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A Memorable Way to Celebrate Easter with Your Students

A Memorable Way to Celebrate Easter with Your Students 

The Easter season will soon be upon us! In this week’s blog, which will be published only a few short weeks before Easter, I just wanted to share an idea with you that could potentially have a great impact on your students and help them understand the meaning of Passover. I believe this idea will make your Easter celebration fun – but more importantly, memorable, and impactful to the students that you are ministering to.  

A memorable way to celebrate is to put together a Seder meal for your students, or better yet, have a representative from Friends of Israel come in and demonstrate this Seder meal for you.  

This idea would be best done on the evening of Good Friday. The importance of doing the Seder meal is to explain to the students the elements involved in the meal, and the meaning behind each element. You can let the students know that the Seder is the traditional dinner that Jews partake in as part of Passover. 

You can explain to the students that the Hebrew word Seder means “order.” The Passover meal has a specific order in which food is eaten, prayers are recited, and songs are sung. 

In the Seder, there are several strong symbols of Jesus Christ. One is the shank bone of a lamb, which reminds us that Jesus was and is the “Lamb of God” (John 1:29). The instructions for the original Passover specified that the lamb’s bones could not be broken (Exodus 12:46), another foreshadowing of Christ’s death (John 19:33). 

Another symbol of Christ on the Seder plate is the matzoh, or unleavened bread. The matzoh is placed in a bag called an echad, which means “one” in Hebrew. But this one bag has three chambers. One piece of matzoh is placed into each chamber of the bag. The matzoh placed in the first chamber is never touched, never used, and never seen. The second matzoh in the bag is broken in half at the beginning of the Seder. Half of the broken matzoh is placed back in the echad, and the other half, called the Afikomen, is placed in a linen cloth. The third matzoh in the bag is used to eat the elements on the Seder plate.  

The meaning of the Seder’s ritual of the matzohs is understood with clues from the New Testament. The Trinity is pictured in the matzohs. The first matzoh that remains in the bag throughout the Seder represents “Ha Av,” the Father whom no man sees. The third matzoh represents the “Ruach Ha Kodesh,” the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. The second matzoh, the broken one, represents “Ha Ben,” the Son. The reason the middle matzoh is broken is to picture the broken body of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:24). The half put back in the echad represents Jesus’ divine nature. The other half, wrapped in a linen cloth and separated from the echad, represents Jesus’ humanity as He remained on earth. 

The linen cloth that wraps half of the second piece of matzoh suggests Jesus’ burial cloth. During the Seder, this linen cloth with the Afikomen inside is hidden, and after the dinner the children present look for it. Once the Afikomen is found, it is held as a ransom. Again, we see that these rituals point to Christ: He was fully God yet fully human; He was broken for us; He was buried, sought for, and resurrected, and His life was given as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).  

Also, the matzoh used for the Passover Seder must be prepared a certain way. Of course, it must be unleavened. Leaven is often equated with sin in the Scriptures, and Jesus is sinless. Second, the matzoh must be striped. Jesus’ “stripes” (His wounds) are what heal us spiritually (Isaiah 53:5). And third, the matzoh must be pierced. Jesus was nailed to the cross (Psalm 22:16). 

The other elements of the Seder plate are traditional reminders of the Israelite enslavement to the Egyptians. They are as follows: 

  • Vegetable (“karpas”) — This element, usually parsley, is dipped in salt water and eaten. The karpas pictures the hyssop. In the New Testament, hyssop was used to give the Lamb of God vinegar when Jesus said He thirsted (John 19:29). 
  • Bitter herbs (“maror”) — The eating of “bitter herbs” is commanded in Exodus 12:8. In modern times, this is usually horseradish, one of the bitterest herbs. The maror reminds the Jews that they were unable to offer sacrifice and worship to God, and that was more bitter than the slavery of Egypt. 
  • Charoset (“haroseth”) — Charoset is a mixture of apples, nuts, wine, and spices. It represents the mortar the Israelites used in constructing buildings during their slavery to the Egyptians. Of all the elements of the Seder, charoset alone is sweet, and this is a reminder of the hope of redemption. 
  • Hard-boiled or roasted egg (“baytzah”) — Traditionally, hard-boiled eggs were eaten by mourners, and the egg is eaten during the Seder to remind participants that they are always in mourning for the loss of their temple. The fact that the egg is roasted evokes the roasting of the sacrifice on the altar of the temple. 

There are also four cups of wine used at various points during the Seder. Each of these glasses of wine has a name. The first glass is the “cup of sanctification.” The second is the “cup of judgment.” The third is the “cup of redemption.” And the fourth is the “cup of praise.” At the Last Supper, Jesus took the first cup and promised His disciples that the next time He drank the fruit of the vine with them would be in the kingdom (Luke 22:17). Later in the Seder, Jesus took the third cup — the cup of redemption — and used that cup as a symbol of the New Covenant in His blood (Luke 22:20). Thus, Jesus fulfilled the Passover symbolism and infused the whole feast with a new meaning (Disclaimer: Be sure not to serve wine to your teenagers – it’s the symbolism that’s more important here!).  

I hope this idea will help you put together a wonderful Seder meal for your students and let them see the full meaning of this meal.  

Happy Easter! 

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