Happy Ground-Hog Day!! The one and only day when people are not so happy to see the sun… ach!! May as well enjoy it–we KNEW there was going to be lots more Winter anyway!
We should have posted yesterday, but there was another update of the Lenten Devotional to read over… (well, what we actually did was spend the day on Facebook–SEVEN people had photos to look at!!!)
The lady who preached yesterday was our "resident Jewish expert". She spent some time in Israel when she was doing her undergraduate studies, and decided to follow all the Judaic religious laws while she was there. Naturally, she was speaking on the Passover, to match our theme about Communion.
Jesus is not just the "Passover Lamb", but The Passover–the whole thing. The event that started the Passover of course, was the "Exodus", which symbolizes our freedom from slavery to–the fear of death, fear of God’s punishment, etc. Jesus identified Himself with the Passover Lamb, because it was during the Passover that He took the bread and wine and said it was His body and His blood. (Note here that it was not because they were better than the Egyptians that they didn’t lose their firstborn son to the Death Angel–the tenth plague–but because they obeyed God and killed a lamb in place of the son… in fact, maybe there were some Egyptians who heard what they should do and thereby escaped with them.) After the Feast of the Passover, came the Feast of Unleavened Bread, in which the Israelites were to do some spring cleaning–cleaning out every last crumb of bread that had any leaven in it. Likewise, when we accept Jesus as the Lamb sacrificed for us, our lives get "cleaned out". Also, the Jews were not only to KILL the Passover Lamb, but they were to EAT it–an act of "sanctification", which means "set apart" for God. When we take Communion, we are giving ourselves to be "set apart"–not that we don’t mingle with the world, but that we are different from it (our note). Finally, the Jews conclude the Passover by saying "next year in Jerusalem", referring to the expectation of Messiah (who will bring them to Jerusalem)–and Christians look forward to the final "Exodus"–the final liberation–and the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.
We appreciated Rebecca’s note that God calls His people to be a "remembering people". The Hebrew for "remember" means to "re-live"; as the Israelites were to remember their rescue from Egyptian slavery by celebrating the Passover–the children had their part to play by asking questions; the answers were to be in the first person, as if the parents had actually been there themselves–so we are to remember–"re-live"–Christ’s death on the cross, as if we had been there; as God’s Redeemed People ("This do in remembrance of Me", Jesus said.)
God sure has thought up some great demonstration lessons, hasn’t He?
Walk to Rivendell: It’s midday and we’re near the south end of the path toward Weathertop.