Matzos for One Hundred and Twenty
This spring marks our 25th year of celebrating Passover. One of my favorite memories is the year that we took our Messianic music to the church sanctuary, and along with the help of the congregation, transformed that Saturday evening into a remembrance of a lifetime as we celebrated Passover together with our church family. We set up tables, and each woman decorated their family’s table with beautiful tablecloths, fresh flowers and candles. In the background you could hear our praise & worship leader practicing devotional worship songs. Blue and white balloons decorated the big room. We greeted each family at the door while women gathered in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on the dinner food.
My husband gave a mini teaching about The Haggadah, or the booklet that tells the story of how God led the Israelites out of Egypt and delivered them. He explained the elements that make up a Seder, which means “order”, and the purpose of each. He then gathered the children to himself and asked them questions about Moses, God’s miracles and Jesus. Parents and Sunday school teachers beamed with pride as each child answered correctly.
What was special about this particular group was their willingness to learn. I never witnessed a group of people who hungered for an understanding of Jesus in this celebration like they did. The men eagerly participated when we gave them feathers and asked them to retrieve any pieces of hametz, or yeast, at their table signifying that they, indeed, searched their home making sure no hametz, or leavening, was found in it. They would carry it to a makeshift pit where they would burn it symbolizing that as the leader of their family, there is no unconfessed sin in their house. My husband demonstrated by stomping his foot loudly and shouting “My house is clean.” The men had fun with it. We all cringed when one of our board members shouted “My house is clean.” His wife would always tell us “I’m not a housekeeper” and ask us to excuse the mess. She got the biggest kick out of this and we all gave her big hugs.
We were then ready to begin our complete Passover Seder. Women stood at their tables and lit the candles and I led them in a blessing, an opening prayer. There is so much symbolism at Passover that points to Jesus. Blood from a lamb was sprinkled over the doorpost for protection from the death angel that would kill the first born of each family regardless whether they were Jew or Egyptian if not protected by the blood of the lamb; thus death passed over the homes that were protected. Three pieces of matzos, unleavened bread, symbolize Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but Christians see it as the triune God with the second matzo hidden in the napkin symbolizing the Son.
I believe that God loves it when we celebrate Jesus in the Passover. I love to think of Him as my deliverer. When Jesus touches our lives and delivers us, we are different. We are free and we can’t keep it to ourselves!
As the last praise song was sung that night and the clock told us it was late, families left quickly. Many stayed behind and cleaned up the sanctuary for the Sunday morning Resurrection service. I noticed how joyful everybody was as they cleaned. Then something wonderful happened. The men formed a circle and began to dance to the fast Messianic music. Women and girls joined in and the balloons fell from the ceiling. They danced to the music keeping those balloons suspended! We called it the “balloon dance.” We laughed a lot and danced a lot. It's what you do when you feel free.
But then something even more wonderful happened. The next morning our pastor gave an inspirational teaching on all that he learned about Jesus in the Passover, using our prayer shawl. He covered several points of the Seder that he held dear. But then something even more wonderful happened. An altar call was given and nine people gave their lives to Christ.
I praise Jesus, our deliverer. I wish you were here with me, dear friends, celebrating Jesus with us this Passover night. We have a great menu planned: matzo ball soup, green tossed salad, roast chicken and grilled lamb with brownies and coffee for dessert. But before we begin this year’s Passover celebration, I will be asking everyone: What breakthrough do you believe Jesus for? He is our deliverer. May He bless you and grant your request. Shalom!