18 The Jewish Passover Meal A Spiritual Experience - Dr Vini Sebastian

posted Mar 29, 2018, 9:02 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 29, 2018, 9:02 AM ]

Understanding the significance of the Passover meal

The Exodus speaks of the flight of the Israelites to escape slavery. We all know about the slavery under Pharoah and the ten plagues. During the tenth plague, the Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a lamb; this would help the first born to escape death. This was followed by the flight to the Promised Land.

The New Testament repeats the Jewish Passover meal in Jesus’ last meal with His Apostles. We can see the correlation when Jesus prepared the Passover meal in a designated place much like the Jewish people. The posture of Jesus and His disciples at the Last Supper and the food eaten was of a traditional Jewish meal. The washing of the feet was a typical requirement of a Jewish fellowship, translated by the New Testament, for values of humility and washing away of our sins. The unleavened bread, which has significance in the Jewish meal as bread that was made in haste, has significance in the New Testament as the bread that was indicating the Body of Christ, and the wine in Jewish culture, referring to the hard work of the ancestors, symbolised the Blood of Christ.

A well planned sumptuous Jewish meal was prepared for us, retelling the story of the Passover on March 7, 2018 in the school hall. The spiritual journey through the Sedar meal conducted by Fr Austin Norris, led us through the Old Testament in relation to the Passover meal shared by the Lord Jesus with His Apostles before His Passion and death on the Cross. The meal was arranged to understand the significance of each item served. Fr Austin led us in prayer, and revealed the meaning of the terms used in the Jewish culture of the Passover meal with reference to the Exodus. The whole service was conducted in prayer, reading of the Bible verses and interactive question-answer session which helped participation in the service effectively. The meal was eaten consciously, with the relevance of each item and in a context well created by our Parish Priest. It was an innovative technique to get the parishioners involved in a service coupled with fellowship.