Passover Seder - 5781

Saturday, March 27, 2021


 Pesach Celebration, Temple Yeshua, 2021

Preparation of the Seder:


Set the Seder plate, filled with foods that symbolize the story of the Exodus, near the Seder leader’s place at the table. Arrange four items on the plate:

  •   a roasted shank bone (or slices of roast meat)
  •   a spring vegetable such as parsley, called karpas
  •   a mixture of fruit and nuts, called charoset
  •   a dish of prepared or fresh horseradish, called maror.

To make things more convenient for guests, you can also set small dishes containing each item next to every place setting.

Salt water:  Provide each guest with a small dish of salt water into which they may dip their greens.  

Matzah:  Put three pieces of matzah on a plate, cover with a cloth or napkin, and place underneath or near the Seder plate.

Wine:  For the four ceremonial cups.  Substitute grape juice for the children and teetotalers.

Copies of the Haggadah:  Lay a copy of the Haggadah on top of each guest’s napkin

Pillows:  It’s traditional for each guest to recline on a pillow during the ceremony to symbolize the comfort of freedom.

Candles and Matches:  For lighting at the beginning of the service.

Tambourines – For those who wish to dance at the Song of the Sea



Welcome to our Passover Seder - the great story of our deliverance and redemption.  This is a story that has been retold for thousands of years.  It tells of miraculous transitions - from slavery to freedom, from despair to hope, from darkness to light.  Its greatness comes from the revelation of God's love for His people, His compassion for their suffering, His power to save them.

We gather to celebrate together with loved ones and friends, our elders and young ones linking past and future, and with the household of Israel.  For in Christ Jesus, those of us who used to be far off have drawn near through the blood of the Messiah; He is our peace, who has made both one.  Together we respond to the divine call to remember, as it is written:

“So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations, as an everlasting ordinance.  It is a Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt, when He smote the Egyptians but spared our homes” (Exodus 12:17).


One of the Messiah's last earthly acts was the celebration of the Passover.  Gathering His disciples in an Upper Room in Jerusalem, He led them in a fellowship meal, saying "With great desire have I desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer".  It was then that Jesus revealed to them the mystery of God's plan of redemption, of His body that would be broken, and His blood poured out for them.  And now as we kindle the festival lights, we pray for the illumination of the Spirit of God to bring great personal meaning to this, our Passover celebration.



The Lighting of Candles   Edie, lighting the candles, says:


Blessed are You, O lord our God, King of the universe, who has set us apart by Your word, and in whose Name we light the festival lights.


Jesus, Light of the World,
Shed Your radiance on our gathering,
Make Your face to shine upon us,
And may all that we do
Be to the praise and glory of Your holy Name.






The Haggadah: The Seder Plate – Nesbit Family


And now we begin reading the Haggadah, which means "the telling".  On the table is a Seder plate, holding the items we use to recall the events of Passover.  There are bitter herbs, parsley, a mixture of fruit and nuts, and a bone.   Here is unleavened bread, called matzah.  And here are four cups. During the Seder we will drink four glasses of wine.  With each of these, we celebrate the four promises God gave to the Children of Israel through Moses:


" ... I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians …

  I will free you from being slaves ...

  I will redeem you with an outstretched arm ...

  I will take you as My own people, and I will be your God ..." (Exodus 6:6-7)


The Cup of Sanctification


(Cups are filled with wine) 

Let us lift the first cup together, the Cup of Sanctification:


Barukh atah Adonai Eloheynu, Melekh Ha-Olam, borei pri hagefen.


Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.  Thank you that You have chosen us before the foundation of the world to be perfect before You in love, and have sanctified us through the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God.  Blessed are You, O Lord our God, who has preserved us and sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season.  Amen.  (All drink from the first cup)


The Parsley in Salt Water - Julie


Passover is traditionally a springtime festival; the season of rebirth, and new life. 

