Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Passover Seder

This was the first year that I've ever celebrated Passover. I haven't celebrated Easter for several years because of the Pagan origins. (note the I do not agree with everything at that site, but it sums up the origins).

As I've learned more about the Hebrew roots of my faith, I've felt led to observe the Biblical Holidays. I'm starting by learning about each one as it comes up throughout this year. For Passover, I thought I would start small and not have any yeast during the week, as yeast represents sin. On Thursday, I went to a friend's house and she made homemade pretzels. I ate one, and we talked about bread rising, and it didn't even dawn on my until the drive home that those had yeast! Good thing YHVH is a God of grace, and knows my heart.

On Saturday, I attended a Passover Seder. I learned so much, and had so much fun! They talked about the "chametz" or yeast being representative of sin, and that Passover is a time to examine our lives for things that we need to clean out, just as we clean the yeast out of our homes. Unlike at the first Passover, we now have Yeshua to take our sin.

It is a Passover tradition for the head of the table to wash the hands of each person at the table. When Yeshua celebrated Passover with his disciples, he not only washed their hands, but their feet as well. How amazing to serve a God with a servant's heart!

We drank the first cup, and remembered that the Israelites had to eat the first Passover in a hurry because they were about to leave Egypt. As we drank, we leaned to the left to signify that now we could lean or recline and relax while we celebrated.

At a traditional Passover, 3 peices of matzah (unleavened bread) are served. The matzah is striped and peirced, just as Yeshua was striped and peirced. The three peices represent the Trinity. The middle peice of matzah was then broken in half. One peice was wrapped with spices, just as Yeshua's body was buried with spices.

We ate bitter herbs in rememberance of the bitterness of slavery for the Israelites. We ate parsely in salt water in rememberance of the hyssop branches used to spread the blood on the doorposts to protect the Israelites from death. then we drank the second cup.

Earlier, the peices of matzah that had been wrapped with the spices had been hidden around the room. The children went to find them, and then brought them back to their tables. They could redeem the matzah for coins, just as Yeshua was sold for 30 pieces of silver. We ate the matzah together in rememberance of Yeshua. Just as he rose on the third day, we ate the matzah with the third cup.

The third cup is a picture of the betrothal cup. In ancient times, before a woman was betrothed to be married, her father would pour her soon-to-be husband a cup of wine indicating that the price the man had offered was sufficient. The man would drink the cup, signifing that he also agreed to the price. He would then offer the cup to his prospective bride. She could decline the cup, and refuse to marry him, or she could accept the cup and drink. In drinking the third cup, we were signifying that we have accepted the betrothal to Yeshua. He paid the ultimate price of his life for ours, and we are free to accept or reject his gift. We accepted, and drank to remember.

Does that sound an awful lot like communion? The first communion was during the first Passover. The Israelites had no idea that their celebration was foreshadowing the coming of the Messiah.

We then drank the fourth cup, and sang the hymn from Psalm 136- His Love Endures Forever.

All of this was interspersed with wonderful singing in both Hebrew and English, and some amazing dancing from the ASCENT group. They taught everyone some Davidic dances at the end, and that was FUN! I've been attending the dance group and learning a few dances for a few months now. Hopefully next year, I'll be able to perform with them.

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