This evening begins Passover. No, we aren't Jewish. But scripture doesn't say Passover is only to be celebrated by the Jews....actually, it can be celebrated by anyone and everyone who loves God. We began to celebrate Passover five years ago during our journey with the Lord through Hopey's uncertain diagnosis. Digging deep into scripture for answers to "why" on so many counts, we found where God asks the Passover to be remembered throughout ALL generations. In response, Chappy and I decided it would please the Lord if we remembered. So, this evening, we sat around the table once again as a family and recounted the story of Moses and the Hebrew people. For just a moment, imagine with me what this evening was like.....all those years ago, in Egypt:
You have become a lowly Hebrew and a slave to the Egyptians. During Joseph's reign in Egypt, your people were valued and held in esteem. Your numbers multiply greatly (just like God had promised Abraham). However, over time, the Egyptians become concerned that you might use your great numbers to overthrow them, so they enslave you and your people. 400 very long years pass. Generations come and go. You have forgotten the promises of Abraham. You have all but lost your identity. All hope is gone.
Unbeknownst to you, while you and your fellow Hebrews are suffering torment and cruelty, God is working out his plan of redemption through a Hebrew boy who had been rescued and adopted by the Egyptian Pharaoh's daughter when he was just a small baby. This boy grew up with extreme wealth and the highest education. At forty years of age, though, he began to embrace his true identity as a Hebrew, murdered an Egyptian guard he witnessed severely mistreating a Hebrew slave, and then flees to the wilderness for forty years of hiding. Moses is then called back to Egypt by none other than God Himself.
You experience the horrible and magnificent plagues just as Moses prophesies: 1. Water turned to blood; 2. Frogs; 3. Lice; 4. Flies; 5. Livestock diseased; 6. Boils; 7. Thunder and hail; 8. Locusts; and 9. Darkness.
This evening, the promise of the next plague is more frightening than any that have been encountered. Every first born will die. Terror hangs in the air. The only hope of salvation is in obedience to Moses' instructions to kill a perfect lamb and spread its blood on the doorposts.
Hurriedly, you slay the lamb....you cook it and eat it....leaving nothing behind as instructed. You do not even put leaven in your grain to make bread.....there is no time. The blood is wiped across the doorpost, now you huddle with your family to wait. The smallest spark of hope begins to glisten. "Is this for real?" "Will we be saved?" "Will the death angel PASSOVER our home tonight?" "Will my family experience freedom tomorrow?"
Now imagine many years later, during the exact same time of the year, friends gather around a table to have a traditional Passover meal. After this meal, one of the friends betrays another. The result is blood on a post with our Savior dying in order to redeem us from slavery, bondage, and death.
The story never ceases to give me chills.
What most people miss in the story with Moses, is ALL in Egypt were made aware of the tenth plague that was to come. Every person in Egypt knew what Moses had instructed them to do in order to avoid the death angel. ALL were welcome to be saved. In fact, some of the Egyptians did obey and even left Egypt to begin a new life with the Hebrew people in the Promised Land.
Likewise, Jesus came to earth for ALL to be saved. He gave clear instructions of what we are supposed to do. His desire is for everyone to come to Him and for everyone to enter the new Promised Land.
What a simple story. What a HUGE price He paid. Jesus, Yahshua, is our perfect Passover lamb. Our once and for all sacrifice. The blood has been shed, we just need to spread it over our hearts so the death angel will PASSOVER us as well. Eternal Death or Eternal Life. It is such an easy choice, isn't it? Do you remember the old hymn:
"Are you washed? In the blood? In the soul cleansing blood of the lamb? Are your garments spotless, are they white as snow? Are you washed in the blood of the lamb?"
Our evening ended with talk of heaven. The kids' eyes lit up when I told them I believe death is merely a passage from life to life. The moment of death on earth is the moment of new life with our Savior. Our children smiled as we thought about what it will be like when our souls step out of our earthly skin to meet Grandad and Grandmom again, Goldie, Mamow, and many others. Then, to see precious Jesus. What will it be like to finally see with our eyes the One who sacrificed everything to give us the greatest gift we could ever hope to receive?
I end this evening so in love with the Lord. "God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8