Tonight at sunset begins the Passover week. From sunset to sunset we will begin to observe the holiest day of the year. We will continue this observance for one whole week.
Christian families with Hebraic hearts from all over the world, who believe in keeping the commandments of God will be celebrating a Seder meal inside their homes.
The very devout have spent much time preparing for this day; They have done their spring cleaning and removed the leaven from their homes. Removing the leaven is symbolic of putting sinful things out of our lives. God does not want us living in sin; and if we truly love our Heavenly Father; we do the work and put the sin outside of our lives. We replace the old things with the new things. As we put the sin away; we bring in prayer and meditation and worship and we honor the holy scriptures and the instructions of our Father in Heaven. We eat symbolic food that helps us to remember Christ as our deliverer.
Just as the leaven is symbolic of sin; the unleavened bread is symbolic of the love of Christ. It is even more important to put more of Christ into our lives than it is to remove the leaven and concentrate on removing our sins.
When you are full of the good things of The Bread from Heaven; it is easy to not live in sin. The matzoh that we put on our tables this week is symbolic of this. We can look at the matzoh and see that it is pierced and stripped; just as Jesus was as he hung on the cross for our sake. We take the matzoh from a white linen cloth and we break the matzoh as we eat it; just as Christ’s body was broken for us. We know that the matzoh is totally leaven free; just as Christ was totally sin free as He willingly gave his life for us; and became our Passover Lamb.
We eat the matzoh at our Seder meal and we serve it in our homes in place of leavened bread all week. We bring out our best, the white linen table clothes, the fine china used only on this sacred occasion, the special dishes, including an extra plate for Elijah; and we watch the door to see if he returns this year. We are reminded every time we eat the Seder meal that Christ was the Bread of Heaven. We know the extra place is really for Him, as Elijah told us about the Messiah to come. Christ was the message of Elijah.
We wait for Christ and we remember on this sacred night. We fill our bodies and our souls with the Bread of Heaven and thank God for the ability that He gives us for removing the unwanted sins of our days. These are some of the ways that we honor God The Father in this holy, sacred week and on this night of our Seder meal.
We read the scriptures where He asked us to do this. One place is found in Exodus; Chapter 12; verse 24: “Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as He promised, observe the ceremony. And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when He struck down the Egyptians.”
So it is that we show honor to God the Father and Christ The Son by “observing the ceremony” of the Passover Seder meal on this first night of The Passover; the night that the story of God’s people began.
On this most sacred night God formed a nation from a people that were not a people. He separated them out from the rest of the world and called them His own.
Anyone who eats of the Bread of Heaven and trusts Christ to remove their sins is considered a member of this Holy family that God began forming on that first Passover when He lead the ancient Israelites out of Egypt with a mighty hand.
With the Passover Seder we remember how our Father reached down from Heaven and began all the things that make us a family today. He removed us from the bondage of sin and took us on a journey to a land flowing with milk and honey. He fed us and kept us clothed. He gave us water from a rock and He showed us mighty miracles; miracles that no pagan god could ever come close to performing. He proved to us that He was God; and He taught us how to worship Him. We worship Him with our Seder meal and we remember.
The food in our meal is symbolic of all the things that the first members of our great family experienced in the wilderness. As we have already mentioned the matzah that symbolizes Christ; as the Lamb of God. We have parsley, called “karpus” and it reminds us of how the Hebrew people were prosperous before they sinned and God had to turn His back away from them; this sin lead them into a life of bondage and slavery in Egypt. We dip the parsley into salt water to remember the tears of slavery. We eat horseradish on our matzoh to remember the bitterness of slavery. We taste the haroset, a mixture of sweet red wine, nuts and apples, and it reminds us of the mortar the slaves used to lay bricks in Egypt. There is a shank bone on the table to symbolize the Passover sacrifice, and we drink four glasses of wine to remember certain things. There is an egg on the Seder plate which symbolizes the new life that God brought by bringing the people out of Egypt and forming a new nation called Israel, and eventually forming the Church of God in Christ as Messiah. This is the miracle of the forming and evolution of God’s Holy Family.
We dip our fingers into our wine and we remember the ten plagues that came upon the people who refused to listen to God.
We always remember by telling the story with the celebration of this meal.
The telling of the story is actually the most important part of the night.
We tell the story of redemption from slavery in a million different ways; by speech, by symbolism, by the food we eat, by the way we prepare, by poetry, by drama, by song, by prayer, by scripture reading. We love the story and the telling of it never becomes too old or boring. God shows us something new every time we hear it; and by the telling we pass on the story to our children and to their children to come.
We must never stop telling the story. We must remember every part; the way God saved Moses as a child and brought him to lead a nation out of slavery; the way that is symbolic of Christ; the way the people were enslaved in a pagan nation and how God delivered them by sending 10 plagues; the way God told them to prepare by placing the blood of an innocent lamb over their doorposts; and how those who did not obey God with this sacrificial act lost their firstborn. Those who honored God kept their families intact and were delivered from the bondage of slavery. We remember how God parted the sea and let the people cross on dry land, and how He protected them from Pharaoh’s army. We remember how God fed and clothed and blessed the people in the wilderness. We are reminded that was where God taught them how to become His family and the route God used to bring them into a land of milk and honey. After we remember all of this with story and symbolic food and with the wine that is symbolic of Christ; we speak of how all of these things symbolized the way of life that Christ provided for us as He became The Lamb of God.
Passover isn’t just one day; it last for seven days. For seven days we observe unleavened bread; the symbolic act of leaving the leaven out of our lives and we eat the matzoh that is symbolic of putting more of Christ into our lives.
And the most holy night of the year begins the most holy week of the year.
I pray that your Passover is blessed with the presence of God and that your family can celebrate together and rejoice in Christ our Savior.