Posts Tagged ‘ Passover ’

2020 Perspective on Passover:

As born again Christians, we understand the foundational truth about Jesus’ sacrificial, atoning death and resurrection that brings us freedom and life, but I want to focus on the post-salvation implications of Jesus’ awesome work. Keep in mind, this will only apply if you have already committed to the side of Jesus.

After salvation, what does freedom and life look like for a Christian? Many might think “well, if a Christian is addicted to alcohol, etc. then Jesus can set them free from that” and that is true. But beyond that, what does freedom and life look like? It looks like this:

1. Freedom from false guilt.
2. Freedom from fear about what others may think.
3. Freedom from people who try to control and manipulate.
4. Freedom from the idea that you need anyone else’s approval other than God’s.
5. Freedom from circular or destructive thought processes.
6. Freedom…to grow, which is life-giving.

Pastors are supposed to promote freedom in Christians lives so that they can grow, but sadly many pastors do just the opposite.

Friends are suppose to be life-giving and help us grow, or at the very least, not hinder us from getting closer to Jesus, but sadly, many friends do just the opposite.

Assuming they already have a sincere faith in Christ, here are some things to ask yourself about a pastor or a friend:

1. Are they someone in whom I can see consistent growth?
2. Do they listen well?
3. Am I afraid to talk around them? Why?
4. When I come away from them do I feel burdened, or more free?
5. Does what they say ring true and bring clarity?
6. Can I see any ways that they attempt to manipulate?

There are many forms of manipulation, some are quite subtle and can even be seen as pious. Some of the more subtle ways of manipulation include:

* False guilt – does this person make me feel guilty if I don’t do what they want?
* Tone – are they talking down to me as though I don’t know anything? (Pay great attention to this one!)
* Leading Questions – do they appear to have all the answers? This is accomplished through the use of leading questions, that is, a question that is asked, with a very specific answer in mind. Therefore, unless you answer with the specificity that the manipulator is fishing for, you appear inferior while the manipulator appears to have all the answers.
* Positioning – there are many types of positioning, but one example is, is the person using tactical empathy? That is, do they claim to know and empathize with what you’ve been through, in order to earn your trust?
* Redirection: there are many types of redirection, but one of the most cunning is exploiting your emotional wounds to shift the attention off of something they don’t want to talk about.

Ask yourself, “who helps me walk in freedom?” It may surprise you who you DON’T list.

Jesus came to bring us freedom and life, and I believe the Lord wants the church to walk in Freedom and Life in 2020!

Wishing you freedom and life as you celebrate Resurrection day!

In His Love,
Jesse ישי

About Jesse Walker

Video Lesson: The True Passover

At the time of upload, the Passover starts tomorrow! Thursday evening, the ninth of April in the year of our Lord Two thousand twenty. It is still fitting that we are currently in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic at the time of posting this!

Why? Because the Passover started during … THE 10 PLAGUES ON EGYPT!

Even why-er? Because we are talking about THE ACTUAL PASSOVER!

You should read Exodus 12 before reading/listening to this lesson.

Here are some questions to ask ourselves:

Why is blood so important for salvation?

What are some of the mighty works that God has done in history?

What about in your own life?

What are we expecting from God? What does He expect of us?

Now, to the big question of the day:

What is the True Passover?

The True Passover
Exodus 12

We are continuing to look at the importance of Passover.

The final plague against the Egyptians was the Plague against the Firstborn:

  • Israel was told to sacrifice a lamb, and its blood was to painted around the door posts.
  • They were to be ready to leave in a moment’s notice.

[READ Exodus 12:29-36]

At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead. Then he summoned Moses and Aaron by night and said, “Up, go out from among my people, both you and the people of Israel; and go, serve the Lord , as you have said. Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone, and bless me also!” The Egyptians were urgent with the people to send them out of the land in haste. For they said, “We shall all be dead.” So the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading bowls being bound up in their cloaks on their shoulders. The people of Israel had also done as Moses told them, for they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold jewelry and for clothing. And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.

