Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Celebrating Christmas—Passover

Some people think that Jesus Christ was born during Passover.
Whether this is true or not we know that His death occurred during Passover,
and the symbolism is interesting
whether it pertains to His birth, death or both.
 Called by the Jews Pesakh, Passover commemorates the Exodus,
which delivered the Children of Israel out of the bondage they suffered in Egypt.

In the book of Exodus we are told how God helped the Israelites escape slavery in Egypt
by inflicting ten plagues upon the Egyptians.
Enduring water turning to blood, frogs, and flies, Pharaoh stubbornly refused to release the Israelites
 until the final plague in which all the firstborn children of the Egyptians were
killed by a destroying angel.
The Israelites, however, escaped this plague
because the Lord had instructed them to mark the doorposts of their homes
with blood from a lamb.
Therefore when the destroying angel passed through Egypt
he passed over any home with blood on the door,
thus the name Pesakh which means Passover.

Every year Jews celebrate Pesakh by preparing a meal of lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs.
The symbolism of the lamb is obvious.
 Because the Israelites left in haste there was no time for bread to rise,
thus the unleavened bread which is also a symbol of being puffed up in pride and sin,
and the bitter herbs remind them of the long bitter years in captivity
and of the forty years of wandering in the wilderness.

Thus on that first Christmas night
families throughout the land may have prepared and eaten their the bitter herbs,
while the Son of God came into the world
to offer a sacrifice that would set right all the bitter experiences of life.
They may have eaten the unleavened bread
while the Messiah was born to save us from sin,
and they may have eaten the Passover lamb,
while The Lamb of God was being born.
But there was more,
in His living and His dying,
 the nullifying effects of death would pass over us.

1 comment:

Katie said...

awesome! Lately I have been studying a lot about the Jewish religion/culture/nationality and have really been enjoying all the wonderful connections.