For many years at Friendship Church, we have conducted both Good Friday services and Passover Seders. Good Friday services are a great way to usher in the Easter weekend with worship songs, a sermon and a time of reflection with a Communion experience. Good Friday finds its roots on the foundations of the Scriptures when, on a Friday, Jesus endured suffering on the Cross for our sins. Good Friday is also known as “Holy Friday,” “Great Friday,” and “Black Friday.”
Passover Seder is a Jewish holiday that offers an interactive experience focusing on scriptural metaphors of redemption. These metaphors explain what the nation of Israel went through in Egypt when they were slaves, how God redeemed them with miracles, and how God brought them to the Promised Land. A Seder is an excellent way to understand what Jesus was doing at the Last Supper because He was walking his disciples through all the Passover elements, demonstrating that He is the fulfillment.
The word “Seder” is Hebrew for “order” and referred to the “order of service,” or “program,” as Jews celebrated Passover. It is what Jews all over the world would do on Passover eve. They would simply follow an order of items to teach through, while stopping to eat certain items along the way. This gave them a sensory experience to remember the great things God had done on their behalf.
The Seder includes retelling the emancipation from Egypt as slaves in the days of the Pharaohs, a full meal, songs, and interactive food designed for an immersive experience. God commanded Israel to celebrate it as an “everlasting ordinance.” Everything had symbolism, especially the four cups that would be drank throughout the program.
In addition, Passover centralized around the slaying of a lamb, whose blood would provide immunity to God’s judgement of killing the firstborn of a home in the days of Moses. The Israelite household was to put the lamb’s blood on the doorposts of the home and the Spirit of God would “Passover” the home.
In the First Century, when Jesus was conducting His “Last Supper,” or alternately “Last Seder,” He defined the elements of the Seder as fulfilled. Communion was born and became an ordinance to all believers.
Do you know what is behind the communion elements with the biblical metaphors? Have you been through a communion service where everything is clearly explained to give you a full picture of what went into Christ’s sacrifice? If not, we have a special Good Friday service for you!
This Easter season, Good Friday and Passover Eve happen to land on the same day. And I am excited to guide us through a communion experience including elements of the Passover Seder to more deeply grasp the cultural metaphors, leading to an increased knowledge of Scripture and history. Please join us for this unique Good Friday worship at the Shakopee Campus on Friday, April 19 at 7:00pm. friendshipmn.org/easter