Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Seven Feasts - Part 3 - The Haggadah Continues

The Seven Feasts: Part 2 - The Passover Haggadah
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

Leviticus 23:4-5 4 “‘These are the LORD’s appointed festivals, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times: 5 The LORD’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month.”


We know from scripture about Jesus’ Jewish upbringing, and how He observed Moses’ Law faithfully and no sin could be laid to His account.  I Peter 2:22

We know from scripture that Jesus observed the Holy Days given by God. 

The last supper was the feast of Passover, not just wine and bread.  However, the night Jesus went to the cross, He explained what the Passover represented. 

He explained to the Disciples that night, what the feast that God had given to the Jews really meant.

He was the lamb, the first born of God to be sacrificed as atonement for our sin, so that we could be reconciled with God. 

The unleavened bread they ate that night represented Jesus body, which was without sin, and was to be broken for you and I. 

The wine represented His blood, which was to be shed for the remission of our sins.

Today we will look at a typical Haggadah, or Passover feast, and see the symbolic nature of the meal, and its relation to the Lord.

We are picking up where we left off at the Karpas, or dipping of the parsley


At this point, the head of the house who is leading the Seder, or Passover meal, takes a piece of parsley and dips it into a small bowl of salt-water, saying, “Blessed art thou, O eternal, our God, and Creator of the fruits of the earth.”

The green parsley symbolizes the hyssop, which was used during Passover.

Exodus 12:21-23
 21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning. 23 When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.

The saltwater is symbolic of the tears shed by the Jewish people in the land of Egypt because of their affliction.  In addition, it speaks of the red sea that Israel had to cross as they were being delivered by God.

Karpas was also used during Jesus’ time during the Passover, as explained in the book of John.

John 19:28-30
 28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Psalm 69:21
21 They put gall in my food
   and gave me vinegar for my thirst.

Jesus, the Messiah, experienced the sorrow and pain of our sins, as He became our sacrifice through His death. 


At this point of the Passover meal, there are three matzah’s, or unleavened breads.  Remember, leaven represents sin, and the unleavened bread represents sinless.

Jesus, who is the bread of life, bread from heaven, He is without sin.

While in the wilderness, the manna, which fell from heaven to sustain the Israelites, was symbolic of Christ, the bread from heaven, coming down to us.

Jesus, at the last supper, a Passover meal with the disciples, took the bread and broke it, saying, “This is my body, which is broken for you...” (1 Corinthians 11:24)

The head of the Seder takes the middle matzah, and he breaks it.

He then wraps one half in a white cloth napkin and hides it.  This is for the afikomen, which means, “after supper”.

This step of the Seder was done because it was looked at as a “key” to freedom.

It represents looking to the future freedom.

I believe this is true, because I believe that the matzah, the key, which is broken, represents Christ, the bread from heaven, who was broken for us and our sin.

Jesus and the new covenant that His death brings us IS the key to our freedom from the bondage of sin.

The matzah being wrapped in a cloth and hidden is symbolic of Christ being wrapped in His burial cloths and laid in the tomb.

At the end of the Seder, as the afikomen, this matzah which was broken and wrapped in cloth is brought back out and placed on the table, which represents Christ’s resurrection.

Isaiah 53:6
“The Lord has caused the sin of us all to fall upon Him.”


At this point in the Seder, the Passover story is shared to teach the young of why they are remembering what the Lord had done for them.

The leader lifts the 2 ½ matzah’s for all to see, then reads the book of Exodus, from the Torah, this book is called “Shemot”, which literally means names. 

·        Shemot (Exodus) is the story of Moses, who leads Israelites out of Pharaoh's Egypt (Exodus 1–18) to take them to the promised land.

·        On the way, they camp at Mount Sinai/Horeb where Moses receives the Torah, including the Ten Commandments, from God, and mediates His laws and Covenant (Exodus 19–24) to the people of Israel.

·        Exodus also deals with the violation of the commandment against idolatry when Aaron took part in the construction of the Golden Calf (Exodus 32–34).

·        Exodus concludes with the instructions on building the Tabernacle (Exodus 25–31; 35–40).


After the reading of Exodus, the youngest of the family will ask each of the four questions.  This was because Passover was to be taught to the young, and the reasons for it had to be taught as well, so these questions helped tech.

The answers would be given before hand to older kids, to answer the four questions.

1. Why is this night different from others?

Because God commanded us to observe this day for Him.

2. Why on all other nights do we eat herbs of any kind; and tonight we only eat bitter herbs?

To remind us of the bitterness of bondage we suffered at the hands of Egypt.

3. Why do we dip our herbs twice?

Once for suffering and once for anguish.

4. Why do we eat unleavened bread tonight?

Because God commanded, we are free from leaven during this Holy Day in honor of Him.


Now a blessing is said over the second cup of wine, the cup of judgement.

“Blood, frogs, vermin, flies, murrain, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, death of the firstborn...God says, “I will free you from being slaves to them.”

and drink.

These judgments which fell upon Egypt are symbolic of the consequences of sin.  God has provided a way out, freedom to those who will come.

Our freedom is in Christ alone.


This washing of our hands represents our cleansing ourselves, or removing ourselves from the things that would pollute us in this life.

We are called by God to be changed when we accept Jesus Christ, to become new creatures, a new creation.


If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, yet there has been no change in your life, you need to examine whether or not you have truly submitted to God.

The scripture teaches us that Christ died for ALL, and that ANYONE who calls on His name will be saved...

The scriptures also teach that when we belong to Him, we become a new creation, a new creature.

Jesus will transform us, and change us from the inside out, through the power of the Holy Spirit, if we let Him...

If we resist Him, if we fight change, then we have not truly submitted to Him at all.

If you struggle with change, or are in need of any other prayer, you may come forward at the end of the service, and as it says in James, the Elders of the church will pray for you, laying hands on you.