MEANING OF THE CHRISTIAN PASSOVER
The original Passover, found in the Bible, is a memorial to God passing over the houses of the children of Israel when He killed the firstborn of man and beast in Egypt. This miraculous event and its meaning occurred during the night of the fourteenth of the Hebrew month Nisan. It is not a memorial of the Israelites’ exodus out of Egypt.
‘On that night I will go through the land of Egypt, killing every first-born male, both human and animal, and punishing all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood on the doorposts will be a sign to mark the houses in which you live. When I see the blood, I will PASS OVER (from where we get the term Passover) you . . . (Exodus 12)
The Bible’s meaning of the Passover, for the New Testament Christian, revolves around the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It is a memorial of his death as the true Lamb of God as in John 1:29, “Behold the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” His shed blood covered our sins and protected us from death. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Believers partake of unleavened bread and wine in remembrance of the sacrifice of Jesus’ beaten body and shed blood. This sacrifice makes possible the forgiveness of our sins.
The Passover Week: In Israel, Passover Week is synonymous with the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Firstfruits. The Passover, representing death passing over the houses of the Israelites. The feast of unleavened bread, representing the departure from the sinful land of Egypt. These two feasts became the first of seven major feasts that God instituted with the Israelites and point towards things to come in the future. Jesus’s last Passover with His disciples is known as The Last Supper which all believers in Christ celebrate to remember Him in Holy Communion.
The Jewish Celebration we participated in:
Les led our nucleus family in our very first Passover meal, the Passover Seder (Seder meaning order) on Passover Eve (Erev Pesach). See our Instagram for clips on lescatherinederoos and watch Erev Pesach (Passover Eve).
Haggadah’s meaning (telling) is the name of this feast. It is the telling of Jesus and the Passover story of the Jews exiting out of Egypt to the children. You know, the story of the Exodus, the land of bondage to the land of promise. John 3:16 concisely tells the world of this picture. This is a promise for the whole world.
There is a special plate that contains the elements of this Passover story and responsive reading that is recited by everyone. This storytelling tradition effectively passes the baton onto the next generation and generations following.
The celebration centers around four cups. The number four in Hebrew is the letter “dalet.” It is a picture of a door (delete). the death angel passes over the blood of a lamb that has been applied to the lintels and doorposts (Yeshua declared Himself the door, John 10:9-10). There has always only been one way to the Father, through Yeshuah. Passover is the entry or doorway to covenant with Adonai (God, the Father) Outside the covenant (door), the enemy seeks one’s destruction.
The Sedar explanation: While Passover remembers the Jews deliverance from slavery, it also is a depiction of Christ’s atonement for His people and His deliverance of us from the bondage of sin. The end result is certainly worthy of a Christian’s consideration.
HE SAVED US (1st cup of 4) – Represents Sanctification (Exodus 6:6-7) Kiddush (at the start of the seder)
- The Cup of Sanctification —- “I will bring you out”
- The Cup of Deliverance/Plagues/Judgment —- “I will deliver you”
- The Cup of Redemption/Blessing —- “I will redeem you”
- The Cup of Praise/Hope/Kingdom/Salvation/Restoration —- “I will take you for My people”
1st – Ur’chatz: The washing of the hands is a custom symbolizing the desire to live lives of acceptable service to the Almighty God. Jesus demonstrated this on Passover by washing His disciple’s feet, the act of humility.
2nd – Bitter Herbs (parsley-Karpas), a representation of the hyssop plant used to apply the blood to the doorposts, is a reminder of the bitterness of Egyptian slavery. The Herbs dipped in saltwater. The saltwater reminds of the tears that were shed by the Israelites. Karpas also symbolize the initial flourishing of the Israelites in Egypt. Karpas also symbolizes springtime — which is appropriate since Passover is called Hag Ha’Aviv or the holiday of spring.
3rd – (1st Serving of Matzah) Matzah, unleavened bread which is pierced (Zecharaiah 12:10) Matzah is broken in half and one half is hidden for children to find later. Motza is called “Food of Faith” and “Food of Healing”. Matzah is also known as the Bread of Affliction, (Lechem Oni in Hebrew) symbolizes the hardship of slavery and the Jewish people’s hasty transition to freedom. The first time, the matzah is eaten by itself.
4th – Children are included to ask specific questions about what is different: the leavened vs unleavened, only bitter herbs, dipping twice, and reclining. These questions are all answered.
5th – Maggid (Telling the Passover Story) Different readers read about the Exodus story (Exodus 1:10, 11; Deut. 26:7; Exodus 12:12) The 10 Plagues are recounted by dipping a finger in the wine/grape juice and touching the napkin each time a plague is said. This represents the sufferings of the Egyptians and lessening the joy of the Jews.
I WILL SAVE YOU (2nd cup of 4) – Represents Plagues (telling of Pesach story)
6th – Shank for the Lamb that was sacrificed for the blood put on the doorposts. (Exodus 12:13 the Passover)
7th – Motzi Matzah (bread without yeast – like a cracker Exodus 12:39) is served.
8th – (2nd serving of Matzah) Bitter Herbs (horseradish) is a reminder of the hard labor from the Egyptians to make brick and mortar. (Exodus 1:14) Matzah scoops up the horseradish and eaten.
9th – (3rd serving of Matzah) Charoseth (sweet apple, cinnamon, walnuts) reminder of redemption. It is customary to make a sandwich with the Matzah, horseradish, charoseth, and eat. The word charoset is derived from the Hebrew word for clay, cheres. “Korech”, embodies the Israelites’ bitterness over their hard labor (masonry) and the spiritual affliction they suffered from being enslaved.
9th – Egg (chagigah – a symbol of mourning for the Temple) is dipped in saltwater. The egg represents hope and the promise of new life.
10th – Bareich (Grace of giving thanks to the LORD after the meal)
11th – Tzafun (searching for the hidden Matzo bread – Afikomen) Afikomen represents Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
I WILL REDEEM YOU (3rd cup of 4) – Represents Redemption (symbolizes the blood of the Passover Lamb – Luke 22:20)
12th – Eliyahu Hanavi (Elijah the Prophet – is the forerunner, will come and herald the coming of the Messiah.) A child opens a door to demonstrate a looking forward to Elijah’s coming and announcing the Messiah.
13th – (Malachi 4:5-6) Blessed is He who comes? (Baruch ha-bah!)
- Hallel: Psalms of Praise (Psalm 113 – 118)
- Psalm 136 sung about Adonai’s mercy/lovingkindness/grace endures forever.
- Psalm 188:22-24 is read together and His Love Endures Forever is sung (love=chesed (חֶסֶד)
HE IS ABLE (4th cup of 4) – Represents Praise (Hallel/Psalms of praise)
Netzach: The Passover Seder Concludes with thanksgiving.
The only entry point to eternal life is accepting the Messiah and the Covenant. Understanding and deep Knowledge comes later and with maturity, as one’s own journey through the wilderness with YHWH.
Our prayer is that if you are metaphorically enslaved to Egypts affliction, oppressed, addicted, mournful, woeful, can’t fix it, and perplexed the LORD God made a way out for you through Jesus, the Lamb of God, the Passover Lamb. We pray you will respond and be set free by walking through that door now.
NEW FACES FOR A WEEK
During this week of Passover, A new group of orphans, juvenile delinquents, with no home to go to during Passover week, came to the ARC through the Jewish Agency (JA). Sixteen (16) young men ages 12-16 with five men chaperones and one lady boss. They were here for only over the Passover celebration because they had no home to go to.