Friday, July 7, 2017

Celebrating Passover

On April 17, the family gathered at Jen's house to do something we have been talking about doing for the past few years - celebrate Passover!!!!!!!  Jen read, researched, studied, and prepared for all of us to come together and remember the way the Israelites would have commemorated their exodus and freedom from Egypt.  Knowing that Jesus would have participated in this festival made it an amazing experience for all of us and while we were unsure of what this night was going to look like, we looked forward to all that was in store.

Jen, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for doing all of this hard work!!  I hope I can do it justice through this post.. it was such a wonderful night and one we all will remember forever. 

Jen had not only prepared our line-up of events, but had cooked a Jewish feast for us!!  We all eyed the gorgeous food, but it had to wait.

We had to first remember why we were here.

We started the night off by watching Mom and Hez do a Jewish dance, ha!!  Mom relived her Israel trip by showing us the dance she had learned while sailing on the Sea of Galilee!!

Next, the three Sharbono girls had an entire lapbook detailing the different parts of the festival.  They were Passover experts.. and Grammie made them name tags to prove it!! ;)

We used the Messianic Passover Seder book by Visual Story Bible Ministries and it made it so clear and concise for us. We started with the candle lighting, which reminded us of the true source of light in our lives - Messiah Yeshua.

Seder means 'order.' Through the order of service and the use of the different components on the Seder Plate, we would recall God's miraculous provisions for His people.  We would use all of our senses throughout this celebration and get the full experience of tasting and seeing that our Lord is good!!

Throughout the night, we would drink four times while reciting together God's promises to His people:
"I will BRING you out of Egypt - The Cup of Sanctification
I will DELIVER you from slavery - The Cup of Deliverance
I will REDEEM you with an outstretched arm - The Cup of Redemption
I will TAKE you to Me for a people - The Cup of Praise"

My awe and appreciation for the Father grew as I recalled His promises to His people and knew He had fulfilled each one.  He will do what He says He will do.  What comfort we can take from that.  He is forever faithful.

I love Samuel's curious little face here, ha!!

Next, we washed our hands in salt water, which represented the bitter tears the Israelites had shed while in slavery.  

Everyone got a piece of parsley, or karpas. "The parsley on the Seder plate represents the green sprouting of new life that comes in the spring, the time of the early harvest, the season of Passover." 

The parsley was to be dipped twice in the salt water - while remembering the bitterness of slavery, we also remember that deliverance comes from God.

The karpas is also a reminder of the plant used to smear the lamb's blood over their doors..

Sadie did not like the salty karpas, haha!!

This is matzah, or unleavened bread.

Taking a piece of matzah from the middle, we remember the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

The middle piece of matzah would be broken, wrapped in a linen cloth, and hidden somewhere in the house. It is Jewish custom for the children to look throughout the house for the missing matzah and whomever finds it receives a small reward! This is known as the afikomen and was the first Jewish word my kids learned!!

Everyone then got their own piece of matzah and were asked to study it. To notice its stripes and its brown spots.  Holding it up to the light, we could see its piercings.  Just like the unleavened matzah, the sinless Messiah was bruised in His beatings and the stripes of the whips were on His back..  He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.  (Isaiah 53:5)
We then 'broke bread' together.

While we ate the matzah, we remembered the 10 plagues God sent upon Egypt..

..and then drank our second cup, the cup of deliverance!

It was at this point that Samuel fell off the bench, cried, and had to leave the kitchen, hahaa!!

Reciting together, "Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine."

Maror: the bitter herb that reminds us (again) of the bitterness of Egyptian bondage. It's represented by ground horseradish.

We put some on the matzah and ate it.. yikes.  So bitter.

BUT after the bitterness comes the sweetness of redemption and freedom!!  Charoset is a sweet apple mixture made with honey and nuts. Spooning this on top of the maror and matzah, we are able to remember the bitterness of slavery, yet taste the sweetness of deliverance!  This reminds us "that even the most bitter of circumstances can be made sweet by the hope we have in Yahweh."
((A little behind the scenes here: Kate is allergic to cashews.  Charoset is made with cashews.  Kate eats charoset.. and shortly after, begins swelling and making vomiting noises.  Kate goes outside and pukes at the back door.  Fun times at Passover.  Hahaha!!))

It was at this point that we stopped to enjoy the wonderful Passover meal that Jen had created entirely by herself!!  So many fresh ingredients, so many new tastes!!  I wish I could remember the names of everything, but you'll have to ask Jen, ha!!  All I have are the pictures!!

Everything we ate was very traditional to a real Jewish Passover feast.  I loved the authenticity of everything we were doing!!

