Celebrating Passover as a Messianic Jew

image courtesy of monove via sxc.hu
My father-in-law has been giving me a hard time about the number of times I talk about me being Jewish on this blog. I do love the fact that I am Jewish, and saying that's why I am cheap. But we all know why he is giving me a hard time about promoting my heritage. He's jealous because he's just a Baptist.

But what I appreciate most about my background is being able to pass it on to my kids, like what I wrote on another blog regarding teaching my kids about Yom Kippur. And tonight is the first night of Passover (and it continues for another week), although our celebration will be a lot more tame this year because of the hectic transition we are in as we move to Allendale.

A Little Background
I grew up in a semi-Jewish home. My grandfather was a conservative and religious Jew; my family was more "cultural." I went to Hebrew private school for 4 years, bar mitzvah, and all that, but didn't really believe in God. However, I did love the traditions we had, like at Passover and Hanukkah.

My Passover Seders
I did many Passover Seders (or, celebrations) in a non-Christian setting, whether growing up, or even when I was a Christ-follower and a part of the Jewish Student Association at Furman University. But it has been the dozen or so times that I've been a part of or helped lead a Messianic Passover Celebration that I been most moved in worship.

With a Christ-oriented perspective, the meaning of the Passover has come alive. I have enjoyed doing Seders with family, with Small Groups, and in our church's Children's Ministry. You can read about last year's Seder on the Grace Children's Ministry Blog. We missed this year's (which was the 6th time our church has done it). Not only is this a great event for the kids to hear a clear gospel message in a meaningful way, but I had enjoyed teaching other leaders how to lead this presentation over the past few years.

Key Points
You might way to talk about this even with your kids, as it provides a great lead-in to Easter. You can find information out on the internet, or buy a book (like this or this). There are many variations, but be sure to keep these main points:
  • Bitter Herbs: symbolizing the bitterness of slavery (the Hebrews in Egypt, and us to sin)
  • Matzah: the unleavened bread that was made when the Hebrews left, and Jesus perfect body (leaven is a symbol for sin)
  • Lamb: to remember that God saved the Hebrews while judging the Egyptians, and that God poured out His wrath on Jesus instead of us

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace."  (Ephesians 1:7)

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    1. As a first grade teacher during the first Sunday morning service at Grace Church, I was able to participate, (for the first time), in the Camp Grace Passover Seder meal. It was a great experience and exciting to see the children learning what each food represents in relation to how God protected the Israelites and what Christ has done for us. It not only made history come alive to us, but was a memorable experience that we will not soon forget. Our children have now seen, tasted and felt what the Israelites experienced in biblical times...and what Jewish people continue to experience today. They have tasted and seen that the Lord is good!

    2. Glad you enjoyed it! Make sure you check out Nicky's write up on this year's Seder. She has a great summary.