St Mark’s Church in Forest Gate welcomes Jews for Jesus for Passover dinner
PUBLISHED: 15:05 24 April 2014 | UPDATED: 16:32 24 April 2014
Christians and Jews came together for a Passover service in a Forest Gate church ahead of Easter.
St Mark’s Church in Lorne Road welcomed Julia Pascoe, director of Jews for Jesus in the UK, a group of Jewish people who believe Jesus was the messiah.
About 120 people, including worshippers from five Newham churches, attended the meal on April 14 – the first night of Passover – to hear Ms Pascoe lead a special Seder meal for the congregation.
The Jewish festival, which falls at the same time as Easter, marks the Biblical story of the Jewish exodus from slavery in Egypt to their gaining their freedom and heading for the “promised land”.
Ms Pascoe explained through the meal how Jews for Jesus believe the various parts of the service point forward to the coming of Jesus.
She said: “For Jews for Jesus, part of our ministry is to share Jesus’s fulfilment of the Passover within church.
“We were invited by Rev Peter Stow at St Mark’s, and it was a messianic seder service.
“I demonstrated Christ in the Passover and how Easter marks Jesus becoming the Passover lamb.
“Remember, the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus fulfils that 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem. The blood of the lamb was to be the atonement of our sins.”
Asked what the difference is between being a Jew for Jesus and a Christian, Ms Pascoe said: “In terms of faith, it’s the same.
“I’m Jewish, I’m 100 per cent Jewish, but I’m 100 per cent Christian.
“Christian means to believe that Jesus is the messiah. It’s not an ethnicity. If you believe Jesus was the messiah, that makes you a Christian.”
She added: “My faith is Christianity, the same as Rev Peter’s faith. I happen to be from a Jewish background.
“We believe Jesus died for our sins and he rose from the dead. The thing that makes us different is our origins.”
Ms Pascoe said holy week is the busiest time of year for Jews for Jesus, as they celebrate both Passover and Easter.
Of the event in Forest Gate, she said: “It went very well. Everybody there was very enthusiastic.
“We would like to thank Rev Peter and everyone in his congregation. We’re very grateful that St Mark’s have opened up their hearts to the whole of Jews for Jesus.”
Mr Stow said: “It was a really good evening. It was a sort of fellowship.”
For more information visit stmarksforestgate.org.uk and jewsforjesus.org.uk.