“Now as they were eating, Yeshua took bread and after blessing it, broke it and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’” (Matthew 26:26)
Last Readings of Scriptures For Passover
Seventh Day Readings:
Exodus 13:17–15:26; Numbers 28:19–25; 2 Samuel 22
Eighth Day Readings:
Deuteronomy 14:22–16:17; Numbers 28:19–25; Isaiah 10:32–12:6
A Future Passover (Pesach L’atid)
Meal of the Messiah
Tomorrow, on the 8th night of Passover (celebrated outside of Israel), many Jews will eat what has become known as the Meal of the Messiah.
For the past seven days, we have been eating matzah (unleavened bread) and abstaining from all forms of leaven.
“For seven days eat bread made without yeast and on the seventh day hold a festival to the LORD.” (Exodus 13:6)
On the seventh night of Passover, some Jewish people observe the custom of staying awake all night, since this is when the Israelites were believed to be crossing the Red Sea — an event that took all night and demonstrated the miraculous and awesome power of God.
“Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD: ‘I will sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted. Both horse and driver He has hurled into the sea.’” (Exodus 15:1)
This extra eighth day, called Acharon Shel Pesach (Last Day of Passover), is devoted to the Messiah (HaMashiach).
The Torah readings for this day are beautiful Messianic prophecies that promise the Messianic era.
In the Torah, Jewish People around the world will read about some of the festivals that Messiah has already fulfilled and will fulfill when He returns in Deuteronomy 15:19–16:17 and Numbers 28:19–25.
In the prophetic portion (the haftarah), we will read Isaiah 10:32–12:6 that tells us about the Messiah: “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”
Isaiah also says that “the spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.” (Isaiah 11:1–2)
In Jewish tradition, it is believed that the first two days of Passover speak of the past redemption from Egypt, but the last two days of Passover speak of the complete and ultimate redemption through the coming of Messiah.
A meal (seudah) for the Messiah on the eighth day was instituted by Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer (1698–1760), also called Baal Shem Tov. He is considered the founder of Chassidic Judaism, a branch of Orthodox Judaism. The Chassidim bring a lot of JOY to the worship of God within Judaism.
In fact, the Chassidim and Bible-believing Christians express their faith in some similar ways: they have a strong belief in God and desire to connect with Him in a deep spiritual way.
Within Judaism and especially Chasidic teaching, the coming of Messiah, or Moshiach, is a fundamental concept.
It is one of the thirteen foundational principles of the Jewish faith, according to Rambam (an acronym of the name Rabbi Mosheh Ben Maimon), one of the most prolific and well-respected Torah scholars of the Middle Ages:
“I believe with perfect faith in the coming of Messiah; and although he may tarry, even though, I wait every day for his coming.” (Principle 12)
Chabad teaches that “partaking of Moshiach’s Seudah [Messiah’s meal] reinforces our belief in this principle, translating our awareness of Moshiach into a meal, a physical experience which leads us to associate this concept with our flesh and blood.” (from the teachings of Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, Chabad website)
The meal for Messiah is a tangible way to express our faith in His coming.
What Will the Mashiach Do?
The Hebrew term Mashiach means anointed one, from the practice of anointing the kings of Israel with oil; therefore, the Mashiach will be the one anointed as King of Kings in the end of days.
This word is closely related in Hebrew to the word, Moshiach, which means to save; therefore, the Messiah can be both the Anointed One and Savior.
According to Jewish belief, the Messiah will come after a time of war and suffering (Ezekiel 38:16–17), and there are several things that the Messiah, if He is genuine, must accomplish:
- The Messiah will bring about spiritual and political redemption of the Jewish People. He will bring the Jews home to Israel and restore Jerusalem (Isaiah 11:10–12; Jeremiah 23:8, 30:3; Hosea 3:4–5).
“For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to His blessings in the last days.” (Hosea 3:4–5)
- The Messiah will establish and rule over Jerusalem as the center of all world government for Jews as well as Gentiles (Isaiah 2:2–4, 11:10, 42:1).
“In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it…. The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:2–3)
- The Messiah will rebuild the Holy Temple and re-establish Temple worship and sacrifices (Jeremiah 33:17–18).
- The Messiah will restore Jewish law as the rule of the Land and establish a religious court system (Jeremiah 33:15; Isaiah 11:1–5).
- The Messiah will bring peace to Israel and the world (Isaiah 2:2).
“He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:2)
The fact that Yeshua didn’t accomplish most of these ideals or goals when He came 2,000 years ago makes Him unacceptable as Mashiach (Messiah) to the majority of the Jewish People.
