Click Here to read, What Does The Bible Actually Tell us to do at Passover?
Click Here to read, How Does Passover Reveal The Good News For All People?
How I Learned to Keep Passover as a Believer in Jesus The Messiah
When I began keeping Passover I had just thrown out some of my lifelong traditions because I learned they had replaced our Creator’s Appointed times. It’s not that the Bible says traditions are wrong, but it does command us not to add to, or subtract from God’s Commands, Deuteronomy 4:2 ESV; Mark 7:8 ESV.
I started keeping Passover from scratch, determined to only do what the Bible said, but as you can see from my first link above, there isn’t really that much to do. So over the years I’ve adapted some of the traditions of the Jewish Passover (Pesach) Seder (Order).
Traditions put everyone on the same page and these traditions were set in place some time in the 2nd Century A.D. as a Passover memorial because the Temple in Jerusalem had been destroyed in 70 A.D.
As believers in Jesus (Yehoshua) the Messiah (Anointed), we can connect the shadow of the Passover Lamb to the Spiritual Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, John 1:29 ESV.
The Traditional Passover Seder Reveals Messiah
Traditionally, four cups of wine or grape juice are poured at Passover, one for each of God’s promises:
The 1st Cup is called Sanctification, “I will bring you out;” Exodus 6:6.
Filling the cup to overflowing signifies abundance, Psalm 23:5. We also note the physical symbolism of the grapes that were crushed in order to be transformed into Wine. Wine also represent the life of the blood that is required for cutting a Covenant, Exodus 24:8; Hebrews 9:22. Life is in the Blood, Leviticus 17:11.
“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was Crushed for our iniquities; the chastening was for our Shalom and by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5; Romans 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 2:24
1. The Traditional Wine Blessing
“Blessed are you our Father, our God, King of the Universe, creator of the fruit of the vine,” Amen (drink the cup).
2. Washing Hands is a clean tradition but Yehoshua Instructed His Followers to Wash One Another’s Feet, John 13:14 ESV.
3. Dip Some Parsley (Karpas) in the Salt Water of Tears.
It was prophesied to Abraham that his dependents would experience the Bitterness of slavery for 4 generations…until the sin of the Amorites (those of the West) had reached its full measure, Genesis 15:16 ESV.
4. The Afikomen Tradition
This Jewish tradition takes three pieces of Matzah and breaks the middle piece. The larger half is wrapped in linen and put it in a bag, then tucked away until someone is able to hide it while the children are busy eating. After the meal the children will search for it and the one who finds it is given a silver redemption coin. Exodus 30:11-16
Jesus said, “I Am the Bread of Life” John 6:35
“And when your children say to you, ‘What does this service mean?’ you shall say, ‘It is a Passover sacrifice to YHVH who Passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes.” Exodus 12:26; Deuteronomy 6:20
If you choose to have a Traditional Seder Plate at the head of your table, now is a good time to explain some of the symbolism and make everyone knows to look but don’t touch.
5. Haggadah, “The Telling” of Bondage to Freedom
The 2nd Cup is called Remembrance: “I will Deliver you,” Exodus 6:6.
The Hebrew word “remember” means to “re-experience.” You can begin with Adam or Abraham, as long as you include how Israel ended up in Egypt as slaves and how YHVH, (He Is, Was and Will Be) delivered them from their oppression with a Mighty hand.
And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand
the LORD YHVH brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten. Exodus 13:3
Why Do We Remember The Ten Plagues?
The 10 plagues not only reveal YHVH’s Sovereignty over the god’s of the Egyptian’s, the 10th plague reveals the meaning of the “First-born.” As Death “Passed Over” every Firstborn who obeyed YHVH, it also “Passed Over” Yehoshua, the Spiritual Firstborn from the dead, Psalm 89:27; Colossians 1:18 ESV; Revelation 1:5.
