Passover is a time for families to reflect on God's goodness and His saving acts together. Instead of gathering together to celebrate the Passover as a church family, I would like to encourage you to celebrate as a family in your home.
Passover is really more than a festival. It is an elaborate teaching experience, especially for the children, intended to call people to their identity as the People of God. By using all of the senses, the Passover Seder tells the story of God’s grace in history and calls the participants to experience and be a part of God's story. Passover becomes more than simply a celebration; it is a way to point us to our Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Passover is a very important part of Holy Week, and we would love for you to celebrate it at home with your family. Traditionally, the Passover was celebrated as a family in individual homes. We have put together a helpful script for you to use that includes materials needed (hopefully you can find them in your home) and tips on how to implement this sacred meal. Even if you just read through the Passover Haggadah, or “telling” of what God has done, it will be a meaningful experience for you and your family.
SET A FORMAL TABLE
nice linens, candles, silverware, plates, glasses and napkins
THE BLOOD of THE LAMB on the DOORPOST
Red streamer or strips of red construction paper, tape
PREPARE A PASSOVER PLATE
Lamb (grilled, roasted, or meatballs) - if lamb is unavailable, another meat source will do
Root vegetables and potatoes as a side if you are making the celebration a part of a full meal
Select nice glasses for each family member to have at their place.
Include a pitcher on the table of grape juice (this is ideal, but ok to improvise if not available)
Once your table is set, you can follow the following script, or Haggadah, to lead your Passover meal. If you would like, your family may begin by washing one another’s feet before coming to the table. Remember to set the ambiance! Dim the lights and use candles for a truly somber and realistic experience!
Other helpful resources:
The Jesus Storybook Bible—this can be used for small children to read the story from Exodus (Moses, the Plagues, and the Passover) and from Matthew (the Last Supper)
The Prince of Egypt—this movie can be viewed with children after the Passover meal as a great way to continue the conversation
PARENT or NARRATOR: Tonight is a very special night; a night unlike any other night. Tonight we remember that God has rescued his people from slavery in Egypt. Tonight we remember what God has done. He has set us free from sin and death and called us His people. We celebrate the Lord’s Passover here tonight as a family because God commands us to remember Him together. We remember the Lord is faithful to all His promises. Our God is the God of the Exodus, the God of wonders. He is mighty to save! These are the words of the Lord:
“I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will deliver you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God” (Exodus 6:6-7).
As we celebrate the Passover, we will remember the Four Cups of the Passover, that remind us of what God has done for us: He has given us freedom, deliverance, and redemption. The final cup, the Cup of Thanksgiving, is our response to God in worship for all He has done. He has fulfilled His promises and made us His people forever.
PARENT or NARRATOR: The first cup of the Passover is the Cup of Freedom. This cup is to remember that God is the Savior. He sets the course of our lives and oversees every detail, even our suffering. He told Abraham long ago,
“Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated 400 years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions” (Genesis 15:13-14).
He knew our suffering even before it came to be, and promised He would come to set us free. He frees us to worship Him and belong to Him as His dearly beloved children. Let us drink from the promised Cup of Freedom, remembering that God has promised to set us free from slavery. We are no longer slaves, and we belong to Him. Let us drink together. Please take a drink of your glass.
Part of the Passover celebration is parents teaching their children and remembering with their children all of the things God has done.
Have a child, or someone in your family, ask the questions:
1. Why is this night unlike any other night? On all other nights, we eat vegetables of all kinds, but tonight why do we only eat bitter herbs?
PARENT or NARRATOR: We remember that our lives were made bitter by hard labor and cruel slavery in Egypt. Each person may take a piece of lettuce dip it in the horseradish to taste the bitterness of slavery in Egypt. Even as the bitter taste is in our mouths, we know our God is able to turn our sorrow into sweetness. The Bible teaches us that He turns our mourning into dancing, our tears of sadness into joy, and our hardship into victory. Each person may serve themselves some of the charoset and taste the sweet mixture of charoset and remember the goodness of the Lord
PARENT or NARRATOR: The salt water is salty like our tears. We remember the many tears we cried in slavery. Our cries went up to the Lord, and He himself came down to deliver us. Each person may take the parsley and dip it into the salt water to eat.
PARENT or NARRATOR: We remember that we left the land of our oppression in haste, after God sent the 10 wonders upon Egypt. The bread is flat, because we eat it quickly, and it has not has had time to rise. Take the bread and break off a piece as you pass it around the table to eat.
PARENT or NARRATOR: We remember the blood of the lamb on the doorposts that made the Destroyer pass over us. We eat the lamb as God commanded us to do so on this Passover night.
