What is a Christian Passover Seder?
Traditionally held by Jewish families, a Passover seder commemorates God’s deliverance of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt. When we participate in this as believers in Christ, we recount the story of the Exodus but also take communion, acknowledge the new covenant, and recognize that Jesus stepped into the role of the final Passover lamb for us.
Why we host a Seder:
I grew up in a non-demonimational church and my faith experience lacked ritual or tradition. Easter was only slightly different than every other Sunday. On that day, we would wake up early and race around the living room looking for plastic eggs and baskets full of candy. Then we would dress up in fancy clothes and take pictures before heading to church. This was a sweet tradition when I was young, however, as I out grew the childish elements of it, Easter became just another day.
I didn't think much about Easter until I had children.
And so began the tradition of our extended family gathering at my in-laws on Easter Sunday. Instead of a typical egg hunt, each grandchild followed a colored ribbon that lead them around the yard and to find special treats from their grandparents. After, we'd have a big meal with turkey and all the trimmings. Another sweet tradition that we look forward to every year however, our time together had no reference to Christ's death and resurrection.
My husband and I wanted our children to have a deeper understanding of the holiday. We wanted them to know that while bunnies, chocolates, and colored eggs are fun, Easter is about the resurrection of Jesus. That's when we decided to host a Passover seder, not only to remember the great works that God did to deliver the Israelites, but also as as a way to celebrate the love God has shown for us by sending Jesus to be our Passover lamb, to pay the final price for our redemption.
It quickly became one of our favorite celebrations.
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What you need to set your table for a Passover:
- Matzah - three pieces wrapped or covered in a cloth, additional for eating with the meal.
- Wine or Grape juice
- Small dish of salted water - represents the tears of the slaves
- Seder Plate - The seder plate traditionally holds five or six items, each of which symbolizes a part (or multiple parts) of the Passover story.
For the Seder plate - placed at the head of the table
- Sprigs parsley - the flourishing of the Israelites and the coming of Spring
- Horseradish - the bitterness of the slaves
- Haroset (make a head of time) - the sweetness represents freedom and the appearance represents the mortar the slaves were forced to make
- Shank bone of lamb - the lamb that was sacrificed as a Passover offering
- Boiled egg - the circle of life
- Romaine Lettuce - the bitterness enslavement
*The table is set with place settings for each person attending plus one additional for Elijah's seat.
Our Passover menu:
The meal is eaten halfway through the Seder, so I have chosen recipes that don't need much attention. We typically start our ceremony 30 minutes before the food is ready.
- Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary
- Roasted New Red Potatoes
- Oven Roasted Broccoli
- Balsamic Roasted Carrots
For us, keeping the Passover is about remembering the price that Jesus paid to cleanse us from all of our sins and redeem us. It's the way we have chosen to leave a legacy of faith with our children.