INDEPENDENCE DAY

israelites independence day
israelites independence day

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AN UNUSUAL STYLE OF CELEBRATING FREEDOM (israelites independence day   )

“THERE WILL BE LOUD WAILING THROUGHOUT EGYPT–WORSE THAN THERE HAS EVER BEEN OR EVER WILL BE AGAIN” EXODUS 11:6 (israelites independence day  )

MOST OF THE NATION OF THE WORLD CELEBRATE INDEPENDENCE DAYS. EACH NATION CELEBRATES IN THEIR OWN WAY, BUT THESE CELEBRATIONS BEAR A STRIKING UNLIKENESS TO THE JEWISH INDEPENDENCE DAY, A DAY CALLED PASSOVER.

THE JEWS TRACE THEIR CULTURAL BIRTHDAY BACK TO A DARK, FOREBODING NIGHT– THE ISRAELITES’ LAST IN EGYPT ( EXODUS CHAPTER 12). THERE ARE NO BLARING BANDS NOR BALLOONS NOR FIREWORKS TO COMMEMORATE THIS EVENT. EVERYTHING TAKES PLACE INSIDE A HOME, WITH A FAMILY OR CLUSTER OF FAMILIES GATHERED AROUND A TABLE. PARTICIPANTS TASTE MORSELS OF FOOD, PAUSING BEFORE EACH PORTION TO HEAR OLD TESTAMENT ACCOUNTS OF THE HISTORY THEY ARE RELIVING. THEIR INDEPENDENCE DAY RESEMBLES A WORSHIP SERVICE, NOT A PARTY. ( israelites independence day   )

A WORK OF GOD ALONE

MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, THE JEWISH INDEPENDENCE DAY EXPRESSES THIS ONE FACT: GOD DID IT. NO ISRAELITE ARMIES STOOD AGAINST THE MIGHTY EGYPTIANS. FREEDOM CAME IN THE BLACKEST NIGHT WHILE JEWISH FAMILIES HUDDLED AROUND THE PASSOVER TABLE, THEIR BAGS PACKED, WAITING FOR DELIVERANCE.

WHEN GOD’S TIME CAME, THE EGYPTIAN CAPTORS NOT ONLY RELEASED THE ISRAELITES, BUT BEGGED THEM TO GO AND SHOWERED THEM WITH GOLD AND RICHES. THE JEWS REMEMBER THAT EVENT WITH HUMILITY AND PRAISE; THERE IS NO ROOM FOR PRIDE. LATER, WHEN PHARAOH CHANGED HIS MIND AND SET HIS CHARIOTS LOOSE UPON THE FLEEING TRIBES, GOD CAME THROUGH AGAIN. ISRAELITES STOOD TREMBLING LIKE COWARDS, ALREADY WONDERING ABOUT THEIR FREEDOM. BUT GOD DESTROYED THE GREAT EGYPTIAN ARMY.

FOR THE JEWS, INDEPENDENCE FROM EGYPT MEANT DEPENDENCE ON GOD. IN FACT, GOD CAME BACK TO THIS EVENT THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE AS A WAY OF DESCRIBING HIMSELF: “I AM THE GOD WHO BROUGHT YOU OUT OF EGYPT.”

THE PATTERN OF DEPENDENCE WAS TO CONTINUE ALL THROUGH EXODUS. WHEN THE WILDERNESS WANDERERS RAN OUT OF WATER AND FOOD SUPPLIES FAILED, GOD PROVIDED.  WHEN RAIDERS ATTACKED, GOD PROVIDED. INDEPENDENCE DAY MERELY SET THE TONE FOR A NATIONAL HISTORY THAT WAS AN ACTIVE MOVEMENT OF GOD. (israelites independence day  )

PASSOVER’S NEW MEANING (israelites independence day  )

MUCH LATER, PASSOVER NIGHT WOULD TAKE ON AN EVEN BROADER SIGNIFICANCE. DURING ONE PARTICULAR PASSOVER FEAST, AS THOUSAND OF JEWS WERE BRINGING THEIR CHOICE LAMBS TO JERUSALEM, ONE MAN WAS SELECTED AS THE PASSOVER LAMB FOR ALL HUMANITY (1 CORINTHIANS 5:7). THE WORD “WHEN I SEE THE BLOOD, I WILL PASS OVER YOU” CAME TO CONVEY A WHOLE NEW MEANING.

TODAY, THOUGH JEWISH PEOPLE STILL CELEBRATE PASSOVER, MOST CHRISTIANS DO NOT. RATHER, THAT CEREMONY HAS BEEN INCORPORATED INTO A NEW ONE CALLED THE EUCHARIST, OR THE LORD’S SUPPER, WITH CHRIST REPRESENTING THE PASSOVER LAMB. ALTHOUGH MUCH OF THE CEREMONY’S CONTENT HAS CHANGED, ONE THING HAS NOT. THE LORD SUPPER, TOO, MEMORIALIZES A TIME OF PAIN AND OF BLOODSHED, A TIME OF FREEDOM AND DELIVERANCE. IT, TOO, WAS GOD’S ACT ALONE. HE GETS THE CREDIT.

LIFE QUESTION

HOW IS THE CELEBRATION OF THE LORD’S SUPPER A CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN’S INDEPENDENCE OR FREEDOM FROM DEATH? (israelites independence day  )

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQqT_zirQpJJewIeXcH-snQ?view_as=subscriber

 

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