April 5th, 2012 by Kristi Stephens
Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Praise Him who has set the captives free! The Tomb is Empty! He is Alive! The Lamb has come and taken awaythe sins of the world!
Next Year! In the New Jerusalem!
-From Ann Voskamp’s Christian seder printable
One of the things we have talked about throughout this week is that Jewish people who do not believe in Jesus as the Messiah are celebrating the seder differently. They are looking back to Exodus and forward to a yet future Elijah, a yet future king.
As believers in Jesus, we, too look back – we think of the work of John the Baptist preparing the way for the Lamb of God, we look back to the finished work of Christ on the cross. We look forward, as well – but we look forward to His triumphant return!
Today we celebrated the search.
We discussed the three matzoh crackers and the breaking and hiding of the afikomen. I put the three matzoh on a plate and said, “why does the number three remind us of God?” The kids fairly quickly arrived at the conclusion that we were referring to the Trinity – Father, Son, and Spirit. (If you’re intimidated about teaching your kids about the Trinity, this is a a great book!) We pulled out the middle matzoh and I broke it in two, and we talked again about Jesus, our Bread of Life, broken for us. Then I wrapped it in a towel and said, “now we’re going to hide this and you will have to search to find it. Why do you think we’re doing that?” I think I literally saw a lightbulb above AG’s head as she said, “when He was buried and then the women went looking for Him at the tomb!”
The kids searched for the Afikomen for a while (eventually they were just hiding and looking for a towel, as the matzoh had been breaking to smithereens in the process!), having a great time! I loved hearing them say, “I found the Afikomen!” :)
After that, we played “search for Elijah!” We had already discussed Elijah’s cup on the table, and that “Elijah” has already come! In Luke 1:17, Zechariah is told that his miraculous son who would later be known as John the Baptist would “go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
It is a tradition in the Jewish seder for the children to look to see if Elijah is coming to tell them about Messiah. We took a lighthearted twist on this and I had the kids play hide and seek. The “seeker” would count and then say aloud, “Where is Elijah?” Then when the “hider” was found he/she would yell, “I’m John the Baptist – behold the Lamb of God!”
It was corny, but it got the point across. :)
A seder is full of looking back and also looking forward. It has been a wonderful week of looking back at who Jesus is and what He has done – but it also builds in us an anticipation of what is to come.
Perhaps next year in the New Jerusalem…
And now I sign off to do some Good Friday planning. Are you ready to lead your children to the cross?