In my own recent personal study of the Passover (aka Seder which means “order”) as a Christian, I have been learning about the unleavened bread and how all leavened bread has to be completely removed from a home before the beginning of Passover. This is called “bedikat chametz” which means “search for leaven”. Children are usually sent to use a candle, feather, and wooden spoons to gather it all up (crumbs and the like). It has to be burned or disposed of from the home.
The Jewish people say that the presence of leaven is likened to the presence of sin in one’s life or household. In Galatians 5:9, Paul mentioned that just a little yeast can leaven a whole batch of dough. This can be thought with our whole, “one bad apple spoils the whole bunch” mentality. When we have allowed sin to partake in our lives. Our sinful nature will just grow and grow. When Yeshua/Jesus comes into our lives, He removes all the leaven from us with His sacrifice. This leads to exactly what Jesus says in His “Last Supper” which was during the Passover time! We are to observe this forever that He gave His blood & body for us!
“Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” -1 Corinthians 5:7-8
How cool this is that God set this up so perfectly to observe how God freed His people from slavery, while also observing how Christ Jesus freed us from slavery to our own sin!
Another interesting part of the Seder is that a veggie called karpas (like parsley) is dipped in salt water early during the meal to symbolize the new life that came out of the Israelites’ tears. Charoset is a paste of chopped fruit, nutes, wine, and spices to symbolize the mortar used by Israelites when they were in slavery to make bricks. Beitzah is roasted egg which is the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart. Hands are washed before the meal to eliminate impurities. Of course the matzah/unleavened bread would be in a seder plate lifted up which hid under all of these things.
The wine symbolized the blood of the lamb put on the doorposts, and we know that Christ’s “blood” is the wine during the last supper, since Jesus’ blood cleanses us. 4 cups of wine are to be consumed (their wine wasn’t nearly as strong as ours today at all, and drunkenness is wrong). These cups represented God’s deliverence in 4 ways: removal of burden, deliverance from bondage, redemption, and restoration! This goes completely in line with the following passage:
“Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” -Exodus 6:6-7
Many also compare this to Pharaoh’s cup in Joseph’s time in the book of Genesis with the story of the butler who brought him to interpret the dreams of Pharaoh. Others believe it is representing Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome who oppressed Israel. Some believe it to represent 4 worlds: the world, the days of the Messiah, the revival of the dead, and the world to come. Drips of wine on one’s plate represents the 10 plagues to help deliver them.
3 pieces of Matzah are placed on the Seder table during the meal. These can represent different things such as 3 divisions of Israel (priest, Levite, Israelite), 3 “Patriarchs” (Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob), 3 measures of flour Sarah used to make cakes for visitors (Gen. 18:6). And the 3 matzot from Messianic views to represent God’s Divine manifestations of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Some add a 4th pieces of matzah is added for those who are living under oppressive parts of the world (specifically Jewish people).
The leader of Passover takes the midde matzah and breaks it in two. One half is hidden & known as the 4th piece of matzah or known as “afikoman”. The 3 unhidden are Yeshua’s death, burial, and resurrection. The Messianics believe the afikoman was the piece Yeshua held up to say “This is My body”.
“And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” -Luke 22:19-20
We are to celebrate by believing we were with the people who were free from Egypt. We need to thank, praise, glorify, honor, exalt, extol, and bless God for what He did for those who were there in that time, as they saw His miracles being done before their own eyes. He brought us from slavery to freedom, anguish to joy, mourning to festival, darkness to great light, subjugation to redemption. As believers in Christ, we need to have this same mindset for seeing what He has done for us and how He has delivered us!
[Background info: This year, Rob and I decided together to celebrate many of the Jewish celebrations but in a Messianic way (those who believe in Yeshua/Jesus fulfilling the prophesies of the Old Testament). We aren’t celebrating the “Christianized” holidays. We know this sounds absurd to many people we know. We are not Jewish, but our Lord and Savior was in fact Jewish and He celebrated Purim, Passover, and Hanukkah. Scriptures prove this for when he goes to the temple for many of these observances. We aren’t telling anyone else that they should celebrate these too, but when we read certain verses in the Bible that stated to keep certain ones in observance forever (such as Passover and Purim in the scriptures), even though we are not of Jewish blood, we have been adopted by God and think it is really awesome to learn the grand connections between Old Testament observances and Jesus! We started to see that pagan & “Christian” holidays just don’t make as much sense to us anymore (even though we used to love those, and even obsessed over a couple of the holidays). We have been really excited about this new understanding of God and our own lives and what He has prepared for us.]
[Recommended reading from where I learned and reference much of this post: Messianic Spring Holiday Helper
photo from here]