Our Passover dinner has been eaten…and now it’s time for the children to find the Afikoman (matza bread that was broken, wrapped in linen and hidden) and the child who finds it will get a reward…
The Afikoman is then broken around the table for each person to have a piece…and it is time for the Third Cup…the Cup of Redemption…
The father of the home explains this cup…Jesus ate the Passover meal as an obedient Jew…he drank from the first two cups, but did not drink from this cup as we will tonight. Jesus excluded himself from drinking the third cup he was without sin and He excluded Himself from redemption by not drinking the third cup. Yet the next day, Jesus, who knew no sin would become sin for us…He died to redeem us.
A traditional hymn is sung as a family as our hearts move from remembrance into praise.
The Fourth Cup…the Cup of Praise.
Just as Jesus took time to praise at the end of the Passover dinner with his disciples, we too sing our praise…to the King of Kings that was the sacrificial Lamb of God for our sake…and worthy of all our praise…
casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet,
They parted my garments among them,
and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
And sitting down they watched him there;
And set up over his head his accusation written,
THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
With one last bit of strength…he took a deep breath—and uttered His final cry, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”
And it was finished.
Three days later.
A miracle happened.
And this part of the story…is not told at traditional Jewish Seders. Instead, there is an empty place set at the Jewish table for Elijah the prophet, the honored guest at every passover. The Jewish people expect Elijah to one day show up at the passover to announce the coming Messiah. A place is set…wine glasses are filled…and at one point in the night children even run to the back door to yell for Elijah’s name as part of their tradition. But not at our table.
The only empty seat waiting for Elijah that I am waiting for is my sweet friends who are waiting to adopt a baby boy just two spots ahead of us. They have an empty seat waiting for their Elijah and as I celebrate Passover this year I can’t help but smile at the empty seats at our tables and what they mean for our families!!! The Lord called our families to this journey…and He will be faithful to fill that seat! JUST AS HE WAS FAITHFUL TO FILL HIS!
No, at our house…we celebrate as the Messiah has already come! And through Him—and only through belief in Him—you and I are offered a REAL, PERSONAL relationship with our Father! And because of our relationship with Him…our lives look different from the world. Our lives following Him are never quite what other expect…just as Jesus wasn’t what the Jewish people expected either.
I am convinced.
My Savior Lives!
Blessed are you O LORD, King of Kings, God of the universe! Thanks be to You the Sacrificial Lamb…who was…who is…and who is to come! You are our Savior! Our Redeemer! The One, True, Perfect Lamb of God!
Mommy idea for the week…(found these online and just thought they were cute…)
….To help your children celebrate Holy Week make wrap two shoeboxes in neutral wrapping paper. Cut out a big heart and a big cross for your children to color. Tape the heart on one shoebox and the cross on another. Throughout the day each day this week, let your children write love letters to those they love in your family and put them in the box with a heart on it. Let them write love letters to Jesus and put them in the box with a cross on it. On Saturday, as you are together as a family–sit down and read those letters aloud. Let everyone share their own letters. Preschoolers who can’t read or spell yet can simply draw pictures and tell about them during this time. Let this be your family’s act of worship to the King as you rejoice in His love together and love on Him and one another! What a beautiful way to help them prepare for Easter…Resurrection Sunday!
Have a blessed day!