“Why do we use all this stuff?” Eli asked as his father set the table for their Passover celebration. Smiling his father replied, “This book is the Haggadah. It tells the story of the Israelite’s exodus from Egypt.” Pointing to the round plate, he continued. “This is the Seder plate. Each thing on the plate and on the table represents parts of the Exodus story.1 You’ll see tonight.”
As they went through the Haggadah that night, Eli pondered all he was hearing. His father spoke of the Israelites slavery and the plagues. “How.., Oww!” Eli squealed as his sister jabbed him in the ribs. “Shhh,” she said, giving him the stink eye.
Eli pouted silently. But when they got to the Red Sea crossing, Eli could no longer contain himself. He scooted to the far edge of his seat to avoid his sister’s elbow and blurted out his questions. “What did the Israelites think of all those plagues?” “What would it be like to walk through the sea?” Laughing his father prompted the family to imagine the answers to Eli’s questions.
Passover is celebrated as a remembrance of what God did for the Israelites in Exodus chapters 1 – 14. To remember encourages our faith.
BUT HOW ABOUT WHEN THE ISRAELITES WENT THROUGH IT?
THAT REALLY TOOK SOME FAITH!
Like Eli and his family, let’s all imagine what the Israelites experienced. What was their situation?
430 YEARS OF SLAVERY TO THE EGYPTIANS!
BACK BREAKING LABOR!
HARSH & CRUEL TREATMENT!
Can you imagine the aching bodies and aching hearts?
GOD TO THE RESCUE!
And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt,
and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.
So, I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey,” Exodus 3:7-8a
Acting as God’s representative, Moses approached Pharaoh and repeated God’s words, “Let My people go!” What did Pharaoh say? “NO!” Talk about dashed hopes! I imagine that their faith took a nose dive.
BUT THEN, THINK ABOUT FAITH.
Isn’t faith believing in God’s promises, even when we haven’t yet seen the evidence?
So, with renewed faith, Moses kept approaching Pharaoh. Each time Pharaoh said, “NO!”, God sent a plague. Not just any plague, but plagues representing Egyptian gods.
Imagine how the Israelites’ faith was encouraged to see the power of God!
RIVER TURNED TO BLOOD
DEATH OF THE FIRST BORN
Imagine how the Israelites felt when the plagues touched the Egyptians, but no plague touched them!
God showed the Israelites that their faith was not misplaced as He brought them out of Egypt and towards the promised land.
BUT THEIR JOURNEY OF FAITH HAD JUST BEGUN.
Camping by the Red Sea, the Israelites looked behind them. Coming towards them was Pharaoh’s army with 600 chariots! For many their faith was overtaken by fear and doubt. But our loving God continued to protect them.
“BAM! In an instant the Lord made a dry path though the sea onto the other side of land. Just imagine the faith that it took for the Israelites to step into the Red Sea and take the long journey across. Just imagine their fear that the walls of water would collapse, the shouts as they ran to escape the Egyptians & their surprise that the path was so dry that their shoes, nor flocks, got stuck in the mud!”
“What about what they saw? It would be like a visit to the North Carolina aquarium that takes you down a path with glass walls on either side, where you can view the fish, sharks and other sea life beside you. But I guess the Israelites must have been in too much of a hurry to take in the the view. Flanked by approximately 672 ft. walls of water, they hustled safely to the other side. With over 600,000 men plus women & children, this would not have been a sprint because they were loaded down with their flocks & all the goodies the Lord had given them from the Egyptians.”
The Israelites rescue from the Egyptians must have boosted their faith. Just like the retelling can boost ours.
Like Jews celebrate Passover…
Christians celebrate the last supper, Jesus’ Passover meal. Luke 22:14-20, Exodus 12:17.
Like Jews celebrate rescue by God from the bondage of slavery …
Christians celebrate rescue by Jesus from the bondage of sin, guilt, unforgiveness, rejection, addiction and
more. Exodus 13:3, Galatians 5:1.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,
and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1
Like Jews celebrate the sacrifice of the paschal lamb….
Christians celebrate the sacrifice of Jesus, the lamb of God. Exodus 12:3-7, Romans 5:8.
Like Jews celebrate the Israelites new life in the promised land….
Christians celebrate eternal life with Jesus in the New Jerusalem. Revelation 21:1-27, Deuteronomy 27:3
And we, as believers in Jesus Christ, celebrate Resurrection Sunday, when Christ rose from the dead!
WHETHER IT’S PASSOVER, RESURRECTION SUNDAY, OR ANY OTHER DAY OF THE YEAR
LET’S ALL CELEBRATE AND
REMEMBER WHAT THE LORD HAS DONE.
What keeps you in bondage?
Heavenly Father, as I write Galatians 5:1 and say it aloud, bring to my mind the goodness You have shown me. Remind me of the freedom from bondage I have in You. In Jesus name, Amen.
BUILD YOUR FAITH BY
REMEMBERING WHAT THE LORD HAS DONE
May your day be filled with love and laughter!
For information on making Jesus Christ your Savior, email me or visit, http://www.peacewithgod.net/
1 For more Passover information – Chosenpeople.com
2 Excerpts from, “Growing Faith One Day at a Time”
Photo boy, alvapablo
Photo locust, frog, Philip Veater
Photo sea, 40iforce