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«WHAT PASSOVER CELEBRATES As in all Biblical holidays, Passover is both a holiday of remembrance and a holiday of prophecy. Passover for the Jewish ...»

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It will be much easier as you prepare for the Passover Seder Dinner if you have a basic

understanding of the Biblical meaning and historical traditions of the celebration. This

overview is designed to help you get a quick overall picture of what is happening at a Passover



As in all Biblical holidays, Passover is both a holiday of remembrance and a holiday of prophecy. Passover for the Jewish people is the annual celebration of God delivering Israel out of Egypt (Exodus 12). The entire service, with its various ceremonies, is designed to help the Jewish people remember the great workings of God when, through signs and wonders, He freed the Jewish people from the bondage of the Egyptians and delivered them to the promised land of Israel. Passover is a holiday of redemption picturing how God used the death of an innocent lamb to redeem the firstborn sons of Israel from death and free the nation of Israel from slavery.

Passover is certainly the most important Biblical holiday for Christians. It also clearly pictures the redemption Jesus provided for our sin. The last meal Jesus ate with His disciples in the Upper Room was a Passover meal. It was during this Passover meal that Jesus took a piece of unleavened bread and a cup of the fruit of the vine and said to His disciples that these represented His body given in death and His blood shed for the remission of sins (Luke 22:19, 20). The Messiah used the story of the redemption from Egypt to illustrate the redemption Jesus provided for us on the cross. Having a Passover dinner, either in the church or in one’s home is a beautiful opportunity to celebrate the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus in its historical, New Testament setting as it was celebrated by the disciples with the Messiah. We can rejoice “For Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7).


The Haggadah and the Messianic Haggadah Through the centuries since it was first instituted by God as the Israelites came out of Egypt, many traditions have been added to the Passover celebration.

Yet, the basic elements of the Passover found in the original instructions are still present, including the bitter herb, the matzo (unleavened bread), and the Passover lamb. For centuries, the Passover tradition was celebrated based upon traditions handed down orally. Eventually, these oral traditions were put into writing called the Haggadah. The word “Haggadah” is taken from Hebrew meaning “to tell” (Exodus 13:8). Though there are many different variations in the Haggadah, they all contain the basic outlines of the service that dates back to antiquity.

The MESIANIC PASSOVER HAGGADAH takes the basic traditional outlines but adds the Messianic significance to the Passover as given by the Messiah and recorded in the Scriptures.

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As you begin going through the instructions, you will notice that, besides the meal itself, there are several interesting items on the Passover table. One of these items is the Seder Plate which includes parsley, a hard-cooked egg, horseradish, charoses, shank bone of a lamb, and salt water. The items on this plate all have ceremonial significance which helps tell the story of Passover. Some of these items are eaten, and others are just referred to during the service, but they all help the participant understand further the meaning of God’s redemption for His people.

The other item which is very interesting at the Passover table is called the Matzo Tash.

This is the folded napkin containing three sheets of matzo (see page 12). The middle matzo has a great deal of significance to those who believe Jesus is the promised Messiah. It may have been the middle piece of Matzo from this container that Jesus took and described as His body which was broken or given for man (Luke 22:20, 1 Corinthians 11:23-27).

Passover in the Jewish Home The Seder is really like a family dinner where the family gathers around the table to worship God and follows a prescribed order of service to celebrate the miraculous events of the first Passover. Because Passover begins the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Exodus 12:13-16), no leaven may be eaten during the seven days which begin with the Passover meal. In the days preceding Passover, the mother cleans the home to remove all leaven so that as the family celebrates the Passover they can eat it without defilement. Because regular flour, bread, and legumes are considered leavened, only matzo in its various forms is used in the meal. Please make certain the matzo is a full sheet approximately 6-8 inches. Do not substitute small matzo crackers for the full sheets. The sheets are necessary for the Service. Go to WWW.MANESCHEWITZS.COM if you cannot find a market that carries full matzo sheets.

The following is an outline of the service for the evening:

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As can be seen, the meal is both preceded and followed by the story of Passover.


The Passover meal, including both the ceremonial part and the meal itself, will take approximately 2 ½ hours. Of course, the time factor depends greatly upon how long it takes to serve and eat the dinner itself. The first part of the service, from the lighting of the candles to the serving of the appetizer will take from 40 minutes to one hour. This is important to know so that you do not get the hot food items ready too soon.

The menus listed in this manual are kosher in style. That means, though we try to follow the traditions of how the food is prepared, we realize you cannot purchase kosher food in most grocery stores. This is particularly true of the meat. Therefore, if someone asks if this is a kosher meal, it is best to say it is not kosher but a “kosher-style” meal. In other words, we will be serving the same foods the Jewish family would use in their Passover dinner but the foods have not necessarily been declared kosher by the rabbinic community.

Jewish people from European background do not eat lamb at Passover because, since the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D., lambs are no longer sacrificed. Thus, most North American Jewish people do not eat lamb at Passover but instead, eat either chicken, turkey, or beef. We have decided to follow the same tradition, not only because the Temple is destroyed, but more importantly, because Jesus is our Passover lamb. We also want to keep the basic traditions of the Passover meal in the event there are unsaved Jewish people who come to the service.

NOTE: Though this manual is primarily designed for a large group Passover Dinner, it can be easily adapted for families. The family table should be set up like the demonstration table in this manual. The menus indicate the number of servings so each can be adjusted to the number participating in the dinner.

