Passover: The Story Retold

March 18, 2015

Last week we began the topic of the Passover, we continue our consideration in the next couple of weeks.


Today we begin our celebration of Passover with a Jewish Christian family. They celebrate with new meaning: it not only reminds of their history, but of their Savior.

Our family has come to celebrate Seder (Passover). It’s a dinner of remembrance and symbolism, even more so now that my family is not just Jewish, but Christian. Some of the symbolism we did not understand until we met Jesus.

All leaven removed from the house.

I helped my Ima (mother) clean our house of any leaven. Even anything containing leaven had to be removed. I am glad that part is over. I do not like to clean all day. It makes me tired.

I have come to learn as a Christian that leaven symbolizes sin (I Cor 5:6-8).

Earlier in the evening just before the Passover meal, Abba (father) took his feather, plucked from our chicken, a wooden spoon, and a bag. He searched the house for any remains of leaven. He has to find it before we can eat. Because Ima knows how hungry we children are, she always leaves a bit of leaven on the refrigerator, so we can eat sooner. I see the twinkle in her eye as Abba reaches to find it and clean it spotless with his feather. He removes the bag from the house.

We sit around the table and prepare for the Seder.

Washing hands.

My brother Seth wrinkles his nose at what lies before Abba. I look at his hands and hope that he has cleaned them before sitting at the table. He was with his barn animals.

Abba washes his hands with the special laver and towel, passing them around the table to all my siblings. Since I am the youngest, I will wash last.

Jesus demonstrated this special washing to his disciples, but he did not just wash their hands, but their feet as well (John 13:2-17).

I am thankful that I do not have to use my brother’s water from his feet on my hands. That would cause me to wrinkle my nose.

Blessing said by the women as they light the Passover candle.

Ima stands to light the Passover candle. She represents Mary who brought the light (Jesus) into the world (Gen 3:15).

Haggadah--Telling of the Passover Story.

Abba retells the story of the Exodus of Egypt. He uses questions to make sure that I pay attention.

I cannot help but pay attention.

I look at the table all set and ready. Ima has worked hard to prepare everything. I have, too.

Elijah’s Cup

I look around the table and see the empty place setting left for Elijah the prophet. He was the honored guest of every Passover table. All Jews expect Elijah to come to announce the coming of the Messiah (Malachi 4:5).

I have even poured Elijah’s cup with wine. He would announce the Good News.

His seat is vacant.

First Cup of Wine

My Abba begins with this blessing: “Blessed are thou, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has created the fruit of the vine.”

I know now that Jesus was the first cup. (Luke 22:17-18).

Second Cup of Wine

I must recite in order the ten plagues of Egypt. “Water to blood, frogs, lice, flies, killing of livestock, boils,” I hesitate. Why can’t I ever remember all of them?

Abba looks to Seth. He continues the plagues, listing those that I already said, then adding, “Hail,”

I interject. “Hail, I should have known.” I am fearful during storms and try not to remember the image of hail as big as a man’s fist falling from heaven on animals and servants.

Abba frowns at my interruption.

I must concentrate, for my brother continues with the plagues.

“Locusts, darkness for three days, and the firstborn son killed.” He finishes with smugness as he looks at me.

I shrug my shoulders. He has had more time to remember them.

In the solemnness of the moment, Abba reminds us our ancestors suffered, but their joy of the exodus was diminished by the suffering of others.


The next part of the Passover will be shared next week.


My series on the Passover is available in booklet form here.


Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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