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Summary: Passover Seder

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Leader:

We gather this evening to take part in a ceremony that has been observed by G-d’s people for over three-thousand years. As He led them into the wilderness, the L-rd spoke to Moses, saying:

Leviticus 23:2-7

"Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ’The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts. [3] ’Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings. [4] ’These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. [5] On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover. [6] And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. [7] On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.

When He walked the Earth, our Messiah did not neglect this command. His last supper with the Disciples was a Passover seder, much like the one we celebrate tonight. During that time, Y’shua revealed a deeper meaning to the feast, beyond a simple recognition of G-d’s deliverance of His people from bondage in Egypt. It is no coincidence that the Passover became the setting for the crucifixion. The plan of G-d was laid from the foundation of the world. The disciples were well aware of the story of Passover, having celebrated it each year all of their lives. But on that particular night, they came to understand that their friend and teacher was the Messiah, that He was soon to leave them, and would return in power to redeem His people in a way they could not yet imagine.

As we partake of this ancient ceremony, we pray that G-d will continue to provide a fresh revelation of His deliverance. G-d has not changed. He continues to care for His people, to reveal Himself to them, and to deliver them as they obey the admonitions of His Word.

And so we gather again to the Passover table, to relive once more an event that has been retold for a hundred generations. Many of us have prepared ourselves for this night, removing all of the leaven from our homes as G-d commanded (Exodus 12:15). This ceremony is called the bedikat khameytz. In ridding our homes of leaven, a symbol of sin, we recognize the need to continually search our hearts and lives for those things that are displeasing to the L-rd.

On the table before us is a seder plate which holds the items which symbolize the elements of the Passover: bitter horseradish, a sweet mixture of apple and honey, parsley, a roasted egg, and the shank bone of a lamb. Each of these items will play a part in the retelling of our story. They allow us to experience the taste and the sense of the events, not just the memory. We have prepared unleavened bread and wine, central to the telling, and a reminder that our Messiah is the sinless bread of life and the fruit of the vine.

Let us begin.

THE LIGHTING OF THE CANDLES

Leader:

Let the daughter of Zion come forward and kindle the festival lights. As these lights are lit in Jewish homes throughout the world, we usher in the Passover of the L-rd.

Mother: (Lighting the candles)

Ba-rukh a-tah a-don-ai e-lo-hey-nu me-lech ha’-o-lahm, a-sher k-dish-ah-nu bi-de-va-ro u-vish-mo a-nakh-nu mahd-li-kim ha-ney-rot shel yom tov.

Blessed are You, O L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe,

Who has sanctified us by His Word, and in Whose name we light the festival lights

THE CUP OF SANCTIFICATION

Leader: At Passover we drink four cups of wine. Each cup symbolizes a vital element of the telling; Sanctification, Plague, Redemption, and Praise. As we lift our first cup together, let us remember that we are sanctified by our relationship with our G-d and praise Him, saying:

All: Ba-rukh a-tah a-don-ai e-lo-hey-nu me-lech

ha’-o-lahm, bor-ey p’-ree ha-gah-fen.

Blessed are You, O L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe, Creator of the Fruit of the Vine.

Leader: Let us drink together this first cup of Passover.

(All drink.)

THE WASHING OF HANDS

Leader: (Lifting the bowl of water and the cloth)

At the entrance to the Temple in Jerusalem there stood a great bronze laver, a basin in which the priests ceremonially cleansed themselves before entering into the presence of G-d. As we offer the bowl to one another, we remember that we who are believers in Messiah have been washed clean by the blood of the Lamb of G-d. We cleanse our hands in memory of the redemption that took place for us in this season, long ago.

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