Even though we have celebrated Passover for ten years now, we are still very much learning how to celebrate the Passover. We do not celebrate it exactly as the Jews do; we try to excise the traditions of men and include the fulfillment of Jesus (Yeshua). So we are developing our own way of celebrating the feast to fulfill its purpose of a memorial for ourselves, and to teach the children. It is subject to change as the Lord continues to teach us. But the following is what we have done so far. This is our understanding to date, subject to change as God reveals more from His Word to us. I encourage everyone to search out the Scriptures for themselves do as the Word reveals!
This feast is the only one where part of the menu is commanded: roast lamb, bitter herbs, and unleavened bread (Exo 12:8-9). Before the Feast of Firstfruits, we do not eat fresh produce, but stored (Lev 23:14). Therefore our appetizers, sides and desserts for Passover are made with root vegetables, frozen or canned vegetables from the previous harvest, and dried or stored fruits (such as apples).
Now the 15th day is a High Holy Sabbath – the 1st day of Unleavened Bread (Lev 23:6-7). It can fall on any day of the week, not necessarily a Saturday. It is always a day of rest. The 14th day is the Day of Preparation, to get ready for the rest on the High Holy Sabbath. I do my deep cleaning beginning with the sighting of the new moon (so that I can remove the crumbs thus swept up on the 15th day, which is the 1st day of Unleavened Bread; Exo 12:15); I spend the 14th day cooking the Passover meal that night, and prep work for the next day, the 1st day of Unleavened Bread.
We have our Passover meal of roast lamb, bitter herbs, and unleavened bread at sundown or in the evening of the 14th day, the Day of Preparation.
Passover is about our deliverance and redemption out of one kingdom, the kingdom of darkness, which is the spiritual Egypt (Rev 11:8), of slavery to sin (Col 1:13-14, Rom 6:14), so that we can be brought in to another kingdom, the kingdom of heaven (Mat 4:17), where we live in freedom (Gal 5:1 – not freedom from righteousness, which the Law defines, but freedom from sin, Rom 6:18-19). It is about changing citizenship (Phi 3:20-21, Heb 11:13-16, 12:28)! The history telling and Scripture reading which follows is designed to remind us of this.
Begin while the food finishes cooking. Mom lights the seven candles, and Dad pours the wine, blessing it, and breaks the unleavened bread, blessing it. As we begin our meal with wine, bread and appetizers, Dad reminds us that the Last Supper which instituted Communion was a Passover supper, and that when we eat the bread and drink the wine tonight, we will be partaking in the body and blood of our Lord. Dad notes to everyone that the bread is striped and pierced, just as Jesus was for us (Isa 53:5, Psa 22:16) – He is the true Bread which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world (Joh 6:32-35)! – and that the wine is the cup of the New Covenant in His blood (Luk 22:15-20). Dad warns us (1 Cor 11:23-29) not to eat or drink without examining ourselves. The two weeks we just spent examining the house and cleaning every scrap of leaven out of it (Exo 12:15) is an object lesson from God for us, His children, that we are likewise not to let the leaven of sin find a foothold or a home in us, but to diligently sweep it all away.
Mom brings the food to the table. Dad blesses the food; and everyone eats.
During the meal, Dad reads (or tells, or has the family take turns reading) the Exodus story from Exo chapter 12, then the story of Jesus’ crucifixion from Joh chapters 18 and 19. He reminds us that Jesus is our Passover Lamb (Joh 1:29, 1 Cor 5:7), who has delivered us from the angel of death (Joh 11:25-26) and has set us free from slavery to sin (Rom 6:14).
Mom gets the dessert ready to serve. Dad explains that by the blood of Jesus, we have been adopted as sons into God’s family (Gal 4:4-5); we have changed our citizenship from the world to the kingdom of heaven (Phi 3:20-21, Col 1:13-14), where Jesus is not only Savior, but also King (Rev 17:14). Now that God has redeemed us, or bought us back, we are no longer our own, since we have been bought with a price (1 Cor 6:19-20). God is at work in us every day, through His great love and grace, to accomplish our sanctification (Phi 1:6, 2 The 2:13), or set-apartness from the world and all its ways.
Can we just stop at this moment and break down into tears of joy for all that God has done for us? And then we eat dessert!
We conclude our meal looking forward to the coming kingdom of Yeshua when He will eat and drink the Passover with us (Luk 22:15-16).
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
Then following supper, it is my dream that we can leave our timidity behind and spend the evening praising and worshiping the Lord together for the great deliverance He has wrought for us, in song and dance, just as Israel did when God delivered them through the Red Sea (Exo 15:1-20). Let the joy of our salvation break forth, and overflow! Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so (Psa 107:2)! And not just in a church service!