Dear Friends,

He is risen!  As we celebrate our risen Savior I am reminded of how significant it is that the death and resurrection of Jesus are inextricably connected to Passover.  (If we don’t get this, we miss some of the most profound truth in Scripture.)  This past Friday evening at sundown Passover began.  This annual festival was commanded in Exodus 12:21-27.

But why is Passover so important?  What does it mean for a Christian?

 

First of all, Jesus is our Passover Lamb.  Jesus Himself connected Passover with His death when He said, “As you know, Passover begins in two days, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified” (Matthew 26:2).

 

John the Baptist first identified our Messiah this way, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 ).

 

Isaiah said about Messiah, “He was led like a lamb to the slaughter” (Isaiah 53:7b).

Paul said, “Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7b).

Peter proclaimed, “It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God” (1 Peter 1:19).

Jesus celebrated Passover with His disciples right before His death, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins.  For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 22:15–16).  He promises that one day we will celebrate Passover with Him in His Kingdom.

But the Passover, and the Exodus story on which it is based, can be YOUR PERSONAL PASSOVER.  Here are some ways the Passover story can describe your personal faith story:

 

As the Israelites were in slavery in Egypt, You Were Enslaved in Bondage to Sin.

 Galatians 4:3 (NLT) And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world.

 

As God Raised Up Moses as Deliverer, God Raised Up a Deliverer for You.

 1 Thessalonians 1:10 (ESV) and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

 

As the Israelites Were Delivered by the Blood of the Lamb, You Were Delivered by Faith in the Blood of the Lamb. Romans 6:18 (NLT) Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.

 

As the Israelites Crossed the Red Sea to Freedom, Your Baptism Marked a Crossing Over to Your New Life.

1 Corinthians 10:1–2 (NLT) I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground.  In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses.

 

As Pharoah’s Army Pursued the Israelites, You Are Pursued by the Enemy.

1 Peter 5:8 (NLT) Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

 

As God Gave His Word at Mt. Sinai, You Receive God’s Word in the Bible.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NIV84) And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.

 

As the Israelites Got a New Identity, You Receive Your New Identity in Christ.

Romans 8:15 (NLT) So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”

 

As the Israelites Wandered in the Wilderness, You too Can Wander in the Wilderness.

Hebrews 3:8, 4:1 (NLT) don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness…4:1 God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it.

 

As the Israelites Entered the Promised Land by Faith, You Can Have God’s Blessings by Faith.

Philippians 3:12 (NLT) I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.

 

As the Israelites Had to Conquer the Land, You Conquer Your Life One Step at a Time.

Philippians 2:12b (NIV84) continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,

 

As the Israelites Rested from Conquering the Land, You Can Enter God’s Sabbath Rest.

“So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God.  For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world.  So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall” (Hebrews 4:9-11).

So what? Where are you on your journey to the Promised Land? Where are you stuck?  Have you been experiencing all of the blessings that God intends to provide through the resurrection?

Paul tells us, “These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age” (1 Corinthians 10:11).  We should learn to fully “possess the land” as a result of God’s grace as He provided through the Passover Lamb of God—our risen Lord!

Onward celebrating,

Pastor Gary

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