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This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast. -Exodus 12:14
Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. -1 Corinthians 5:7-8
For followers of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), Passover commemorates not only the miraculous events described in the book of Exodus, but also our spiritual deliverance from the slavery of sin. The shed blood of the lamb represents the blood of the Messiah. Those who have His blood on the doorposts of their hearts are spared from the second death.
The Seder plate is usually found in the middle of the Passover celebration In the center of the table. Each of the foods symbolize some part of the Passover story. This story is not only a story of physical deliverance from bondage; it is also a story of our spiritual deliverance. Every part of Passover paints the portrait of that redemption. There are three foods God tells us to eat on this night and other foods later added by men to help us remember Passover.
1. Karpas - The parsley symbolizes the growth and fertility of God's people in Egypt. This non-bitter vegetable is dipped into salt water representing the tears of slavery (Ex 1:7).
2. Charoset - The apple, wine, and nut mixture represents the mortar used by the Hebrew people to build the Egyptian cities (Ex 1:13-14).
3. Maror - The horseradish is a bitter herb that represents the harshness of slavery (Ex 1:13-14). This is one of the three foods God commands us to eat as we remember Passover.
4. Lamb shank - This symbolizes the korban pesach that was sacrificed unto God and whose blood was put upon the doorposts. While this is not the actual sacrifice, one day we will be gathered in Jerusalem for Passover and eat as we are commanded to do.
5. Matzah (unleavened bread) - This reminds us that the Hebrews left Egypt in a hurry, leaving no time for their bread to rise. This is the bread we are commanded to eat for seven days.
6. Roasted Egg - Merely symbolic, the egg represents the time of the Temple where a "korban chagigah" (festival sacrifice) was given. This was normally a meat offering.
7. Salt Water - This reminds us of the tears that were shed during the time of slavery in Egypt. It is also symbol of how sin has terrible consequences.
Four cups will be drank throughout the Seder festival.
We begin the Seder festival remembering Jesus.
- When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." - John 8:12
Remember: This is considered a Shabbat or day of rest. Once the sun goes down work shouldn't be done. Don't get stuck in the dark. Light your candle.
First Cup: SANCTIFICATION, or Set Apart
“ I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” - Exodus 6:6
The first "I will" of God is that He would bring us out of the burdens of the Egyptians. Through Jesus we have been sanctified, set apart and made holy.
"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."- 2 Corinthians 5:21
Blessing: Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha’olam
Bo-ray po-ree ha-ga-fen
“Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.
(Drink first cup).
Urchatz: Washing of hands.
“Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Who can stand in His holy place? Those with clean hands and pure hearts….” Psalm 24:3-4
Leader:Traditionally, each person takes a turn pouring water from a special vessel over the right and left hands of the person next to him. It is customary to pour water over each hand three times. Then a child will bring a towel to each person to dry the hands after the ceremonial cleansing of the hands.
Let us also reflect upon the gesture of humility and leadership by Messiah Yeshua when, on that night, when they came to this part of the seder, as the disciples passed the urchatz pan from person to person, Yeshua laid aside His garments and girded Himself with a towel.
Reader 1: Yeshua laid aside His outer garments, taking a towel, He tied it around His waist. Then He poured water in a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and wipe them with the towel gird about His waist. He came to Shimon Peter who said to Him, “Lord, why do You wash my feet?” Yeshua answered, “What I do, you do not understand now, but you will understand afterward.”
Reader 2: Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Yeshua answered, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with Me.” Shimon answered, “Lord, not my feet only, but my hands and head!” Yeshua said to him, the one who has bathed has no need to wash, except his feet, but he is completely clean. You are clean, but not every one of you.” For He knew who was going to betray Him. When He had washed their feet, put on His outer garments, and resumed His place, He asked them, “Do you understand what I have done to you?” (John 13:4-12).
Our Messiah demonstrated two valuable spiritual lessons for them and us: (1) he who is greatest of all must be servant of all. (2) We walk in a dirty world full of temptation and sin. Though we have been made right before God through Messiah's atonement, we all have daily dirt. As a "kingdom of priests unto the Lord," in order to rightly represent our God to the world, we must be washed daily in the Word and the Ruach HaKodesh or Holy Spirit.
Let us now offer the bowl of water to one another and share in this handwashing ceremony.
