This is a photo of our Passover plate. It has a prominent place of display in a glass cabinet in our living room.I believe it is the one item in our home that the children will remember the most. It is my favorite holiday.
Passover begins April 4, 2015.
The Passover meal is called a Seder. Seder means “order.” Every year I fill the plate with the foods listed in the Bible to experience of going from slavery to liberty through the food experiences and story as the meal turns into an elaborate feast.
We tell the story of the first Passover, the Ten Plagues, the sacrifice of the lamb, and the Exodus from Egypt and how each of these thing points the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and our salvation. We also use a Hagaddah , a little booklet with he Passover story. Haggadah means “telling.”
Everything in the Seder is directed toward the prime command from the Bible: And thou shall shew thy son in that day saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt (Exod. 13:8).
Food on the Seder Plate (from Exodus 12)
- Bitter Herbs (usually horseradish) representing the bitterness of bondage
- Shank Bone of a Lamb symbolizes the lamb eaten before they fled Egypt.
- Matzah– must be made solely of special flour and water (no leaven).
Customary foods added later:
- Haroset (it looks unappetizing but is delicious) is a mixture of apples, nuts, grape juice, and cinnamon. It represents the mortar the Israelites used to build the Egyptian cities and the sweetness of a better world.
- Roasted Egg is said to be the symbol of life, but we believe it came in with the pagan fertility rituals. (Our family decided to leave off the egg.)
- Karpas or fresh greens (usually parsley or celery) symbolizes the new life for the Jewish people and the hyssop used to sprinkle blood on the door post. The parsley is dipped into salt water representing the tears of slavery.
We actually begin the feast seven days before the meal. Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread are held in immediate sequence. These are distinctly different holidays falling on different days; however, due to their closeness they are usually treated as one festival.
Leaven is the symbol of all that is unclean and evil and therefore must scrupulously be removed from all houses before the Passover feast. Abstaining from leavened bread for seven days was symbolic of God’s people separating themselves from sin and becoming a holy people and experiencing a holy walk with the Lord.
As we get rid of the leaven in our home we are to examine our lives and root out all that offends.
As the leaven represents sin, the unleavened bread is a symbol of the body of Christ, without sin. The matzah also reminds us of Messiah because it striped and pierced. Our Lord referred to Himself as the bread of God and the bread of life (John 6:33, 35), and he chose the bread of the Passover to the symbolic memorial of His broken body (Luke 22:19).
Just as God fed the children of Israel in the wilderness, His Son now feeds the with the true bread of heaven, Himself.
“Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” John 6:32 -33.
It is also significant that Christ was born in which means “house of bread.”
Our Passover Lamb
John the Baptist introduced Jesus by saying, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29). The Jews had been celebrating Passover for 1,500 years. They understood the significance of John’s statements. Several symbolic clues during Passover are fulfilled in Christ.
- Jesus is the final Passover Lamb sacrificed to free us spiritually from the slavery of the sins just like the lamb had once been instrumental in physical deliverance of Hebrew slaves from bondage in Egypt.
- The Passover celebration is a memorial and tribute to Jesus for his great sacrifice and tortures that he suffered for the mankind.
- The unleavened bread was to represent Jesus’ body and wine to represent his blood and the New Covenant. Jesus himself took the place of the traditional lamb.
Isaiah 53, written hundreds of years before Christ, records the suffering the human lamb would experience.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand (Isa. 53:7-10).
Passover Pronounces Redemption
To believers in Messiah, the Passover feast has a special meaning. Though we are not slaves, as God’s people in Egypt, we were slaves to our sin, our own wants and desires.
Sin was our master until Jesus, the Passover Lamb, delivered us from our Egypt. The lamb slain during Passover is a foreshadow of the redemption we find in Jesus, the Messiah, our Passover lamb.
The principle of redemption is the concept of bondage to the slavery of sin and freedom from its domination (John 8:31-36). To be “redeemed” means to be purchased from slavery. Jesus Christ purchased our freedom with His blood as the payment for the redemption (Ps. 34:22; 1 Peter 1:18,19; Gal. 3:13; Eph. 1:7; 1 John 1:7).
Jesus ate the Passover meal with eleven of His disciples . Just as the priest was to teach, pray, and offer sacrifice, Christ, the High Priest, taught, prayed, and then offered Himself as our sacrifice.
The story does not end with the death of Jesus. His body was placed in a new tomb that belonged to a man named Joseph of Arimathea . The greatest event that separates Jesus from all others is the fact that He overcame death. In three days He rose again and lives today. He arose from the grave on the Feasts of Firstfruits!
On Nisan 17, when Israel emerged from the Red Sea, this emergence was a shadow of the fulfillment of the day of Firstfruits (Lev. 23:9-14). This was the first of Godÿs people to emerge from sin (Egypt). It was fulfilled 1,478 years later on Nisan 17, 30 a.d. when Jesus was resurrected and ascended to heaven as our high priest, the Firstfruit of the resurrected (John 20:17).
An Everlasting Covenant
Numerous New Testament examples show where people were intending to keep the Feasts, were keeping them, and would keep them again the in Kingdom. Those passages include: Luke 2:42; John 5:1; 7:2, 10, 14; 12:20; Matthew 26:2, 17, 29; Acts 18:21; and 1Corinthians 5:8.
So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance. Exodus 12:14
Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.” Exodus 12;24-27
Jesus promised to keep the Passover in the future Kingdom with His disciples, Matthew 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18, 30.
Some believe these verses are for Israel not us. But Galatians says, “If you belong to Christ, the…n you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to promise” (Gal. 3:6-9, 29)
A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays
The above is a tiny sampling from the book A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays
“In 34 years of publishing Messianic Catalogs we have never seen such a creative contribution to the body of Messiah …”
Manny and Sandra Brotman, founder of The Messianic Jewish Movement International