Do you know what a Messianic Passover is?
I sure didn’t. I have blogged about our journey of learning about it over the years, but today, in this post, I want to share HOPE with you.
So first of all, let’s answer the question, “What is a Messianic Passover or Seder?”
Passover has been and still remains a Jewish holiday focused on remembering the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt. It is a retelling of the historical account and filled with symbolism to remind the next generation of what God has done for His people.
For us, as Christians, we can find there is a richness in remembering this account found in the book of Exodus, but we can also see a beautiful foretelling and prophesy of the coming, crucifixion and resurrection which has been fulfilled in the God and person of Jesus Christ.
So just as the Jewish celebrate what God has done for their people and pass on this memory through the tradition of Passover, we know are attempting to do the same in teaching our children the solid foundation of our faith. Our goal in experiencing a Passover each year is to know God more, and make Him known as we share with others the amazing facts about how Jesus fulfilled prophecy and how He will come back again one day.
So, are you thinking, “This sounds pretty cool. I might want to try it with my family, but I don’t know where to begin! It all seems overwhelming!”
There is hope for you. The hope is found in the person of Jesus. We do not earn more points with Jesus because we do a Seder, or because we do a traditional Seder “right” or “all the way.” A traditional Seder can take hours to go through and weeks of planning, but don’t let that discourage you! You don’t have to do it all.
Let me share our story…
Do you ever get overwhelmed over the holidays? Not just Christmas time, but Easter too. You know there can be so much pressure to be and do as a wife and mom.
I mean, aside from the normal routines of trying to keep the house clean, take care of kids, make the beds, then you have to shop for and cook a special formal meal, maybe prepare special gifts for Easter. And the funniest part is that isn’t even the HARDEST part is it?
Nope. What about discipling your children? I mean teaching them about the Resurrection and trying to really make it special. Right?
If you are like me, you hear about so-and-so doing this Lent study and automatically have the temptation to feel like you are missing it. You are missing some mark of what it means to disciple your kids just because you aren’t doing a devotional every morning that points to the crucifixion and resurrection. And some years, maybe you can. You do the study, and you pat yourself on the back, but then the next year comes and now you have set yourself a standard that you must meet… or… else… what?
So maybe, just maybe you have seen my posts about a Messianic Passover and felt like that is WAY over your head?
Or maybe you think it’s cool, but you never grew up doing it, and you are not Jewish by heritage so you think it’s not for you?
Or maybe you are thinking, this is just one more thing to add to my already overflowing plate, no thank you!?
I don’t blame you. But can I tell you something encouraging?
I am not Jewish by blood or heritage, though my last name is Jewish.
I didn’t grow up traditionally eating a Passover meal, though my mom does put on a pretty amazing Easter spread! I never knew what the point of Passover was or what it represented until I watched the movie Prince of Egypt, when I was in college. No joke. Fortunately, my Old Testament Professor covered it in great detail shortly thereafter to correct any historical misunderstandings I could have gotten from the movie.
I actually had never heard of a Messianic Passover, Seder, Haggadah, or anything of the sort until 2007. No one in family practiced it. But hey, there was always Google!
So I began my search, my quest for knowledge and understanding.
And you can too!
You don’t have to set out to do the whole shebang the first year either. We started out with the basic elements on a plate and taught about what each of them represented the first year. Then the next year we researched Passover dishes and made our first 5 course Passover meal. Then the next year we began inviting friends to join us, reading from the scriptures, drinking from the cups, and reciting some of the chants and telling the stories so that the children could experience what it was like and we explained the WHY behind it all.
Every year we added more aspects and built upon the year previous. Now we are at a point where the kids have many of the recipes memorized and more of them can help so I can spend more time researching, learning and preparing. Last year we even cleaned out the yeast from the pantry! Did you know the term Spring Cleaning comes from the Jews because of their preparation of Passover and the importance of Kosher meals and traditions?
It doesn’t matter how old you are, how busy you are, if you are Jewish or not. Learning about Passover, even a little bit at a time, is so enriching to understanding even more the richness of the Gospel and the sacrifice Jesus made for us.
