It was a late afternoon in April and the good folks of Ohalei Rachamim were making final preparations for the community Passover Seder to be held that evening. I gathered with a crew of volunteers as our event organizer runs through last minute serving instructions. I am responsible for serving the guests at table six … soup then gefilte fish then chicken and rice – got it. I am pre-occupied with the mundane tasks of prep work and food service, I have no idea I am about to witness a miracle.
The two hundred or so guests shuffle in a half hour late (a cultural tradition so familiar in my homeland of Canada). Most guests are from countries of the former Soviet Union. The folks at table six don’t seem too familiar with the Passover ceremony. They help themselves to the ceremonial matzos long before the Hagaddah’s cue to eat.
Eitan Shishkoff is leading the service. He is tying together the deliverance from Egypt, the broken and then hidden Afikomen, the blood of the lamb on the doorposts, and the atoning death of Yeshua. He explains that the meaning of Passover is not so much speculations about which food goes with the matzos and in what order. It is about The Lamb of God whose blood covers us from judgement and delivers us from the slavery of our own sin and guilt. The folks at table six keep on eating …
Towards the end of the service Eitan has a picture of Yeshua and his disciples eating the Passover meal beamed onto the overhead screens in the sanctuary. Eitan points to the picture, “Look at these men; they are not Catholics; they are not Orthodox; they are not Pentecostals. They are Jews, every one of them.”
This moves me deeply. Eitan’s words remind me “The Last Supper” is not essentially a Catholic or even Pentecostal institution. It is the record of a Jewish Messiah celebrating with His Jewish disciples the deliverance portrayed in the broken matzo and the cup of redemption. Eitan asks how many are ready to pray and receive the gift of God to become Yeshua’s disciples. Somewhere around 15 – 20 people raise their hands in acknowledgment – to my amazement, four of them are from table six!
These are Jews from the former Soviet Union. Their cultural background and circumstances have lent to a mindset that allows them to consider the Gospel with less prejudicial baggage than my own family back in Canada. Nevertheless they are Jews; the veil that shrouds our people everywhere had shrouded them too.
The intercession of many and the sovereign grace of God lifted this veil tonight. My eyes fill with tears as I witness first hand the words of the prophet fulfilled: “See, I will bring them from the land of the North…” (Jeremiah 31:8).
You have to understand, these are Jews making a confession of faith in Yeshua. Where I come from, Jewish believers are few and far between. I have been a believer for over 25 years. Prior to this night, the only Jewish salvation experience I had actually witnessed was my own!
What a picture of God’s wisdom, sovereignty and power. The satanic stronghold that was Soviet Communism, so opposed to the Kingdom of God has been used by the King to fulfill His Word; Not only have the sons and daughters come back to the land He promised their forefathers, but they are also returning in their hearts to Him. I can only respond in worship.