Passover for Believers in Yeshua… a “Christian Haggadah”

At our core, Christians are really Jews because Jesus is the Lamb of God.
At our core, Christians are really Jews because Jesus is the Lamb of God, who has taken away the sins of the world.

Passover Celebration

Passover begins Monday evening, April 14th. What follows is a Haggadah that affirms Jesus as the Passover Lamb.


This Haggadah was originally written by Rich Ronald for his family in 2000 with input over the years from various teachings by Ilene Zatal, Ray VanderLaan, Martha Zimmerman, David Brickner, Don Finto, Dwight Pryor and James Bankowski. Additionally, portions have been directly excerpted from the booklet “Passover Seder Ritual and Menu for an Observance by Christians” by Barbara Balzac Thompson, published by Augsburg Publishing House, Minneapolis, © 1984.



Welcome in the name of Yeshua, Jesus our Messiah!  Tonight we will celebrate Pesach (pah-SACH)… Passover.  This is the celebration of the most incredible feast in the Jewish and Christian calendars.  It intricately weaves a story of God’s power, faithfulness and love for mankind in both the Old and New Testaments.  It was celebrated in the Ancient World, in Jesus’ time, and is still celebrated in traditional Jewish homes today.

The first Passover was not a celebration.  It was a night of apprehension, fear and expectation for the beginning of a new journey for the children of Israel.  The Word tells us that the Hebrews were to take the blood of a perfect lamb, and paint it on their doorposts.  By following this command, the Angel of Death which moved through Egypt that night would “pass over” their homes.  But since the Angel of Death did not pass over Pharaoh’s house, and his first born son was taken from him, his hardened heart was finally softened and the next morning Pharaoh let the Hebrew slaves go free.  This meal that we celebrate tonight, the Seder, is symbolic of the rush to leave Egypt and the bondage it represents.

We also celebrate the significance of Yeshua’s last meal, sometimes called the “Last Supper,” a traditional Passover meal, with His disciples in the Upper Room.  There is a lot of symbolism between the Old Covenant meal and the New Covenant meal.  We hope you’ll enjoy learning how Yeshua tied the two meals together… and how it is applicable for us all.

Tonight, we tell a story, the Haggadah, of how the blood of a lamb saved the people of God in the Ancient times… and still saves today.

John 1:29: The next day, John the Baptizer saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

Reading: Luke 22:7-20

Let us celebrate the Passover together!



Tonight we celebrate the Seder… the word Seder means “Order” and as we know, God is a God of order.  The Seder is a celebration that usually takes place in homes… and at the center of the table at home is the Seder plate.  It contains items that we’ll talk about tonight… unleavened bread or Matzah, bitter herbs,  sweet apple mixture called the “Charoset” … parsley… a cup of salt water and a lamb bone.  As we tell the story tonight, the “Haggadah,” we encourage you to take in the sights and smells, tasting each ingredient and listening to every word… to hear and see and feel the truth of God’s love for us.



Like the Sabbath meal, tonight we light the Yom Tov, or the festival candles.  There are two candles on the table… the candle of Creation and a candle of Redemption.  For everything that God creates, He has a plan for redemption. The whole Passover story, both the Old Testament one and the New Testament one, is a story of this plan for our redemption.

Light is a symbol of God’s presence.  In Him there is no darkness.  Tonight is a special night for we’ll see first-hand that Yeshua, the Light of the world, is our true redemption.

In a traditional home, the woman of the household lights the Yom Tov candles… symbolic of Miriam, you know her as Mary, who was the human that God used to physically bring His Light into the world.

And for every item we talk about tonight, there is a prayer of blessing, for the Hebrews have a prayer for everything. So my wife, Linda, will light the Yom Tov candles and I’ll say the prayer in Hebrew, the words will be on the screen for you to repeat in English.

Barukh Atah Adonai Eloheynu Melekh ha’olam asher kidshanu B’mitzvo-tav v’tzivanu l’hadlik neir shel yom tov.



Praised are you O Lord, our God, King of the Universe, who sanctified us through the commandments and the death and resurrection of Yeshua, our Messiah, the Light of the World and the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.  Praised are you O Lord, our God, King of the Universe who commands us to light the festival lights.



Shine, Jesus, Shine

Fill this place with the Father’s glory.

Blaze, Spirit, blaze.  Set our hearts on fire.

Flow, River, flow.  Flood the nations with grace and mercy.

Send forth your Word, Lord, and let there be light. (repeat).