The service itself, as well as the meal that is found in this book, follows the typical traditions of Passover found in the Jewish community today. The service is modified to show that Jesus is the Passover lamb as described in the New Testament. Therefore, if you are asked what type of Passover you will have, you can say you are taking the traditional Passover service and pointing out why it is meaningful to Christians who believe Jesus is the promised Jewish Messiah.

We hope this overview will give you a basic understanding of what happens at Passover, and as you begin preparing for the service, you will understand why various instructions are given.

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For many years CHOSEN PEOPLE MINISTRIES has used the Passover Dinner as a tool to tell Jewish people about the Messiah, Jesus.

Local churches often invite Chosen People Ministries to lead the Passover. The church provides the facility and prepares the meal. Because the Gospel is so clearly presented, it is an opportunity for everyone to invite their Jewish and Gentile friends. Christians receive greater insight into what Christ did in the Upper Room, while Jewish people see how the Messiah is pictured in the Passover.

The materials in this booklet have been compiled by Chosen People Ministries staff to help churches, classes, or families have a Passover dinner of their own. It includes directions, helpful hints, and suggested menus. It is designed to show step-by-step how to set up and cook a Passover dinner.

It is our hope and prayer that people will receive a tremendous blessing from this special evening.

The information in this booklet is organized as follows:

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DINNER These hints are designed as a guide for a dinner with a large number in attendance and assume the evening is being used as an outreach to the Jewish community.

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It works best for one or two individuals to purchase in bulk what is needed for table settings and menu, thus saving on expense. For the table settings, we have found it best to use disposable items.

III. COST Tickets should be sold in advance to cover the cost of materials and food.

Christians might be encouraged to purchase tickets for their Jewish friends. Cost should be determined in advance by careful planning. An additional cost might be a Passover Haggadah for each person or couple. (If your service is being led by a CPM worker, the worker will bring the Haggadahs and make them available for purchase.) For a suggested list of supplies for 10 people, see the last two pages.


Above all else, it is important to have a facility that is clean, attractive, and pleasant.

You might keep in mind that Jewish people who don’t yet understand the love shown in the cross may feel uncomfortable sitting through a meal in a room where one is displayed. It unfortunately calls up memories of Inquisitions, Crusades, and Nazis. This is sad, but true. Also, pictures of Jesus can be offensive since to a religious Jew, this smacks of idolatry.

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The person leading the Passover service will use this table strictly for the presentation. He/she should be seated with the people during the actual eating of the meal.

The Demonstration Table will need the following items:

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NOTE: Whenever possible use disposable silverware, plates, and cups. This is because religious Jewish people use special dishes for Passover, dishes that have never touched leavened bread (Exodus 12:19). Also, it makes clean-up quicker and easier.

SEDER PLATE The seder plate is the ceremonial setting for the first part of the service. Included are items which will be partaken of to help the people better understand the meaning of the holy day. There will need to be one seder plate (use a 10-12 inch plate) per table, or per 10 people.

The platter needs to accommodate four (4) 6 oz clear cups or dessert bowls, plus the shank bone (if available for each table), and the egg. The following is a list of items to be included

on the seder plate and the proportions for each person or per plate as indicated:

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*The shank bone can be obtained from the local butcher. He will know what bone you desire. Remove the meat from the bone and then roast the bone in the oven until dry and brown. The shank bone is only required for the head table, but it would be good to have on each seder plate. (It may not be necessary for you to obtain a bone for the head table if you are having a Chosen People Ministries worker lead your Passover service, as our workers usually bring one with them.) **The hard-cooked egg is used as a symbol only – it is not eaten. One per plate but essential for head table only.

The placing of the items on the seder plate is a follows:

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The three whole sheets of matzo are placed inside the dinner napkin so that one sheet is inside each section of the napkin. The second napkin is placed on top of the Matzo Tash.

During the service, the papa will be called on to remove the center piece of matzo, break it in two and “bury” one half in the extra napkin (to be “resurrected” later.) This ceremony is most important and will be explained later.

NOTE: In addition to the Matzo Tash, each table will need another plate of matzo as a bread substitute. Four (4) additional sheets of matzo per table is sufficient since the remaining two(2) sheets from the Matzo Tash may be eaten after the middle piece has been taken out and buried. (Please note the matzo needs to be a large size sheet (cracker) not cocktail size. If you cannot find these in your area visit www.Manischewitz.com )

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* Recipes provided – However, since these foods are an acquired taste and can be costly to purchase or prepare, we suggest if you decide to serve them to just serve a small amount, i.e.

2 pieces of gefilte fish cut into ¼”.

** Traditional Jews no longer eat lamb since with the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D.

as there is no longer a place for sacrifice.

*** Foods containing leaven (yeast) should not be served; thus matzo (unleavened bread) and its derivatives are used throughout. Also, since Orthodox Jewish tradition forbids eating meat and milk products at the same meal, cream and butter should not be served. Substitutes for these may be used.

In areas of the country where there is a significant Jewish population, ingredients for the menu will be readily available during Passover season at most food stores. If you find they are not, a food store manager could order the items for you (ask for brand names like Streits, Tel Aviv, Manischewitz, and Mothers), or you could call a nearby synagogue for assistance in procuring the items. Please visit website, WWW.Manischewitz.com for a complete list of Passover products.

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Mix all ingredients. This mixture is so tasty you may want to make extra.

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