Celebrate Passover (Part 1) – {daily reading: joshua 15:20-17:18}

I have gotten several emails inquiring about our children’s devotionals…and I will expand more on ideas later in the week (I am always eager to give families ideas on how to do this…but I, too, always love your ideas—so if you have them please share! Our family is far from perfect and I wouldn’t dare say we have anything figured out, but daily we are trying our best to walk with Jesus in this season of parenting those He has entrusted us to…and without Him—we could do no good thing…we would be tired…and completely out of creativity. I encourage you wherever you are to seek Him deeply…for it will be out of the overflow of Him in your heart—that an outpouring to your family takes place…naturally…because—the passion of Christ is contagious.) I will wait though and share these after Passover…

With Passover beginning sunset on Monday (and lasts 7 days)–I want to share the meaning of Seder—the Passover dinner–and hopefully by the end of the week you will understand this sweet celebration, it’s meaning and even know how to celebrate the Passover with your own sweet families if you so feel led. Because writing about the details of a Seder all in one sitting would be too much for me AND for you;)…I’ll share about it in 4 parts just in time to celebrate yourselves or teach your family about it’s meaning. Our family is planning to do this together next weekend (which I’m so excited and also even a bit nervous about…it’ll be a first for us!)—so this week sharing about it will help my mind and heart prepare for what it really means and not worry so much about the details—and instead focus on meeting Him at the table…

Why would our family want to celebrate the Passover if its a Jewish holiday?

Great question.

My Savior is Jesus—and He is Jewish. And for me—anything to do with Him is enough.

BUT…

This meal was the last supper—as I take part in it with those I love…as I remember Palm Sunday…as I remember the road to Calvary…I remember His last meal…I join in the same feasting He joined in…and I begin to understand the ways of my Savior in a new way.

Still…why celebrate the Passover lamb of the Israelites? I mean…history is just history—right?

Had the Israelites not put the blood of a sacrificied lamb on a doorpost, they would have never entered the Promised Land. The promises of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would have been null. And there would have been no pathway for the Messiah, OUR PASSOVER LAMB! Understanding the Passover…what it means…and taking part in it—is to understand Your Savior and His special people in a new way. He saved the first borns…He brought His first born back to new life after being the sacrificial lamb…and after all that—HE SAVED ME! For this…I want to celebrate!

The hard part of all of this though—is that the Jews…His precious people…missed Him as Savior. Many of our precious friends are Jewish—and if you are one of those and reading this…please know we do not write about Passover and Jesus together to make light of your faith, heritage or history—but to celebrate it…as it was the history of our Savior as believers. And we truly believe that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah who you now wait. I promise…we aren’t crazy. We aren’t brainwashed. We are just sinners saved by grace. We have just come to the alter broken and asked God to help us see truth…and in our journeys we have met Jesus. I know for some it will sound crazy…but Lord willing, if you meet Jesus one day—you, too, will understand. We love you dearly—DEARLY. DEARLY. Truly, we want to sit at the table with you. Because we love you. But we also invite Jesus to our table…because our hearts long for more of Him in our lives. And although we understand His presense at our table as being different from your table—we see that when we invite Him to the table it makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE in the world to the meaning of this meal. When you see the Seder with the Savior at the table…it all begins to make sense—for both the Jew and the Gentile. And He welcomes not only the Jew…but also the Gentile.

Seder – “God directs this special night of the year, to take on the role of teacher, and pass down His story of the exodus from Egypt to future generations. This ceremony not only looks back to the miraculous story of God delivering His people, but it also presents the promise of Messiah’s death and resurrection. It is an exciting experience centering on a mixture of ritual foods. The matzah, bitter herbs, wine, and the rest, provide lasting link through the march of history.” – A Family Guide to Biblical Holidays by Robin Sampson and Linda Pierce

This dinner, Seder, can be celebrated with your family. The host will have a pillow at his chair to lean on…remember all the paintings you have seen of the last supper with Jesus and the disciples leaning? Ever wonder why they lean on one another?? Leaning during the dinner is a sign of free people. Slaves stand. Free people lean. On this special night the people will lean while they eat symbolizing the Israelites freedom from Egypt.

Every plate will have a Haggadah “the telling” (a prayer book) and inside is a script of what the host and the participants will say. The cover of a traditional Haggadah would look like this…

And inside you would find the order of the evening. If you are a believer you would want to follow the Messianic Haggadah which recognizes Jesus as the already coming Savior. You can print off your own Messianic Heggadah as a guide here.

The table is prepared with the Seder Plate and the elements (don’t worry…there is actually a bigger meal other than what is on the Seder Plate during the dinner!). Each element on the Seder plate represents something symbolic in the journey of the Israelites during their enslavement. These elements will be eaten throughout the night during the telling. The Seder plate…

The foods you will find on the Seder plate and their meaning…

Karpas/Fresh Greens (Parsley or celery) dipped in salt water – for new life and the hyssop used to sprinkle blood on doorpost. The salt water reminds us of the tears of the Israelites in bondage.

Roots of Herb (onion) - for our roots being bitter (slaves to Pharaoh) – this will NOT be eaten and stay on the table to remind us of our roots.

Bitter Herbs (horseradish) - for bitterness of bondage

Haroset (yummy mixture of apples, nuts, grape juice, and cinnamon—click here for a yummy sample recipe)- represents mortar of the bricks the Israelites used to build Eqyptian cities during slavery.

Roasted Egg – symbol of life

Shank Bone of a Lamb – symbolizes the lamb eaten before the Israelites fled Egypt.

Matzah – you can buy this already made:) or follow this recipe.

The Four Cups and unleavened bread – (this is for wine or grape juice…we go for grape juice but this is of course up to your family;). We will eat only unleavened bread (without yeast)—yeast represents sin…which “puffs you up”…and this week we will remember the one WITHOUT sin, our Savior. The cups represent the expressions of redemption (coming to the Lord, dealing with sin, the Lord covering and redeeming us, and enjoying the kingdom in praise).

The table is set.

The candles are lit by the woman of the house…and it’s time for the blessing…

Join me tomorrow as we drink from the first cup…as the child at the table asks the question “What is passover?” and the leader of the table sweetly explains. This is one dinner you won’t want to miss…

{Daily Scripture Reading: Joshua 15:20-17:18}
Let us not give up on reading His word!

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