(©1987, Make Way Music, Words and Music by Graham Kendrick)



We’re going to drink four cups of wine, or grape juice, tonight.  They represent four promises God gave to Moses in Exodus 6: 6 and 7.  At your table, please pour the first cup for us to drink together.  And while you’re pouring, let me tell you what the four promises were:

  1. I WILL bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.
  2. I WILL free you from being slaves.
  3. I WILL redeem you with an outstretched arm.
  4. I WILL take you as My own people and I WILL be your God.

The first cup is the Cup of Sanctification.  In the Old Covenant, the Hebrews were saved by the blood of the lamb.  In the New Covenant, we are sanctified by the blood of Yeshua.  It is no surprise that our Sanctification is so important to God that celebrating it is the first thing we do together.  It is the first of four cups we drink. He has redeemed us… and He has set us apart, just as He set the Hebrews apart. He continues this work of sanctifying us throughout our lives.  Tonight, we celebrate our freedom from sin and the bondage it represents. Let us lift our cup together and bless the name of the Lord!  And when we raise our cup, let us do so with our right hand as it symbolizes strength and the right arm reminds us of our Messiah, our strength.

Barukh Atah Adonai Eloheynu Melekh ha’olam borey pri hagafen.


Praised are you, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.



The Urechatz is symbolic of the purification of the priests in the temple.  And for us in the New Covenant, it can symbolize baptism and the washing away of our sins.

Let us consider what Yeshua did at the Passover meal.  John 13 describes how he washed His disciples feet… let me take you there… think of the dusty roads of the hills of Galilee and the desert rocky paths of Qumran. Think of the cobblestone streets in the old city of Jerusalem… Think about in the Ancient Days when the master would be gone on business for a day or several days, having traveled under the hot, sizzling Israeli sun, and coming home tired and worn out and feeling like his feet were going to fall off.  And the slave, his servant, comes and meets him at the door with a towel and a basin of water to wash his feet.  Oh, this is great comfort and a soothing relief.  He is the master and this is his due.  And the other, his servant, his slave, his property… this is his position and he belongs to the master.

Now, Jesus is so incredible!  HE takes that towel and that basin of water, and HE the Master, God in the flesh, God incarnate, God with ten fingers and two legs and two arms and two eyes and two ears and a mind and a heart that feels like we do… GOD took that towel and that basin of water and HE washed the feet of His talmadim, disciples. You may recall that that night Peter was the “designated servant” — for Jesus had told him in Luke 22 to go ahead and prepare the Passover meal.  Some scholars have suggested that Peter sat at the first position around the table, the servant’s seat. So, it’s easy to understand why Peter said, “NEVER!  Never shall you wash my feet!”  You see, because what Jesus had done is He had reversed the roles of the social norm of the Ancient Days.  Incredible!

So, you are going to dip your hands in the bowl of water on your table – the larger one, it contains fresh water, the smaller one contains salt water and we’ll talk about that next. Remember the promise of David in Psalm 24:  Who may ascend the hill of the Lord?  Who may stand in His holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart… he will receive blessing from the Lord.

Barukh Atah Adonai Eloheynu Melekh ha’olam asher kidshanu B’mitzvo-tav v’tzivanu ahl natielat yah doyeim.


Praised are you O Lord, our God, King of the Universe, who sanctified us through the commandments and the death and resurrection of Yeshua, and who has commanded us to wash our hands and our hearts tonight.



The Parsley is the Karpas.  It is fresh and it represents life!

But life in Egypt was a life of pain for the children of Israel… suffering, tears, turmoil.  Together now, we will take a sprig of parsley and dip it into the bowl of salt water, remembering that life is sometimes immersed in tears.  May our gratitude for the blessings we enjoy today help to soften the pain of sorrow… and convert tears of mourning to tears of joy!  Just after the Passover meal, Jesus told His disciples that they would go through a time of mourning “in just a little while” while the rest of the world would celebrate their Messiah’s death. But He also promised that their grief will turn to joy. (John 16:20). We also remember the greatest tears shed, those of Yeshua in the Garden… tears of blood… tears of submission… tears that said, “not my will, but, Father, your will be done.”

Barukh Atah Adonai Eloheynu Melekh ha’olam borey pri hagafen.


Praised are you, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the earth.



On the main table here, we have a stack of Matzah… unleavened bread.  In the Ancient World leaven, or yeast (the ingredient that makes the bread rise) can symbolize sin.  Tonight, we eat “sinless” bread.

One of the most significant traditions before Passover is for the wife to go throughout the house and remove every spec, every morsel of leaven, for the entire week of Passover the family will not eat bread that rises.

I’m going to take three pieces of Matzah… and take the middle Matzah and break it… and take the piece of broken Matzah and put it here in the cloth… This is called the Afikomen, and I’m going to hide it for dessert later.  So, I need all the children to close their eyes as I hide the Afikomen.  Okay?

