Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Passover Glimpse

Last week's Passover Seder was one of the best we've had. And that's saying something, because I can't even remember how long we've been doing a Passover Seder, either on our own, or with our churches.

Some of you readers out in the blurry blogland might be wondering what a Passover Seder is. It is a celebration of remembrance going back 3500 years. It is remembering how God freed the Israelites from slavery as they left Egypt and started to go to the Promised Land. Every symbol and prayer reflects the mercy of God as He orchestrated their being set free from slavery. What the Jews don't realize, is that every symbol also reflects the mercy of God as He sent His Son Jesus who died on the cross to free us from slavery to sin. 
There are literally thousands of different Passover Seder liturgies. The one we use is a Messianic version that points to Jesus Christ and shows how the symbolism was a foreshadow of what was to come.  

Lighting the candles. Traditionally done by the woman of the house. The symbol points to Christ as the light of the world.

Children are traditionally heavily involved in the whole Passover. Here is a view of our booklet, with the part of a young child who asks questions about why we have Passover and what it means. Later children hunt for the Afikomen, which is a symbolic piece of matzoh that is wrapped and hidden and then found and "bought" by the leader for our case, chocolate ones...reminds me of Jesus being hidden in the tomb. And of his being given to the priests for coins.

Everyone participates in the seder. Here, we are dipping our finger into the grape juice and dripping drips to represent each of the plagues that God kept the Israelites from during the first Passover.

There are 4 cups of wine to drink in the seder. Each cup represents something. The first is the cup of sanctification because of God's promise to bring the Israelites out of the burden of the Egyptians. The second is the cup of deliverance. This is to remember God's deliverance as he led them out of Egypt. The third is the cup of Redemption. "I will redeem you with an outstretched arm." The fourth is the cup of Praise.

When we have a seder with the church, we encourage everyone to sit together as a family. Here Dad is leading the seder and Mom prepares to light the candles.

Matzoh is traditionally pierced and striped. We can recognize this as a symbol of Jesus who was pierced for our transgressions and striped for our sins. It has no yeast. Yeast represents sin.

Some views of the seder plates with the symbolic food. Parsley, dipped in salt water to remember our tears. Horseradish, to also help us remember the bitterness of slavery. A bone to remind us of the passover sacrifice. A roasted egg, which is a symbol of mourning. Sweet cheroseth to remind us of the bricks and mortar the Israelites made for the Egyptians.

Making a sandwich with matzoh and cheroseth.

In the middle of the seder, we pause and eat together. Everyone did a great job making kosher for Passover dishes to share. Every year, our favorite is the matzoh ball soup Mom makes. Personally, one of my favorites is spinach mushroom carrot vegetable puffs. So. Good.

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