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Do this in remembrance….

April 5, 2007

I am not Jewish, and to the best of my knowledge I do not have Jewish roots in my heritage, but I do have a heart that seeks to understand the Jewish roots of my Christian faith. Many years ago on a night just like tonight Jesus sat with friends and family in a home where a Passover Seder meal was offered. That meal was a part of the Passover festival. The festival and meal are based on rituals and practices from ancient Israel. Many of them are documented in Exodus 12-14. It was a celebration of their deliverance from slavery. It celebrates the events that led to freedom from slavery and the protection of their children from the 10th plague. It is a celebration of God, who he is, and what he has done in their lives. The Passover meal has many parts to it: removing leaven from the home because it can cause food to spoil, lighting candles to remember God who is the light of the world, washing, green vegetables reminding us of spring, unleavened bread reminding us of the food the Israelites ate for years in the desert, cups of wine/juice to remind us of God’s goodness and promises, and bitter herbs and salt to remind us of the bitter tears shed for the pain our ancestors endured before us.

As I ate my evening meal tonight I reflected on those things. I remembered what God has done in my life. I imagined what it was like for the disciples and followers to eat one last meal with Jesus. It was a night of ritual, but also of celebration and joy. Special food and sharing took place. They probably laughed together, possibly cried together, and may have sang and prayed together. God was present with them. All the while Jesus knew what lay ahead. He knew that unless God changed his plans that Christ’s time and work were coming to an end. He may have doubted and questioned. He may have wondered if he had done enough to prepare for and care for his friends and family.

Tonight I am reminded that on a night like this many years ago my Lord and Savior left his friends and family, left the celebration, left the warmth and safety of a home, and he went to a garden to pray. He could have stayed, but he chose to spend his final time with God. He chose to not take for granted what was about to happen, but instead to go back to God and ask again. He took time to prepare for what was to come next instead of rushing into it without being ready. Tonight I remember those he left behind, those who went to the garden with him, those who saw him arrested, and those whose lives were changed that night as their Messiah was taken from them and jailed. The day started with celebration, and joy, but it ended with confusion and frustration.

Jesus started the night celebrating God and all he had done. I imagine he ended the night praising God too. Tonight is the start of a new story, a new way of life, a new future. How will you spend it? What will you remember? How can you celebrate and praise God even if it means doing it through pain, suffering and fear? “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. newcolors permalink
    April 5, 2007 9:03 pm

    Great comments. I too began a journey to discover my Hebraic roots. It has been wonderful. I just wrote a teaching on Passover…although brief you might be interested. On my blog it’s titled “Exodus 12:1-28”
    Thanks for your sharing, Newcolors

  2. April 8, 2007 7:04 pm

    I would love to check out your post and your blog, but I can’t locate it and you didn’t include a link. Thank you for stopping by and sharing some of your thoughts with me. I love to hear from others and to learn from your insights and thoughts.

  3. followingtheancientpaths permalink
    April 8, 2007 9:25 pm

    This is, indeed, a special time for believers. 🙂 We are not of Jewish origin either though we do keep Passover and the other festivals. We are blessed to be serving the One True G-d!!!

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