Sharing Passover as a family. It’s a concept that’s very old and yet we see it now amidst many Christian homes. But why?
Passover is the time in the Bible where God was afflicting the Egyptians with plagues because the Pharaoh would not let the Israelites go. There were 9 horrible plagues but nothing was causing the king to change his mind, so God got deadly serious, and the first born son of every Egyptian died. To protect His people, God commanded that they kill a lamb and paint their doorway with the blood, because in a covenant setting it is the blood that covers. Like the first lamb killed in Eden, the blood to cover over the first sin, and you can read an interview with an author of an incredible creative retelling of that account, here.
So the Israelites painted their doors red with blood and the angel of death Passed over, and throughout the ages the Israelites were commanded to keep this feast, and it is the very feast Jesus was keeping the night he was betrayed.
A traditional Passover feast includes a lamb, wine to represent the blood, bitter herbs to show the bitterness of soul they experienced under Pharaoh and unleavened bread, as they did not have time to wait for it to rise, because they had to leave Egypt quickly the next morning, and also leaven can represent sin.
One of the best resources I’ve found for starting this tradition of sharing Passover as a family has been over here with the beautiful Ann Voskamp.
When we set up a new tradition as a family, such as sharing Holy Communion at a meal once a week, it doesn’t always look holy and incredible at once, it’s building a house, nail by nail and board by board, that one day will be something to look back at, and a place of revelation that we live out of.
Because Passover is not just about remembering the Israelites Exodus from Egypt, but also our Exodus from slavery, sin and death through the perfect Passover Lamb, Yeshua, or as we know Him, Jesus Christ.
And today’s article written by Rachael Cameron, one of my husband’s cousins and, mother of 6 children shows just how this feast is about learning and growing rather than perfection and solemness.
We’ve had the fun of celebrating Passover with Rachael and her family a couple of time whether it’s been a pre planned event where she’s invited families or a spur of the moment, we’ve dropped in and they’ve been celebrating it as a family that night.
This year, we’ve moved away from where Rachael and her family live and we’ll probably need to start our own family tradition.
It all seemed so foreign to us Westerners who are bombarded each year with Easter and Christmas traditions and merchandise. Outside the box to remember this other date, another celebration…but one with far more meaning and symbolism than any of our Western tradition is left with.
But there we were, learning more and more about our Hebraic roots and the desire of our Awesome King to set aside these times for His feasts each year. To remember what He’s done and teach it to our children in a tangible way. A celebrating of our God around the table with others on a similar journey.
Our first Passover was easy. The fellowship we attended hosted a large gathering of Passover-keepers and we paid someone else to do all the work! A Messianic Believer was MC, explaining each tradition and piece of the puzzle to our eager ears. The unleavened bread, bitter herbs, lamb, wine and all the trimmings were taken and explained.
Another year a woman from our fellowship hosted the dinner in her tiny home, a massive effort for the single mum and her daughter. It was a special night.
In years following we went for the DIY approach, which is traditionally how Passover was kept anyway, and kept the feast in our own home. To be honest, like I said earlier, it’s hard to remember to keep it! We’re not trained to keep biblical feasts. One year we had a Hebrew calendar that helped a bit, gave us some warning. But generally, it’s a last minute realisation that Passover is only a short time away and we’re not at all ready!
If you’re looking to celebrate this year, you’ll need a Haggadah which explains the order of service, and the other things you will need for the night (can find a Haggadah free online). This includes a leg of lamb, unleavened bread (recipes are easy and online), red wine, horseradish, parsley…your Haggadah will tell you.
As you take the opportunity to remember and be thankful for not just the exodus of the Hebrews from Egyptian slavery, but the exodus of us, God’s people, from the slavery of death, sin and the world, may you be greatly blessed!
Shalom, Racheal Cameron
This was originally part of a 31 Day Series on Rediscovering the Holy Communion, but I understand that for many people that is quite overwhelming, so I’ve condensed it down to a 7 day e-mail series, that is deep and foundational, yet manageable, and I’d love to have you join me on this journey.