Thursday, March 27, 2014

New Easter Tradition

I must admit while others are oohing and ahhing over Halloween, Christmas or other holidays I am in my element during this time of year! I absolutely LOVE Easter!! There is nothing more special to me than the meaning behind Easter. However, I must admit, last year our family discovered a new aspect of Easter that just made the week before Easter more intimate. [...]

Last year for the first time we observed Passover. The above picture is from our Passover in 2013. Now some Christians get defensive when other Christians mention observing Passover but stay with me here and let me explain.

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First of all I want to plainly state that observing these rituals does nothing for your salvation. Salvation only comes through Jesus Christ! But I do believe that these simple acts of observance serves as a great reminder for us today. For us, doing this last year, made us more aware and mindful of what Easter was all about. It was almost a sad time during the week before Easter and then on Easter morning we were all so excited! I can not explain it, you just have to experience it for yourself. In case you have never heard of Passover, I want to take a moment to explain it to you. Now I am by NO MEANS an expert in the area but this is some information to help get you started if you want to research it more. 

For a little background, Passover started in the Old Testament. If you will remember the 10 plagues that God allowed to come upon the Egyptians because Pharaoh refused to let God's people go. You can read more about the plagues in Exodus 7-12. The final plague was the death of the first born. Passover comes from when the death angel "passed over" the houses that had the blood on the doorposts. (I could get really deep into explaining here but I want to save that for a later time so right now I am going to be really quick in my explaining.- I encourage you to really dig into Scripture and investigate this if it interests you!) Once God delivered the children of Israel He commanded them to observe the Passover every year as a memorial to teach their children. (Exodus12:14,26) Now here is where the awesome part comes in!!

Do you remember the Last Supper? (This was Jesus' last meal with his disciples before Judas betrayed Him.) Can you guess what they were observing? You guessed it! PASSOVER! (Luke 22:1-13) I am getting excited even as I am typing this to you!!! Here is where Jesus institutes a new observance! The Lord's Supper!!! The Lord's Supper was a "replacement"!! You see Passover was a reminder of bondage. Bondage in Egypt, bondage to sin and bondage to law but the Lord's Supper was a reminder of Jesus! Jesus broke all the bondage of sin and law by dying on the cross! (I am wanting to get in such depth here but I am going to wait! PLEASE PLEASE go read these scriptures for yourself! It just amazes me how the whole Bible is seamless and so flowing!

So why do I observe Passover if we have a new observance? Several reasons. First, it is a good way for me to teach with my kids about the plagues and the Exodus from Egypt. Second, it is a great way for them to see how the Old Testament and the New Testament truly do go together. Third, it is a great demonstration of how Jesus overcame. And fourth, it truly does keep us focused on Jesus during the week of Easter! As we get closer to the Holiday I will fill you in on all the things we do as a family (Palm Sunday, Passover, Good Friday and then Easter)- but for now I will stick to Passover.

Last year was so special that I wanted to make this year even more special! So I decided to make my own Seder plate. (The passover meal is called "Seder".) As I got to researching I came across a post by Sherri Osborne. She had came across the instructions about how to make your own Seder plate at Shiksa in the Kitchen. I LOVED the idea so I got to work putting together the supplies so I could make my own. (Thank you to these two ladies for giving me the inspiration!) 

First I purchased a plain ceramic plate. 

Then I started planning. I really liked the idea of having pictures on the plate so I could remember what went in that space. I also liked the idea of having the Hebrew letters and words there. So I started looking at Seder plates online until I could sketch what I wanted my plate to look like.

Then I slowly started writing and drawing on my plate. I used paint pens in various colors that I got from a craft shop. Make sure that you ask if you need help because you want the pens that you can write on glass with and then BAKE! The store had many many kinds of paint pens but only one kind baked on. So ask!

This was half way completed.

Then I decided I wanted the Star of David since it represented the nation of Israel. (After all they are God's chosen people.)

Then I baked it according to the manufacture instructions.

And here is the final product!

(I am not sure why this picture is like this at the bottom. Must be a formatting problem because I have tried several time to upload it and it keeps doing this! errr)

So now I cannot wait to use it! I have started working on our formal menu and "ceremony" plan- which I will share with you as soon as I finish it. This year we have 4 new family members who will be doing this with us so I wanted to have something written out on paper to keep things flowing. 

I love putting the things of God first in all occassions and this is a great way to do it! Remember to check back as I will go in depth about the verses and meaning behind Passover in a later post once I finish my "ceremony" plans. I love learning new things about the Christian roots and Jewish customs is a part of it. (Again I want to repeat here, I, nor you should become distracted by "Judaism". We are Christ followers! But it does help us to understand things in the Bible better if we can get a grasp on the culture of Jesus' day!)

How about you? Do you or have you ever observed Passover??