This vegetable, called karpas (holding up the parsley) represents life, created and sustained by God. But we do not forget that for the children of Israel life in Egypt was hard, filled with pain and tears, represented by this salt water.  Let us take the parsley and dip it in the water, and remember the suffering they endured. (Everyone dips green vegetable in salt water and eats it)


We learn from their story that, even though we may have sorrow and suffering in our lives, we may always hope in God:  “In the world,” said Jesus, “you will have tribulation.  But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world!”.  We also often experience that after a season of difficulty and disappointment He brings a time of renewal.  He says to us:

Arise my love, and come away,
For now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone,
The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtle dove is heard in the land.
Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. (Song of Solomon 2:13)


The Question of the Youngest Child – Mah Nishtana? - Bethany

-  Why is this night different from all other nights?
-  Why at this feast do we eat only unleavened bread?
-  Why on this night do we eat bitter herbs?
-   And why on this night do we eat with special ceremony?





We will now answer the four questions concerning Passover that you have asked.


The story of Passover is a story of miracles, a story of redemption, a story of the mighty power of God to overcome evil.  While in the land of Egypt the Children of Israel became a nation.  They multiplied and became like the stars of heaven - and the Egyptians were afraid.  They made the lives of the Israelites bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields.  (holds up maror)


These bitter herbs are called maror, and we eat them to remember the harsh and bitter slavery the Israelites endured under Pharaoh.  The maror is also symbolic of the bitter cup our Lord tasted on our behalf when He said, “The cup My Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”


(All make a sandwich of the bitter herbs with unleavened bread and eat)


(Lifting the charoset) This mixture of apples and nuts, called charoset, reminds us of the bricks and clay with which the Children of Israel labored to make treasure houses for Pharaoh.  Now we will eat the matzah with both the maror and sweet charoset to remind ourselves that our most bitter experiences can be transformed by the Lord's grace and presence.  In all our affliction He was afflicted, so He can turn our night into day and our sorrow into joy.   (All eat of the sandwich)


The Plagues – Signs and Wonders - Barb


The Lord saw the affliction of the Children of Israel and heard them groaning in their slavery.  Their cry came up before Him, and He was filled with compassion for His people, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  He raised up for them a deliverer, Moses, and appeared to him in the deserts of Sinai, in the midst of a burning bush.  By Him Moshe was sent into Egypt, to bring a message to the king, a cry of thunder from the God of Israel:  "Let My people go!"  And when Pharaoh refused to listen, God stretched out His hand and performed great signs and wonders in the land of Egypt.  But even as He afflicted them with fearful plagues, Pharaoh's heart remained hard.




 The Cup of Plagues


We will now fill our cups for a second time - this is the Cup of Plagues.  As we recount each plague, let us dip a little finger into the cup, allowing a drop of wine to fall, in compassion for the slain Egyptians.  (All dip fingers in their cups and shake a drop of wine on their plate as each plague is mentioned)


blood – frogs – lice – flies – cattle disease – boils – hail – locusts – darkness  – and the slaying of the firstborn


The Passover Lamb – Mike N.


(Lamb shank is held up)  What is the reason for the Passover lamb which we eat?  During the final plague, Moses told the children of Israel how to protect themselves as the angel of death passed through the land of Egypt to smite all the firstborn.  Each family was to take a lamb and kill it, drain the blood into a basin, then take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood and strike the upper lintel and two side doorposts of the house.  “And when I see the blood," says the Lord, "I will pass over you, when I strike the land of Egypt”.


“And it came to pass at midnight that the Lord struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock. So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead (Exodus 12:29-30)


But, on that dark night, the blood of the innocent lamb shielded all the firstborn of Israel from the destroying angel.  That blood was a token that pointed forward to a future day when, in the fullness of God’s time, the real sacrifice would be made at Calvary.  Eventually, prophecy and history meet in Jesus Christ. He hung upon the Cross, bearing in his own body the storm of the wrath of God against sin; He drew into himself the hostility of Satan and the hatred, wrath and malice of the entire human race. 


