Monday, April 6, 2015

Passover 2015

**WARNING: If you are squeamish at all, you may not want to read further. There are pictures of a lamb being slaughtered, skinned and roasted.**

Passover is our favorite holiday each year. It's such a powerful time to remember God's redemption and grace, not only with the Israelites being led out of Egypt, but with the death and resurrection of Messiah. Our Passover is filled with traditions that we just love. :)

The first is that we read and act out the 10 plagues with the kids. We came up with fun little activities with each plague so the kids would have something tangible rather than just the story to hear. This year was a little different because we had the kids actually act out the various roles. Olivia was Pharoah, Gabe was Moses, and Ezra was Aaron.

They got pretty into it with Ezra shouting at her to let his people go and Olivia shouting back that she wouldn't :)
Pharoah's "Boils"
Irene saw the Plague of frogs and decided she wanted some frog legs. So not kosher...

The kids also cut Hebrew letters out of a big matzoh box and glued them to sticks like signs. The letters are Pei, Samech, and Chet, which together spell Pesach, the Hebrew name for Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

The next day was preparation day. It's our tradition (4th year now...:) to gather with 3 other families and go through the whole process of selecting, slaughtering, skinning and roasting the lamb, just as described in Exodus 12. This year was a little different for us, personally, because we've become so involved with our wonderful church community of Valley of Blessing. We got lots of questions about why we weren't coming to their event, but when we described our tradition, everyone completely understood. Doing it this way is such a powerful way to connect with the Word of God. 
I also got asked by a couple of people,"Is that a sacrifice?" and the answer is No. It's an act of remembrance. It's also an act of obedience since God says that this shall be a feast to be celebrated forever. Are we obligated? No, because we aren't Jewish. But if our Messiah did it and we want to be more like Him, shouldn't we celebrate as He would have? 
Everyone gathered to watch, including the kids. This isn't the first time they've seen this, but they 

It doesn't look so great here, but after 3 hours of roasting, the smell was mouth-watering...

The day is also about fellowship. We always have a wonderful time celebrating with our friends. The kids, of course, love it because they get to hang out and play for hours and have a sleepover. :)

Throughout the day, we take a few minutes at different times to do the Four Cups, a tradition of the Passover Seder. The Four Cups are the cups of Sanctifcation, Deliverance, Redemption, and Restoration and comes from Exodus 6:6-7: "Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians."

 This year, to add to the tradition, each family decorated their own Passover Cups to use during the blessings.

The kids each made their own so they could keep them for next year. :)

We all gathered around before dinner to read the Passover story to the kids. The book we use is very interactive and we all enjoy shouting, "A Plague!A Plague!A Plague!" :)

Not only is there a feast when we eat the lamb, but also at breakfast the next morning! :)

It's not only about Passover, though. This is also the time when Yeshua was walking to His ultimate act of mercy. He became the Passover lamb for us all. To commemorate the day, the kiddos made little "tombs" out of flower pots and stones. 

They placed a cross beside the tomb and left the tomb empty! 
That's because Yeshua, our Passover Lamb, is risen.

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