March 28, 2020
Exodus 13:3-10 (NIV)
3 Then Moses said to the people, “Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, because the Lord brought you out of it with a mighty hand. Eat nothing containing yeast. 4 Today, in the month of Aviv, you are leaving. 5 When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites and Jebusites—the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey—you are to observe this ceremony in this month: 6 For seven days eat bread made without yeast and on the seventh day hold a festival to the Lord. 7 Eat unleavened bread during those seven days; nothing with yeast in it is to be seen among you, nor shall any yeast be seen anywhere within your borders. 8 On that day tell your son, ‘I do this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ 9 This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that this law of the Lord is to be on your lips. For the Lord brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand. 10 You must keep this ordinance at the appointed time year after year.
If I asked you to tell me your story, chances are you wouldn’t include the Passover and Exodus story. I probably wouldn’t either. Why is this?
If you asked me to tell you my story, I couldn’t tell it without talking about Jesus and the Resurrection. Same for you, right?
The question, though, is how does the story of Jesus make sense without the story of the Passover? He is, after all, our Passover Lamb. We are saved from damnation and death by his blood.
So what gives? Why do we not consider the Passover as core to our story as we do the Cross? To this day, Passover, is the central celebration of the Jewish people. But it is a bit of a novelty for most Christians. Many have observed it a time or two, but it’s not a signal event in our year. I am asking, why not? Because this is Jesus’ story, it is our story.
Today’s text makes it explicitly clear. God expects his people to remember and celebrate the Passover. “Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, because the Lord brought you out of it with a mighty hand.” I think the reason we don’t do this is because we don’t think of them (the Israelites) as us. Permit me to be emphatic. We are them. Those ancient Israelites are us. This is our story as much as it was their story. It doesn’t matter that most of us are Gentiles.
Perhaps the most unfortunate words in all the Bible, and I am not even sure they are considered part of the inspired text, are “Old Testament” and “New Testament.” The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is one story, and it is our story—the Story of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The New Testament is not the story of Jesus. The whole Bible is the story of Jesus.
It brings me back to my favorite verse from today’s text:
On that day tell your son, “I do this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.”
Year after year, as they gathered for the Passover Meal, Joseph would tell his young son, Jesus, “I do this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.” Hang on. Joseph didn’t come out of Egypt. Oh yes he did. And I did too—even me. Even you. This is more than remembering a story from history. It is commemoration. To commemorate something is to remember it in a way that narrates you into the story itself.
This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that this law of the Lord is to be on your lips. For the Lord brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand. 10 You must keep this ordinance at the appointed time year after year.
People who say such things . . .
Father, I want to be a person who says such things. I want to be so immersed in the whole story of you that I never come out. I want to think in its terms, dream in its metaphors. see with its vision, revel in its glory, which is your glory. I confess, I remain ignorant of so much of it. Grant me the joy to bear the fruit of repentance. For you brought me up out of Egypt, even me. Come Holy Spirit, and train me to be such a person of faith. I pray in Jesus name, Amen.
Are you a student of the whole Bible or have you tended to focus on the New Testament? Why do you think that is?
For the Awakening,