Miguel: The karpas symbolizes the growth and fertility of the Hebrew people in Egypt, but it also reminds us of their great suffering. We eat karpas dipped in salt water to remember the tears that were shed during the time of oppression and slavery in Egypt. When you dip the karpas, shake off some of the salt water so that the drops will resemble tears...
Before we dip karpas into the salt water and eat, let us pause and recall the suffering of those still in bondage.
And now let us recite the following traditional blessing:
Miguel: Barukh attah Adonai, Eloheinu melekh ha’olam, borei peri ha’adamah.
Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the earth.
[Everyone dips the vegetable (romaine lettuce) in salt water and eats.]
Miguel: May we also remember the tears Messiah shed over His people...
Host: These three matzot are wrapped together for Passover. Rabbis call these three a unity, or echad. Some consider it a unity of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We who know Messiah see in this symbol the unique tri-unity of our God: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. In the matzah, we see a picture of Messiah. See how it is striped.
All: “But He was wounded for our crimes, crushed because of our sin; the chastening which makes us whole fell upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5).
Host: See how it is pierced.
All: My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me. They have pierced my hands and feet. (Psalm 22:16)
But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. (Isaiah 53:5, I Corinthians 15:3, I Peter 2:24)
Host: (Removing and breaking the middle matzah).
Just as the middle piece is broken, Messiah was afflicted and broken. One half is now called the afikomen or the “coming One.” It is wrapped in a white cloth just as Messiah’s body was wrapped for burial. The afikomen will now be hidden in a special place. Yeshua’s body was placed in a tomb, hidden for a time. But just as the afikomen will return to complete our seder, so the sinless Messiah Who rose from the dead and ascended into heaven will return soon to complete His plan of redemption.
All: For these things took place in order that Scripture might be fulfilled: ….they will look on Him whom they have pierced and they shall mourn for Him…and weep bitterly over Him….” (Zechariah 12:10, John 19:34-37)
For our sake God made Him Who knew no sin to be a sin offering on our behalf in order that we may become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
No sin, no leaven, no yeast - yet He Rises perfectly!
Child #1 asks:
1. Why do we eat only unleavened bread on this night when all other nights we eat leavened bread?
Child #2 asks:
2. Why do we eat only bitter herbs on this night when all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables?
Child #3 asks:
3. Why do we dip our vegetables twice on this night when we do not dip our vegetables even once all other nights?
Child #4 asks:
4. Why do we eat our meals reclining or leaning on this night, when all other nights we eat our meals sitting?
The Four Answers
Matzah unleavened bread
1. On all other nights we eat leavened bread, but on Passover we eat only Matzah.
As the people of Israel fled from Egypt, they did not have time for their dough to rise. Instead, the hot desert sun baked it flat. But even more than that, the scriptures teach us that leaven symbolizes sin.
Don’t you know the saying, “It takes only a little khametz to leaven a whole batch of dough”? Get rid of the old khametz, so that you can be a new batch of dough, because in reality you are unleavened. For our Pesach lamb, the Messiah, has been sacrificed. So let us celebrate the Seder not with leftover khametz, the khametz of wickedness and evil, but with the Matzah of purity and truth.
(First Corinthians 5:6-8)
(Raising the matzot, the leader declares)
"This is the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. Let all who are hungry come and eat. Let all who are needy come and celebrate the Passover. At present we are here; next year may we celebrate it together in Israel."
2. Tonight, We Recline -
- In the Middle East, the style of dining was to recline on one's left side, around a U-shaped table, feet pointing outward. But the people of Israel could not do that since they were instructed:
- Today, we can all recline (relax) and eat the Passover in the leisure of free people. For ceremonial fulfillment of this precept, the leader is provided with a pillow.
And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord's Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the L-rd . . . And the Egyptians urged the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste. For they said, "We shall all be dead." So the people took their dough before it was leavened, having their kneading bowls bound up in their clothes on their shoulders.
(Shemot/Exodus 12:11-12, 33-34)
3. We Dip Twice
We have already dipped the parsley into the salt water, that symbolizes new life emerging from the tears of Egypt. Later, we will dip Matzah into the bitter herbs and kharoset, which speak of the sweetness of redemption in overcoming the bitterness of our lives.
