But it is important to note that this is both a solemn observance and a joyous celebration. We are recognizing the tremendous sacrifice the Lord has made on our behalf and celebrating the freedom from sin that His sacrifice has afforded us. We have everyone bring their own lamb and a side dish. You can easily find traditional Jewish side dishes or start your own traditions. Mark and I provide the unleavened bread, the bitter herbs (horseradish) and the wine (or grape juice).
We incorporate solemn prayers, borrowed from the Jewish faith, while pointing out the significance to our Christian faith. In no way, do I maintain that all Christians have to celebrate Passover -- that is a decision that you must make on an individual basis. But I simply offer the following to you as a guideline for your own celebration, should you decide to observe this holy Feast. We begin by making a statement about the significance of this Feast and then proceed to honor the traditions of the Jewish faith, while identifying with the meaning and importance for us, as Christians. And I would love to hear from others how you honor the Lord's Feast in your Christian observances.
Our Statement of Faith: The Passover Festival is a call to REMEMBER what God has delivered us from; a call of GRATITUDE for the work He is doing in our lives today; and a call to look forward to the HOPE of our Resurrection into Eternal Life.
The Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits all foreshadow the work God would do through His Son, Jesus Christ. Within these eight days of Passover, Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected, and each Feast speaks of Him and His redemptive work on our behalf.
We are gathered here today to REMEMBER Jesus as our Passover Lamb, sacrificed to deliver us out of the bondage of sin. He is the Unleavened Bread of Life – without Sin; unblemished and spotless – and He is the First Fruit of God’s Harvest of Souls.
Today, we will eat a meal of Lamb, Unleavened bread, and Bitter Herbs as God instructed the Israelites to do in Exodus 12:8. We will share in the cups of wine that Jesus partook of in His last Passover meal. And we will celebrate His Life and His Blood, which were poured out for us.
Before the first Passover in Egypt, God told Israel, “Remove the leaven from your homes.” Leaven is a symbol of sin. Let us take a moment to remove any leaven that hides in our hearts and minds. Let us remove any sin that would separate us from God.
MOMENT OF SILENCE AS WE CONTEMPLATE. Pray (Together): Search me, O God, and know my heart. Test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any offensive thing in me that needs to be removed, and sweep me clean of leaven. Lead me in Your way everlasting. Amen.
This day, we will drink 4 cups of wine to recall God’s four promises to Israel in Exodus 6:6-7. Jesus, along with His disciples, drank two cups before their meal.
(Pour the First Cup): The Cup of Sanctification – I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will free you from their bondage. (Exodus 6:6)
This first Cup of Wine sanctifies our meal. Let us LIFT UP the first cup, the Cup of Sanctification and Pray (Together): Blessed are You, O Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine. Thank you for the blood of Yeshua that was shed for us. Amen.
Now, as we pour the Second Cup, everyone should take a piece of the unleavened bread and a spoonful of horseradish on their plate. We recognize the symbolism: The Lamb is Yeshua, our Passover Lamb; Matza is unleavened bread; pierced for our transgressions; bruised for our iniquities;
Horseradish is the bitterness of our bondage to sin; and Wine is Christ’s blood, shed for us to redeem us.
(Lift Up The Second Cup) The Cup of Judgment: – I will rescue you with an outstretched arm, and by mighty acts of judgment. (Exodus 6:6)
Let us raise the Cup of Judgment, and remember that Yeshua delivers us from the slavery of darkness and brings us into the kingdom of Light.
Pray (Together): Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, our Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy. Amen. (DRINK).
Everyone should now hold up a piece of matza. Pray (Together): Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth. Thank you for Yeshua, the Bread of Life, who rose from the earth. And thank you, O Lord, that by His stripes we are healed. Amen.
The Lord Jesus ate His Passover meal on the night when he was betrayed. He, who is our Bread of Life, gave thanks, broke the unleavened bread, and said to His disciples, “This is my body which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” (EAT BREAD).
EVERYONE EATS AND CELEBRATES THE WORK OF THE LORD IN OUR LIVES. Then after the meal ...
(Pour Third Cup) The Cup of Redemption. I will take you to Me for a people. (Exodus 6:7)
The blood of the Lamb on the doorposts saved Israel. The blood of Yeshua on our hearts saves us, right here and now. As Scripture tells us, God will redeem our life from the grave, and take us to Himself. No one who takes refuge in Him will be condemned. He will write His law on our minds and hearts. Everyone will know Him, from the least of them to the greatest.
Lift up the Cup: At the last Passover Supper, Yeshua took this third cup, the Cup of Redemption, and said, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is My blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins”.
Let us Pray (Together): Blessed are You, O Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine. Thank you for the Blood of Yeshua that was poured out for us. Amen. (DRINK).
(Pour Fourth Cup) The Cup of the Future Kingdom. This will be a kingdom of truth, peace, and freedom… I will be to you a God. (Exodus 6:7)
During Yeshua’s last Passover Supper, He did not drink this fourth cup. He said, “I will not drink this cup now until that day when I drink it with you in My Father’s Kingdom.” As we drink the fourth cup, we look forward to a future kingdom, when we drink this cup with Him. He will return, and there will be a better feast to come, the Wedding Banquet of the Passover Lamb.
Have each of the men read one of the words of Gratitude listed below:
• In praise of the Lord’s salvation in the past and the future, we raise the Cup of the Kingdom. O Lord, You redeemed us and brought us to this night. Bring us also to Your Holy City, the New Jerusalem.
• You have put a new song in our hearts, a song of praise and thanksgiving for the redemption of our souls. Blessed are you, O Lord our God.
• Blessed are you, O Lord our God, who gives eternal life. Eternal life is that we might know You, the one true God, and the Messiah, Yeshua, whom You Sent.
• I know that my Redeemer lives. He will stand on the earth in the latter days, and I will see Him as He is.
• Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive glory and honor and praise. Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!
• O God who dwells on high, we are free on a day like this. Raise up Your numberless congregation. Soon, and with rejoicing, lead us to Zion. Praise and Glory and Wisdom and Thanks and Honor and Power and Strength be to our God forever and ever.
• These are the words of our Lord: Fear not for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am Your God. I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand!
Let us all lift up THE CUP OF THE KINGDOM.
PRAY (TOGETHER): Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine. Thank you for Your Coming Kingdom. Amen.
When the Lord returns, the survivors from all the nations will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles and God dwelling with us. Let us declare (SAY TOGETHER): Next year in Jerusalem! Amen. (DRINK).
So, this is just a suggestion of how to observe the Feast of Passover as a Christian. It is by no means a definitive way to celebrate, but as I said earlier, we have tried to be Spirit-led in honoring the redemptive work of our Lord and Savior on our behalf, while honoring the roots of our faith and the Jewish traditions. May you be blessed and encouraged during these holy days, and may your assembly know the pleasure and favor of the Lord.
1 Corinthians 5:7 So remove every trace of your “leaven” of compromise with sin so that you might become new and pure again. For indeed, you are clean because Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us.