April 20


Passover and Bitter Herbs

By Tresta Neil

Body of Christ, Body of Christ - Humanology, Called to Learn, Celebrations, Easter, Symbology, פֶּסַח (Passover)

What do you think about during the Sacrament?

As a child I was told to remember the suffering of Christ on the Cross while the sacrament was being proffered. As I’ve learned more about the Passover and how it is a type for the events leading and including the resurrection my thoughts have often returned to the “bitter herbs.”

Jehovah asked the Israelites to remember the bitterness of their slavery by eating bitter herbs, usually horseradish. The leader would read from the Passover script something similar to, “The bitter herbs remind us of the pain and bitterness of slavery. If Israel had not been redeemed, you and I would still be enslaved today. In every generation, each of us should feel as though we ourselves had gone forth from Egypt, as Christ did, “Thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the Lord did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt.” (Exodus 13:8) At Passover we each personally experience the bitterness of bondage and the joy of deliverance.”

At the “Last Supper” Christ adjusted the service to include bread and wine, however he never included the “bitter herbs.” Why?

I would like to believe that he did not include this because he doesn’t want us to think about the bitterness of bondage, the bitterness that he went through or even the bitterness that we have gone through. Jesus gave us the symbols of bread to help us remember him in the flesh and in teachings. He gave us the wine (water) to help us remember the joy of his resurrection and the opportunity we too have to be resurrected.

Charoset is a mixture of fruit, nuts, wine and cinnamon. It is a part of the Passover Seder and is a symbol for the clay or mortar used in the Israelite’s Egyptian slavery. Jesus at the Last Supper did not use this symbol either. Could it be because it too had reference to pain and slavery?

During your next Sacrament service, I invite you not think of pain and suffering, but to remember the teachings of Jesus and the JOY of the resurrection.

OK, This is surprisingly entertaining.

Amazing sound!

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