Browse > Home / Lifestyle / Celebrate a Christian Passover Dinner

| Subscribe via RSS

Celebrate a Christian Passover Dinner

April 1st, 2014 Posted in Lifestyle
I shouldn’t have been surprised when the questions came, all these questions rushing like a river searching….

God knew.

He knew how all the kids would ask questions.




All the kids asking questions — wasn’t that the prophesy?

“When your children ask their fathers in the time to come…’” (Joshua 4:21).

And He prophesied our answers to all their questions: “And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, ‘This is done because of what the LORD did for me… (Exodus 13:8).

Come an eve in early spring, when the trees are budding and the birds nesting high, all the rivers running higher, Jewish children gather around feast tables and they ask the same four age-old questions; questions that answer everything.

Our children ring the old oak farm table and take up the tradition of the quartet of questions.

Keeping “this ordinance in its season from year to year,” (Exodus 13:10), I lay the Passover emblems out on the table in the early twilight.

The matzah lies under a linen cloth.

Goblets of juice of the vine flicker in the candle light, sprigs of lush green parsley circle a tray, water drops jewelling leaf tips.

Off to the side, behind the crystal bowls heaped with mashed potatoes and glazed baby carrots, a dish of ground horseradish sits beside a dark, heavy shank bone of lamb. Not our usual fare for a spring evening meal.

Weary and worn from the all-day effort, I have my own questions: Is all this business of keeping Passover unnecessary burden?

Have we knotted the holy day up in redundant encumbrances?

Does this old covenant really have bearing on new covenant living?

Slipping my hand through my husband’s, I find answers.



Children pressing in now, anxious for just this, this tradition, this meal before candles, this sipping of goblets.

“This, this is the best Easter dinner ever! Passover!” a son smiles down the table at me — “No — this is my favorite meal of the whole year!

And the questions now trickle, the same four questions that have come rippling down from one generation, to the next, for centuries; from the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob….to our children.

Levi, his young voice pitched high but gentle, asks the first of the three-thousand-year-old queries:

“Why are we eating unleavened bread, or matzah, tonight?”

I pick up the matzah, a flat cracker of bread, striped with narrow lines, and pierced with small holes.

And I answer in the only way I know how, “Because tonight we remember Jesus. By whose stripes we are healed. Yeast leavens, or puffs up, as pride and sin inflates our hearts. Tonight we eat unleavened bread, bread without yeast, to remember Jesus who was without sin.”

I break the matzah in half and whisper, “Just like He was broken for us.”

These are questions to know where we come from.

Hope comes next, slender fingers reaching out towards the horseradish, face contorted in slight grimace,

“Why are we eating bitter herbs?”

Lifting a small, silver spoonful of horseradish, I trace time’s prints back.

For on that long ago night, that night of Passover for the children of Israel, God said that ‘bitter herbs they shall eat’ (Ex. 12:8) and so we do too. To remember the bitterness of the cruel slavery of the Israelites to Pharaoh, to recall the bitterness of our ugly bondage to sin.”

My husband breaks off a corner of the matzah, topping it with the spoonful of horseradish and offers it to Hope.

But we eat the bitter herbs with the matzah to remember how Jesus, our Bread of Life, has paid the price and absorbed our bitter sins.”

This is the telling of the story that answers the human heart’s pleas… and prayers.

Joshua, he’s got his question memorized, him joining with children around the world, asking the third question on this night of four questions,

“Why tonight do we dip our herbs twice?”

Picking up the evergreen parsley, I close my eyes to see the answer. My husband speaks quiet. “Our fathers dipped hyssop branches into the blood of the Passover lamb and marked their doorposts.” It’s tradition now, to pass down this story.

He dips a parsley sprig into the salt water and continues. “As they wept salty tears for their life of slavery, they painted the door lintels with the blood, that the Angel of Death may pass over. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.”

He dips the parsley again, this time into a small glass dish of apple and raisins.

But now we have hope. Because of the blood shed by the thorns piercing Jesus’ brow. Because of the blood from the wounds of the nails, that we, in faith, mark on the door of our hearts. Now we wipe away our tears, for we have new life in Christ. We have been rebirthed into His hope.”

All around the table, you can see it in their eyes — this relief. I can feel my own.

Caleb, pensive eldest, leans his head on his hand and serves the crowning question:

“Why are we eating this meal reclining?”

I lean into the climax of the story and the traditional answer, it never gets old.


“Because our Passover Lamb has bought our freedom.”

“Tonight we remember that we are no longer slaves, but children of the very King of Kings. Free men, royalty, recline while eating. So, as Jesus who reclined at the Last Supper, we too lean back this night, for we are free to come before God who is upon the Throne.”

We raise glasses and toast. And there’s the answer as to why we keep Passover.

Keeping Passover isn’t about keeping laws and regulations.

Keeping Passover isn’t about keeping our burdens.

Keeping Passover isn’t about keeping some empty, meaningless customs.

On the night of four questions, the answer murmur clear in the stream of time: Keeping Passover is about keeping our way on The Way.

Passover is about keeping something worth preserving: emblems pregnant with the fulfillment of the New Covenant.

Passover is about the questions that keep time to the beat of our children’s heart:
Why am I here?
What does all of this living really mean?
Where am I headed?
When will I be all that I am to be?

And this story, His story, His three-thousand-year-old Passover story has answers, told on a quiet evening in spring when the trees are budding under nesting birds.
When all the rivers run alive and swift and on forever, free…

To Set a Table for a Christian Passover:

1. matzah (or Wholewheat Unleavened Bread)

2. juice of the vine (wine, grape juice, non-alcoholic wine)

3. sprigs of lush green parsley

4. horseradish (bitter herbs)

5. chopped apples and raisins (called haroset)

6. heavy shank bone of lamb

7. boiled egg

8. small dish of salted water


Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary

Balsamic Roasted Red Potatoes

Baked Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce

Haroset (Chopped Apples & Raisins) for Passover

Wholewheat Unleavened Bread

Baby carrots

And for dessert: New Life

Including Menu, Passover Table Setting List and Program with Four Questions with Life Answers {A Messianic Seder}

Sample Pages:


{Click here to Print Complete Document (6 pages)}

A Whole Family Christian Easter Activity : Make a Grace Garden
Free Easter Devotional with Easter Tree {Because Easter’s as Significant as Christmas}

I AM – Messianic Passover Seder Plate & Booklet
I AM – Communion / Passover Cup

I AM – Passover / Communion Candle Holders

What are your Easter plans? How are you heart ready?

ann voskamp

ann voskamp

Farmer’s wife, mama to 6 & author of NYTimes Bestseller One Thousand Gifts, Ann blogs wild grace @ A Holy Experience. When the kids and the washing machine sleep, she washes her real dirt down with words and The Word. Some of her words find themselves in an award-winning series for curious kids, A Childs Geography, of which all profits are donated to Compassion. Other words can be found at Laity Lodge’s High Calling where she serves as acontributing editor and other words advocate for the poor as she is a blogger traveling with Compassion. The only words that really matter are the ones she lives. This convicts her. She has a background in education from York University and the University of Waterloo, home educates their six farm kids, and makes a mess of things every day. She clings to grace. She’s more of a rare peeper than a regular tweeter, but everyday in the fringe hours, early and late, she blogs about the mess and the grace and the everyday wonder at a Holy Experience.

Leave a Reply