And, yet, a large number of Orthodox Jews believe that Messiah has already come in the form of a man.
Are There Other Messiahs?
Throughout Jewish history, many have either claimed to be the Mashiach, or had followers who claimed him as the mashiach: Shimeon Bar Kokhba, Shabbatai Tzvi, and many others. Most of those false messiahs were imprisoned, killed, or converted to various religions to escape punishment or death.
Even today all over Israel, posters proclaim Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson as Melech Mashiach (King Messiah). He is also known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe or just “the Rebbe” among his followers.
Rabbi Schneerson was born in the Soviet Union on April 5, 1902 and became a prominent Chassidic Rabbi — the seventh and last Chassidic leader (rebbe) of the Chabad-Lubavitch sect of Judaism. After the death of his father-in-law in 1951, Schneerson became the leader of the Lubavitch movement until he died in 1994. Although he worked to promote traditional Judaism and moral values and contributed greatly to the worldwide Jewish community, he never announced himself as the Jewish Messiah, as some of his followers claimed.
In fact, Rabbi Schneerson discouraged all such talk as foolish and unfounded.
In contrast, Yeshua clearly and openly proclaimed Himself to be the Messiah that the Jewish People were eagerly anticipating, patiently awaiting and passionately longing for.
When Yeshua met the Samaritan woman at the well, He told her that He was the Messiah.
“The woman said, ‘I know that Messiah’ (called Christ / Mashaich) ‘is coming. When He comes, He will explain everything to us.’ Then Yeshua declared, “I, the one speaking to you — I am He.” (John 4:25–26)
Yeshua also publicly proclaimed His Messianic mission in the synagogue. When He received an aliyah (a call to come up and read from the Torah scroll) in the synagogue on one particular Sabbath day, He was handed the scroll of Isaiah, which He unrolled to the well-known Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 61:1–2:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18–19)
To everyone’s amazement, this simple carpenter, son of Joseph, then rolled up the scroll and sat down, saying, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21)
Recognizing the True Messiah
“The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him.” (Isaiah 11:2)
Jewish people have looked for centuries for a Messianic deliverer who would bring world peace.
With so many false messiahs out there, how can we recognize the true Messiah? How can we be sure that Yeshua (Jesus) is truly the Moshiach or know that someone like Rabbi Schneerson is not?
Yeshua warned us to beware of the numerous false messiahs and false prophets that would arise in the last days, performing signs and wonders to deceive people, even the very elect. Yeshua said,
“Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.” (Matthew 24:4–5)
“At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time.” (Matthew 24:23–25)
The fact that so many people in Israel and around the world believe that the late Rabbi Schneerson is the Messiah is one more sign that we are truly in the end times.
To distinguish the real Messiah from false messiahs, we must rely on the Word of God for answers.
There are over 300 Messianic prophecies in the Jewish Scriptures that describe the real Messiah.
Yeshua’s entire ancestry, birth, character, teaching, ministry, life, death, burial, and resurrection were prophesied by 25 Jewish writers hundreds of years before His birth.
The following is a list of just a few of these, which point to Yeshua as “Mashiach” and disqualify Rabbi Schneerson or other false messiahs:
- He will be born in Bethlehem (Beit-Lechem) (Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:1)
- He will be born to a virgin and will be called God With Us (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23)
- He will be despised and rejected by his own people (Isaiah 53:3, John 1:11, John 5:43)
- He will suffer terribly (Isaiah 53:3, Matthew 26:38)
- He will be pierced and wounded for our sins (Isaiah 53:5, Psalm 22:16, Luke 23:33)
- He will take upon himself the punishment that we all deserve (Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2:24)
- He will not open his mouth in his own defense (Isaiah 53:7, Matthew 27:12–14)
- He will die a violent, premature death (Isaiah 53:8,12, Luke 23:46)
- He will die with the wicked but be buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9, Matthew 27:57–60)
- He will be raised from the dead to life (Psalm 16:10, Acts 2:29–32, Matthew 28:5–6)
- He will sit on the throne of His father, David, and rule forever (Isaiah 9:6–7, Luke 1:30–33)
The Messianic Prophecy Bible will go to great lengths to explain all of these Messianic Prophecies and more so that the Jewish People will be able to read in a Jewish Bible the truth about Yeshua HaMashiach!
Many of these prophecies have already been fulfilled in the true Messiah, Yeshua, such as the Biblical holy day of Passover, with all of its rich symbolism. Others remain to be completed at His second coming. This also will be explained.