Christians, don’t forget Easter begins at Passover
It makes no sense that most Christians do not celebrate Passover. It’s not exclusively a Jewish Holiday or only a history of the Hebrews. It’s the story of all believers—God’s People.
Israel became the name of Jacob, which became the name for the nation of God’s People. Israel literally means, “Prince that that has striven (wrestled) with God and prevailed.” That’s what Jacob did and what we all do as a child of God. What Christian hasn’t struggled, in their Christian walk and in their flesh, by believing and following the ways of God? But we hang on in faith, as Jacob did, even when it hurts, and not let go until God blesses us.
We become God’s People by making a covenant with Him. One of the best examples of this was when Ruth, a foreigner, followed Naomi back to her homeland of Israel. Ruth made a covenant,
“Wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me” (Ruth 1:16-17 NKJV).
What Ruth did is exactly what we all do when we give our lives to the Lord. The Hebrews representedGod’s People in the Old Testament, and when we dedicate ourselves to Him, we become God’s People as well. This is what we are also to do in marriage, and become one with our mate.
The Passover is one of the most significant moments in our history. For four hundred years God’s People were slaves in Egypt, forced to do back breaking work, abused, tortured and live in deplorable conditions. The final atrocity coming in the order from Pharaoh, that every newborn son of the Hebrews be killed. God’s People cried unto the Lord for mercy, and He heard us.
God sent a rescuer, Moses, to challenge Pharaoh. He cast nine plagues on Egypt before the tenth and final one that made Pharaoh submit to God’s will. God sent the Angel of Death over Egypt to kill all the first-born sons of man and beast. God’s children were spared (passed over) by sacrificing a spotless lamb. They dipped hyssop in the blood and struck the top and sides of their doorways—a sign of the cross. That is when God delivered us, His People, out of bondage. Scripture commands,
"And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever” (Exodus 12:14 KJV).
So why don’t most Christians honor God by following His command to memorialize the Passover? It does say forever, not just until Jesus comes. Christians were given a new covenant with Jesus. But that doesn’t render God’s Word in the Old Testament void or make our history less important. Jesus is what makes the story of the Passover so much more fulfilling. He was the ultimate manifestation of the Passover Lamb. Just as the Passover lamb protected God’s People from death and delivered us from bondage here on Earth— Jesus did so for us eternally.
The stories of the Passover and Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection are forever linked. They didn’t happen over the same week by accident. They are both God’s promise of forgiveness and deliverance come true. If we could only pick one, Easter is our most important Holiday. We must always remember and honor the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus, and His resurrection, in order that thatGod’s People could have eternal salvation.
However, we should remember our full story that began when we were delivered from bondage during the first Passover. Let’s not cheat ourselves, and God by shortening Holy Week to a Holy Weekend. Let’s enjoy the fullness of God’s miraculous gift from start to finish. Follow God’s command. Remember and teach our children how we, God’s People, were saved and delivered both in this life, at the Passover, and in the next, through Jesus.
For this article and more from C. Aaron Russell visit Men of MInd.com.