This year I've had a fresh look at Easter. I work in a Jewish subacute care facility, and this week was Passover. All week long I watched the observant residents don their caps and prayer shawls and gather to sing and pray and celebrate God's deliverance of His people from slavery in Egypt thousands of years ago.
"...each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. 4 ...Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. 8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. 9 ... 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD's Passover.
12 "On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn—both men and animals—and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.
14 "This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD -a lasting ordinance...
17 "Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come." Exodus 12: 3-17
Many of these faithful bear the marks of imprisonment in Nazi death camps - scars and ID numbers tattooed on their wrinkled arms. Their understanding of deliverance is so much deeper than mine, but just being around them and seeing their faith has strengthened mine. I am so thankful that Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for me and all of the other lost souls of this world. I am so thankful that He rose again. The perfect Lamb of God to deliver us from slavery and death - to take away the sins of the world.
1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.2There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."
8So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me." Matthew 28 1-10