Dayenu: it would have been enough

This year, I got to experience two Passover Sedars.  Both included this song, traditionally sung during the sedar.  It is sung in a pattern: If God had ___, but not (the next thing on the list), dayenu.  Dayenu means “it would have been enough.”  The idea is that any one thing on the list would have been enough.


Five Stanzas of Leaving Slavery

1) If He had brought us out of Egypt.
2) If He had executed justice upon the Egyptians.
3) If He had executed justice upon their gods.
4) If He had slain their first born.
5) If He had given to us their health and wealth

Five Stanzas of Miracles

6) If He had split the sea for us.
7) If He had led us through on dry land.
8 ) If He had drowned our oppressors.
9) If He had provided for our needs in the wilderness for 40 years.
10) If He had fed us manna.

Five Stanzas of Being With God

11) If He had given us Shabbat. (the Sabbath)
12) If He had led us to Mount Sinai.
13) If He had given us the Torah.
14) If He had brought us into the Land of Israel.
15) He built the Temple for us.

The question that remains, however, is “enough for what?”  Certainly, each of these gifts would have been enough for us to praise God and recognize Him for Who He is.

However, none of these would have been enough for our salvation from sin.  According to Romans 5:8-10, we have been justified, saved, and reconciled through Jesus: 

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

The good news of Easter is that Jesus’ death is the ultimate statement of dayenu.  His death was enough- it was the only thing that could ever be enough.  Nothing I do will ever change the enough-ness of His work; all I do should be a humble response to His sufficiency.

So today, as I anticipate Resurrection morning, I remember that Jesus is enough.


2 thoughts on “Dayenu: it would have been enough

  1. Hmm… I think we talked about this at our Seder didn’t we? So much fun that was, I’m so glad you could come. Get better and sweet dreams in the name of Jesus!

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