pass over

The Passover celebration commemorates God’s unbelievable rescue of the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. As part of this incredible rescue, and the Israelites’ first born sons were saved from the angel of death by the blood of a lamb upon their door posts.

God, through Moses, parted the waters of the Red Sea so they could walk on dry ground, freeing them as slaves. God didn’t want his people to forget this significant event in history – so each year a special meal commemorated this day.

Our story today takes place at a Passover meal some 1500 years after the exodus.

Let’s find out more about this meal – with Jesus and his disciples.

John 13 (NET)
Just before the Passover feast, Jesus knew that his time had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now loved them to the very end. 2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, that he should betray Jesus. 3 Because Jesus knew that the Father had handed all things over to him, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 he got up from the meal, removed his outer clothes, took a towel and tied it around himself. 5 He poured water into the washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel he had wrapped around himself.

6 Then he came to Simon Peter. Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied, “You do not understand what I am doing now, but you will understand after these things.” 8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet!” Jesus replied, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus replied, “The one who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 (For Jesus knew the one who was going to betray him. For this reason he said, “Not every one of you is clean.”)12 So when Jesus had washed their feet and put his outer clothing back on, he took his place at the table again and said to them, “Do you understand what I have done for you? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and do so correctly, for that is what I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you too ought to wash one another’s feet.

So much is going on in this snippet, just before Jesus’ death.  Jesus demonstrates humility by washing the feet of the men he was closest too on this earth.  Jesus demonstrated servanthood by washing the feet of his disciples, but the events just hours away demonstrated ultimate humility – just hours later, he would be arrested, beaten, and killed upon a cross meant for a criminal.

THE ultimate act of a servant – dying for someone else.

The Passover meal included a lamb – when the Israelites were in Egypt, a lamb was sacrificed so that the firstborn Israelite wouldn’t have to die – the blood of the lamb was applied to the door and the angel of death passed over that house.

Each year they would say: “The lamb died instead of me.”

Exodus 12:

“Each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household” v.3
“Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door frames…” v. 7
“That same night the are to eat the meat roasted over the fire…” v. 8
“This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD – a lasting ordinance.” v. 14

Generations to come celebrated this event – which is why Jesus, some 1500 years later, celebrates the Passover.

Jesus knew the events that would follow this meal: Judas’ betrayal, arrested and handed over to be beaten, humiliated culminating in his death.

Everything in all God’s big story pointed to this night – the tree in the garden where Adam and Eve took and ate the fruit lead to the next tree – the cross.
Everything God did,
every sin the people committed,
every sacrifice that covered the sins committed,
the prophets, priests, kings – they all pointed to this night.

Through Jesus, God said – “I am about to deal with evil and sin and death once and for all.”

This. Was. It.

All the hurts and heartaches.
All the lies and deceit.
All the pains we closely bear in our hearts.
All the ways we rebel against God.
This one act restored us so we can know God
and he could give us a second chance.

God was already making everything new –
from the first tree in the garden – to this tree, the cross.
God was rescuing,
God was making a way,
And God was working out his perfect plan for us.
Through the perfect Lamb of God – Jesus Christ.

“The lamb died, instead of me.”
“The lamb died, instead of you.”
“The lamb died, instead of us.”

The lamb died – so you and I could be saved, and know God the father.

John the Baptist when he saw Jesus said:
“Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

The Prophet Isaiah said this of Jesus:
“He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7

Do you know the Lamb of God?
Did you know Jesus, the lamb of God died instead of you? That he died for you?

“The lamb died instead of me.”

lamb-cross.jpg

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from death to life

Let-Go

Letting go.
Letting things die
so i can live..
so I can really live, again.

