I love reading the stories of the Old Testament, knowing the implications the past has on future events. I love diving in the richness of Hebrew heritage, and comparing it to the way we can understand the world as we know it today.
One of the longest told stories of Hebrew culture is called Passover.
It stems from the time of Moses in Egypt. Most of you know the story.
God told Moses to go and free the people of Israel from the Egyptian slave drivers.
Moses stood before Pharaoh and told him of the plagues to come.
Locusts, Nile to blood, boils on the skin of people, it all had poignant meaning as each plague picked on the Egyptian gods of the time showing Yahweh being the God of all Gods
In any event, the final plague was one where the first born of every household would die, unless the blood of a lamb was used over the doorway to the home. The angel of death would pass by all homes without the blood, but the one's with blood would remain untouched by this lethal plague.
Can you imagine?
What an unbelievable day it must have been?
I can't even dream the horror I would feel.
But those who lived life the way God intended, were saved from experiencing this death.
Pharaoh and the Egyptians were in such shock, they had little to do other than let The Israelites go free, and the event of passover is celebrated even to this day.
Isn't it interested that Jesus began His passion week just at this time of year.
I was reading Matthew 26 this morning, "On the first day of the
Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked,
"Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the
replied, "Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, 'The Teacher
says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover
with my disciples at your house.' " So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover." (Matthew 26:17-19)
It was the beginning of Celebration when Jesus began preparing His own death.
He knew the events unfolding were going to bring much pain.
But, He also knew there would be those set free because of His death.
He knew sin and disease were keeping humanity slaves, and it was going to be His responsibility to create a cornerstone of beginning.
Jesus would set all things into motion.
He would begin the reconciliation from death to life.
He would set free the slaves of this world to know the life God intended.
He would come to give life, and life more abundant.
He would set captives free.
And that's why we celebrate this time of year.
It's not about presents, trees, Santa, lights, or any of the sort. We are free!!! And just as the Jewish people celebrate passover in light of their freedom from Egypt, we celebrate freedom from the chains and bondage of sin.
May we celebrate freely, not for the next few days, but for a lifetime!