Our Family’s Experience
Our family enjoyed celebrating passover again this year.(Jim and I have been celebrating this feast since before we were married 8 years!!) It was a rich time of reflection and gratitude for all God has done in our lives. Passover is not a substitute for celebrating the death and ressurection of our Saviour, it just enriches it! Passover is a prophetic picture of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice here on earth. It is an amazing time that we share remembering God’s provision and protection for the people of Israel and how Jesus was our provision and protection from sin. My children are always amazed when we talk about the plagues that God sent to the Egyptians, it gives them a real reverance for God and His power! We follow through a messianic prayer book that I have called the Haggadah means “telling”, it is scripted so we know when you eat and drink and it tells the story from the book of Exodus along the way.
The Seder Plate
During the Passover celebration, we remember this great event by eating special foods associated with the bitterness of slavery and the sweetness of freedom. The entire meal is called the Seder, and it is eaten as the story of Israel’s freedom is told. There is also remebrance of the redeption of the Lord by parting the red sea and leading the Israelites with a cloud by day and a fire by night. When I read Exodus 13:9 I feel compelled to observe this feast with my family in order to remember the deliverane of God! “This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that this law of the Lord is to be on your lips. For the Lord brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand. You must keep this ordinance at the appointed time year after year.”
On the Seder plate there are several foods that are listed in Exodus 12 as a representation of the enslavement in Egypt.
Bitter Herbs – (usually horshradish) representing the bitterness of bondage.
Shank bone of a Lamb – symbolizes the lamb eaten before they fled Egypt (we didnt have one so we used one of the kids play chicken thighs:)
Matzah – must be made solely of special flour and water (no leaven)
Haroset – a mixture of apples, nuts, grape juice and cinnamon. Represents the mortar the Israelites used to build Egyptian cities and the sweetness of a better world.
Roasted Egg– symbol of life
Karpas – (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.
Jesus is the Passover Lamb. (A Comparison)~this is very interesting!
The lamb was male of the first year. Jesus was the firstborn of God.
The lamb was set aside for four days, on the tenth of Nisan. Jesus was on public display for four days on the tenth of Nisan.
The lamb with no blemish. Jesus was without blemish.
The death penalty was imposed when the lamb was chosen. Christ came ot recieve the death penalty to free us from the bondage of sin.
The lamb was killed at 3:00. Jesus died at 3:00.
The lamb’s bones were not broken. Jesus’ bones were not broken.
The must be eaten the same night. Jesus was crucified, suffered and died in the same night.
No work was to be done on Passover. The blood of Jesus saves us, not our works.
Traditionally this meal lasts for a few hours but we have shortened it and included the necessary parts so that it is interesting for the kids and enjoyable for my husband and myself. It’s fun to have time to spend around the dinner table at the Seder and experience the meal together. We normally have Shabbat every Friday night so this was a nice change of routine for the kids. Rather than Challah we eat Matzah as we remember the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt. The purpose of Matzah is to symbolize that the Israelites had to flee Egypt quickly and there was no time for their bread to rise. We also eat unleaven bread for the week after passover to remember the importance of cleaning our lives of sin (yeast) that can creep into our lives and affect everything. It is a fun change, we eat flatbreads, matzah and crackers, nothing with yeast in it. This upcoming Shabbat we will begin to eat bread again.
Hiding the Afikoman
This is one of the most amazing parallels that we learn from at Passover. There are three pieces of Matzah stacked together, each representing one of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Towards the end of the meal the leader gets us and removes the middle piece of matzah, which represents Jesus, they take it and break it in half, wrapping the broken piece in a napkin and then all the children close their eyes while it is hidden. The children then go looking for the Afikoman and whoever find it is rewarded. The kids love this!! Judah found it again this year:)
Here is my recipe for Matzah. This year I purchased the Matzah but I have made this in the past. It is very simple to make.
Depending on how much you want to make, measure 1 part water and 3 parts flour. When you are making Matzah make sure that you do it all at one time because once the moisture hits the flour, the clock starts to tick. There shouldn’t be more than 18 minutes from the time the water is mixed with the flour until the time the matzo is put into the oven. Mix 3 cups of flour with 1 cup of water and quickly mix and knead into a firm ball of 1-2 inches. (Add more flour or water if needed. Roll out dough as thin as possible and poke holes in the dough. Put matzah directly in the oven at 400F. Bake for 2-3 minutes Matzah is hard and crisp.
Remove from oven and cool. Enjoy! This is great with homemade Haroset.
In a food processor add 1 cup walnuts, 1 tsp cinnamon, 3 tbsp grape juice, 1 tbsp honey and 5 apples, peeled and cored. Mix until desired texture is reached, I like mine to be a bit chunky but if you want it to be a smoother consistence then blend it for longer. Enjoy!
Telling the Next Generation
The best part about Passover to me is that it is an annual celebration where we remember the works of the Lord. Not only do we remember but we teach our children about His wonders, so that they will grow up and teach their children. Jim recounts the story of the Israelites in the book of Exodus and how they were freed from Egypt. He tells them about the 10 plagues, about the Red Sea and about the manna in the wilderness. Amazingly Judah remember some of it from last year!
It is so vital that we teach our children. Somehow in the body of Christ there has been a break in generations teaching their children about God. As a result there are many generations that will grow up without the knowledge of the Lord.
My son Judah was outside on Easter Sunday day playing with some neighbourhood friends. I was talking with them about Easter and about how we celebrate Jesus, one of the little boys asked “who’s that?” I responded, ” you don’t know who Jesus is?” and he said “No”. I couldnt believe it, this boy is 7 years old and lives in Canada, he has never heard about Jesus. He was excited that it was Easter because of all the chocolate that he recieved…my heart was heavy. We told him all about the Easter story and Judah and I are now determined to teach this little guy as much as we can about the Lord. I purposed in my heart to share God with whoever I come in contact with because we are living in times where many people have not even heard his name.
May you experience the fullness that comes in remembering our Savior’s sacrifice for our sins!! May we never forget the goodness of our God, how he had delivered and redeemed us! May we be forever grateful to Him!!
(If you have any questions about Passover or any of the Messianic Feasts please feel free to ask!)