The Passover Question About Good Friday

why night different

Part of the Passover Seder is the reading of the Four Questions. Usually this is done by the youngest boy, but when I was a child, my siblings were too young, so it was my job to recite – in Hebrew – the Four Questions. It is actually one question with four answers.

Ma nishtanah halailah hazeh mikol haleilos?
Why is this night different from all other nights?
.

The answers:

On all other nights we eat leavened products and matzah,
and on this night only matzah.
On all other nights we eat all vegetables,
and on this night only bitter herbs.
On all other nights, we don’t dip our food even once,
and on this night we dip twice.
On all other nights we eat sitting or reclining,
and on this night we only recline.
.

When I saw the movie, “The Passion of the Christ” several years ago, I was struck by one scene in particular, an ordinary scene that would not stand out to most of the viewers. In her home, Mary, the mother of Jesus, conversationally asked, “Ma nishtanah halailah hazeh mikol haleilos?” The subtitles displayed the familiar words I already understood, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” 

It was a lightbulb moment for me. I had known the question in the context of the Passover Seder, the Exodus, the familiar story from from childhood. Now I heard it in the context of the imminent betrayal of my Messiah.

This night was different from all other nights because the sacrifice would be made for the sins of the world, past, present and future.

This night was different because Scripture’s prophesies were about to be fulfilled.

This night was different because the world would be forever changed. <<click to tweet>>

That’s why we call it Good Friday. It is a night different from all other nights. It was the night that we were redeemed.

Tonight, if you attend a Good Friday service, remember the question “Why is this night different from all other nights.” More importantly, remember the answer!

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