Firstly, we know the connection that Jesus, God’s Firstborn, is the Lamb that was sacrificed so that death would not have a hold on us anymore. (1 Corinthians 15, 1 Peter 2:22-24)

Secondly, as the Israelites were to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice, we are to be ready to share the gospel at any moment and give a defense for our faith. (Matthew 28:18-20, 1 Peter 3:15)

Thirdly, we know that Jesus Christ is coming again to free the world from the stain and bondage to sin, removing those who remain in rebellion, and instituting heaven on earth for all eternity, and giving us new clothing – heavenly, glorified bodies. (Philippians 3:17-21)
The book of Revelation lets us know that He will bring His army of angels along with His faithful to cleanse the Earth. Afterward, just as Israel left with the silver and gold of the Egyptians, we – His faithful, the Christians – are given crowns of glory. The riches we inherit are our lot in Christ’s inheritance.

So, the True Passover comes, first, when we accept and believe that Jesus is our sacrificial Lamb, and, second, when He returns and we pass over from a fallen world in time to pure glory in eternity.

So make sure you are good with the King of Glory!

Video Lesson: Holy Cow! Heifers & Cleanliness

We are getting close to the Passover time of year! How fitting that we are currently in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic at the time of posting this!

Why? Because the Passover started during … THE 10 PLAGUES ON EGYPT!

Even why-er? Because we are talking about keeping clean!

You should read Numbers 19 before reading/listening to this lesson.

Here are some questions to ask ourselves:

What can we do to be clean? (Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually)

What is a heifer (heffer), and what is so significant about red?

Is there a purpose to sacrifices and blood offerings?

How can we deal with isolation from community? [Bonus for C-19: How are we handling isolation from each other during crisis?]

Now, to the big question of the day:

What does a sacrificial cow have to do with the Church?

Holy Cow! Heifers & Cleanliness
Numbers 19

We are continuing to look at the importance of Passover.

What is a red heifer?
A female cow that is reddish-brown (the word “red” comes from the same root for “man” in Hebrew, thus “earth-colored”)

How rare are red heifers?
Not too rare, but a perfect sacrificial red heifer must be at least 3 years old and must not have more than 2 or 3 white/black hairs nor any blemishes/disfigurements, never worked (even to have a person lean on it), and never been with a bull (no babies!)

The heifer is to be taken outside of the camp/city, slaughtered, then burned completely. While burning, cedarwood, hyssop, and a red (scarlet) yarn will be thrown in. Then, (vv. 17-19) the ashes are collected to be mixed with fresh/living (flowing) water into a container, and hyssop will be dipped in this ashy water to sprinkle the home and people who have sinned by touching a dead body. Those who refuse to be cleansed are cast out of the community (v. 20).

And this means what to me?

From our birth, we “were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (Ephesians 2:1-3, ESV)

Therefore, we all have been constantly in contact with dead bodies our entire lives.

So we now turn to Hebrews 9:11-22 (ESV).

Hebrews 9 is all about our Great High Priest who offered the ultimate sacrifice.

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

How does this all connect with the Passover?

Jesus was crucified at Passover. Also, just as the blood of a lamb was painted over the doors of the Israelites and protected them from death the night before they were allowed to leave Egypt, we escape God’s wrath and judgment of eternal death.

Just as the blood protected those who obeyed, those who did not lost their firstborn, similarly, if we are sprinkled with the living water of the Holy Spirit mixed with the sacrifice made outside of the city – of God’s firstborn, Jesus’ body and blood – we are made clean of our living in death, while those who do not believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection can not be included in the House of God, the Church.

Back in Hebrews 9:23-28:

Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Jesus is our holy cow. (Not to be confused with the Hindu idea of holy cows, and this is not blasphemous, because …) The red heifer and all other sacrificial rites were mere shadows of the work of Christ.

