17 April 2015

Passover Reflections

I have so many thoughts in my head right now, having just finished celebrating Passover and the 8-day Feast of Unleavened Bread.  I'm going to try to make sense of it all for you, but bear with me if parts seem choppy. ;)

Getting Rid of Leaven
This year was our first time really celebrating Passover.  Last year, we (mostly) abstained from leaven, eating matzah instead, but I never threw anything out.  This year, I actually went through my fridge and pantry and got rid of all the leaven and leavened products (Exodus 12:15, 19-20).  Whew!

I'm feeling overwhelmed as I gather up the granola bars and Cheez-Its and most of my kids' snacks, trying to imagine what they could snack on for the next week.  (Good thing they really like matzah pizza, because I'm pretty sure they ate it five out of eight nights!)

But as I'm reading labels on everything, I'm meditating on how leaven represents sin (1 Corinthians 5:6-8). I'm explaining to Gabriel, as I'm tossing frozen pancakes and waffles (his favorite breakfast), how we need to examine our hearts just as we're examining our pantry (1 Corinthians 11:28). How we need to get rid of everything that doesn't please the Lord.

The people of Israel were set free from bondage by the blood on their doors.  All they had to do was walk through!  But their hearts were not necessarily repentant.  Seven days without leaven signified a purification of their hearts in preparation to receive the Law that would come fifty days later.

I'm the same way!  I've been set free, delivered, and redeemed by the blood of the Lamb -- once and for all.  But I need a daily reminder to live a life free from sin.  It's my choice to walk in the freedom that He purchased for me.  Passover is a yearly reminder to clean out my "house" of anything with the power to spread and transform.  Only God should have that power in my life.

God's Abundant Faithfulness
In the days leading up to Passover, we watched Prince of Egypt with the kids.  We read them the story of the plagues and the Red Sea.  As I was teaching my children, I was struck anew by the Lord's incredible faithfulness to His people, Israel.  These people He chose, rescued, and delivered.  These people He used to show His awesome power to every generation throughout the whole earth (2 Samuel 7:22-24).

The miraculous deliverance of Israel from Egypt is proof of the Lord's faithfulness; evidence that He can and does work miracles in impossible situations; confirmation that He will keep His promises, even if they're not on our timetable.

What impossibility are you facing today?  Friend, my God can handle it!  If He can part the sea, allowing the whole of Israel to pass through on dry ground, He can handle your situation!  My God is a master in performing impossible tasks.  And look at His track record!  You won't find a better one, I promise.

Whatever it is -- family, work, health, financial, relational, etc. -- give it to the Lord of heaven and earth, who always speaks true and always keeps His promises.

Exodus 14:13-14, 25

The Blood of the Lamb
It really hit me this year, as I was meditating on the first Passover, just how far God plans in advance. 

I read how He required blood from a perfect lamb on the door frames of Israel's houses as a sign that they belonged to Him (Exodus 12:7, 13, 21-23).  It brought a picture to my mind of my own heart, which is covered with blood that is not my own, blood that signifies belonging to the Lord, blood that protects me both from the wrath of God and from the enemy.  

For Jesus is the Passover Lamb -- spotless, sinless, and sacrificed (Matthew 26:2, 28; Luke 22:7; Romans 3:23-25; 1 Corinthians 5:7).  He covered over my sin with His blood when I invited Him into my life.  Through the Perfect Lamb's willing sacrifice, the wrath of God was fully satisfied, because every sin was laid on Him.

And just as the Destroyer (can I just say that I love that the ESV uses this word?!) was not allowed access to the homes covered in blood, he is not allowed access into my life, or the life of anyone who has been covered with the blood of Jesus.

But best of all?  Now, when the Holy God (who can have no fellowship with sin and darkness) looks at me, all He sees is the blood of that Lamb.  Hallelujah!

I hope something here resonated with you and/or provoked you to thought or action.  I'd love to read any response, so feel free to leave a comment here or on Facebook. :) Thanks for reading my heart!

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