(Hide the Afikomen and place the remaining broken piece of Matzah back in between the other two and place the stack back in front of the table host).

Can someone tell me why there are three pieces of Matzah?  In the Old Covenant, they might represent Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  But why break Isaac, represented by the middle Matzah?  In the New Covenant, we can suggest that three Matzah represents God the Father, God the Son, Yeshua and God the Holy Spirit.  The broken Matzah, called the Lechem Oni, is the Bread of Affliction as referenced in Deuteronomy 16:3, and it can symbolize the death of Yeshua on the Cross at Calvary.



The children of Israel were preparing to leave the land of bondage… and oh, how this night is different from all the other nights… this meal is different than any other meal.

A child asks:

  1. On all other nights we eat bread OR matzah.  On this night, why do we ONLY eat matzah?

The Answer:

Tonight we only eat the unleavened bread, because, as the children of Israel knew that they would be released from their captivity in the morning, the bread would not have time to rise.  We remember their haste… and we eat the bread without yeast, without sin.

Barukh Atah Adonai Eloheynu Melekh ha’olam ha-motzi lechem min ha-aretz.


Praised are you, oh Lord, our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth… the bread of life!

(Eat Matzah)

A child asks:

  1. On all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables.  On this night, why do we ONLY eat bitter herbs?

The Answer:

Tonight we eat the Maror, the bitter herbs, so that we might taste bitterness.  It reminds us how bitter it was for the Hebrews to be enslaved by Pharaoh in Egypt.  The slavery to sin is just as bitter.

Barukh Atah Adonai Eloheynu Melekh ha’olam asher kidshanu bidevaro vetzivanu al akhilat maror.


Praised are you, oh Lord, our God, King of the Universe, who has set us apart by His Word and commands us to eat the bitter herbs.

(Eat Bitter Herbs on a Matzah)

A child asks:

  1. On all other nights we do not dip our vegetables even once.  On this night, why do we dip twice?

The Answer:

Tonight we dip twice during the course of the meal.  The first time was with the Karpas, the parsley, as we tasted the tears of bitter circumstances.  Now, we will dip in the Charoset, replacing the tears with the sweetness of the hope we have in God to free us from bondage and suffering.  In the same way, the Hebrews were counting on God to free them from Pharaoh.  And, oh, how sweet the freedom was going to be after hundreds of years of slavery. Some have suggested that the Chorset reminds us of the mortar used in the bricks that the Hebrews made. You might ask  “if that’s the case then why is it sweet?” Well, it has been said that “even the bitterest of our toils becomes sweet when we know that our redemption is near.”

(Eat Charoset on a Matzah)

A child asks:

  1. On all other nights we eat our meals sitting at the table OR reclining on the floor.  On this night, why do we ONLY recline and sit on the floor?

The Answer:

Tonight we sit on the floor and recline because in the Ancient Times this was a sign of freedom.  Kings and royalty ate their meals leisurely while reclining.  Slaves and servants stood. We are not rushed or hurried by what tomorrow brings as the Hebrews were on the first night of Passover.  We demonstrate our sense of complete freedom by reclining during the meal.



(Refill your cup if you need to.)

When people defy the will of God, they bring pain and suffering upon themselves.  God’s law provides blessing and prosperity.  To deny His Law and to do evil brings destruction.  When Pharaoh defied the command of God to release the Jewish people, he invited curses upon himself and his people.  With the second cup we remember each of the plagues that God used against Pharaoh to bring him to the point of releasing the Hebrews from slavery and bondage.

A full cup is the symbol of complete joy.  Joy in God’s mighty deliverance to His children.  Joy in life through Yeshua!  We are going to diminish the wine in our cups to give expression to our sorrow over the losses which each plague exacted.

We’re going to take our pinky finger and dip it into the cup for each plague and allow a drop of  juice/wine to fall on our plate.  Ready?


Blood!  Blood!  Blood!

Frogs! Frogs! Frogs!

Gnats!  Gnats!  Gnats!

Wild Beasts! Wild Beasts! Wild Beasts!

Cattle Disease!  Cattle Disease!  Cattle Disease!

Boils!  Boils!  Boils!

Hail!  Hail!  Hail!

Locusts!  Locusts!  Locusts!

Darkness!  Darkness!  Darkness!

Death of the Firstborn!  Death of the Firstborn!  Death of the Firstborn!



