Several years ago I found myself searching for a way to make my Easter celebration more meaningful. I am a Christian woman and longed to keep my Easter focused on Jesus Christ. Food is my chosen art form in life and I wanted to be able to express myself in that form. I didn't want to do a traditional Passover meal because so much of that symbolism has been lost. So, I came up with my own ideas. I thought about elements of the life of Jesus Christ that I wanted to celebrate and turned it into a symbolic food representation. As the chef, the experience was unforgettable. My eyes swelled with tears as I cut beets (read more about that later). The meal was symbolic, it was Christ-centered, and it was deeply meaningful. I knew it would become a tradition in our family. We draped our table with a red tablecloth in remembrance of the robe Jesus Christ was draped with as He carried His cross to Calvary. We ate by candlelight to remember the darkness that would come across the land following His death. Our Easter meal is a sacred occasion of which I'd like to share with you. This meal can be eaten on the Thursday before Easter to mark the night of the Last Supper and Atonement, on Good Friday to mark the Crucifixion, or on Sunday to mark the marvelous Resurrection.
Miracles - Loaves and Fishes
Jesus Christ performed astonishing miracles during his life time. He healed the sick, He walked on water, He made the dead to rise. He showed us that anything is possible through God. He took a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish and fed thousands. He showed us that He will care for His people.
I served panko crusted Ahi. A bread encrusted fish to honor His miracles.
Any fish dish really :)
Atonement and Crucifixion
To me this is the most sacred topic of the life of Christ. In the garden at Gethsemane and on the cross on Calvary, Jesus Christ paid the price for the sins of all mankind. He reconciled man with God and in doing so provided the means to our salvation. He suffered. He bled. He died.
I chose to symbolize the blood He spilt with fresh beets. As you peel and work with beets your hands become stained red. Everything the beet touches is stained. Some people wear gloves to avoid the staining, though it washes off your hands under water with a bit of scrubbing.
Through Jesus Christ we can wash away the stain of sin. My eyes swelled with tears of gratitude as I washed the beet stains from my hands.
Divinity of Christ
We had lamb to honor the divinity of Jesus Christ. He is the God of the Old Testament. He is the great Jehovah. He is the Lamb of God. He is the great sacrificial lamb.
The Jews were celebrating the Passover the week that Christ entered Jerusalem, cleansed the temple, had the Last Supper, atoned for the sins of the world, was arrested, and hung on the cross. The Passover feast celebrated the escape from Egypt and the deliverance from the angel of death. As part of the events of Passover week, the priests sacrifice the paschal lamb--an unblemished lamb symbolic of the animal's blood that saved the children of Israel when the angel of death (the last plague) passed over Egypt. Jesus Christ, the only man to have lived an unblemished and sinless life, was sacrificed so that mankind can be saved from spiritual death. His blood flowed down the wooden cross just like the blood was spread across the doors in Egypt. In fact, the paschal lamb would have been sacrificed by the priests in the temple at the very same time that Jesus was dying on the cross at Calvary.
Lamb was required of our meal in recognition that Jesus is the Christ.
Slow Cooker Citrus Lamb Shanks
Slow Cooker Braised Lamb Shanks
Pork ribs - To symbolize that His ribs would be pierced. Pork to symbolize that the law of Moses would be fulfilled.
Eternal Life - Our Promised Land
When the children of Israel were delivered out of Egypt they spoke of the promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey. Followers of Jesus Christ are promised their own inheritance in the kingdom of God. The Gospel of Jesus Christ gives us a taste of that milk and honey, the sweetness of goodness of God, that will be ever flowing in their presence in the life to come. That Easter morn, Jesus Christ rose from His grave, that all mankind might do the same. Resurrection was made possible, the path to eternal life paved.
Our milk and honey dessert reminds us of the promise of eternal life.
Horseradish - To symbolize the bitter cup from which He partook.
Vinegar - To symbolize the vinegar He would be forced to drink.
Grape Juice - To symbolize the institution of the sacrament at the Last Supper.
Carrots (or other root vegetables) - To symbolize that we should always keep our roots planted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Please, comment below and share your ideas for a symbolic Easter meal.