One day twenty years ago, in April, I got the mail and had two magazines,Dr. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family magazine and a Food and Wine Magazine (a strange combination.) I sat down to browse. In the focus on the family magazine was an article about having a “christian” version of Passover. I thought that sounds kind of interesting and set it aside. I then turned to the Food and Wine Magazine and the featured story was a “Passover Sedar” with all the recipes for Passover dinner. “Its a sign!” I thought. I talked to my husband and we decided to give it a try. Our kids were all teen-agers and we thought it would be a different meaningful way to celebrate Good Friday and the Resurrection other than “Easter eggs.” So we had our first Passover in 1994. We haven’t missed a year since. Some years are just the immediate family, some years we have had as many as 35 guests. Every year it takes a little different focus but its always special to our family and meaningful. This year as we prepare for the passover I have a few thoughts.
Today is what the Church calls Palm Sunday, it is the day that Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the crowd thought he was there to establish an earthly kingdom. What he was really there for was to be chosen as the Passover Lamb. That day which was the 10th day of the Jewish month Nissen was the day the passover lambs were chosen. In Exodus 12 we have the story of the passover, on the 10th day of Nissen they were to pick a lamb from the flock that had no bruises or blemishes and set it aside for 4 days and then on the 14th day of Nissen they were to kill it, sprinkle its blood on the door and roast it and eat the dinner. In Mark 11:11 we see that on this day the 10th of Nissen Jesus after the parade into Jerusalem, with people laying palm branches at His feet and crying “Hosanna, blessed is he who come in the name of the Lord,” went into the Temple and just stood there and looked around, didn’t say anything and then left. Jesus – instead of setting up an earthly kingdom was being chosen as the lamb of God that would take away the sins of the world.
The choosing of the lamb is always a moving aspect of the passover for me. They had to chose that lamb and keep it separate from the flock so that it didn’t get banged or bruised up in those 4 days before it was sacrificed. You know what they did with that lamb – they brought it home, took it in the house, watched over it, made sure noting happened to it. I can just hear the dad telling his kids, “now don’t you name that lamb, don’t get so attached, don’t let it sleep on your bed.” But you know those kids got attached to that lamb and then when it had to be killed and eaten they were all heart broken.
Just like Jesus mother, and disciples were all heart broken when Jesus was sacrificed and his blood was spilled for the sins of the world. Praise God for Jesus the Passover Lamb who took away the sins of the World.
This week as we prepare for the Passover, and Resurrection Sunday we can all be reminded of the tremendous sacrifice Jesus made for each and every one of us.
Grace and Peace
For more reading on the Passover go to Exodus Chapter 12, Matthew 21: 1-9 and Mark 11: 1- 11