For those that keep The Passover or have attended a seder, a Passover service, perhaps you have seen or are familiar with what is known as ‘The Cup of Elijah’. Many traditional jewish seders will have a place set for ‘Elijah the Prophet’, and there are many that will not, and the reasons for or against are as varied and different as there are sects within Judaism. But in the midst of all the debate and discussion concerning the ‘whys’ and ‘why nots’, there is one underlying theme on which most will agree – Elijah precedes and heralds the coming of HaMoshiach, The Messiah, a belief that is supported by Scripture.
If you attend the Passover service within the ‘believing’ community, (those that believe in and accept Yeshua of Nazareth as the Promised Messiah) you will find much the same variance concerning ‘Elijah’s Cup’. Have you ever pondered the presence of a cup on the Passover table that ‘anticipates’ the coming of the one who heralds the coming of Messiah? And Yes, we are aware that perhaps ‘Elijah’ or at least one in his spirit and power may very well precede Yeshua’s Return, but should we not be mindful of the message we project by the things we do? If we have taken on the traditions and customs of others, must we not be mindful of the original intent and purpose behind those traditions and customs? Is not that the reason many have walked away from long-standing religious and cultural traditions and customs because we have come to understand the original intent and purpose behind them? Should we not exercise the same ‘equal weights and measures’ in all these matters?
If Rhonda and I, as teachers and leaders, set a place for Elijah the Prophet at our seder gathering (nothing against Elijah), what message have we projected to those from whence came the tradition and custom as well as to those not well grounded in The Scriptures? Are there not those, both native-Israeli and gentiles alike, that profess there is no Messiah or that Moshiach has not yet appeared? But What’s The Word Say?
“(The angel Gabriel speaking to Zecharias) “And it is he who will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous; so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”” (Luk 1:17)
“And He (Yeshua) answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things; 12 but I say to you, that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist.” (Mat 17:11-13)
So as we enter the season of Unleavened Bread (for in this season we were brought of bondage by the work of Messiah Yeshua), may we be mindful of why we do what we do, and, to consider the advice of one wiser than we are . . . ‘Preach the Gospel . . . use words when necessary . . .’ Shalom –