Bringing the Traditions of the Passover to Life for Christ-Followers
This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.
The Lord, Exodus 12:14
In the Old Testament, God established seven annual holidays for the Israelite people. The most important of these holidays was the Passover. This feast celebrates God’s angel passing over their homes in the midst of God’s master plan to free their ancestors from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 11 – 12). As their Egyptian captors suffered loss around them, the Israelites were protected from plague and death.
The Passover meal would be followed by seven sacred days referred to as the Feast of Unleavened Bread. During these seven days, the Israelites would remember God’s amazing providence and be reminded of how He continued to work in their midst.
Christ-followers are not required to prepare a Passover meal or celebrate this feast; but what we discover in the New Testament texts is that this is because of an even greater passover that we have experienced. As a result of the sin and brokenness that we bring into this world, human beings are under a death sentence. In going to the cross, Jesus took that punishment as His own.
Where death ruled, now there is life.
Where sin condemned, now there is grace.
Where once we waited for divine judgement, now that judgement passes over us.
All this because of Jesus and the death and resurrection that He embraced for our sake. Shortly before His crucifixion, Jesus celebrated a Passover meal with His followers. During this last supper, He explained the fuller meaning of the passover and how it was ultimately fulfilled in Him (Matthew 26:17 – 30). From this point on, Christ-followers began the practice of Communion. Each week, we gather together to remember the passover that Jesus has given us.
At times, it is good to break out of our routine rhythms of worship to reflect on Jesus in some new way. That’s what this booklet is all about: finding a new way to connect with Jesus by traversing the old way given to the Israelite people. Christ-followers can no longer authentically celebrate the Israelite Passover; but they can celebrate the work of Jesus through a revised and repurposed passover that highlights the truths we find in God’s Word.
The Seder Experience booklet is designed to lead you through the preparation and practice of Passover. In the midst of this sacred meal, participants will discover a deeper appreciation for Jewish history, links that help Christ-followers bridge the Old and New Testament practices, and a new way to worship Jesus.