Wow! It’s hard to believe Easter is almost here! One holiday that always falls right before Easter is Passover. Jesus went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover before he was arrested, and in the Old Testament the Jewish people were commanded to keep the tradition of Passover in remembrance of the exodus from Egypt. Today I would like to share with you what Passover is, why it is important, and how my family celebrates it.
What is Passover?
Passover is the celebration of the Jewish people leaving Egypt after the enslavement. Directly before the Israelites left Egypt for the Promise Land, God killed all of the firstborn men and boys of Egypt. Unlike all of the other plagues that God sent, He was going to kill the firstborn in Goshen were the Israelites were living as well, unless the Jewish people put the blood of a lamb on the door post of their homes. The homes that had the lamb’s blood on the door were then passed over, hence the name of the feast. After putting the blood on the door the Israelites were to have a feast were they ate the lamb that they killed, along with unleavened bread. The bread was to be unleavened because yeast was a representation of sin. After the firstborn boys of Egypt were killed, Pharaoh let the Israelites go. That is the Passover, and that is why the Jewish people still celebrate the Passover.
Why is Passover so important? What’s the big deal?
In the book of Exodus and the book of Leviticus God commands the Jewish people to celebrate Passover every year in remembrance of the their exodus from Egypt. But why does matter? It was a long time ago, why should we care today? It matters for a number of reasons, for one it reminds us of God’s deliverance and his love for his people. Second, it’s tradition, and traditions are very important. The most important reason, though, is because the Passover is a representation of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. He was the lamb who was slain, he freed us from death, so that we may be free. 1 Corinthians 5:7 says:
” Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.”
That is why we really celebrate Passover, not only in remembrance of the Israelites being saved from slavery, but also Christ freeing us from death and sin.
How my family celebrates Passover:
A lot of time a Passover seder (meal) is really serious event, but other times it can be tons of fun! Our family goes to two Passover seders each year, one at our church, and another one at a friends house. At our church they read through parts of the book of Exodus, and all that torturous samplings of food. Like drinking four small cups of wine (grape juice in our church), matzah with delicious horseradish, bitter herbs (parsley) in salt water, etc.
After that we eat the meal, which generally consist of lamb, matzah ball soup, and chicken. We also fellowship during this time, enjoying our friends and family. After the meal is over there are a few more Jewish blessings we read out loud and then we pray. After that the worship team plays a few fun songs in Hebrew and then some less common worship songs in English. The first song we dance through. Everyone (well, almost everyone, there are a few adults who cannot be persuaded) forms a huge chain, and runs in a giant circle around the room.
That is what Passover is in a nutshell! Shalom Aleichem! Okay, maybe that’s a greeting, but I can use at as a farewell if I want to!