A few years ago, when my children were three and two years old, I had the brilliant idea of teaching them the deeper significance of the Passover. I studied the Seder meal, went shopping, printed coloring sheets. The whole shebang. My incredulous husband wondered if this was really age-appropriate, but I pressed on.
We sat down and strapped our children into their baby chairs, lit candles and began our walk through the Jewish traditions. It was a total disaster. They spit out the herbs, gagged on the horseradish and chugged the sparking grape juice. I have not yet regained the courage to attempt another Seder in the Joseph household.
Funny story aside, today I imagined what it must have been like for Jesus to sit down with disciples for the Seder meal. I imagined the familiar scents and flavors which Jesus would have known from years of celebrating the Passover with His family, suddenly becoming ominous as He realized they all pointed to His punishment on the Cross as the second and eternal Exodus of both Jew and Gentile alike.
Thinking of the Savior eating the Seder meal that spelled out His certain death moved my soul to a deeper appreciation for his last Passover in that Upper Room.
The Seder & The Savior
The Upper Room is ready,
The table carefully set,
The disciples eager to celebrate;
They don’t understand as yet.
The Seder plate stares up at me,
Invading all of my senses,
Sights and smells arrest me,
Alluding my human defenses.
The bitter herbs, they bite me.
Meant to point back to captivity,
Yet they press me to tomorrow
When I’ll be nailed to the tree.
The roasted meat, the Zeroa,
Features the bone of a lamb.
They think of sacrifices past,
Yet I know that I am the ram.
The Beitzah points to desire,
The cries of people to be saved.
The path to their deep desire
Through my death is paved.
Karpas, the parsley-reminder
Of slavery’s back-breaking load,
Smells of relief to them, but to me
Does the darkest day bode.
Charoset paste of apples and wine,
Reminds of the mortar and brick,
To release them from their burden,
I the way of the Cross must pick.
Looking up from the plate, my portion,
I see the familiar faces of my friends.
For them, these sin-sick brothers,
I will drink God’s wrath to the end.
Oh, Father, pass over your people,
Let the punishment fall on me.
Through my ultimate slavery,
Finally set your children free.