There is life, even in death
because some things need to die, so other things can live
like dreams

But why do we keep praying for clarity?
We are never promised clarity
But … but
we can walk by faith, and not by sight
we can choose trust instead of the questions

And somehow in the mess
there is beauty
in the ashes
and in the end
we may experience a joy that only comes from Him in the midst of the
madness, chaos, confusion and doubt..

and a seed of joy is planted
growing bit by bit
sprouting into a tree.  A tree of life.  Again.

death

Death is such a funny thing, I mean, funny in a not so funny way.  I tend to stay far away from hospitals, breathing apparatuses… and just everything of that genre.

But the other day, I had to go to the hospital to visit my Aunt (actually my great Aunt, but we always just called her Aunt, like the regular kind), and have yet another encounter and be near death.  It’s been just over a year since my Grandma passed away, but the feeling is still all too real, even as I was missing her today.

Anyway, hospitals.  I don’t think I’ve been to the hospital to visit someone since my Grandpa died, in the summer of 2006, but walking in through those double doors, and down the hall to ICU only brought back memories of him, and of course my Grandma.

I tried not to think about it, but when my Mom called as I was working yesterday, I knew why she was calling.  I work at the church, so I had already heard the situation was critical, but still, I agreed to visit the hospital in my parents brief absence, even though she was sedated at the time.  I went about my work, then threw on my jacket, and decided just to walk over, since the hospital isn’t far from the church.  On the way, I really didn’t think about how it would feel, I didn’t want to.  But then again, maybe I just shouldn’t think about it, since it wasn’t really about ME at all.

I stayed for maybe an hour, visiting with her caregiver, and another relative (I honestly can’t even tell you how she’s related to us… we have so many interesting extended family connections, and just don’t really know them too well).

Her breathing and heart rate was irregular, but the only thing I could think about was my Grandpa, and remembering seeing him in a similar fashion, almost 6 years ago.

I wasn’t close with my Aunt, we never spent much time with her, you know, life is busy. My Dad knew her well and cared for her a lot over these past 8 or so years, when her health worsened.

Death is just so interesting, not funny, just so weird and intriguing.  I’m so uncomfortable being around it, because it just seems so wrong to sit in the same room where someone is dying and reminisce, laugh, tell stories about their lives, and be… so alive.

Someday I will die, and actually it will be a beautiful thing.  Seeing the face of God, seeing relatives that I’ve seen pass onto the other side.  It will be amazing.  But the scary, and more sobering thing to think about now is that so many around us don’t know Christ, and will not have heaven to look forward to.  They won’t experience a beautiful death, they don’t know what it’s like to have the peace of God.  This has been a topic of conversation with friends lately, and just realize the fragility of life.

Every breath is life, and a second chance to start again.  Just remember that, as you live and dance your way to death.

death

With the past week as America and the world mourned the death of Steve Jobs, it seems death is on everyone’s minds these days, including my own.  Ironically, as I had attended chapel this week at Cascade, the speaker spoke about death also, not even in connection with Steve Jobs at all.

Yet, when I would hear people talking about Jobs, I couldn’t help but feel some kind of, nagging on my heart.  Yes, Jobs was a brilliant man, no one would deny that, and yes, he seems like he was a good man too, but, that’s just it.  He was just a man.  He did change the world, technology-wise, but remember, all this technology will burn one day.  This stuff is just that, stuff.  And in the end does it matter that I do in fact have a Mac Book Pro, or iphone, or ipod or iwhatever…. no.  It doesn’t matter.  Yes, technology makes our lives so much easier, and so much different compared the past, even just 5 years ago, but if I spend all my time engrossed in the technology that I forget to have a conversation (God forbid!) with an actual real person, what does it matter?

If you have some time, I found a great article that really brought to light some of that nagging feeling I couldn’t shake earlier this week, read it here.

Death, for those of us who are believers in God, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we have hope.  We know where we are headed, so it kind of makes everything else secondary, when you really think about it.  I’ve spent some good time thinking about that lately.  How am I spending my money?  How am I spending my time?  How selfish am I being with these things that are “mine”?

It’s all sobering, if we really take the time to think about it.  We could change the world with an ingenious idea, but if we never change a single heart, what does that matter?