Second Cup Section
The Second Cup represents the plaques or judgements. The head of the household takes up another piece of Matzah and tells the people: “This is the bread of our affliction.” It is pointed out how the Matzah is pierced and striped. Since there is no leaven in the flat bread it leaves the bread pierced and striped. Remember Isaiah 53:5? It says: “For He was pierced through for our transgressions and with His Stripes we are healed.” A blessing is recited and then everyone eats of the Matzah bread. Next is the Maror. The Maror is the dipping of the bitter herbs. A piece of Matzah is dipped into horseradish, enough to bring tears to the eyes. Everyone eats the Maror together after more recitation and blessing.
The Charoseth (this is the good stuff, sweet) is eaten next. The Charoseth is a mixture of apples, nuts, and grape juice (or wine) that signifies the mortar the Israelites used while in bondage to Pharoah. The sweetness of the Matzah dipped in the Charoseth helps one to look at the joy in the midst of the troubles., “for the redeemed have both His promise and His presence (Nadler, p.11).”
The Baytsah is the egg or Haggigah. This recalls the fact that Temple sacrifices no longer exist. As mentioned in the Haggadah, ” the egg is round, endless, like life eternal coming out of bondage is like being brought back from the dead. For our redemption, Messiah was raised from the dead. The redeemed of the Lord shall be with Messiah forever! We have been released from our bondage in sin, and the fear of death. Hallelujah (pg. 11)!”
A tradition of the Passover is the reciting of four questions performed by a child. Usually after the four questions a responsive reading of Exodus 12:1-13 is led by the Head of the household. This is where the plagues are remembered. The significance of the blood on the doorposts and lintels is mentioned at this time.
Mr. Nadler points out in The Messianic Haggadah that:
“God was looking for a sign; for He was not going to redeem people merely of the flesh, but people of faith. The blood had to be applied for judgement to ‘pass over’ their homes. The blood applied as the Scriptures prescribes makes for a sign of redemption that speaks of great redemption from a far more terrible judgement that sign takes our attention to 100 B.C. and Psalm 22:16… They pierced My hands and My feet, describing how Messiah would die. That sign then takes our attention to 700 B.C. and Isaiah 53:7, He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, describing Messiah’s identification with the Passover Lamb in His death.
Finally, our attention comes to Golgotha, Calvary, where the Messiah Yeshua, the true lamb of God was nailed to the executioner’s stake and God fulfilled His promise for our eternal redemption.
Whether it was Abraham, Moses, David, or Isaiah, people have always been redeemed the same way, at all times: by faith (Gen. 15:6). Prior to Messiah’s coming, people had faith that anticipated what God would provide. After Messiah’s coming and in our day, people have faith that appropriates what God has provided: All with the same faith trusting Yeshua, the centerpiece of history (Nadler, 14-15).”
Next Zoroah (the shankbone of the Lamb) is mentioned. It is on the Seder plate as a reminder of the last and final sacrifice that was made for our redemption, THE Lamb. The Zoroah means literally ‘arm’ or ‘the arm of the Lord that delivers us from bondage forever.’ The second Cup ends with a blessing and a drink of the second cup.
After the Second cup a meal is eaten which is called Shulcan Orech.
Third Cup Section
The Third cup stands for redemption. The children look for the Afikomen, and whoever finds it receives a reward from the Head of the household. Then everyone takes and eats part of the Afikomen which is the broken Matzah. This is the last bite of food that is taken as a reminder of the Passover Lamb, the last sacrifice for our redemption. For those who do not recognize the Messiah this part is a reminder of the redemption out of Egypt, but for those who are Christians the broken Afikomen is eaten in remembrance of Him. A blessing is recited. After the Head leads with more responsive reading, this time about the New Covenant, another blessing is said over the third cup.
I hope you can see what the third cup section is. Every time that one participates in the Lord’s Supper or Communion you are taking part in the Third cup section of the Passover. This is significant. As Nadler states in The Messianic Passover Haggadah,
“this bread and third cup remind us of the eternal relationship we have with our God, that we know Him, not merely know about Him. To know Him is relationship; to merely know about Him is religion. But how do we know Him, by way of the first two cups.
At the first cup, the broken Afikomen pictured that God would provide for our redemption. We could never redeem ourselves, but God alone would provide The Lamb…
At the second cup we recognize that the lamb was not only to be slain, but that the blood has to be applied to the door. If all the lambs of Egypt were slain but the blood unapplied, there would have been no Passover and no redemption. So also, the fact that Messiah has been slain for our redemption does us no good, unless ‘the blood has been applied.’ By trusting in Messiah’s sacrifice, we apply His blood as atonement to our heart’s door. This is how we come to the third cup, the place of remembering the relationship we have by faith in Messiah, the provision of God (Nadler, 19).”
Fourth Cup Section
The final cup is called the Hallel which means praise or Elijah’s cup. In most homes that celebrate Passover this is the time that Elijah’s seat is recognized as empty, and that neither he not the Messiah will come this year. They say: “La Shana Haba’ah B’Yerushalaim,” meaning “Next year in Jerusalem.” They have to wait another year for Hope to arrive, never understanding that He has already come. For the Christian this time is ended in praise and rejoicing for the coming time of Messiah’s return. The final cup is blessed and drunk, and with joy the people look forward to being with the Lord in the New Jerusalem. The Head of the household closes the Seder meal in prayer.
I hope that you see more clearly the Jesus that is in the Passover. I know when I had the opportunity to first go to a Messianic Passover Seder and we got to the third cup section I got so excited to realize and comprehend the significance of the Lord’s Supper that we, Gentile Christians, celebrate. My hope is that you too will be excited at the significance of the Passover as it relates to the Lord’s Supper, and the importance that it has on one’s life. It fully displays our redemption from death’s bondage that was paid by the atoning Blood of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. He paid a price we could not pay, and He paid a price He did not owe. What joy we should have in our hearts because of the Sacrifice of One Lamb, the Lamb of God.
Nadler, Sam. The Messianic Passover Haggadah. Word of Messiah Ministries, 2000. Charlotte, NC