In the time of Jesus, a good number of the traditional observances had not yet become a part of the celebration. But the three major components were in place: the lamb, the unleavened bread, and the bitter herbs. The washings and cup(s) of wine were a part of the seder, and it appears that the dipping of the bitter herbs in a bowl of salt water also took place (Matt. 26:23). The observance of Passover was a good deal simpler than today.
Nowadays, the celebration has become highly developed and is a major event in the Jewish community. For weeks beforehand, the home gets a thorough spring cleaning geared toward getting all the leaven out of the house, since Passover introduces the week-long feast of unleavened bread.
The seder is a family event, and the table is ornate – graced by flowers, candles, and the various Passover elements, including the shank bone of the lamb, unleavened bread, bitter herbs, greens, salt water, egg, a sweet dish, and the four cups of wine. Many people have a special seder plate for the elements, as well as a matzah tash – a covering for the unleavened bread. A special book known as the Haggadah (“The Telling”) is provided for the purpose of telling and living out the story of Israel’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt. The seder (“order”) is the telling of that story.