“When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” (Luke 22:15 NIV)
About Seder: True or False?
1. Seder is the traditional Passover Week Dinner celebrated by the Hebrews since the Exodus. It is the Hebrew Thanksgiving, giving thanks to God for deliverance and redemption.
2. Seder is also called the Passover Dinner, commemorating the protection of God as the Angel of Death passed over every family protected by the Blood of the Paschal Lamb.
3. Seder is a Bible Study. It is in this family setting that Jewish children were first introduced to the Book of Exodus as the adults gained further insight. [Today] we refer to this kind of instruction as multimedia, as all five senses are involved to make this study an unforgettable event.
4. Seder is that famous Dinner called The Last Supper, hosted by Jesus for His disciples… the event Jesus chose to announce The New Covenant. And it was at this Seder that Jesus asked all of us to do this in remembrance of Him. Many of us have done part of the Seder at our various [church] Communion Services…
5. Seder is the Feast of Unleavened Bread mentioned twice in Luke's Acts of the Apostles (12:3-10 and 20:6-12). The days of Unleavened Bread were mentioned in connection with Peter in Jerusalem and Paul in Greece, and both citations are followed by great miracles... [which mimick Jesus' death and resurrection. Related: For a very good explanation of how Jesus fulfilled the meanings of the seven Jewish festivals click here.]
6. The Seder dinner is as Christian as it is Jewish. It is the focal point where we bring together our common heritage. We, as Christians, are heirs of Abraham through Faith and children of God through Christ.
7. Answers: All true! This excerpt is quoted from christianseder.com.
Guidelines for an Informal Seder Meal
A meaningful way to prepare for Easter (Resurrection Sunday) during Holy Week is to invite another family over to share a midweek Passover meal. You can begin by reading the story of the Last Supper together from Luke 22:1-20. As you eat this simplified Seder meal, you and your guests can discuss the symbolism of each of the items you serve. This would also be appropriate to enjoy with a Sunday school class, a Bible study, or with church or missionary staff. In our family, we serve this menu as our traditional celebratory Easter meal.
Serve Unleavened Bread [Matzoh]. This symbolizes the Bread that the Israelites took with them from Egypt. In their haste, they did not have time to let it rise. The bread that Jesus broke at the Last Supper was without yeast or unleavened. Yeast stands for sin. Jesus said the bread represents his body. He was without sin. His body was broken for us.
Serve Lamb. The Lamb was killed so that the blood could mark the doorposts of the houses of the Israelites. When the angel of death saw the blood on the doorpost he would pass over that house and not kill the first born child. Jesus is our Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Serve Horseradish. [This is] a reminder of the bitterness the Israelites experienced while they were slaves. We remember how bitter our lives are when we are slaves to sin.
Serve Haroset. (Grind apples, nuts and a little honey together.) The Haroset is eaten as a symbol of hope. Jesus is the hope of the world. He is sweeter than the honey in the honeycomb.
Dip Parsley into Salt Water and Taste. This reminds us of the tears that were shed in Egypt. The parsley is a symbol of new life. We are reminded of the sorrow we feel when we think of Jesus dying on the cross. But the green reminds us of the new life that we have in Him.
Serve Grape Juice [or Red Wine]. Jesus said this cup was a sign of his shed blood for us on the cross. Whenever we drink it, we should drink it in remembrance of Him. (This excerpt is quoted from “Family Activities: For the Week Prior To Easter” at Christianity Today.)
Other Basic Elements.
- An extra wine glass is referred to as Elijah’s cup and to Jews, welcomes the prophet of hope who would announce the Messiah’s coming. While left empty or untouched in Jewish observance, in the Christian Seder it represents the Cup of Redemption which Christ offered to his disciples at the Last Supper. This cup is also symbolic of the Marriage Cup shared by young Jewish couples in biblical times to seal their wedding engagement. More about Jesus' end times references to the Jewish wedding model is here.
- Two white lighted candles in candlesticks act as a symbol of God’s presence at your Seder meal.
Matzoh-licious! The Full Meal Deal
The Passover Seder celebration in most modern Jewish homes is an elaborate feast with kosher food, games for the children, and plenty of time to tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt (haggadah). It is not unusual for the Seder to last three to four hours. The Hebrew word “seder” actually means “arrangement” or “order” and also refers to an orchestrated liturgical meal which precedes the kosher feast. It is comprised of a number of distinct phases or steps.
The central object of the Passover ceremonial meal is the Seder plate which has six foods arranged around a bowl of salt water. A very clear explanation of the details of the traditional Jewish Seder ceremony is entitled “Overview of the Seder: Feast For our Freedom” found at Hebrew4Christians.com under "Passover."
Been There. Done That.
If you’re tired of serving traditional Seder dishes, chef Mark Brittman offers his creative take on Passover entertaining at Epicurious.com. His "Sophisticated Seder" menu begins with homemade hummus and crudités; he features romaine salad, griddled eggs with onion and parsley as appetizers. Finally, he rounds out the menu with lamb stew over polenta with roasted asparagus spears―all served after steaming bowls homemade chicken matzoh ball soup.
Don’t miss this humorous piece of writing about the lengthy Jewish liturgy, “The Two-Minute Haggadah” to accompany chef Brittman’s jellied fruit and mint dessert.
"Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed." (I Cor 5:7 NIV)
Have you ever participated in a Christian Seder?
Photo Credits: Colin Gregory Palmer, Isetp, HaleyHyatt Flickr)Bookmark This