The second cup of the Passover is the Cup of Deliverance. This cup is to remember that God is the Deliverer. The Lord delivered us with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm out of Egypt. He Himself gives freedom and provides deliverance. He is a God who hears us and comes to rescue us. Let us drink together the Cup of Deliverance. Please take a drink of your glass.
Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, and the Jebusites” (Exodus 3:7-8).
How did He set us free from slavery? How did He deliver us? The Lord worked 10 wonders, so that we may know that He is God, and there is no other.
To all who put their trust in God, He saves them.
The lamb’s blood is on the doorposts of the houses of God’s people tonight. (Optional: Have someone tape the red streamer over your front door.) Listen to God’s Word telling what happened on the night of Passover and how God saved His people. Listen to hear the importance of the lamb.
“On the tenth day of this month, each man should take a lamb for his family, one lamb for each household. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect. Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and on the tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire – with the head, legs and internal organs. Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover.
On that same night, I will pass through Egypt and strike down every first born of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. The Lord will not allow the Destroyer to enter your houses to strike you.
Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. Observe this ceremony. And when your children ask you,” (Exodus 12:1-13 and 24-30).
Have a child, or someone in your family, ask the question: “What does this ceremony mean to you?”
PARENT or NARRATOR: Tell them, it is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our houses when he struck down the Egyptians.
We are grateful for any and all of what God does for our benefit, and we do not expect more than what He has given. We are thankful and content with what God has done. It is more than enough.
See the lamb shank bone on the Passover table. Pick up the bone (or picture of the lamb). The blood of the Lamb is the only way to be saved. God’s ways are unchanging. He has showed us that it takes a sinless lamb to die on our behalf, so that we might be saved and live. Everyone who acts in obedience and comes under the blood of the Lamb is saved by faith.
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
The third cup of the Passover is the Cup of Redemption. This cup is to remember that God is our Redeemer. This is the cup that Jesus took when he celebrated the Passover with his disciples on the night He was betrayed and was delivered up to be crucified.
“And Jesus said to his disciples, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.
And as they were eating, he took the bread, and after blessing it, broke it and gave it to them and said, “Take, this is my body.”
We remember all that God has done tonight as we celebrate the Passover. We remember Jesus with His disciples telling them that He would be the fulfillment of all of God’s promises. The unleavened bread symbolizes the “coming one, or Messiah, Jesus Christ” who took our place, died and was buried and then rose from death and is alive. Because of Christ’s death, God’s wrath “passes over us.” Pass the unleavened bread—break off a piece and eat.
“Jesus took the cup and then said, “This is the blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28).
Jesus was telling us that He would redeem us from our sins by His own shed blood on the cross. May we remember Jesus tonight as the One who gives us freedom, deliverance, and redemption by his own death – Jesus, the Passover Lamb. Jesus commanded us to remember His sacrifice for our sins – His body broken for us and His blood shed for us. We put our faith in Jesus, our Passover Lamb, who has died in our place and has given us new life. It is more than enough. Let us drink together the Cup of Redemption. Please take a drink of your glass.
The fourth cup of the Passover is the Cup of Thanksgiving. This cup is to remember all that God done for us. We thank God that it was His plan to give us a second exodus, to save us from a slavery greater than that of Egypt – for we were slaves to sin. We worship you, Jesus, for giving yourself up to do the will of your Father on the night of the Passover. You were the sacrifice for our sins. We praise you Lord that on the third day you rose from the dead and now live forever more to save those who put their trust in You. You have made us Your people. Let us drink together the Cup of Thanksgiving. Please take a drink of your glass.
Now take the hardboiled egg from your Seder plate. The egg reminds us of the burnt offerings previously made by God’s people in the Temple and reminds us of the hope that one day the Temple would be rebuilt, so that sacrifices can again be made for the forgiveness of sins.
Have an adult hold the egg above the flame of one of the candles. Watch as the egg becomes slightly blackened/charred, and then place the egg back on the Seder plate. We no longer offer burnt sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins in the Temple. Jesus was the sacrifice. Once for all. We remember that God's Temple is already being rebuilt through those who have been spiritually reborn, because of the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus. We are God’s people and He is building his Temple through us. We are reminded to tell others of the new life Jesus gives. He has set us free.
We remember that the Lord is good.
“we come to Jesus who is the Living Stone – rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to Him – you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says:
“See I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame” (I Peter 2:3-6).
We praise God tonight for his mighty acts in our lives. He has given us freedom, deliverance and redemption in Jesus Christ – the Passover Lamb.