For a long time, I did not think that Jewish holidays had anything to do with my Christian faith.
Until…my Sunday school class did a video series on the biblical holidays. It opened my eyes and tugged on my heart to learn more.
After doing some research, I really wanted my family to follow these biblical holidays.
Jesus was Jewish. When I told my children this, they were shocked! And I took note that I had missed out on teaching them a valuable lesson. I wanted to change that.
As a Christian, I do not share in the Jewish heritage, but I am grafted into the vine of his family.
Romans 11:17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root.
There are three of the four spring holidays celebrated within an eight-day period. So planning is essential!
These three holidays are the Passover (sacrifice), Unleavened Bread (burial), and First Fruits (resurrection), which portray the death and resurrection of Jesus.
This post is all about the details that surround Passover.
There are no set rules for the order. As Christians, we must not get caught up in legalism, but in the meaning and the focus of our heart.
You can choose a simple meal with no specific readings.
You can choose to follow the traditional seder outline.
We have decided to follow a Messianic Haggadah that will go through blessings and readings.
Just do not get caught up in doing everything perfect. Pray and trust. And give it a try!
Passover is from the Hebrew word Pesach, which means passing over or protection. This comes from the instructions given to Moses in Exodus 6:6-8. This is truly the real beginning of all spiritual life.
Without the Israelites being saved, there would be no basis for the Messiah, no hope for our sins, and no deliverance from evil. This is certainly a momentous occasion to celebrate.
Seder means “order”, and this dinner celebration in which the narrative of the Exodus is related and prayers of thanksgiving are offered up for God’s protection.
How to Set Up A Seder Plate:
We have chosen to have one Seder plate as a representation of this holiday.
Salt Water – Represents the tears of slavery. The parsley is dipped into this water.
Sprigs of Parsley – Symbolizes new life for Jewish people, as well as the hyssop used to sprinkle blood on the door post.
Ground Horseradish Root – Maror – This is the bitter herbs mentioned in Exodus 12 that represents the bitterness of bondage.
Haroset – Mixture of apples and nuts. Represents the mortar the Israelites used to build the Egyptian cities.
Lamb Shank Bone- Symbolizes the lamb eaten before the Israelites fled Egypt.
Roasted Egg – Symbol of life
Romaine Lettuce – The second portion of bitter herbs
For the Meal:
Besides the food, there are a few more items you will need for your Seder meal.
You will want to choose a Haggadah.
We use this printable version from A Holy Experience.
There an easy to follow Haggadah in my favorite biblical holiday resource. Find it here.
This is a printed version that I have heard great things about.
Matzah – bread without leaven. This symbolizes the hurry that the Hebrews left Egypt.
I found this gluten free option on Amazon.
Juice of the Vine – Wine or Grape Juice. Four cups of wine or grape juice. The Cup of Sanctification, the Cup of Judgment, the Cup of Redemption, and the Cup of the Kingdom.
Tableware. If you have nice china, this is the time to break it out. Everyone will need a plate for dinner and a glass for wine or grape juice.
This is the Seder plate that we will use for this meal. I will have one Seder plate to represent this portion of the meal.
Pitcher, Bowl, & Towel for hand washing
Matzah Cover – Three pieces of matzah will go in this cover.
2 Candles & Matches
Now, why do you need all of these items?
Great question. I was overwhelmed when I started researching a Seder dinner.
But do not worry. I will guide you through step by step. I will also give you a free printable timeline to keep you on track.
For your Passover Seder meal, the Haggadah will guide you through each step with more detail.
Let me take a moment and run you through a quick Seder meal:
The woman of the household lights the candles and says a blessing.
The Seder Plate is displayed. Every part of Passover paints the portrait of our redemption in Christ. This would be an excellent time to explain each element of the plate.
The opening begins with a call to remembrance, which is followed by the toasting of the first cup, the Cup of Sanctification. Everyone will need to have the juice of the vine in their cup for this first toast.
The leader washes his hands. He then dips the parsley into the salt water and distributes to everyone at the table.
The leader takes the middle Matzah and breaks it into two, one piece larger than the other. The larger piece is wrapped in a linen napkin, and the smaller piece is put back into the middle of the Matzah cover.
The children close their eyes and the leader goes and hides the bread wrapped in linen, known as the Afikoman. This is a Greek word that means “that which comes after.” Just as Jesus was hidden in the tomb for three days and three nights, after dinner, we will search for the Afikoman. Whoever finds will receive an award.
One of the children asks “Why are we eating unleavened bread, or matzah, tonight?”
We eat the matzah to remember Jesus, who died for our sins. Yeast represents the pride and sin that inflates our hearts. We remember Jesus, who was without sin.
Next, question by a child, “Why are we eating bitter herbs?”
These are the bitter herbs to remind us of the bitterness of the cruel slavery of the Israelites. And as Christians, it reminds us of the many who have suffered and the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for us.
The matzah is dipped into the bitter herbs and eaten.
The third question asked by one of the children. “Why tonight do we dip our herbs twice?”
The green reminds us of the new life that we have in Jesus. The parsley is dipped first into the salt water to represent the hyssop branches that were used to spread blood over the doorpost to protect the Israelites. As Christians, this also reminds us of the cost of Jesus sacrifice on the cross as Christ drank bitter vinegar on the cross.
The parsley is dipped again, this time in the dish of haroset, which is made of apples and raisins. This is done because we have been rebirthed into His hope.
The Passover Story is read here.
As the plagues are recited in the Passover story, it is fun for everyone to dip their finger into the second cup of grape juice or wine. Place one drop on the plate for a total of ten drops every time a plague is mentioned.
After the story is read, the second cup, the Cup of judgment is blessed and drank. The BIG story here is that Jesus drank from the Cup of Judgment so we would be saved.
It is now time for the eating of the Matzah, which is dipped into the bitter herbs. The Matzah is also dipped into the haroset.
It is then time for the special Passover dinner to be served.
Our Passover Dinner Menu: (a recap!)
Even though the dinner is finished, the Seder is not over. It is time for the third cup of wine, the Redemption Cup. After the blessing, everyone drinks from the third cup.
The fourth cup is the Cup of the Kingdom. This cup is not drunk. This cup reminds us that Jesus did not drink the wine offered to Him as He was crucified. We too choose to wait and have this special cup with our Savior when Christ returns, or we are with Him in His Kingdom.
The Seder is concluded. The children go and search for the Afikoman. The winner receives a small prize!
Yes, I know. That is A LOT. But wow the symbolism and the heritage is breathtaking.
All you will need to follow along is a Hagaddah, the checklist, and this post.
You have got this!