Starting with sunset on April 22 this year, until the end of the month, Jewish people will greet each other, “Chag Pesach Sameach!” or simply, “Chag Sameach!”—Happy Holiday. Pesach, or Passover, one of the most important holidays in the Jewish calendar, symbolizes the escape from physical and spiritual slavery. The Passover Seder, a feast in the community or family, involves the retelling of the story of Israel’s exodus from ancient Egypt. This ritual meal also reminds the Jewish people that they were saved by the blood of the lamb, put on the doorposts of their houses. The angel of death passed over the dwellings of God’s people.
Passover has deep significance for Christians as well. Just as the Jewish people relied on the blood of the sacrificial lamb, Christians also rely on the blood of the Lamb—God’s Son— for salvation. As we learn about our identity in Christ this month in Today in the Word, let’s remember the price that Christ paid with His precious blood for our exodus from the slavery of sin and our freedom as His people. Passover is still valid for God’s people, both Jewish and Gentile, and it’s an opportunity for Christians to appreciate the Jewish roots of Christianity.
On December 2, 2015, the Moody community on our Chicago campus honored God’s Word and the Jewish people who helped preserve it. At a special dedication ceremony, attended by students, staff, Moody’s leadership, and many guests including the Consul General of Israel to the Midwest, Moody received a rare original of an eighteenth-century Tunisian Torah scroll.
Dr. Scott Carroll, the curator of the scroll and expert on ancient/medieval manuscripts, explained that the term Torah has a wide range of meanings, one of which is “the embodiment of the teaching of the Law, from Genesis to Deuteronomy, which encapsulates the soul of Judaism.” Due to several factors, perhaps corrections and defects, this particular Torah scroll can no longer be used for Jewish liturgical purposes. But it will be widely used by Moody’s faculty and students of Hebrew to read the story of Exodus so faithfully preserved and retold by the Jewish people through millennia.
To learn more about the donation of the Torah scroll to Moody and the dedication ceremony, please visit our website: moodyglobal.org/news.