Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Last Supper

Tonight, at church, we celebrated the Last Supper, Seder,  a Christian Passover Meal. It is meant to help Christians appreciate their Jewish "roots." it commemorates God's great act of deliverance of His peole Israel from slavery, it points towards God's Passover Lamb, Jesus, and it helps Christians understand the origin of the Sacrament of Holy Communion. There are several symbolic foods eaten at a Seder meal:

1. Unleavened bread (Matzah)- This represents the Israelite's historic flight from Egypt. They left in such a hurry that they grabbed their dough before the yeast was added. For seven days, during passover, they eat unleavened bread. Sharing this bread with all present, signifies unity and participation in the body of Christ, or communion.

2. Bitter herbs or Maror (horseradish root)- remind us of the bitterness and pain the Israelites suffered at the hands of the Egyptians. We were treated with some really good (and hot!) homemade horseradish.
3. Green herbs (parsley)- are a symbol of springtime and the miracle of nature's renewal. Dipping the parsley into the salted water symbolize the tears of sorrow the Hebrews experienced when they were enslaved in Egypt.

4. Boiled eggs- represent eyes and dipped into the salted water represents the tears that our forefathers shed during their slavery.

5. Crushed apple salad- The apple represents the bricks that our forefathers used to build Egyptian temples and buildings and the fruity paste represents the mortar that binds the bricks together.

6. The Pesach- Passover lamb is eaten as a memorial to God commemorating when our forefathers in Egypt killed the lamb and painted their door posts and lintels with the blood so that the Lord passed over their houses. For Passover, the lamb had to be one year old, roasted on a cross-like spit and no bone could be broken. Jesus is the Passover Lamb too. He was crusified on the 14th day of Nisan, at 3 o'clock. No bones of Jesus were broken, as was the usual custom of the Roman soldiers with the dead and dying. Jews do not traditionally eat lamb at Passover because the lamb must be sacrificed in the temple in Jerusalem but the temple was destroyed. Hence, the Jews have been without a Passover lamb ever since. They cannot eat lamb at Passover until the temple is rebuilt. We, Christians, do not have such a limitation. We find fullfillment in Christ, our Passover Lamb, who was destroyed and rose again.

The four cups of wine ( ; ) ) represent
  1. First cup, Kiddush - The Cup of Santification (Bless the name of the Lord)
  2. Second cup - the Cup of Praise
  3. Third cup - Cup of Redemption
  4. Fourth cup - Cup of Hope, this cup foreshadowed the blood of Christ, which was poured out for the world for the forgiveness of sins.
After supper, Jesus took the bread, broke it and said,"This is my body, which is for you: do this in rememberance of me. In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This (4th) cup is the new covenant in my blood: do this, whenever you drink it, in rememberance of me." Corinthians 11:24-25.

After the symbolic Seder meal, we had roast chicken, carrots, potatoes, and strawberry shortcake for dessert.

Decisions, decisions...

A fine meal, but it was time to go when the wine carafe was empty.
It was an especially memorable dinner because my mom, my daughter, and youngest son came with me.

1 comment:

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

Sounds like a special time. Thanks for sharing.

Dan