Pesach (Passover) is known as the "holiday of freedom," commemorating the Exodus of the Hebrew people from Egypt following 400 years of slavery. Passover is regarded as the 'birth' of the Jewish nation, and their lessons of struggle and identity form the basis of the Seder meal. The Seder - which means order - is designed to allow each partaker to experience a step-by-step walk from slavery into freedom.
The Haggadah is the guide that recounts the Exodus story and the Ten Plagues. Symbolic foods are used as visual object lessons that bridge the present with the past.
Some of the elements used in the Seder meal are:
Karpas - Toward the beginning of the Seder, Karpas (parsley) is dipped into a small bowl of saltwater and represents the tears of the Hebrews while under the harsh oppression of the Egyptian slave masters. This also represents the tears of all humanity who are enslaved by the burden of sin.
Marror or Bitter Herbs - Later in the Seder, a small amount of Chazeret (horseradish) is tasted. The bitter taste and pungent smell is a reminder of the bitterness of a life of slavery. This also represents the bitterness of the life of a person without Yeshua.
Charoset - This is a thick mixture containing apples, nuts, and raisins, among other ingredients, that represents the mortar used by the Hebrews to make bricks. It also represents the sweet fellowship believers have with Yeshua.
Shank Bone - A lamb shank bone is placed on the plate to represent the lamb that was slain in order to apply its blood to their door frames. Yeshua is the Lamb of God who was slain, and Who's blood covers all believers.
Matzah - A special bread that is made without yeast. The Hebrews were in such a hurry to leave Egypt that they did not have time to allow their breads to rise. Yeast is also a representation of sin.
The Seder is a special experience that retells an ancient story of the past. But it also tells a not-so-ancient story of the present. Deliverance, redemption, and freedom - timeless treasures desired by all men.