Why Celebrate Passover?
Last year, we came together as an extended family to celebrate Passover. It was such a fabulous and joyous occasion that everyone wanted to do it again! So this year, the thursday before Easter, we’ve decided to do it once more. Why would we do this? After all, isn’t the Passover an outdated Jewish observance done away with at Jesus’ death and replaced by Easter, the celebration of His resurrection?
Here are four reasons why I’m celebrating Passover this Easter.
1. It’s a great opportunity to share the theological significance of Israel’s redemption, and ultimately our own redemption through Christ. In the service of the Passover, a series of questions are asked by children to the parents. “Why is this night different from all other nights?”(Exodus 12). Questions have always played a critical role in Jewish tradition, very often they are directed to God, for example Genesis 18:25. But in Exodus 12, children ask four questions to the parents. It’s a wonderful opportunity for parents to tell and re-tell the great salvation story to their kids.
2. Children begin to understand and deeply regard the connection between God’s salvation story and how it is fulfilled in Christ. Have you ever been reading the bible, and come to the part about the Passover, and your mind just slides over the words? You lose interest. Part of the problem for Christians today is that many do not know enough about the Passover and how it relates to Christ the Messiah, the Passover Lamb. How much richer does the bible become for our kids if they understand the true meaning of the Passover!
3. Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples. His death actually took place during the daylight hours that followed the Passover evening. Jesus was sacrificed on Passover, and the New Testament Passover is a memorial of His suffering and death. The new covenant of forgiveness of sins and new life is made possible through the shedding of His blood, the true Passover lamb. When children see this connection, their understanding and appreciation of why we celebrate communion today is greatly enhanced! It becomes an opportunity for their own deep, personal encounter with Jesus.
4. It is an opportunity to celebrate who God is, his nature and character. The Hebrew children were taught to celebrate! It’s everywhere in the Old Testament. (There are seven feasts in the Old Testament, and every one of them celebrates an aspect of God’s goodness). All of them involve getting together with friends and food, and God is celebrated in the midst of their life together. I absolutely love getting the family together – and how much fun is it when everyone brings a plate of food to share around the communal table. Relationships bond over great food – God designed it to happen this way, that’s why there’s seven celebrations in the Old Testament, all with food and friends to share it with. He loves families to be strong, united and joyous. I don’t know about you, but the happiest place in my home is the kitchen, where people gather around while food is being prepared and cooked. All the best conversations seem to happen there in the kitchen. So the celebration of a Christian Passover is a joyous occasion when the story of Christ, the ultimate Passover Lamb who has forgiven, healed and restored humanity can be in the midst of our food, relationships and festivities.
So for us, and perhaps some of you, the Passover can become a great celebration when we observe together, the night before Jesus Crucifixion, the deeper meaning of Easter. If you do it this year, then your children will ask you “Why is this night different to all other nights” and you will have an amazing opportunity to share more of God’s salvation plan through Christ with them.
If you would like to download a free copy of the Passover service I have put together, you can do it by clicking onto the link below. You can also go to the ‘Resources’ tab on this website www.almondtreeministries.com.au It also has the food you will require, and an explanation of it’s significance.
Happy Easter! He is risen!!