Friday, April 15, 2011

(Un)Wanted Passover

I was surprised somewhat recently when I was told that my child was unwanted in a particular activity.  I was shocked.  I felt hurt and betrayed, and though I sought restitution after some time had passed, the apology I was hoping for was not offered.  I forgave anyway, as Christ forgave me, and went back to my daily activities.  In the best interest of another, my kid was passed over.

For some reason, it came to my mind again today.  This time, I thought what if...  What if my child had special needs?  What if I or Daniel was suffering from severe depression?  What if we had been broken inside and this thing had thrown us over the edge?  What if my child knew that someone did not want him/her?  Even preschool kids know something about these things.

In the Old Testament, back when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, Moses went to the king at the time, called the Pharaoh, and asked him to let the Israelites go.  The Pharaoh was stubborn and hard-hearted, and God had to send plagues upon the land to get the Pharaoh to do what He wanted for the Israelites.  One of the plagues was the plague of the first born son, which included both men and animals.  The only way to be saved was for the Israelites to take the blood of a year old lamb with no defect and place it on their doorway.  If God saw the blood, He would pass over the house and none of the firstborn sons inside that house would be killed.  According to the Bible, all the firstborn sons died that night except those who'd marked their door, God's chosen people, the Israelites, or Jews.  Even Pharaoh's firstborn died that night causing him to tell the people to go and that's how the Israelites ultimately escaped their slavery in Egypt.  After this happened, God told them to continue to observe the Passover annually and the Jewish holiday Passover began.  Passover has great significance to the Christian faith as well.

This Sunday is the day that marks the anniversary of the Triumphal Entry of Christ into Jerusalem.  Maundy Thursday, or the day before Good Friday, is the day that Jesus celebrated the Passover Supper with his disciples.  As they ate together, he told them that He Himself was represented in the bread and in the wine, and now Christians celebrate the Lord's Supper as a result - the bread being His body and the wine representing His blood and the forgiveness of sins.  Traditionally a lamb was killed and eaten.  The following day on Good Friday, Christ was crucified.  He Himself was the unblemished Lamb and no other sacrifice is now needed. 

When we believe that Christ was that spotless Lamb that died for our salvation, we partake in the new Passover.  We are no longer dead in our own sins but have been given new life.  Just as Pharaoh was hard-hearted, so were many Jews.  They were and are God's chosen people still to this day.  But because of their stubborn and hard heart, you and I were chosen to partake in all that Christ offers as well.

There are so many people out there who feel unwanted, rejected, unloved, unforgiven, unable, unimportant, hurt, broken, lonely, afraid, used, and abused.  We pass over them every single day.  They look like us sometimes with smiles on their faces.  And sometimes, they look unlike us, sad, mopey, dreary-eyed and hopeless.  Everywhere you go, they are there - hidden or not.  Some are hopelessly lost and have never heard the message of Christ, which is hope.  Some have heard the message but are still lost and have never been helped to the truth that brings freedom. 

Hurting people want to hurt.  Sometimes, they want to hurt themselves.  Sometimes, they want to hurt someone else.  They do it to numb the pain or to showcase the pain they feel.  They need desperately for someone else to know the pain that they feel.  They feel that it is too great for them to bear alone.  And indeed it is.  As believers we have a communal responsibility to be Christ to the hurting - every day in every way possible.  On the other hand, the hurting in the church have a responsibility to share their pain so that the body of Christ can do its job.  We are called to bring Passover to the hurting and lost - life to the dying.

If you feel unwanted, unloved, or hopeless, You need to know that Jesus came to seek and save the lost.  He came for the unwanted, and it was because He WANTED You.  Not only did He want You, He still WANTS you.  He longs for you.  He WANTS PASSOVER for you too.

How might you share His Passover with someone today?

More on interesting Passover facts coming soon.

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