The Passover Supper
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“The Passover Supper,” New Era, Apr. 2019, 8–9

The Passover Supper

The first Passover symbolized Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and showed what it means to be God’s covenant people.

The Passover Supper

Illustration by Brian Call

In Moses’s day, thousands of years ago, the firstborn in Egypt were dying in the final plague. But God provided a way for His people to be spared. If they performed a symbolic ritual, the destroying angel would pass over them. In this way, the children of Israel showed that they were God’s people. And through the Passover, God saved them from destruction, delivered them from bondage, and sent them to inherit a promised land. (See Exodus 12.)

Here’s a brief description of the different parts of the Passover. They represent various aspects of Jesus Christ’s ultimate sacrifice for our sins, as well as our covenant with God.

New Era Magazine, 2019/04 April

Bitter Herbs

Possibly endive, chicory, wild lettuce, horehound, sorrel, dandelions, horseradish, parsley, snakeroot, peppermint, or other herbs with a bitter taste.

How they were used: They were eaten along with the lamb.

Represents: Bitterness of slavery and captivity in Egypt; bitterness of slavery to sin; bitterness of Christ’s suffering for our sins.


A year-old lamb without blemish.

How it was used: It was killed and then roasted with fire, whole—no bones broken; head, legs, and edible inner parts attached. It was to be eaten during the Passover night, nothing remaining in the morning. If anything did remain, it was to be burned.

Represents: Christ as perfect and sinless sacrifice for sins; the sweet experience of coming unto Him, juxtaposed with the bitterness of sin; the complete dedication required of those under covenant to God.

Unleavened Bread

Bread made, most likely, from emmer wheat, barley, or sorghum without leaven, which makes bread softer but also more susceptible to mold and other decay. In addition, leavened bread takes much longer to make, since the dough needs time to rise.

How it was used: It was eaten for seven days. Leaven (which was probably some kind of sourdough starter) was to be removed from each home during this time.

Represents: Purity; haste of flight from captivity; Christ as the Bread of Life.

Blood on Lintel and Posts

How it was used: Hyssop (an herb later used in ritual purifications) was dipped in the bowl of blood from the lamb, and then the blood was placed on the lintel and posts of the door.

Represents: A sign identifying God’s covenant people, whom the destroying angel was to pass over; purification through Christ’s blood, which was shed to atone for our sins.

Loins Girt, Feet Shod, Staff in Hand, Standing While Eating

Represents: Readiness for hasty flight from captivity; desire for freedom from sin.