That is why John, seeing Jesus, said, “Behold the Lamb of God”. 



Reflection - Judy


Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, “Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the Lord as you have said.   Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also” (Exodus 12:31-32)


“A Personal Reflection on Freedom through the Messiah”



The Matzah and the Afikomen - Sarah



As the Children of Israel fled from Egypt, they did not have time for their dough to rise (lifts plate which contains three matzot). This is the bread of affliction, which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. 


These three matzot are wrapped together.  The three loaves of unleavened bread sharing one napkin represent the Triune God:  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  In the middle matzah we can see a picture of Jesus. This bread made of pure flour and water without yeast to ferment it is a vivid picture of His spotless perfection.   But do you also see how it is striped and pierced?  The prophet Isaiah tells us:

He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed ...


And the prophet Zechariah adds:  "And they shall look on Him whom they have pierced."


(Removing and breaking the middle matzah in half) 


When the middle piece of matzah is broken, it is symbolic of the death of Christ.  This half is called the afikomen, - the "coming one".  It is wrapped in a white cloth just as the Messiah's body was wrapped for burial (wraps the afikomen).  While the children cover their eyes, we will hide the afikomen.  This represents the way that Jesus was placed in a tomb, hidden for three days.  (Takes the remaining half and holds it up)


We will now bless the unleavened bread as food, with the blessing Jesus pronounced at the Last Supper:


Barukh Atah Adonai Eloheynu, Melekh ha-Olam, ki motzi lekhem min ha-aretz.


Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.  Let us share together the unleavened bread of Passover (all break and eat).









The Third Cup – the Cup of Redemption – Robert


“How shall I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me?  I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.  I will fulfill my vows to the Lord now, in the presence of all His people”.  


Let us fill our cups for the third time this evening.  This is the Cup of Redemption, symbolizing the blood of the Passover Lamb.  It was of this Cup that Jesus said: “Drink from this, all of you.  For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.”  Drink this, remembering that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, and in so doing accept the grace that transforms us and bring us from darkness into His marvelous light. (All drink) 


“To Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to God and His Father, to Him be glory and dominion for ever.”



The Red Sea Crossing - Margaret


This is the heart of the Passover service - yet the Children of Israel still must be led to their Promised Land.  The Israelites went out of Egypt with great spoil; those who formerly were slaves were arrayed in beautiful garments and priceless gems.  But Pharaoh chased them with his army and chariots, reaching them as they were facing an impassible barrier.  The Red Sea was before them, and the enemy behind.  In fear and trembling, in their impossible situation, they cried out to God. 


And Moses said to them, ""Do not be afraid, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will show to you today.  For the Egyptians whom you have seen today you shall see no more again forever.  The Lord shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace" (Exodus 14:13-14). 


And the Sea divided and the Children of Israel passed through its midst as on dry land, and the waters were to them like walls, like ramparts on either side.  But when the Egyptians attempted to follow after them, the waters rushed back to their place …


“Thus may all Your enemies perish, O Lord!
But let those who love You be like the sun
When it comes out in full strength
” (Judges 5:31)







The Song of the Sea – Edie and Lesley

Then Miriam the prophetess took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.  And they sang together:

“I will sing unto the Lord,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider
He has thrown into the sea!
The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
He is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
The Lord is a man of war;
The Lord is His name
(Exodus 15)


Salvation is in the Name of the Lord!   





Offering - Lesley



The Cup of Praise 


We now fill our cups for the fourth and last time - the Cup of Praise (all join in the refrain)


Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

To Him who alone does great wonders, For His mercy endures forever;

To Him who by wisdom made the heavens, For His mercy endures forever;

To Him who laid out the earth above the waters, For His mercy endures forever;

To Him who made great lights, For His mercy endures forever—

The sun to rule by day, For His mercy endures forever;

The moon and stars to rule by night, For His mercy endures forever.

