Passover meal

Passover meal

On Sunday Caroline finished our series of meals with Jesus by looking at The Last Supper

The story of Passover is told in the Book of Exodus 3:19-20. The Children of Israel had been slaves in Egypt for many years. Moses went to Pharaoh to ask him to release the Israelites. Pharaoh refused to let them go, so God caused ten plagues to happen in Egypt. The last plague was to kill the firstborn child. An avenging angel would go from house to house killing every first-born son. Israelite children would not be killed and thus God would show that they were his chosen people.

Questions are asked at a Passover meal. These questions are:
Why is this night different to any other night?
Why do we eat unleavened bread?

Unleavened bread (or matzo) is eaten to remember the Exodus when the Israelites left Egypt  in such a hurry that there wasn’t enough time to add yeast to the bread and let it rise.

Also throughout the bible, scripture tells us that yeast is likened to sin. God didn’t want people mix yeast with their sacrifices, in order to teach them that when they approach Him, He expects them to be pure and holy, just like He is.

Why do we eat bitter herbs?

Bitter herbs, usually horseradish, are included in the meal to represent the bitterness of slavery.

Other elements of the meal include:-

A lamb shank bone  to remind them that there was a lamb that was offered as a sacrifice for sin then roasted and eaten as part of the meal at Passover. Jesus, was led like a lamb to the slaughter (Isahih53:7),  he gave his life for us at Passover, and died on the cross taking the punishment for our sins so that we can escape God’s anger and punishment for our sin, so that we can have a relationship with God and be free to live a life that is honours God. Passover lambs had to be perfect, without blemish; Jesus was perfect, without sin. John’s gospel tells us that Jesus was a perfect sacrifice, and like the Passover lambs, none of his bones were broken.

Charoset is traditionally made from chopped nuts, grated apples, cinamon and sweet red wine

Hard-boiled egg,  is a symbol of mourning because since the Temple has been destroyed the Israelites are unable to offer any kind of sacrifices in honour of the Passover. Since the destruction of the Temple, the egg serves as a visual reminder of the Passover some people eat a regular hard-boiled egg dipped in saltwater as the first course of the meal

Why do we place three Matozot together in one napkin?

The sixth symbolic of the Passover meal is a plate of three whole Matzot, which are stacked and separated from each other by cloths or napkins. The middle matzah will be broken and half of it hidden to represent the time Jesus’s body was hidden in the tomb. The Matzah has stripes and holes  on it’s surface to represent the flogging Jesus endured and the nails in his hands.

Why do we dip our food ?

Parsley is dipped into salt water at the beginning of the Passover, and the resulting dripping of water off the parsley visually represents tears and is a symbolic reminder of the tears the Jews shed as slaves in Egypt.

Why do we eat in a reclining position?

In Old Testament time, people who were free reclined on sofas while they ate. Today cushions are placed on chairs to symbolise freedom and relaxation, in contrast to slavery.