4. The Maror, Bitter Herbs
We read in Shemot/Exodus 1:12-14,
The Egyptians came to dread the Israelites, and worked them ruthlessly. They made their lives bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields."
The maror reminds us of the bitterness of slavery, and the pain of life without a relationship with the living G-d, in the bitterness of slavery to sin and selfishness.
The 10 Plagues
The Egyptians received 10 plagues for not releasing God's people. They were:
- Death of livestock
- Death of the firstborn
Take 10 drops out of the 2nd cup to represent sorrow being taken from the cup of joy. Drink the 2nd Cup.
If He had brought us out from Egypt,
and had not carried out judgments against them
If He had carried out judgments against them,
and not against their idols
If He had destroyed their idols,
and had not smitten their first-born
If He had smitten their first-born,
and had not given us their wealth
If He had given us their wealth,
and had not split the sea for us
If He had split the sea for us,
and had not taken us through it on dry land
If He had taken us through the sea on dry land,
and had not drowned our oppressors in it
If He had drowned our oppressors in it,
and had not supplied our needs in the desert for forty years
If He had supplied our needs in the desert for forty years,
and had not fed us the manna
If He had fed us the manna,
and had not given us the Shabbat
If He had given us the Shabbat,
and had not brought us before Mount Sinai
If He had brought us before Mount Sinai,
and had not given us the Torah
If He had given us the Torah,
and had not brought us into the land of Israel
If He had brought us into the land of Israel,
and not built for us the Holy Temple
If He had built for us the Holy Temple,
and had not given us Yeshua Ha Moshiach
Wash hands while reciting the traditional blessing for washing the hands:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדַיִם.
Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha-olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav, v'tzivanu al n'tilat yadayim.
Praised are you, Adonai, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who has taught us the way of holiness through commandments, commanding us to wash our hands.
Barukh attah Adonai, Eloheinu melekh ha’olam, ha’motzi lechem min ha’aretz
“Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.”
Marking the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread let us recite the following blessing remembering that God commanded us to eat unleavened bread for 7 days to recall our great deliverance from Egypt; "Remember the day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage, for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out from that place. No leavened bread may be eaten." - Exo. 13:3
Barukh attah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha’olam asher kideshanu be’mitzvo tav ve’tzivanu al achilat matzah.
Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who sanctified us with his commandments, and commanded us to eat matzah.
The Apostle Paul instructed us to “purge out the old leaven” to keep the feast of Passover (1 Cor. 5:7-8), which means that we are to live in purity and separation from the corrupting influence of sin in our lives. Since we have been made “unleavened” (pure) by the sacrifice of Yeshua, our lives should reflect the inner purity of his heart.
Following the matzah we eat the bitter maror, freeing us from the need to have to experience any more serious form of bitterness. The bitter maror also teaches us the process of growth. An olive does not produce oil until it is pressed. So too, maror hardens our mettle – the setbacks and pain in life strengthen us.
The maror is dipped into charoses (a sweet combination of ground apples, pears, nuts and wine), sweetening it a bit (but not eliminating its bitterness). This demonstrates that even when we need to feel bitterness, its purpose and objective is not bitter, but to reach a greater freedom. As in Egypt – “The more they were oppressed, the more they proliferated and grew.” And today, 3316 years later, millions Jewish descendants sit around Seder tables around the world celebrating freedom.
Daren: Now we will eat the bitter herbs on the matzah again, this time with the charoset. The charoset symbolizes the mortar used by the Hebrews in building during their slavery. This mixture symbolizes how the sweetness of Yeshua can overcome bitter sin.
[Everyone eat the matzah, bitter herbs, and charoset.]
זֵכֶר לְמִקְדָּשׁ כְּהִלֵּל. כֵּן עָשָׂה הִלֵּל בִּזְמַן שבֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ הָיָה קַיָים: הָיָה כּוֹרֵךְ מַצָּה וּמָרוֹר וְאוֹכֵל בְּיַחַד, לְקַיֵים מַה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: עַל מַצּוֹת וּמְרֹרִים יֹאכְלֻהוּ.
Zeicher l'mikdash k'hileil. Kein asah hileil bizman shebeit hamikdash hayah kayam. Hayah koreich pesach, matzah, u-maror v'ocheil b'yachad. L'kayeim mah shene-emar. “Al matzot um'rorim yochlu-hu.”
