This morning during my run and time spent with the Lord – oh, y’all didn’t know God was a distance runner? He’s pretty fast too! Anyway, I had some very interesting thoughts as I trekked my four miles which I’d like to share.
This evening is a very special night for Jewish families worldwide, when they remember God preparing them for the Exodus from Egypt: Passover. All over the world Jewish families will sit and join in the historic tradition of the Passover Seder. A West family tradition has been to attend the Passover Seder at the home of our dear friends, Beverly and David Strauss of Boca Raton. Sadly, this year only Angela will be there to represent our family with the Strauss’ whom we love and miss dearly.
Y’all know the story of the Passover, right? God had sent Moses his servant back into the land of Egypt in order to persuade Pharaoh Ramses to free the children of Israel from their long bondage in slavery. God had finally heard their cry. But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and on several occasions refused to release the slaves. In response, God sent several plagues upon the land of Egypt. However, it was from Pharaoh’s own mouth that the final scourge was to be committed: death to every first born in the land. So God told Moses the Angel of Death would come in the night to every Jewish home, and there was only one way to be spared: the blood of a sacrificial lamb must be dabbed at the door of each home. Only with the sign of that atoning blood would the Angel of Death “pass over” the home and spare the occupants.
Inside the occupants were to partake of a meal of unleavened bread – because they had no time to bake before their Exodus, bitter herbs in remembrance of their long time enslavement, and the meat of the lamb. They were spared by the blood of the lamb of God who broke the physical chains of their bondage. This is the yearly remembrance that my Jewish brothers and sisters celebrate.
But, what was to become of those who were not Jewish?Praise be to God that he took on the flesh of man and came to us as the Son of Man, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To whom we also refer as the blessed Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. We needed atonement. We needed the saving grace of the blood of the lamb in order for us all to be spared and freed from the bondage and enslavement of sin. Finally, we could all be redeemed to the Lord God after the fall of Adam and Eve. We now had a means by which we could be saved, and the Angel of Death would “pass over” us individually through salvation. We are truly free.
However, there is a lesson on this day for America — an ironic one. Each day we move ever closer towards a secular humanist existence where we seemingly no longer believe in the omnipotence and omnipresence of an all powerful God. One from whom our unalienable rights are granted. We are told He must be gone from our schools and pushed out of our public space. We are told it is our human right to kill our unborn, taking away that miracle of life. We are told anyone can decide who or what we are contrary to how we were created. Apparently this great nation established on a Judeo-Christian faith heritage may just be getting “passed over” for the blessings we once enjoyed – which we’ve apparently taken for granted.
Because we do not have that atoning blood across this great nation as a special hedge of protection, we’re confronted with so many dire issues. The question for us collectively as a nation is are we seeking to replace God with the big G with government with the little g? It’s a spiritual question we should all consider, not just this Passover eve, but everyday. Only God can allow us to be redeemed by His healing grace and mercy. Man can give you stuff, telling you it’s free, but it has nothing to do with your spiritual freedom – as a matter of fact, it just makes you dependent and enslaved.
To all my Jewish friends, blessed and Happy Passover. This day has true meaning for us all and as Americans, let us not allow God’s blessings to pass us over. Am I worried? Nah, because I find comfort in this simple verse given to us by the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world: John 16:33, (NIV), “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.”
God’s perfect will is for us not to be passed over, but our own insidious and arrogant permissive will often puts us at odds with His will — and we suffer. But in the end, we are all “more than conquerors.”