Tonight, many of my Jewish friends will gather in their households for a traditional Seder. This is the celebration of Passover. Not being Jewish myself, I did not follow the practice for years but then I made a connect. The last week of Jesus’ life was Passover week. He and the disciples arrived in Jerusalem for the purpose of celebrating Passover. For those who don’t know this holiday. It began with Moses.
In the book of Exodus, Moses played the role of God’s communicator with Pharoah. Due to extreme stubbornness on Pharoah’s part, God exposed the people of Egypt to 10 plagues which all revealed who God is and what He is capable of doing or undoing. In a unique process, the final plague required a faith action. Moses declared God’s intension to kill the first-born of every family in Egypt, unless they demonstrated faith in Him.
The Israelites were given directions on how to show this faith. They were directed slaughter a lamb (a regular meal choice) without any defects. In other words, they were to give God the best lamb. This seems extreme to us, but it was daily life for them. As a part of preparing meat to eat, the animal must be drained of its blood. For all us meat-eaters, someone else does this but it still happens today.
Here’s the biggest faith part. The blood should be painted on the door post of the homes where God is completely trusted. I’m always amazed at this. It’s a put-up or shut-up moment. God declared, “who do you trust?” They exposed their faith for all to see.
The Bible refers to Jesus as the ultimate lamb of God (John 1:29), the only one perfect enough to be surrendered for our sins. Here He came to celebrate this day in Jerusalem, knowing that this time, the angel of death would not passover Him. He was God’s one and only Son (John 3:16). That first Passover, the first-born of Israel received salvation from death that night and the next day all Israel left a life of slavery and followed God on an amazing journey.
For Jesus, that night He was arrested. The next day, Jesus’ trial and crucifixion occured. Ironically, it’s still a day we all can celebrate as people released from slavery. Because of His sacrifice, we are free. We are free from being stuck in the same place, living the same lies. We’re offered freedom from a captivity of our choices (John 8:36)
My family will celebrate Easter on Sunday and breaking with Jewish tradition, we’ll do our Seder on Thursday. But for those who celebrate tonight, I just want to pass on my heart. Happy Seder!
- “The Passover Seder” and related posts (parishotelboutique.blogspot.com)
- Preparing the Passover Seder (friendseat.com)
- Another Seder at the White House (whitehouse.blogs.cnn.com)
- Are Christian Seders kosher? (blogs.jta.org)