On the night that Jesus was betrayed, He was most eager to make sure He could keep the Passover with His disciples, a meal that pretty much points to Jesus. This is the second time I’ve had a chance to experience a Messianic Passover Sedar, this time I’m so overjoyed that I get to document it and share with you some of the amazing highlights.
Here are some of our Passover Highlights.
Here on the plate above is some charoset to remember the toil, a roasted lamb bone that symbolises the sacrificed lamb whose blood was painted above the door posts. It also represents the outstretched arm of the Lord. There is a roasted egg that is dipped in salt water that recalls the roasted lamb that was slaughtered at the temple during Passover.
The chazeret, or inedible bitter herb symbolises the atrocity of infanticide that occurred during the Israelite’s slavery. The herb is inedible because it “cannot be swallowed” or cannot be accepted. The salt water bowl in the background reminds us of the sweat and tears of the Israelite slaves, and also recalls the splitting of the red sea.
My family sat around the table, which I suppose points to the Lord’s Table and the Lord’s Supper, as well pointing to the Lord’s Wedding Feast that we will all enjoy together one day.
The Four Cups
Four cups of wine to drink during the meal that are all spread out. Each cup represents something.
- Cup of Sanctification – I will bring you out – I will set you apart
- Cup of Deliverance – I will free you
- Cup of Redemption – I will redeem you
- Cup of Restoration – I will take you as my own people
Some believe that Jesus introduced the new covenant at the third cup of redemption, where He instituted what we now call the Lord’s supper. It’s also believed the Jesus refrained from drinking the last cup of restoration foretelling us that He will not drink again until the coming of the total fulfilment of restoration when we all meet Jesus face to face.
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 26:26-29 ESV)
Doesn’t it add such a richness when we consider the next Communion we partake in? The wine we take at communion echoes the redemption Jesus bought through His work on the cross and the future cup of restoration that He’ll bring to completion.
The Hand Washing
Normally the father would do partake in the hand washing now before the rest of the seder. It’s likely that Jesus would have washed His disciples’ feet during this step of the seder.
As the Jews would have known that they needed to be cleansed, it was very cool that Jesus would have revealed Himself as the fulfilment in our cleansing – our sanctification. Jesus is the great high priest that would wash us clean.
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. (John 13:3-16 ESV)
The Dipping of the Karpas
The dipping of the parsley into the salt water represents the fertility of the Israelites and remembers their great suffering and the tears that were shed during their slavery. The parsley is dipped three times, also pointing to Father, Son and Spirit.
At this point, we can also remember the tears we shed in our slavery to sin.
The Breaking of the Matzah
Here are three pieces of unleavened (sinless) bread stacked on top of one another. The middle matzah is broken in half; half is wrapped in cloth hidden in the room and the other half is placed between the other two matzot. Another very cool picture and foreshadowing of Christ, as the broken matzah, and the trinitarian relationship of our God.
Later in the seder, the children get to go look for the other half of the broken matzah and receive a prize. The Matzah that is found is then shared around the table. It’s a picture of how the broken matzah is Christ, and how He is in end found by “little children”. It’s also an image of His death. burial and resurrection.
At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. (Matthew 11:25-26 ESV)
It’s also very cool to consider the matzah bread itself. Even as Jesus has warned us of the yeast of the Pharisees, we sees yeast being a picture of sin, and we see the unleavened bread as made without yeast and sinless. The matzah that was traditionally made is pierced and striped, as Christ was also pierced for our transgression and by his stripes, we are healed.
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds [stripes] we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5 ESV)
The Ten Plagues
Here we remember the ten plagues and ten chances that God gave Pharaoh to repent. Each of the red wine dots are to represent each plague. Each drop we spill is a reminder that signifies that the suffering of the Egyptians lessens our joy.
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the LORD see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him. (Proverbs 24:17-18 ESV)
The Eating of the Bitter Herbs
We place some horseradish on the corner of our matzah bread to remember the bitter afflictions of the Israelites. Here we remember the sorrow, trouble and suffering to slavery and ultimately our bondage to sin.
The Eating of the Charoset
Charoset, an apple, wine and nut mixture that represents the motor used by the Israelites to build the storehouses of Egypt. The chariest represents the toil and labor of the Israelites but also points to the toil and labor Christ would bare for us.
Here is a sweet reminder after the bitterness, a reminder as well of not just the toil of the slavery, and even the toil Jesus bore on the cross, but that out of the bitterness there is a sweetness of redemption.
And then we shared our charoset to the person on our right. I can’t remember what we said, but it was something like, “Shalom, with peace I share with you”.
Here’s to restoration friends!
How about you? Have you ever taken part in a Passover Sedar? Are there any insights that struck a chord with you or something I missed?