“AN EVERLASTING ORDINANCE”
A good friend once told me, “You Christians have it so easy.” And, he was right! As I listened to his description of arduous preparations for Passover, our family’s spring cleaning and yard work before Palm Sunday paled by comparison.
This evening at sundown, our Jewish friends, neighbors and co-workers will gather to celebrate Passover with sparkling homes completely free of leaven—not an unproblematic task, I might add.
A special dinner will be served tonight with a week of kosher-for-Passover menus planned and shopping completed for consumables and household products in compliance for this intriguing holiday.
From the Hebrew Scriptures, we know that the first Passover required an act of faith that involved sprinkling the blood of the Passover lamb on the lintel and doorposts of each home. With that action, the first born was spared the final plague of death in Egypt:
Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.
Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.
And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.
Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.
Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails. You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.
For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations.
You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.’”
That the Jewish people have carefully adhered to God’s requirements to communicate the message of Passover to successive generations authenticates the historic event that marked the founding of the nation of Israel.
God first referred to the descendants of Jacob-Israel as “the whole congregation of Israel” in His detailed instructions to Moses. The children of Israel entered Egypt as a family; they left Egypt a thriving nation.
While Passover is a yearly reminder that God delivered the nation of Israel from slavery in Egypt, the fact that they still exist as an identifiable people group demonstrates that He continues to preserve His Chosen People 3,500 years later, as promised.
What an amazing testament of God’s deliverance and preservation of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—who will always be His Chosen People! (See: Psalm 105:8-10)
1) The whole family together for Passover in Israel. By Ofir.1970 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
2) A Yemenite Habani family celebrating Passover in their new home in Tel Aviv, April 1, 1946. By ZOLTAN KLUGER, [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
3) Passover eve dinner at Shalom Aleichem Jewish elementary school in Vilnius, Lithuania. The Relationet Project [CC BY 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
4) Molly Picon and Jacob Kalich attend a Passover Seder in Philadelphia. By Center for Jewish History, NYC [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. With 40 plus years of ministry experience, Rev. McCracken is known for authenticity in communicating biblical truth that makes his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author via Contact Form under ABOUT. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.