Elijah’s Cup

Page No.15

We mentioned on a previous page that each person has their own cup of fruit of the vine to drink from at the Passover table. At the same time, there’s one extra cup set on the table that we don’t drink from, called Elijah’s Cup. In a traditional Passover Seder, Elijah’s Cup is filled, and placed on the table. At a certain point, after dinner, it is traditional to open a door for a few minutes, in the hope of Elijah the prophet coming to join the Seder.

What’s the reason for all of this? Let’s recall the last verses of the last chapter of the last book of the Hebrew Scriptures, the book of Malachi: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

The belief is that, if Elijah does come, then he will usher in the coming of the Messiah. In fact, when the door is opened for Elijah, the following song is sung:

Eliyahu Hanavi, Eliyahu hatishbi Eliyahu, Eliyahu, Eliyahu hagiladi. Bimhera b'yamenu yavo elenu Im mashiah ben David, Im mashiah ben David.

..which, translated, means:

Elijah the prophet, Elijah the Tishbite, Elijah the Gileadite. Come speedily and in our day. Come to us, Messiah, son of David.

You see, built into the Passover is an inherent understanding that there is more to the celebration than an acknowledgement of the past. There is the recognition that the redemption of the Jewish People from the physical bondage of Egypt is a picture of the ultimate redemption which would come through the Messiah. No one knows for sure, but one can only speculate about the cup Jesus drank from. Did He take Elijah’s cup, signifying that Messiah had indeed come?

Jesus and The Passover
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Jesus and The Passover (CD or VHS)