The Hebrew word "seder" means "order". Each person in attendance has a haggadah (booklet) which has the readings and scriptures for the seder. Our haggadah is for a Messianic service and therefore includes readings from both the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Scriptures. Hopefully, you will one day have the privilege of attending a Passover seder, so I've decided not to spoil your fun by explaining every detail. Suffice it to say that it involves music, dancing, singing, and of course, eating and drinking!
The main focus of the seder is the seder plate, which has a variety of items which are symbolic and beautiful in their interpretation. The photograph above shows a seder plate. I will explain each element below:
The parsley (karpas in Hebrew), represents the hyssop which was used to apply the blood of the Passover lamb to the doorposts and lentils of each of the Israelites' homes. The karpas is dipped in salt water and eaten. The salt water represents the tears shed that night in Egypt, and also the Red Sea through which the Hebrews escaped.
Matzah has been explained in my last post here.
The horseradish (maror in Hebrew, for bitter herbs) are eaten on a piece of matzah. This represents the sorrow, persecution and suffering of the people under Pharoah. Just as the bitter herbs bring tears to our eyes, so did the suffering of our people bring tears to their eyes. This also represents the sorrow of our lives before we accept Yeshua.
Next the bitter herbs are eaten along with charoset, which a Hebrew word also. Charoset is a sweet mixture of chopped apples, nuts, and honey. The charoset represents mortar used to make clay bricks by our people while slaves in Egypt. Eating the bitter with the sweet represents the bitterness of Yeshua's death, and the sweetness of his sacrifice to set us free.
The lamb shank bone represents the Passover lamb (Pesach sey), which is the symbol of our L-rd and Savior Yeshua. The lamb had to be spotlessly perfect. Yeshua was also sinless and perfect in obedience to the Torah and the Father; therefore he could be the Passover lamb for the whole world.
Some seders include a boiled egg. We do not because of its association with mystical religious rites of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Babylonians. The egg is one of the symbols of the fertility goddess Ishtar (aka Easter). Father G-d told us not to participate in occult practice or worship any other gods before Him. It must make him sad that people honor Ishtar (Easter) instead of Him on Passover.
There is more, so much more, involved in the Passover seder. To tell it all would be to write a haggadah! So, my desire here is just to whet your appetite for more. You would be so blessed to attend a Messianic Passover seder, and I hope you will next year!
In Exodus 12 and Leviticus 23, G-d commanded that Passover be observed forever. Yeshua obeyed that commandment. You may read about it in Luke 22, Matthew 26, and John 13. He observed the seder just prior to going to the cross. Knowing this, you will see what is called the last supper in a whole new light. The entire seder is a picture of our salvation from sin through Yeshua. His death, burial and resurrection are portrayed clearly and beautifully in the Passover seder. My prayer and hope is that you will be blessed to attend a Messianic seder, and that you, too, will honor G-d by observing the commandment to keep Passover.
Shalom to you and yours.
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