The following excerpt is from the Messianic Family Haggadah.* This haggadah retains the essential elements of the traditional seder service, but weaves in some New Testament understandings that explain the Passover/Jesus connection.

The Three Symbols of Passover

Leader:  Rabbi Gamaliel said that in order to tell the Passover story properly, we must mention three important things: Pesach, matzah and maror—the Passover Lamb, the unleavened bread and the bitter herbs.

Reader 2:  The Passover Lamb was God’s provision for our people in ancient Egypt. John, a first-century Jew for Jesus, called Yeshua the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Yeshua was God’s perfect lamb sacrificed for us. As our ancestors applied the blood of the Passover lamb to the doorposts of their homes, sparing the firstborn sons from death, today we apply the blood of Yeshua, God’s lamb, to the doorposts of our hearts through faith. When we do this, we are forgiven of our sin and are set free to serve the living God.

Reader 1:  We eat the matzah, the unleavened bread, as our ancestors did when God took them out of Egypt in haste and there was no time to wait for their bread to rise. The matzah is like our Messiah Yeshua, who was without leaven, without sin. The piercing and stripes of the matzah bring to mind the words of the prophet Isaiah, who said of Yeshua:

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

Our ancestors ate manna in the wilderness as they left Egypt for the Promised Land. We are offered the bread of life, Yeshua, to satisfy us forever.

Reader 2:  This bitter herb, or maror, reminds us of the embittered life that our people endured as slaves in Egypt. The bitter root, chazeret, reminds us that bitterness goes down to the root of our very being and cannot merely be topped off. We are all slaves to sin and bitterness and we will never know the sweetness of freedom until we let the Messiah Jesus uproot the sin in our lives and set us free.

Leader:  In every generation, we are to see ourselves as though we personally came out of slavery in Egypt. For God not only redeemed our ancestors, He redeemed us too, and for this reason we praise him.

Raise the second cup and say:

All:  We praise you, O Lord, for bringing us from bondage to freedom, from despair to hope, from sorrow to joy, from darkness to Your great light.

Messianic Family Haggadah, arranged by Janie-sue Wertheim (San Francisco: Purple Pomegranate Productions, 2007), pp. 30-31. Available for purchase at


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