So if you are curious just what a Messianic Passover or Seder is, welcome. I hope you are encouraged to teach your children just one or two knew fun facts about how the Old Testament was fulfilled by the coming of Jesus, specifically the historical account of Passover.
A Glimpse of What We’ve Done Over the Years
Usually I put a lot of effort into the week of Easter, Lent, and Passover. Attempting to teach the past as well as the significance of the now in regards to our relationship to Christ and what He has done.
I am going to throw in some old photos from Easters past through out this post, just for the fun of it because if you were to go through my old blog’s posts regarding incorporating a Passover meal of sorts, and learning about what a Messianic Passover is, you would see so much growth in the last eight years!
Isn’t that encouraging? It sure is to me!
At first I didn’t attempt a fully authentic Seder. And admittedly, I am still not there yet.
However, ever year we are learning more and more the significance of a few more elements regarding the symbolism behind every aspect of the Passover meal and how it is reflected through the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord.
How enriching it has been to see how prophecy of the Christ (Isaiah 53) has come together with the historical account of the Israelites exodus from Egypt through Passover and then to see how Christ fulfilled those prophecies and is so present in the stories that are remembered /practiced in the Seder. My eyes have been opened to so much through this process.
Did you know the word remember is in the Old & New Testament over 300 times?
Though we are not Jewish, the King of my heart was. Scripture says, He is the same yesterday, today & FOREVER! Though I do not practice traditions legalistically I do value the traditions of our ancestors and desire to know more about them, remember them, and teach them to my children. Learning how to host a Messianic Seder has enriched our understanding of the Old Testament and brought it to life for so many of my kids over the years. If nothing else, they see how relevant it is to understanding why Jesus came and did what He did!
“Reading the great “stories” in the Bible, the accounts of God’s amazing love, provision, and protection is a good steady first step. (In teaching children the significance)But celebrating Hebrew traditions recorded in the Bible provides visual reminders and encourages awareness of the Lord’s presence and His blessings. Biblical Festivals are living experiences.” pg 18-19 , “Celebrating Biblical Feasts” by Martha Zimmerman
I would like to share with you one aspect which I taught the kids at our first Seder. I am SO thankful I documented this in an old post years ago, or I wouldn’t have it as an outline today to share with you!
Did you know the Egg, which is an element in the Seder represents the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart? The salt water it is dipped in symbolizes the tears of the Hebrew slaves under Egypt’s bondage. See, you can still hard boil eggs and die them even and teach a biblical reference! It doesn’t have to be Easter Bunny eggs. There can be a scriptural relevance where you teach your children what it means to have a hardened heart before God, how He alone judges the heart’s of men, and how much Jesus loves each of us and that He came because He wants the loyalty of our hearts!
There are many more symbolic teachings that can go so much deeper, but I just want to leave you with that one to start with, to tempt you to be curious.
If you would like to learn more symbolism and see some more examples, here is my post from a Passover we did a few years ago where I share more of the meaning behind the elements.
If Children learn what they live, why don’t we invite them to live out an experience they won’t soon forget. Why don’t we create an event that will teach them about Jesus, about the relevance of the Old Testament and New Testament together in a way that points them to Jesus?
You can do this! I started out with this one simple book and over the years have added more books, more information, more recipes to our dinner and teaching. One year we even did a opening teaching on servant leadership and how Jesus modeled that by the washing of his disciples feet. Then us parents went on to wash each of our children’s feet and pray a special blessing over them. It was precious. And though it is not traditional in a Passover to wash another’s feet, we did this to remember Jesus.
“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.”
Celebrating Biblical Feasts
by Martha Zimmerman
This book explains the meanings behind the parts of the Seder as well as giving recipes and is filled with scripture… prophetic as well as fulfillment scripture from the New Testament. This book is a must have in my library and I know you will love it too!
Many Blessings on Your Journey of Learning a New Legacy or Tradition!