Great and numerous are the kindnesses which the Lord extended to the Jewish people… And for each of his kind acts, we offer thanks and humble gratitude.  Any one of these would have been sufficient to show His love for us, His compassion for His chosen people.  How great God’s goodness is!  We declare “Dayenu! It would have been enough!”

If the Lord had merely rescued us, but had not judged the Egyptians…


If He had only destroyed their gods, but had not parted the Red Sea…


If He had only drowned our enemies, but had not fed us with manna…


If He had only led us through the desert, but had not given us the Shabbat, the Sabbath…


If He had only given us the Torah, the Word of God, but not the land of Israel…


But, the Holy One, provided all of these blessings for our ancestors… and not only these but so many, many more!


Praised are you O Lord, our God, King of the Universe.  You are our Jehovah Jireh, our provider, for you have in your love and mercy supplied all our needs.



Much could be said about the significance of the Passover Lamb and Yeshua, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  The lamb shank on our Seder plate represents the Lamb of that first Passover whose blood saved the Children of Israel.

Think about the smell of a lamb with all sorts of spices being roasted over an open fire.  That smell is a delight to the Father.  It fills His senses with delight for us, His chosen ones… His children.

Exodus 12: 8, 11-13:

That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with the bitter herbs and bread made without yeast.  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 firstborn, both men 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.  No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. (NIV)

You see, the Hebrews lived in a section of Egypt called Goshen. And for nine of the ten plagues, they were not affected, for they were geographically separated from the Egyptians. But the tenth plague would affect the entire land. So, they took the blood of the lamb, and as the text suggests, they painted the top of the doorpost, and the two side posts… effectively making a cross… to protect them from the angel of death.  And like the children of Israel, when death comes to visit us, we who are Believers in Yeshua Ha’Mashiach the Lamb of God, death will pass over each one of us and we will have eternal life.

There is a red scarf on your chair for each one of you.  As we now give thanks and eat our Passover meal together, we encourage you to wear this red cloth, reminding each of us of the blood of the Lamb, painted over the door of our home, and worn over the door of our hearts… and remember that the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Yeshua, was made to spare us all from the Angel of Death… to give us Life!  John 10:10 reminds us, in the very words of Yeshua: “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”



(Pray for the meal and provide eating instructions).



Our Seder meal tonight follows God’s plan for redemption.  The first two cups of wine/juice we drank before the meal speak of God’s redeeming us from Egypt and the bondage it represents, through the blood of the lamb and God’s great acts of power!

Now, after the meal, we’ll focus on the resurrection of Yeshua and His looking forward to His second coming.  This Passover Seder is a rehearsal of God’s complete redemptive plan.

Now, let’s talk about the Afikomen:

The word “Afikomen” means dessert.  It is the last food eaten at our meal tonight.  Remember when I hid the Afikomen earlier?  It is time for the children to go and find it and bring it back to me.

(Children go and find Afikomen).

To the child who brings the Afikomen:  Thank you!  Here’s a small reward for finding it. (Leader gives child a reward).

It is said that in a traditional Seder meal, the child who finds the Afikomen remembers what happened last year and they will barter with the father concerning a price to be paid for the Afikomen.  The father then gives the child a gift in the form of a down payment as his promise to the child who found the Afikomen.  And then promises to make the rest of the payment at a later time.  In the Jewish tradition, this is called The Promise of the Father.  In this, we understand that God paid a great price for our redemption.

Now, what does the Afikomen represent?  Remember how we took the middle Matzah out and broke it and wrapped it up in the cloth?  And now it has been found again!  This Matzah represents Yeshua, the bread that was sent from heaven.  Notice how the Matzah has stripes on it?  Notice how it is has been pierced in the baking process in order to make it bake quickly?  And notice the burn marks from the oven? As Isaiah 53 states: “He was pierced for our transgressions…  and by His stripes we are healed.”

At the Last Supper, in Luke 22, Jesus said, “This is my body given for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.”  The Passover cannot be completed without the Afikomen.  Nor can our redemption be complete without Yeshua, the Bread of Life, our Messiah.

Barukh Atah Adonai Eloheynu Melekh ha’olam ha-motzi lechem min ha-aretz.


Praised are you, oh Lord, our God, King of the Universe, who brings froth bread from the earth… the bread of life!

(Eat Matzah)



(Refill cup as necessary.)

In the Ancient Days of the Old Covenant, the first cup after the Passover meal expressed gratitude for the freedom which the Lord God granted His people.

But again, during the Last Supper in the Upper Room, Jesus did something different.  You see, it was the custom in the days of Jesus’ time that when a man desired to marry a woman, he went to her father and offered him a cup of wine, “take and drink” he would propose.  If the woman’s father accepted the cup, it was his way of saying “yes, you may have my daughter’s hand in marriage.”

