19 Apr A Christian Passover Message
This year as we celebrate Easter, I am more than usually inspired about this most holy of Christian holidays. Two things seem especially noticeable this year. First, I am moved by the growing embrace of the Jewish Passover by Christians in America. And, I sense a growing openness among Christians to different denominations in America, sparked by a yearning for truth.
Passover celebrates the protection God provided to the Jewish people after their exodus from slavery in Israel, in about 1300 BC. The Jews who marked their doorposts with the blood of a new lamb were protected from the plague/death inflicted on the first born of the ancient Egyptians. The plague visited on the Egyptian families “passed over” the doors/homes of the Jews. Christian churches have taught this story from Exodus in our Sunday Schools for centuries, and the overwhelming message of a powerful loving God who will protect us, as we are obedient and trustful, resonates with Jews and Christians today.
Jesus celebrated Passover, and I love that more Christians today are embracing this holiday and its celebration of God’s protection and power. Celebrating Passover in no way deprives us of the full Christian embrace of Jesus as the prophesied Messiah, the son of God, the child of a virgin birth, who was crucified and resurrected, and who came to save us.
Eric and I have had the great privilege of traveling to Israel (Eric many more times than I), and enjoying a Shabbat Dinner with our Jewish friends there. We have also been honored to join in a Seder meal with Jewish friends in America. These were meaningful experiences for us, and we felt that our respect for their Jewish faith was reciprocated by our hosts in their respect for our Christian faith.
In the last couple of years two friends of mine converted from a Protestant church to Catholicism, and other friends have left a large Protestant or Catholic Church to join an evangelical non-denominational Christian church. These friends are searching for a new church home that speaks to their hearts. I know some condemn church-shoppers who seem to be looking for entertainment more than truth, but the people that I’m talking about are seeking a deeper understanding the Bible, and ultimately, Truth.
Finally, in this world where western civilization, built on Jewish and Christian values, is under siege from the darkness of radical Islam, it is mightily important that Jews and Christians grow in our bonds and connections, and increased respect for each other’s faiths.
SO I wish you a blessed Easter and blessed Passover.