To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn, For His mercy endures forever;

And brought out Israel from among them, For His mercy endures forever;

With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, For His mercy endures forever .




The Afikomen - Gail


It is now time to search for and find that which has been hidden:  the Afikomen.


 (The Afikomen is searched for and a prize given to the finder and all the children) 


This bread was broken at the beginning, symbolizing the death of the Lord, was hidden, speaking of His burial, and is now taken out and unwrapped, signifying the resurrection.  We remember how, early in the morning on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other women came to see the tomb of Jesus.  And an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, rolled back the stone from the door and sat on it.  His countenance was like lightning and his clothing was white as snow.  And he spoke to them and said:  "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here, for He is risen, just as He said!"


As we partake of the Afikomen, let us celebrate the fact that our long-awaited Messiah has come, has defeated death and brought us life in all its fullness.  Jesus said, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.  If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed”.




The Fourth Cup is also a Cup of Hope - Marius



We celebrate what God has done in our history and for us, but at the same time we still await a new future.  All creation still groans and longs for its final redemption.  As Jesus left, He promised He would come again and restore all things, and we await the day in which He will bring His kingdom in its fullness.

It was at the Last Supper that Jesus, as our great High Priest, made His wonderful prayer for His disciples and for the unity of His church, saying,


I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You have sent Me” (John 17:20-21).


He also said concerning His own people Israel:


“Assuredly I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord’” (Luke 13:35).







Prayer – Mike



O Lord our God, King of the Universe, remember us Your people.  Deliver us from all evil, and perfect us in Your love.  May we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, become transformed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.  For where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  Gather us together from the four winds, into Your kingdom which You have prepared for us.  For Yours is the power and the glory, forever.  Amen.


Extempore prayer for the church, young people, Israel




In every generation, each person must view himself or herself as personally having gone out from Egypt.


(ALL:  But we are free ...) 


Some people are not.  By tasting the bitterness of bondage today, we share and feel their suffering.  Our mission is to share the Good News – tonight and forever - to take the Cup of Hope to all humankind.  For Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”.


The Litany - Lesley


 (As this is recited, all join in at the end of each verse with “Diyenu” (“It would have been enough for us”)


Had He brought us out of Egypt and not executed judgment against them … Diyenu!

Had He given us their gold and silver and not divided the sea for us … Diyenu!

Had He divided the sea for us and not brought us through it with dry feet … Diyenu!

Had He drowned our oppressors in it and not helped us for forty years in the desert … Diyenu!

He had helped us forty years in the desert and not brought us to the Land of Israel … Diyenu!

Had He brought us to the Land of Israel and not built us the Temple … Diyenu!


Philip said to Jesus at the Last Supper:  “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”  Jesus responded to him:  “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”  




Conclusion  The traditional conclusion of the Seder is an expression of the indomitable hope for the future expressed by the Jewish people throughout history. 




~~ Song Lyrics Below ~~


Lord, the light of your love is shining
In the midst of the darkness, shining
Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us
Set us free by the truth you now bring us
Shine on me, shine on me


Shine, Jesus, shine
Fill this land with the Father's glory
Blaze, Spirit, blaze
Set our hearts on fire
Flow, river, flow
Flood the nations with grace and mercy
Send forth your word
Lord, and let there be light

Lord, I come to your awesome presence
From the shadows into your radiance
By the blood I may enter your brightness
Search me, try me, consume all my darkness
Shine on me, shine on me







Lamb of God,

You take away the sins of the world

Have mercy on us (x2)


Lamb of God

You take away the sins of the world

Grant us peace.




There is none like You, O Lord (x4)

Yeshua, Yeshua, ...

Ein Kamocha Adonai

Yeshua, Yeshua …



Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea
A great High Priest, whose name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me

My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look, and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin

Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Behold Him there, the Risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless righteousness
The great unchangeable I am
The King of glory and of grace!

One with Himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ, my Savior and my God