**Disclaimer: We have done a lot of research about Passover and Jewish Holidays but we are no experts. Our goal is to expose you to the deeper meanings behind the celebrations that God told the Jews to participate in every year. These are perfect opportunities to teach your children about God’s faithfulness and provision. It is also a great opportunity to remind your children that the God of the Old Testament is still alive and active in the world today. The Bible is full of knowledge and guidance to help us make wise decisions and show us the way to go. All we have to do is open it up read it. Our favorite resource on Jewish Holidays is www.jewsforjesus.org (They believe Jesus is the Messiah and explain His role in the Jewish traditions) and www.jewfaq.org (A Jewish website that goes in depth to each celebration.) **
The 4 Cups
The key symbolic pieces of the Passover meal are eating of the Matzah bread, the Seder plate and the drinking of four glasses of wine. Today we are going to talk about the four glasses of wine. These are drank throughout the meal and each has a specific and deep meaning. (At our house we drink sparkling grape juice. Each person gets one glass drinking cup and then three Dixie cups.)
Each cup represents a statement that God says to us.
Cup of Sanctification: The first cup represents God saying, “I will bring you out.”
Cup of Deliverance: The second cup represents God saying, “I will deliver you.”
Cup of Redemption: The third cup represents God saying, “I have redeemed you.”
Cup of Restoration: The fourth cup represents God saying, “I will take you to myself.”
First Cup: “I will bring you out!”
- This cup is also known as the Cup of Sanctification.
- When this cup is poured a blessing is spoken over it. They say, “Blessed are you, O Lord our God, who have sustained us and enabled us to reach this season!”
- The Jews Believe: This cup reminds them that God brought them out of Egypt. In bringing them out they were set apart, Sanctified. They were in a terrible situation in Egypt and God brought then out into the land of plenty. God took them from a place of pain and cursing and brought them out to a place of joy and blessings.
- We also believe: Jesus has brought us from a place where we suffer from sickness into a life full of health. He takes us from darkness and brings us into the light. He took us from a place where we were held captive by our sin and set us free to spend a life free from condemnation and guilt. Because of what Jesus did on the cross, He has brought us out of hell into the promise of spending eternity in heaven with Him.
- Other Scriptures: John 8:31-32, 34-36
Second Cup: “I will deliver you.”
- This cup is also known as the Cup of Deliverance or the Cup of Plagues.
- The Jews believe: This cup reminds them that God delivered them from Egyptian slavery. This cup reminds them of the plagues that their ancestors were spared from. They dip their finger in the cup and then place one drop on their plate for each plague that God brought upon the Egyptians. They recite the 10 plagues as they place the drops on their plates. The 10 plagues are water to blood, frogs, lice, flies, death of animals, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and death of the first born. They believe that a full cup of wine symbolizes fullness of joy. By taking out the 10 drops, they are lessening their joy as they remember the plagues.
- We also believe: Jesus saves us from the “plagues” that are in our world today. Some of our plagues are fear, sickness, death, poverty, and the devil.
- Other Scriptures: John 5:24
Third Cup: “I will redeem you.”
- This cup is also known as the Cup of Redemption or the Cup of Blessing.
- The Jews believe: That this cup represents the blood of the Passover Lamb. It redeemed the Jews and kept them safe from the angel of death. They refer to Exodus 6:6 where God says that, “He will redeem them with His outstretched arms.” After they drank the third cup they would read from Psalm 115-118.
- We also believe: This is the cup that Jesus spoke about in Matthew 26:26-30. The wine represents his blood that he shed for the forgiveness of sins. Before Jesus you could only be made right through sacrifice but Jesus came to be the ultimate and final sacrifice. Because of what He did, we can have a constant and personal relationship with God. We can be in constant fellowship with Him. His sacrifice is a free gift to us to wash all our sins away forever.
- Other Scriptures: Luke 22:20, Jeremiah 31:31-34
Fourth Cup: “I will take you to myself.”
- This cup is also known as the Cup of Restoration or the Cup of Praise
- The Jews believe: Their Messiah has not yet come. When drinking the fourth cup, the Jews also pour an extra cup and set it at a place where no one sits. They believe that one of these years the prophet Elijah will come back announcing that the Messiah has finally come. They want to be prepared for that day so you have a place setting set in case this is the year for him to return. When they drink the fourth cup they send a child to the front door to see if Elijah is there. They stand and say, “Bless is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” When they see that he is not there, they return to the table and hope that maybe next year Elijah will come.
- We also believe: John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah to announce that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. So every year when we celebrate Passover and Easter we can thank God for coming. For being our Messiah. Our Messiah has already come and has adopted us into His family. Because of what Jesus did we can now spend eternity in Heaven with Him.
Passover is a great combination of fun, ritual, learning, and reflection. It is a good time for young and old to pause and remember, and to let the remembering make an impression.
Here are a couple pictures from our Passover celebration last year: