Last week on Maundy Thursday, Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in Big Rapids, Mich., celebrated the anniversary of Jesus’ Last Supper with a Passover Seder, a Jewish feast that recounts Israel’s exodus from Egypt.
Mike Wissink, campus pastor at Ferris State University, and Kenneth Krause, pastor of Fellowship CRC, led 75 participants through a reflection on the traditional elements of the Seder plate. Each of the six foods of the Seder plate symbolizes an aspect of the Israelites’ time in Egypt and their escape. Seder, meaning “order,” is so called because the meal is done in a specified order, progressing from slavery to freedom.
“This was a sermonic reading of the Seder Passover meal,” Wissink said. “Each table had the elements that were on the Seder plate so they could participate in the eating and drinking of the Seder as we read and recounted the story of the Seder Passover.”
One such element was charoset, a fruit mixture that symbolized the mortar the Israelites used to build the bricks during their captivity. The charoset is spread on the matzah, flat bread reminiscent of the unleavened bread the Israelites made for their hasty departure from Egypt. The bread served at Fellowship’s Seder was striped and pierced to symbolize Christ’s suffering.
The emphasis of the evening was the interconnectedness of the Old and New Testaments. Wissink reflected, “It was interesting to see the connections between the elements in the meal with the story of Israel's redemption in Scripture and our redemption through Christ—the Passover Lamb.”