Time is passing. The winter holiday season has blended into the Winter Olympics, the return of my husband from his winter contract work in England, and now right up to the Holy Week. Today is Palm Sunday. Many people celebrated in church services all over the world and are putting on Easter pageants. I know this time of year intrigues many and a vast number of pious Christians and Catholics are deep into their fasting for Lent and preparing for Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday.
This has never been something I have partaken in; I feel like it only does God injustice. How could forty days of abstaining from meat, alcohol, chocolate or any other thing compare to what Christ did on the cross? I also feel it is a thing of superstition. And works based.
For me, I feel a better, more Biblical celebration this time of year would be Passover. This is what Jesus celebrated and told His disciples to do in remembrance of Him, and to break the bread during Passover. Once again, I am aware this might not be popular opinion. It certainly is a hot topic in Christian circles presently, nonetheless.
I have a difficult time finding a proper Passover feast in the South of Spain amongst Christians. Most do not hold to the actual night of the Seder Feast, but put it on the Thursday night during Holy Week. This may suit some, but I want an actual Seder feast at sundown on the actual eve of Passover.
If you have never participated in a Seder feast, and you love God, I highly recommend it. What a special night! So much foretelling of Christ is in the Seder. Every aspect from start to finish is symbolic, pointing the way to the Messiah. This includes not just His first coming, but His second, as at the end of the evening one of the children in the household will run over to the door, open it and call for Elijah. Then an empty chair will be pulled out and left for Elijah, because the Torah spells out that this prophet will appear before the Messiah is ushered in.
As Christians, we recognise that John the Baptist has already come as the forerunner to Christ and this seat has been fulfilled. The first coming has been, and now we await the Lion from the Tribe of Judah to appear and draw all nations to Himself. Here the Jews will see what they have been missing for millennia and lament! This is a great mystery of God who has kept the eyes of His chosen people shut up to now. It is remarkable that the vast majority have no revelation of Christ during the Passover Supper of the Lamb!
During the communal meal, the shank of the lamb rests upon a platter. The story of the plagues is recounted, the hyssop branch symbolised. This is the branch that spread the blood of the sacrificial lamb over the lintel. Bitter herbs are eaten and blood is represented in the wine. All traces of leaven are removed from the home. And matzo bread is eaten. The matzo bread in itself is symbolic of Christ of the cross with its holes, symbolic of Christ being pierced, and its golden brown stripes, symbolic of the forty lashes.
At the beginning of the meal, three pieces of matzo bread are hidden in a bag with three pouches and one placed in each pouch. During the course of the meal, the first matzo is taken out. then the third, but the middle matzo remains hidden, to be revealed later….any guesses of who these three matzos symbolise?
We who were raised in Gentile nations may never grasp the beauty of this ceremonial meal and feast. But if you dare to look at it closely, and experience it, you may never be the same. It becomes every clearer the depth and shock of the words of John the Baptist, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” No lamb ever need be sacrificed again. No foot every has to carry the offering up to the temple ever again…
Written by Jori Sams
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