We show “diminished Joy” by removing a drop of wine from our cups and dabbing it on our napkins as each plague is read: 1. Nile River turned to Blood 2. Frogs 3. Lice 4. Flies or Wild Beasts, (Arov=swarm or mixed) 5. Animal disease 6. Boils 7. Hail 8. Locusts 9. Thick darkness 10. Death, of every “Firstborn” who refused to put the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of their homes.
Finally Pharaoh ordered Israel to leave and they left that same night, with their bread Unleavened, and the “Mixed Multitude” left with gifts of great wealth, just as YHVH promised Abraham, hundreds of years earlier:
the LORD YHVH said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not their own; they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. But I will judge the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will depart with many possessions, Genesis 15:13, 14 ESV
It didn’t take Pharaoh long to a change his mind and pursue them. (The parting of the Red Sea created the Way to “Cross-over”, to Freedom. The word “Hebrew” means to “Cross-over.” Like Abraham Crossed-over the Jordan river and was called a Hebrew, we also “Cross over” from death to the Spiritual Life of Yehoshua, The Firstborn from the dead.
“We know that we have “crossed over” from death to Life, because we love one another. The one who does not love remains in death.” 1 John 3:14
6. Traditional Blessing and Hand Washing
Blessed are you, our Father, our God, King of the Universe, Who sanctifies us with His Commands and commands us to wash our hands and purify our hearts. (Revised)
Wash your hands you sinful and purify your hearts you double minded, James 4:8 ESV
7. Traditional Blessings for the Matzah
Blessed are you, our Father, our God, King of the Universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.
Blessed are you, our Father, our God, King of the Universe, Who Sanctifies us with His Commandments and Commanded us to eat Matzah.
8. Traditional Blessing Over the Bitter Herbs (Maror)
Blessed are You, our Father, our God, King of the Universe, Who Sanctifies us with His Commandments and Commanded us to eat Bitter Herbs.
They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; along with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, Exodus 12:8
9. The Traditional Matzah Sandwich with Bitter Herbs
10. The Passover Supper
The Holy, Set Apart, (Qadesh) Passover Meal is a Covenant memorial. Traditionally a light meal, including chicken soup with matzo balls is served. I personally haven’t been able to make a good matzo ball so it’s chicken and dumplings at our house. It’s okay to begin your own special traditions by serving any Biblically clean food that does not contain yeast, (chamets).
11. Have the Children Retrieve the Afikomen/Hidden Matzah and Redeem it With a Silver Coin.
Here Is where we want to make sure everyone connects the Unleavened Bread and Wine to the “Renewed,” “Qodesh,” “Spiritual” Covenant.
12. The “After Meals” Blessing Is Actually a Command
“When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless YHVH your God for the good earth, (eretz) which He has given you,” Amen, Deuteronomy 8:10
Everyone in Covenant takes a small piece of the Afikomen, representing the Body of Jesus/Yehoshua, then read:
The 3rd Cup is Called Redemption: “I will redeem you,” Exodus 6:6.
After saying the traditional Wine Blessing read:
“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 this fruit of the vine again until the day I drink new wine with you in the Kingdom of My Father.’ Matthew 26:28,29; Luke 22:16-18; Jeremiah 31:33
The 4th and Final Cup
Elijah’s cup is traditionally poured but not drank and the door is symbolically opened to welcome Elijah’s coming, Malachi 4:5. Yehoshua revealed that John the Baptist was Elijah, Matthew 11:14 ESV, so now we pour this cup in anticipation of our Messiah’s return.
The 4th Cup Is called Praise:“I will take you to Myself,” Exodus 6:7
This is the Victorious Good News!
Now it’s time to Sing the Hallel, Praises; Psalm 113-118; Exodus 15:21
“And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” Matthew 26:30
“and they sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb: “Great and wonderful are Your works, YHVH God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the nations!” Revelation 15:3
Make a toast to Spiritual Life as we anticipate our Messiah’s return, “next year in Jerusalem,” at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb!