Contemplating the Menu of the Holy Thursday Meal


Tonight’s menu is more than a meal. It’s a reenactment of moments mirroring the salvation God has and is working out among His people.

Karpas (Parsley) – Soaked in salt water, this parsley evokes the tears that flow from eyes far too used to seeing the sad scene of slavery as they exhaustively look for God’s deliverance. Savor with sadness, tasting the tears still flowing from enslaved hearts around the world.

Maror (Celery) – Slavery is always a bitter experience, for slavery is a violation of the human spirit. When we eat the Maror, we taste that violation. We sense its bondage of our spirit and it’s manipulation of our will.  It leaves a bitter taste in our mouth, and it’s beneficial we taste it. It reminds us how slavery is something we should never want tasted again.

Haroset (Apple&Nuts) – Like the brick pits through which the slaves trudged and tramped, mixing and mingling the clay mortar with their own blood, sweat, and tears, the thick heaviness and chewiness of this dish reminds us how sorrowfully burdening slavery can be. While eating this encourages us to stay clear of anything cursed and cumbersome, the added sweetness of the dish also reminds us that from out of bitterness, God’s salvation brings a sweetness that brightens the eyes of our heart for life ahead.

Z’roa (Roast Lamb) – Sacrifice is the flavor of this delicacy. With the lamb’s lifeblood posted on the entrances of Israelite homes, it signaled that within this home, God’s salvation was being savored as they prepared themselves for freedom. Jesus would later embody this imagery by sacrificing himself as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29). This dish serves to remind us that as sacrifice transfers life, God’s salvation transforms life.

Beitzah (Egg) – An egg is a simple majesty. Externally a hard, organic shell, it is what’s taking shape within that excites our anticipation. With eagerness we await until that joyous moment it boldly emerges and we blissfully behold a new life brimming with awe and wonder.  Like Christ rolled the stone away and emerged from the grave alive with Life, peel the shell, expose the egg, and enjoy it as one relishes new life.

Matzah (Bread) – This unleavened and crackery bread reminds us that salvation living discards the bloating ingredients that weigh us down and impede the get-up-and-go that new life brings. Like snack food for the road, we eat this bread in the hopes it encourages us to journey with Jesus with a bit of snap-and-crackle to our faithfulness. 

As you enjoy this meal with your congregation, may its story shape in you a joyful awareness for the salvation God has and is working out among His people so all the world may know His freedom.


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