As a young mom, I struggled to keep my family's Easter focus on the resurrection of Christ when that message was sabotaged by cultural icons of Easter eggs, bunnies, and baskets.
My children gravitated toward the tangible goodies that melted in their hands, were hidden in tall tufts of grass, or arrived in colorful baskets. However, when a friend moved to Israel as a missionary and introduced me to the biblical feasts and festivals, including Passover, our family began incorporating Passover into our Spring celebrations.
The History of Passover: A Story of Redemption
Passover is one of seven holy days appointed by God in Leviticus 23.
It takes a bit of research and education to start peeling back the mystery, but it can result in new ways to worship God. Combined, all seven feasts paint a complete picture of God's redemptive work. The four Spring holidays illustrate the work Christ accomplished during His life on earth. The three Fall festivals are a foreshadowing of what is still to come.
Passover is the story of redemption. When the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, they cried out to God for deliverance. His plan of salvation required each family to select an unblemished lamb, sacrifice it and paint their doorposts with its blood. When the Death Angel saw the blood, he would pass over that house.
The blood saved them and set them free. God commanded His children to observe this ceremony every year to remember His salvation. But it was more than historical. It was prophetic.
More than a thousand years later, Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey. The events that happened during His final week on earth corresponded to traditions celebrated for hundreds of years during Passover. In fact, Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with His disciples at the Last Supper, transforming the Passover symbols into the Lord's Supper ceremony.
Most significantly, He was proven to be the perfect Lamb of God and was crucified. Those who choose to be covered by His blood are redeemed from eternal death and given everlasting life.
5 Ways to Celebrate Passover
Bring your Passover celebration to life with these suggestions. Focus on the heart of the holiday rather than a specific ritual.
- Pause for Passover. Prior to Passover, research the history and symbolism of the holiday.
- Retell the story. A traditional Passover uses a Haggadah, a book of prayers and scripts that retells the Exodus from Egypt. Your family can read or retell the Passover story as described in Exodus 12:3-49.
- Serve the Passover meal. There are several cultural foods you may enjoy trying or you can build a feast around the three biblical elements of roasted lamb, bitter herbs, and unleavened bread.
- Remember and give thanks. As you eat the meal, tell stories about the great things God has done for you and your family. Tell how and when you became a Christian and let others share their salvation experiences as well. Pause for a time of thanksgiving to God for His protection, love, and care.
- Read and sing. Conclude the Seder (the meal or feast) with a traditional reading or singing some or all of Psalms 113-118 followed by Psalm 136.
Gaining a Deeper Understanding
Celebrating Passover has helped our family learn about Christianity's Hebrew roots, explain communion, and illustrate God's redemptive plan. If you are looking for an alternative to marshmallow chicks, chocolate bunnies, and colored eggs, explore Passover. You may find a new tradition and most significantly, a deeper understanding of redemption.
This article is courtesy of ParentLife magazine.