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Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Greatest Week in History!

OK, I love special days. Birthdays, Anniversaries, Holidays of all sorts, especially Christmas. But I have to tell you, I really really love The Easter Season! The kids and I have had a great week of morning devotionals as we have walked with Jesus through the last week of His mortal life, and the lessons we are learning are bringing a beautiful spirit of love and Christ-centered reflection here in our home!

And tonight was what the kids have been looking forward to all week! For a few years now on the Thursday before Easter, we have celebrated "The Feast of Unleavened Bread" also known as "Passover", just as Jesus did the last Thursday of His mortal life! We study the Passover, experiment with some authentic Passover recipes, enjoy some traditional scripture readings, dress up in New Testament garb, and rejoice in both the symbolism and reality presented through the centuries old tradition. We hope you don't mind if we share a little history lesson about our special night!
Throughout the Passover meal, 6 of David's Psalms are read, Psalms 113-118. Here a few notable scriptorians of the day share excerpts from handwritten scrolls (there weren't any books, you know!) the words of David. All of them end with "Praise Ye the Lord". It was lovely!

On to the feast! Each child helped contribute to making one of the passover dishes, and shared with the family both the symbolism at the time of Moses and the symbolism under the New Covenant. Here we go!
Kamberlynne made "Haroset", a mixture of chopped apples, walnuts, cinnamon and honey. Haroset is believed to be symbolic of the mortar used by the Jews in constructing the pyramids. Under the New Covenant Passover, the Haroset is eaten as a symbol of hope. Jesus is the hope of the world. His love is sweeter than the honey in the honeycomb.

Christian was in charge of "Bitter Herbs". Traditionally, horseradish is used to depict the bitterness of slavery. Like the Hebrews of old, we too, must come out of slavery to our sins, out from the ways of this world. We must come out of Babylon, our modern-day Egypt, so that we will not take part in her plagues. The bitterness of this symbolic element also reminds us of the bitter cup of the crucifixion that Messiah took on our behalf, paying for our sins. We must never forget that it wasn't easy or pleasant to pay the ultimate price that Jesus paid. But because He loves us, He tasted the bitter so we could know the sweet.

Jonah was very pleased with the end result of his Unleavened Bread. In the traditional Jewish Passover, this symbolizes the bread the Israelites took with them from Egypt. In their haste, they didn't have time to let it rise. The bread that Jesus broke at the Last Supper was without yeast. Under the New Covenant, this represents the sinless body of the Messiah, which was broken for our transgressions.

Now we did deviate in our actual menu a teeny teeny bit. I couldn't do the Lambie thing. We did fish instead. But Indy did a great job telling us that the Lamb is traditionally served at Passover. For the very first Passover at the time of Moses, the Lamb was killed so that the blood could mark the doorposts of the houses of the Israelites. When the angel of death saw the blood on the doorpost he would pass over that house and not kill the first born child. The Lamb was to be the firstborn and perfect. This represents our Savior, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.

Though Rebekah didn't squash those grapes into juice herself, we did use 100% pure grape juice representing the pure saving blood of the Messiah. Jesus used the symbol during the Last Supper when he instituted the sacrament. Jesus said this cup was a sign of his shed blood for us in the Garden and on the cross. Today we use water for the sacrament, but we still remember the pure saving blood of our Redeemer, The Messiah, Jesus Christ.

We also served some other foods that Jesus would have eaten in his day. Pistachios, cheese, beans and rice, and olives....Briella was such a big helper....she nearly ate this whole bowl by herself! "Canee" she calls it (translates to "candy")!

We were really glad Grandma could join us, too! We all ate by the light of kerosene lamps with no utensils...but we did eat at the table instead of reclining on the floor propped on pillows...maybe we'll do that next year! After feasting, the kids all agreed it was as good as they remembered! For the Momma, it keeps getting better and better! It is wonderful to have children who are old enough to really participate in fun occasions like these, and even more wonderful to see them continually grow year after year! This fun family tradition really brings to light in a new way for them that Jesus really did walk dusty roads, eat real food, read the same scriptures, and fulfill prophecy. It is neat to be a part of it as we recreate some of the Greatest Week in History here in our home!

"Praises we sing to Him, this Easter Time,
Jesus us Risen, Savior Divine!"


amber said...
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amber said...

WOW! Way to get into the spirit of the season. Happy Easter cousins!

kim said...

Impressive guys! Always doing such a great job at keeping things in perspective and setting a shining example for all of us.
Happy Easter.

Rae said...

Wow! What a lot of work, but oh so special! Great job for bringing Easter into your homes, and mine too! Love to all of you.

Lynne said...

Only you would think of doing such a special thing!!! Thanks for sharing with all of us! Hope you guys have a great Easter (if it could even match up to this wonderful week you're having getting there!) and sooooooooooo wish we could be there with you!xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Megan and Jonny said...

This is such a neat tradition! (Making a mental note for the future...)

The Pierce Family said...

Well, I really wish we could have come to yours. It looks fabulous! Thanks for some ideas for next year's feast (if I can't finagle another invitation out of you!)

Sommer said...

wow you are simply amazing, what a great idea!!!!!

Graeme said...

That's our cousins- never miss a chance to wear a costume!

Mairs said...

What an awesome idea! That bread looks wonderful - it all does! Good job!

Cothran Family said...

This is so amazing and impressive! wow! What an amazing mamma you are. I already new that, but you continue to blow me away! This is such a good example to all to be more reverent and concerned with the easter season.