During this last formal meal together, Jesus offers bread as His body and then He offers His talmadim, His disciples, a cup and He says, “take and drink.”  It was His way of saying “I want to marry you.  You are my bride.  Will you accept my proposal of marriage?”  And His disciples accept, on behalf of us,  the Church, His bride, by taking the cup and drinking. And do you see? This is where we get communion, the Lord’s Supper.  Jesus says that He won’t drink the fruit of the vine again until the Kingdom of God comes (Luke 22).   That will be when the Father tells the Son that He can go get His bride, the church… us!  Oh, how Jesus loves us… passionately… as a bridegroom loves his bride!  He demonstrated that passion throughout His ministry, but perhaps not so intimately as when He offered this Cup of Redemption to His closest companions, His talmadim, in a quiet upper room.

The word “Pesach” which we translate “Passover” is literally translated “Protection.”  Jesus, in not drinking this Cup of Redemption, forfeits God’s protection against the Angel of Death.

Barukh Atah Adonai Eloheynu Melekh ha’olam borey pri hagafen.


Praised are you, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.



There is a section of the Passover Seder that teaches us that before Messiah returns, Elijah will come (Malachi 4:5).  The Messiah always has a forerunner, a preparer of the way.   During the first coming of Yeshua, Jesus said in Matthew 17 that Elijah already came in the person of John the Baptist.  Luke 1:17 explains that John is of the spirit and power of Elijah.  And yet the Jews today don’t know that Jesus is Messiah, so they are still waiting… first for Elijah… then for Messiah.

So, in the homes of Jewish families today, at this time a young child opens the front door of the home, in effect, welcoming Elijah, and ultimately welcoming the Messiah.

Since we know that Jesus has already come, we skip this portion… But we should be reminded that Jesus will come again.  And He tells us in Revelation 22: “Look, I am coming soon!”

So we say:


Maranantha! Come Lord Jesus. Come!



(Refill your cup as necessary.)

Let us lift one more cup tonight, the Cup of Praise and let us give thanks to God… Again from Revelation 21, Jesus is not only the Passover Lamb, but He is the Tabernacle of God

I heard a loud shout from the throne saying, “Look, the home of God is now among men, and he will live with them and they will be his people; yes, God himself will be among them. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain. All of that has gone forever.”  And the one sitting on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new!”  (Revelation 21:3-5, NLT)

Let us drink the Cup of Praise together!

Barukh Atah Adonai Eloheynu Melekh ha’olam borey pri hagafen.


Praised are you, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.



(Read entire Psalm from a Bible)

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good.


And His love endures forever!



Some Biblical scholars have suggested a fifth cup… one that only Jesus drank… the Cup of Wrath.  Malachi 4 and Joel 2 describe the “great and terrible” day when the Lord comes again.  As Jesus prayed in the garden, following the Passover Meal, as recorded in Matthew 26:29, He asked: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”  As we said earlier, Jesus did not drink the Cup of Redemption, the Cup of Protection… so He, by going to the Cross on our behalf, drank the cup of death. Death caused by our sin, the sins the nations. And as He drinks this Cup, only He brings salvation to the world.

He did it again! He took an ordinary moment… the whole evening…  and turned it into a teaching moment for all eternity.



(Numbers 6:24-26)

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

May the Lord make His face to shine on you and be gracious to you.

May the Lord turn His face toward you all the days of your life

And give you His peace.



Lashanah haba’ah bi Yerushalayim!



Move the furniture out of the way and dance and celebrate the Life we have through Yeshua, the Passover Lamb! 




Thank you for joining us for this wonderful celebration of truth, redemption and a looking forward to our Messiah’s return.

We’d like to encourage you to take time during the coming days to read the whole story of Passover in Exodus.  It is so powerful to see the compassion our Abba, Father has for His chosen people.  For us!  For you!

We are all called to live the Sh’ema, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and might, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  Know that God desires us all to walk in relationship with him and His son, Yeshua.  It’s not a “religion.”  It’s communing with Him daily.  Praising Him first thing in the morning and continuing to do so until you fall fast asleep each night.

The Word is true.  The prophesies are true.  Jesus came to fulfill the Old Testament Law not to abolish it.  Isn’t it amazing how the first Passover, celebrated at least 1500 years before Jesus celebrated it with His disciples, has such meaning now that we know Yeshua IS “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” ?

May you be blessed in your relationship with Yeshua!

If you would like to know more about Belonging, Growing and Serving in God’s Kingdom at Oak Hills Church North Central, please contact Rich Ronald, North Central Campus Minister at


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