If we refuse to believe that Jesus was the perfect human sacrifice, that He died and rose again, we cannot be made clean and therefore enter God’s community, the Body of Christ, the Church – eternal life.

But if we believe, we are made clean of our sin and death and enter eternal life by grace through faith in the Son of God who redeemed us by His blood.

Video Lesson: Plagues & False Hopes

We are getting close to the Passover time of year! How fitting that we are currently in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic at the time of posting this!

Why? Because the Passover started during … THE 10 PLAGUES ON EGYPT!

You should read Exodus chapters 7-12 before reading/listening to this lesson.

Here are some questions to ask ourselves:

Does God allow or even send things like pandemics and plagues?

Is there a purpose to suffering?

Can God use evil for good? How do we define good and evil?

Now, to the big question of the day:

Can we learn from the 10 Plagues today?

Plagues and False Hopes
Exodus 7-12

Ten/10 is the number of completion, so God’s judgment is thorough and complete.

God gave Egypt plagues for each of their most powerful gods and goddesses.

  • #1 – Plague of the Nile into Blood
    • Hapi – god of the Nile
      This lasted 7 days, the number of perfection.
  • #2 – Plague of Frogs
    • Heket – goddess of Fertility and Water
      She had the head of a frog. Magicians made more frogs appear, but only Moses and Aaron could get rid of them.
  • #3 – Plague of Gnats/Lice/Mosquitos
    • Geb – god of the Earth
      1st plague the magicians couldn’t copy
      (8:18-19)
      Remember that we are made from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7)
  • #4 – Plague of Flies
    • Khepri – god of creation, movement of the Sun, and rebirth
      He had the head of a fly.
  • #5 – Plague of the Death of Livestock
    • Hathor – goddess of Love and Protection
      She had the head of a cow
      Economic disaster: food, transportation, and farming is affected.
  • Plagues 1-5 remove sources of sustenance and income.
  • #6 – Plague of Boils
    • Isis – goddess of Medicine and Peace
      Egyptians were neat-freaks and germophobes.
      This plague announced their uncleanness.
  • #7 – Plague of Hail and Fire & Brimstone
    • Nut – goddess of the Sky
      First plague to affect the household of Pharaoh himself.
      Affected the crops of flax and barley: used for making clothing and beer. The Egyptians would not be able to cover their nakedness nor “forget their woes” with alcohol.
      Wheat was not affected, showing God provides bread …
  • #8 – Plague of Locusts
    • Set – god of Storms and Disorder
      Locusts eat everything. This devastates even the food supply.
  • #9 – Plague of Darkness for Three Days
    • Ra – The Sun god, the highest god
      Their god of light was controlled by God.
      Darkness symbolizes spiritual blindness and death, judgment and hopelessness.
  • Plagues 6-9 remove sources of health and peace.
  • #10 – Plague of the Death of the Firstborn
    • Pharaoh – the living god
      If their worshiped king cannot stop a foreign deity from killing his son, is he really worthy of their worship? (No.)
      Most obviously, this points to Christ, the only Son of God and firstborn of the Resurrection, all others finding salvation from death through His shed blood.
  • Plague 10 removes our self-reliance.

God will allow and even send calamities, pestilences, and pandemics to show His power and sovereignty, and He might also do it to bring judgment on nations.

Think of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world, or the locust swarms in Africa at this time. Or think of all of the wildfires in 2019.

Is this a buildup to Christ’s return? Maybe. Maybe not.

At the very least, God is in control, and our world has been pushing Him away like crazy. Just as the Egyptians claimed differing gods and had prophets declaring false things, we see this all over the world today, even within Christianity.

Just as the only salvation from death in the 10th plague was blood, the only way we know we are saved from eternal death is through the blood of God’s firstborn, Jesus Christ. We may not escape earthly suffering, but we are saved from eternal judgment. (And see the last lesson about those who have not heard the Gospel!)