We learned a great deal this Easter season through reflecting on the Passover. In the beginning of Holy Week I (Betsy) nannied for a Jewish family and really for the first time saw the significance of the Passover for the Jews and its deep relationship with Easter. Experiencing this sparked many conversations with Micah over the week. The Passover refers to when the Jews were slaves in Egypt. Then God raised up Moses to free his people. The Pharaoh would not listen. Thus God sent 10 plagues to demonstrate his power to Egypt. It wasn’t until the final plague that Pharaoh finally give in and let God’s people go. The tenth plague was the death of the first-born son, Pharaoh’s son included. The Jews were instructed by God to place lamb’s blood over their door posts so that the angel of death would “passover” them. Hence Passover is when the Jews celebrate when God spared their first born and freed His people from slavery! And what a celebration that is!
On Thursday we celebrated a Christian Seder dinner with our house church. It was incredible, lasting about 3 hours. Our friend lead it and included all traditional components of a Jewish Seder. The evening was filled with thanksgiving and joy, remembrance and hope. Christians celebrate Seder because Jesus’ last supper was a Seder. What stood out to Micah and I through all of this culminates at the Last Supper. Understanding the significance of Passover for the Jews is essential to understanding the clear parallel that Jesus was about to demonstrate.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”27 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (NIV)
It wasn’t an accident that Jesus was crucified during Passover. Jesus was making a profound statement that He was the true sacrificial lamb. By dying on the cross and rising again, Jesus ushered in the new covenant. Where his blood instead of a lambs covers our sins and sets us free. From a Jews perspective, the significance of this parallel would be unmistakable. This new perspective provided a powerful revelation for us as we see not only what Jesus did but why, when and what that ultimately means for us. God gave his Son on the cross to die for our sins and set us free!
* This post was written by both of us 🙂
We woke up at 6am to go to a sunrise service in a park downtown. It was beautiful. Afterwards we went back to the Starr’s for a huge breakfast! Here is a group shot.
Next we had our good friends the Pavlaks over for lunch. That was also wonderful. Sadly, no pictures.
Lastly, our house church gathering in the evening. It was great to gather with our community and discuss the significance of Easter. We tried to get a “family” Easter picture. Below are the results…