On Fire for All Things Christ

Archive for March, 2013

Holy Week – The Passover Lamb

As promised in yesterday’s message, today I am writing with a bit more detail about Passover.

Old Testament Passover

In the 1956 film, The Ten Commandments, starring Charlton Heston, one of the more memorable scenes is when Moses requests Pharaoh to, “Let my people go!”

God appointed Moses to lead the Israelites (the Hebrews) out of bondage from Egypt. In order to do this, Moses approached Pharaoh (the ruler of Egypt) asking that he let the Hebrews be set free. But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he said no to Moses. Every time Pharaoh said no, a plague was brought upon Egypt. There were ten plagues total. The last of the ten plagues was known as the “death to the first born in all the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 11:5)

305569544_640In order to be saved from this coming plague, people had to place the blood of a lamb on the door posts of their homes. If the blood of a lamb was on the door posts, then the death plague would “pass over” that home and not kill the first born child. From the Scriptures, we know that the Hebrew people followed the instructions Moses gave them to put blood of a lamb on the door posts of their homes. But, the Egyptians did not do this and they soon saw the effects of the tenth plague upon their families. When Pharaoh saw his first born son dead because of the plague, he was distraught and he let the Hebrews be set free. To this day, Jewish people still remember the “passover” as the celebration of the deliverance of their ancestors from Egypt.

Read this in Exodus 12

Passover and Jesus

newJewish Passover is commonly celebrated with a meal called a “seder.” Part of the seder meal consists of six items on a plate, and four cups of wine, each taken in a significant order to aid in retelling the Old Testament Passover story.

What does Passover have to do with Jesus? This is an excellent questions with many layers to it. As mentioned in my previous post, Jesus was Jewish and he took part in the customs of Passover (John 13:1). The last Passover meal that Jesus participated in is commonly referred to as “The Last Supper.” If you are familiar with the Christian church, this term may sound familiar.

As Jesus is partaking in this passover meal with his disciples, he tells them many things that they are not understanding. Jesus is making a new covenant (Luke 22). He knows that soon the disciples will understand that He is the Passover Lamb that saves people from death (1 Corinthians 5:7) and that the Passover lamb in the book of Exodus was a foreshadow to what Jesus came to fulfill while on earth. Jesus came to deliver all people, to free us from the bondage of sin.

Jews vs. Christians

jew+to+christianYou may be asking, what is the difference between a Jewish belief system and a Christian? The difference between Jews and Christians is that Christians receive Jesus as the Messiah. Christians receive Jesus as the savior who paid the penalty for our sins. Jews do not believe this. Jewish people believe that Jesus WAS NOT the prophesied Messiah spoken about in the Old Testament. Jewish people reject Jesus and currently still wait for their Messiah.

That’s why Jews still consider the Temple ruins in Jerusalem so valuable. They hope to one day be able to rebuild the temple and again be able to offer sacrifices to God for their sins. But, God does not want that. You see, God wants you to see Jesus was THE PERFECT sacrifice (Hebrews 7:27-28). No more sacrifices for sins need to be made (Hebrews 10). Jesus was the perfect sacrificial lamb that paid for all the sins of the world. All we have to do is RECEIVE THAT GIFT IN FAITH (Ephesians 2:8, Romans 3:25).

Know that receiving this truth of Jesus Christ will change your life forever (literally) and will be the most important decision that you will ever make. Again, I know today’s message holds a lot of information and probably questions too. Feel free to send me your questions and we will see how we can answer them together.

Lastly, I leave you with this beautiful song by Gateway Worship, “O The Blood” and  these words:

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.

Holy Week – Palm Sunday

Beloved friends,

In efforts to prepare my heart and mind for the week ahead, I plan on meditating and reading scripture this week that is in reference to Passion Week (aka Holy week). With that, I find it a joy to share some of my insights with you and I hope that God may unveil new things to you.

Background Info Regarding Holy Week

Passion Week or Holy Week is the last week of Jesus’ life before His resurrection (Easter). Passion week and Easter are Christian celebrations that fall in the same time frame with the Jewish celebrations of Passover. Today in Jewish calendars is the 15th day of Nisan, which marks the first day of Passover week that lasts for seven days. Passover is the Jewish celebration in remembrance of when the Israelites were released from bondage in Egypt (book of Exodus). I know this may all sound a bit confusing, but to truly understand the breadth of Holy Week and Easter, one must know a little bit about Passover. It’s a beautiful and powerful story when you get to piece it all together! And after all, Jesus was Jewish and he took part in these Passover celebrations (in more ways than people knew in his time!)

Before I go into more details about Jewish Passover, I want you to think back just a few days prior to what Christians normally refer to as “Palm Sunday.” Do you know why palm Sunday is called palm Sunday? In my own words, to Christians, palm Sunday marks the beginning of the last week of Jesus’ life before His resurrection. Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week. At church sometimes on Palm Sunday, we read/remember Jesus’ triumphal entry to Jerusalem through the sheep gate and to the temple. That’s when Jesus comes riding in on a donkey. The crowds are cheering for him and waving palm branches. Please read the Palm Sunday/Triumphal Entry scripture references below.


The Triumphal Entry

Matthew 21:1-11

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me.If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

“Say to the daughter of Zion,‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt,the foal of a beast of burden.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them.They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

John 12:12-16

The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,

“Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

For us that love charts and visuals, attached is a holy-week-timeline from Bible Gateway.

In my next message, I hope to go into a little bit more about Passover. This is so exciting!

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