This year, we want to help you observe Passover as a family, even if you’ve never participated in this sacred tradition before. With a little planning and lots of prayer, you can use this season to help your children understand the heart and history of their faith. Share the significance of the holiday and how it relates to Easter by explaining redemption; that just as God used Moses to help deliver his people from Egypt, he later sent his son, Jesus to deliver us from our sins and redeem our lives.
What is Passover?
Passover is an eight-day festival celebrating the freedom of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Because it commemorates the liberation of God’s people, it is sometimes called the “Festival of Freedom.” The Israelites lived peacefully in Egypt for years until a Pharaoh who didn’t like them came into power and made them slaves. After years of living in slavery, God called Moses to help lead his people out of Egypt. Moses asked for their release but Pharaoh wouldn’t let God’s people go. So God sent 10 plagues to show his power and convince Pharaoh to release the Israelites from slavery. It wasn’t until the 10th plague that Pharaoh finally gave up. This devastating plague took the firstborn child of every household. But God told his people to place the blood of a lamb on their doorposts. If they did, the plague would pass over them and their children would be safe. The Feast of Passover commemorates this miracle and celebrates the freedom of God’s people.
Such a powerful moment in our faith history! It’s definitely something to celebrate.
What is Redemption?
Passover celebrates redemption; God’s act of saving his people and ultimately, Jesus’ act of dying on the cross for our sins. The promise of redemption God gave in Exodus chapter 6 (see below) was not only for the Israelites, but also applies to those who accept his gift of salvation today!
Here are three simple ways you can observe Passover with your family this season:
1. Read the story of the Exodus – Set aside time to gather together and read the Exodus story. Use a children’s Bible or focus on Exodus 6 (where God promises deliverance) and Exodus 12 (where he instructs Moses and Aaron to observe the Passover and Festival of Unleavened Bread). Pause for a bit in Exodus 6 and talk about God’s four-fold promise of redemption for his people. He said, “I will bring you out. . .I will rescue you. . .I will redeem you. . .I will take you as my own.” Ask your children what these promises mean and how we can apply them to our lives today.
2. Host a Seder Dinner (traditional Passover meal) – Even for those who haven’t observed Passover before, a Seder Dinner is a beautiful way to teach children about this important part of their faith history. Each item on the Passover plate holds great meaning and will help you tell the Exodus story to your family. Use the downloadable Passover Dinner menu and symbol cards in this post (created especially with families in mind) to guide you through the meal. If you’ve already read through the Exodus story as a family, refer back to God’s four-fold promise of redemption when consuming the wine (or juice) symbol of the Passover meal.
3. Watch What’s In the Bible, volume 2 “Let My People Go” – Use this discussion guide with summaries and talking points to guide your family through the Exodus story. Consider reading it together first and then watching “Let My People Go” (you can access it right here on Minno) to help the story come alive for your kids.
As parents, we have the incredible privilege of introducing our children to sacred traditions along their journey of faith. When we see each season as an opportunity to embrace faith-based holidays and liturgy, we help our family experience joy and anticipation throughout the year.