New Birth

Page No.11

People often ask about the symbols on the Seder plate, wondering which ones are biblical and which ones are merely traditional. With respect to the egg, it definitely is not mentioned in the Bible as part of the Passover celebration, yet it symbolizes something very biblical. The origins of the egg have their same roots as the Easter egg, i.e., paganism. Each spring, the fertility goddess Ishtar, or Ashterah, depending on the culture, would be worshipped. The egg would be a symbol of fertility. In fact the holiday Easter gets its name from Ishtar. This doesn’t mean that a Christian celebrating the Resurrection, for example, is practicing paganism. It simply means that an old pagan symbol has been given new meaning.

In the biblical account of Passover, an awesome new birth is described. In Exodus 12:2, the LORD tells Moses and Aaron “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.” Here they were, in the springtime, which on the Hebrew calendar, should have been about month 7. Yet the LORD said this would now be the first month of the year for them. It would be as if the New Year in this country were all of a sudden changed, and would begin on July 1. That would really turn us around! Yet the significance of being freed from bondage, and on the verge of entering the Promised Land, was great enough so as to change the Israelite’s entire calendar.

The egg on the Seder plate is a reminder of the new birth which occurred for the Hebrew people when they left Egypt. Now we know that the New Testament has many references to new birth as well. Not only that, but this new birth is often contrasted with “bondage” or “slavery” just as is the case with Passover. One example of this comes from Romans 8:15:

“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Abba is a Hebrew word for “Daddy.”)

This Passover, thank God for new life, and freedom from bondage!

Jesus and The Passover
Available on CD & VHS...
Jesus and The Passover (CD or VHS)