemption of His people from something. In the case of Egypt, G-D redeemed His people from slavery, and in the case of Yeshua, G-D redeemed His people from sin.

However, neither narrative ends with the “redemption from.” They both include a “redemption to” narrative. The children of Israel were not just redeemed from Egypt; they were also redeemed to the Promised Land. Likewise, those who have been redeemed from sin and death have been redeemed to righteousness and eternal life.

When we only share the redeemed from narrative without the redeemed to narrative, we are not only sharing half of the story, we are also opening the door to bad theology. Let me explain.

The entire story of the Exodus from Egypt tells the whole story of our redemption through Yeshua. The narrative begins with the children of Israel in slavery crying out for deliverance, just as our story begins with our recognition of our slavery to sin and crying out for deliverance. G-D heard their cry and provided a miraculous deliverance through the blood of the lamb, just as He did for us through the blood of the Lamb, Yeshua. Then G-D led them through the waters of the Red Sea, which the Bible says was a type of immersion or baptism.

Then G-D led Israel to Mount Sinai, gave them the Torah, and they entered into a covenant and committed to walk in His ways. After our redemption in Yeshua, we also enter into a covenant and commit to walk in His ways. Then Israel traveled from Sinai to the Promised Land, just as after entering into the covenant with G-D through Yeshua, we must walk out our lives until we are saved in our Promised Land, The world to come, also known as heaven.

The problem with just telling the “redeemed from” part of the narrative, we rob people of the understanding that the full redemption of G-D isn’t completed until the “redeemed to” takes place. It is this focus upon only the redeemed to part that makes it so difficult for people to understand the words of Yeshua in Matthew 24:13:

“But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

You see, there were Israelites who were redeemed from Egypt who broke their covenant promises to G-D and never made it into the Promised Land. They were redeemed from, but were never redeemed to.

Those of us who have accepted Yeshua as the Lamb have been redeemed from Egypt/sin and have entered our covenant with G-D. However, we are still on our journey through our wilderness, on our way to being redeemed to our Promised Land. And the one who endures to the end will be saved.

The danger in telling only the redeemed from part of the story is that those who participate in the redeemed to part don’t understand that being redeemed isn’t the end of the story, being saved is.

This year, as we gather to tell the story, let’s not only focus on the past miracle of being redeemed from; instead, let’s also focus on the miracle of being redeemed to.

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Eric Tokajer is the author of “Overcoming Fearlessness”, “What If Everything You Were Taught About the Ten Commandments Was Wrong?,” “With Me in Paradise,” “Transient Singularity,” “OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry,” “#ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer,” “Jesus Is to Christianity as Pasta Is to Italians” and “Galatians in Context.”

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