Jesus and His disciples were reclining at their Passover meal. Jesus blessed the matzoh bread
Then He blessed the wine and passed around His cup."Drink this, for this is my blood."
Then Jesus looked at each of his disciples. His face was full of sorrow. "One of you sitting here will betray me."
Jesus answered, "The one to whom I shall give this bread." Then Jesus took a piece of bread from the loaf, dipped it in the dish of wine and handed it to Judas Iscariot. "Do whatever you have to do, but do it quickly." Jesus said. With a start, Judas got up from the table, left the room, and walked out into the night.
photo from Greg Olsen
When Jesus and His disciples ate the "Last Supper" it was on the first night of the Passover festival, or during the Seder Meal. During this meal Jesus explained to His Disciples that The Bread was His body and the wine was His blood of the new covenant, shed for the remission of our sins. Jesus instructed us to "Do This in remembrance of Me" (Luke 22:19)
The example Jesus set in washing the feet of His disciples is sometimes still done today on Maundy Thursday before the Passover supper. Most Churches offer a Maundy Service in which they end the service with Communion, Breaking the Bread and Drinking the wine in remembrance of Jesus' death.
God commanded the Israelites to remember the Passover as a festival to the Lord for generations to come (Exodus 12:14).
Most Jewish families continue to observe the feast of Passover Seder (supper) on the first day of Passover. Passover is a week long celebration.
Today, the meal in the Upper Room has become part of Holy Week. Each ingredient in a Passover Meal has a special meaning.
As Christians we can explain that we are all "chosen people" if we have been "born" into God's family by believing in His Son, Jesus, as our Messiah. We can share the cup of joy with other Christians out of thanksgiving that Jesus became the final "Lamb" to be sacrificed in order that our "joy may be full".
Below are the Passover foods and the explanations of the meanings from the Old Testament Exodus story
(and the New Testament story of Jesus' as our Messiah.)
*Three whole Matzos (unleavened bread).
A reminder that the Israelites did not have time to wait for the yeast bread to rise because they had to be ready to move when God said. A piece of the middle one is hidden for a child to find.
(New Testament represents the Body of Jesus Christ broken for our sins. As Christians it is a reminder to live so that we are always "ready to go" when Jesus returns. Also yeast sometimes represents the evil in the world. God wants His people to be pure.)
*A roasted lamb ~ placed to the host's right ~
in memory of the lamb sacrificed by Israelites the night before their flight from Egypt.
(Jesus is our final perfect Lamb sacrificed for us.)
*A roasted egg ~ to the left ~
in mourning for destroyed temple.
(Symbol of the free-will offering that was given with the lamb. This represents giving more to God than just what is demanded. This is a gift of love. Jesus is God's ultimate gift. God's law demanded justice, but with the gift of Jesus, God gives us more than justice; He gives us mercy, love and forgiveness.)
* Maror (bitter herbs) ~ placed in the middle
A reminder of the bitterness of slavery in Egypt.
(As Christians we remember that many suffered so that we may know the joy of the good news of Jesus.)
*Charoseth (chopped almonds, apple, wine, sugar and cinnamon)~
Symbolizes the mortar which the Jews had to mix in making bricks for the king of Egypt.
*Salt water ~
to signify the Red Sea which miraculously parted to let the Israelites across.
(Represents the tears of all of God's Saints)
* Karpar (celery, parsley, greens)-
The Hebrew word means 600,000 the recorded number who left Egypt.
(These plants stay green all year and represent the everlasting life because of Jesus Christ's Ressurection.)
*Wine or grape juice ~
Wine represents JOY.
As the service proceeds, as each plaque is mentioned, each person sips a little of the wine. This means that until we were totally free and out of bondange, joy was incomplete.
(At the Last Supper Jesus said that the wine represented His own life's blood, poured out for us. He had to die so that we could know the total joy of freedom and forgiveness.)
*Elijah's cup ~ usually a treasured one filled with wine ~
is placed on the table to await the arrival of the Messiah.
(Jesus said in Matthew 11:14 that John the Baptist was the promised Elijah who was to announce the Messiah's coming. For Christians this cup does not remain untouched. It is shared by everyone at the table in the joy that our hope had come true. The Messiah has come to us and is alive to give our lives eternal joy.
The youngest son or male asks the same question 5 times, and the father answers explaining why. Here is the question, and the answers.
Why is this night different from all other nights?
On all other nights we eat either leavened bread or matzah.
On this night, only matzah.
On all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs.
On this night, only bitter herbs.
On all other nights we do not dip even once.
On this night, we dip twice.
On all other nights we eat either sitting up or reclining.
On this night we all recline.
On all other nights we eat in any ordinary way.
On this night we dine in special ceremony.
To start we Read Exodus 7 - 12. Dad starts reading from Ex. 7:1-13. Then each of our children take turns reading the 10 plagues. We start with the oldest to the youngest. To represent each plague the younger children painted wooden cutouts, which I found at the craft store. (A Red Heart to represent the River Nile turning to Blood, A Green Frog, A Fly, Locust, etc.) After the child reads the plague from the Bible they place the wooden object in a basket that is set in the center of the room. After everyone reads Dad explains the seder food and what each represents. The youngest son or grandson asks the question 5 times as explained in the Seder Ceremony above. After the meal is eaten we move the table back to the dining room clear the dishes. To remember Jesus' washing the Disciples feet we preform a foot washing ceremony. This year I wrote everyones name and placed the names in a jar. Starting with the youngest, the person draws a name out and washes that persons feet, and drys their feet with a towel. We continue until everyone has had their feet washed.
To concluded we watch either The 10 commandments or the Prince of Egypt animated movie. After the Ceremony it is fun for the family to make Jelly Bean Prayer Jars, and address Easter Cards for friends and elderly people. This craft is really easy to make.
After the feast Jennifer, Jonathan, and Jamie preformed a play on the "Ten Plagues and Passover". The three grandchildren especially enjoyed the little frogs, It was a wonderful way to teach the story of Moses and the ten plagues and the Passover to the kids.
to Your Family
May the Joy of Jesus Christ be with you and your family every day!
to Your Family
Passover LinksUncle Eli's Site Be sure and click on the story about the 10 placgues and the Passover Seder. They are both great for kids.
and for parents here is a detail Passover and Seder explanation at US Israel.org
Bitsela.com Free Art - Provided the Jewish Art
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Just For Kids Magazine ~ April's Issue