“It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”
My family traded in Easter baskets for a week of unleavened bread when I was around 11 or 12. This means we got to celebrate Passover instead of Easter. We didn’t abandon Christianity but rather my family adopted a faith that incorporated more Judaism. As I’ve grown into my adulthood and found myself a more liberal Chrisitian than I was raised, Passover is something that has stuck with me. How does Passover translate into a Christian celebration? For me, the story and ritual of Passover was about two things: freedom and faith.
The story of Exodus is not unlike the story of crucifixion with the main point being that blood is required for redemption. In order for the Israelites to escape the Angel of Death, they must sacrifice a lamb and paint their doors with the blood. When we look at the crucifixion, the idea is the same. Through Jesus’s bloodshed all are saved from death itself. It’s this sacrifice that Jesus makes for all and because he overcame death, so shall we. It’s the first time that we are really introduced to this idea of an eternity spent in a promised land. For the Israelites, they had to move quickly and obediently to find their freedom from slavery. Both Jesus and the Israelites acted on their faith in God to find freedom. The Israelites were free from slavery, we through Jesus’s sacrifice are free from sin and death.
This Passover will be even more emotional for me as we battle the Coronavirus that is causing so much pain, suffering, and death. I am reminded in many ways of that first Passover where the Israelites were hunkered down in their homes hoping that by following the Moses’s instructions the lives of their firstborn would be spared. This pandemic can be our story of faith and freedom. We will find ourselves on the other side of this. When we do, I hope that we remember to keep connecting with one another as we have. I hope we consider the ways we can help our communities. I hope that we don’t forget that every single person can make a difference whether it’s by staying home when sick, running errands for those who can’t, or making things that can be used to help others.
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for your constant hand in our lives. We thank you for seeing us through our darkest moments and deliverimg us into the freedom that faith in you gives us. We lift up those who are working to keep us safe and healthy and the sick who are suffering to your loving care.
In Jesus’s name we pray, Amen.
Focus for the Day: Faith and freedom are a prayer away.