Eating matzah, maror and haroset this way reminds us of how, in the days of the Temple, Hillel would do so, making a sandwich of the Pashal lamb, matzah and maror, in order to observe the law “You shall eat it (the Pesach sacrifice) on matzah and maror.”
“...a day for you to remember and celebrate as a festival to Adonai…” Exodus 12:14
The Passover Supper
The idea of the afikoman, a ritual that was never ordered by the Bible, is an amazing type and shadow of our messiah. He was broken, and then his body was hidden in a tomb, wrapped in linen. After the Passover was complete, he was brought out and presented to the father and to the people. Yeshua called himself the bread of life. So we eat this bread in remembrance of him, as he commanded us to do. Keep in mind that the Jews and Israeli's did this ritual for more than 1500 years before Messiah was born.
It's time to let the children search for the Afikomen that was hidden earlier in the Seder. When its found we will all partake of the Afikomen, the middle matzah that represents the body of our Messiah. Now as they were eating, Yeshua took matzah, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”– Matt. 26:26.
Yeshua told us that He was the Bread of Life, the nourishment of our life and sustenance:
anokhi lechem chayim ha’yoreid min ha’shamayim
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh”- John 6:51
This broken piece of matzah recalls the broken heart of Yeshua as he suffered and died as our sin offering upon the altar of the cross. It remembers how our great King was mocked and unjustly flogged; it evokes his agonizing cries as he hung dying on the cross: “Father forgive them...” “I thirst...” “My God, my God – why have You forsaken me?” “It is finished.” Yeshua our Wounded Healer, who bled out His life so we might live; who took upon himself the plague of death so that we would be passed over. “For our sake God made Yeshua to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” Yeshua gave up His body to be wounded, broken, and killed so that you could have healing, wholeness and life with God forevermore.
Let us thank the LORD our God for the sacrifice of Yeshua’s body that was broken for us:
Barukh attah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha’olam ha’motzi lechem emet min ha’shamayim.
Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe, who brings forth the True Bread from Heaven.
The third cup recalls God’s promise given to Israel: “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm,” and therefore it is called the “Cup of Redemption” or the “Cup of Blessing.” It was this cup that Yeshua took to symbolize His great sacrifice for us as the true Lamb of God: "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 new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” -Matt. 26:27-28 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. – 1 Cor. 11:26
Yeshua associated this cup with the blood he would shed on the cross, causing death to “pass over” those trusting in him. This is the cup of the new covenant, that is, God’s new agreement to regard all those who trust in the death of the Messiah for the forgiveness of their sins to be justified and made right with Him. Of Yeshua it is said, “The Messiah our Redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30).
Pour a small amount and recite the following blessing:
Barukh attah Adonai, Eloheinu melekh ha’olam, borei peri ha’gafen.
“Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.”
Sing a Hallel!
We now come to the fourth (and final) cup of juice for the Seder. This cup represents the fourth “I will” statement of Exodus 6:6 - “I will take you as my own people.” Since Yeshua told his disciples that He would not drink the fourth cup but promised to do so with them in the coming Kingdom (Matt. 26:29), this cup may be called the “Cup of Restoration,” or the "Cup of Salvation" since it will be fully savored only after “all Israel shall be saved” (Rom. 11:26).
At this time, let’s not forget the extra cup of juice poured for the prophet Elijah, who will herald the return of our LORD Yeshua at the End of the Age. "Look! I will send Elijah the prophet before the coming and great day of the LORD." – Malachi 3:23
Send someone to the door to look for Elijah to see if has come to our Seder.
We drink this cup in anticipation of the coming day when we shall do so with our Lord and Savior, Yeshua the great King of kings of kings, and Lord of lord of lords. Of Yeshua it is said, “The Messiah our wisdom” (1 Cor. 1:30).
kos yeshu’ot essa, uv’shem Adonai ekra
“I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the Name of the LORD” - Psalm 116:13
This cup represents our great hope that soon the Messiah will return for us, and soon he will fulfill the kingdom promises given to us! “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Pour a small amount and recite the blessing...
Barukh attah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha’olam, borei peri ha’gafen.
“Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.”
All Drink and say "NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!"