Mom Tip:  It is SO WORTH IT to fight those food battles when your babies are small!! It was so great to watch these kids experience these new foods.. some they liked, some they didn't, but they tried them all and finished their plates.  I was really proud.. and it's a lot of fun to get to try new things together and talk about how we feel about what we are eating!!  That extra effort when they are little produces foodies like these girls.. totally WORTH IT.
I can't believe I didn't get a picture of the Seder plate that has each of the elements on it: the maror, karpas, charoset, etc.. but you can somewhat see in it in the center of the table in the picture above.  It was a gorgeous Seder plate and I am so looking forward to using it every year with the family. This is going to be such a wonderful new tradition!!

After the meal, we got ready for the final part of the Passover.  The kids searched the house for the afikomen (remember the wrapped matzah??) and Savannah found it!!  She got a whole bag of candy as her prize, ha!!  "And just as our afikomen appears again, so too does the Messiah appear again. Hallelujah!  He did not remain in the grave.  He arose from the dead!!"

  Jen then held up the zeroah, or 'shankbone of the lamb,' which represented the innocent lamb whose blood marked the Israelite's doorposts. Because of their obedience, the judgement of Yahweh passed over them.. and we thank You, Yeshua, for being our spotless, perfect Lamb, taking God's wrath upon Yourself and providing a way of escape for us.
We all drank the cup of redemption and remembered that Yahweh brought redemption for those who believe in the finished work of the Messiah.

There is a special cup that is poured and set at an unoccupied place setting at the table: The Cup of Elijah.  Whereas the Jews would have looked forward to Elijah coming to announce the Messiah, we remember John the Baptist, as he was the forerunner of Jesus.  During every Passover Seder, the door is opened for the prophet Elijah to come in and announce the coming of the Messiah.. We really did open the door, ha! But just for a minute.  Because a long time ago, John the Baptist announced that Yeshua had arrived and HE is our Anointed One, our precious Savior and Messiah!

We then drank the cup of praise as Sadie and Rylie read to us Psalm 118, reminding us that God is our strength and refuge. You are my God, and I thank You.  You are my God, and I exalt You.  Give thanks to Yawheh; for He is good, for His mercy endures forever.

"Our Passover Seder is now complete.  Let's conclude with the traditional saying:
Lashanah Haba'ah bi Yerushalayim!!"

Translated: Next Year in Jerusalem!!!
The pictures of our Passover celebration are such a small glimpse of our experience that night.. It was amazing to relate to the Jews in remembering our own slavery and appreciating our rescue!

 God remembers His promises and keeps them. You can take Him at His word, because they are true.  He is strong and sure and His ways are life.

Thank You, Father, that we do not have to live and die in bondage, but can be made free in You!  Redemption and healing are in Your hands.  You provided the way through Your Son, Jesus, and our hearts ache to worship You, praise You, thank You adequately for saving us.  May our lives be laid down, our desires aligned with Yours, and Your praise forever be on our lips.. FOR YOU ARE THE GREAT DELIVERER.

I wanted to end with this paragraph from "The Christ Centered Exposition: Exalting Jesus in Leviticus."  I read it over a year ago now and it's still just as sharp in my mind as it was then.

"To prepare for the Passover meal, each family killed a Passover lamb.  They killed the lambs on Friday, since Passover began at sundown on Friday afternoon. Of the 365 days God could have chosen for Jesus' crucifixion, God arranged for Him to be crucified by the decision of wicked men on the Friday afternoon when the lambs were killed in preparation for the Festival of Passover.  God was teaching a lesson.  Jesus is our Passover Lamb. Just as God delivered the Hebrew slaves in Egypt from death when they put the blood of the lamb on the doorpost, God also delivers every person from eternal death when they put their faith in Jesus, the Lamb of God, who shed His blood for our sin."

What a mighty God we serve.


  1. I'm so unprofound-
    Is this the first time to know of the allergy?!?
    Why y'all didn't kill a lamb?

  2. Melissa, This was just fabulous and your recounting of it really helps to see the while big picture of all that we did from beginning to end. Thank you so much for recording this, and most importantly, thank you for trusting God's Passover Lamb, Jesus, for your redemption! Praise the Lamb! Love, Mom

  3. I have read over this post three times!!! I absolutely love this so much. Can we come next year?! Haha!!


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From childhood friends to high school sweethearts, and now newlyweds and brand-new parents, Wade and I can only thank Jesus for His incredible blessings. Our three children are the ULTIMATE gifts from God and we pray that our lives glorify Him. He is our everything.