This Good Friday as we gather for worship, Jewish people all over the world will be celebrating Passover. The feast of Passover has always been a favorite of mine. Growing up in Israel each year my family would celebrate this holiday. The traditional celebration includes the retelling of Israel’s exodus from Egypt and how the Lord freed us from being slaves in Egypt. The people of Israel were suffering under very difficult conditions. They experienced death, pain and persecution on a regular basis and there seemed to be no way out. But God provided a way. In Exodus 12:21-27 Moses gives the leaders in Israel instructions and if they would follow, the blood of the lamb would deliver them from the death of the 10th plague, and ultimately redeem them out of slavery and into the promised land.
As this holiday season approaches, I have reflected on the Exodus story and this passage. I wonder how many did not believe Moses and the elders when they were instructed to put the blood of the lambs on their lintel and two doorposts? How many of them said, ‘this is ridiculous, we are not doing this silly thing. We thought that the other plagues would deliver us but they did not, we are done! We are not hurting these innocent lambs.’
Recently I have experienced some family hardship and tremendous pain. Someone that I love very much would not listen to wise counsel. In fact, this person ignored our advice and acted in their own way with no regards to their family. I would guess that most of us have been on both sides of this table; sometimes giving and sometimes receiving wise advice. At times we follow these Godly men and women and at times we don’t. I know that I am guilty as charged.
I hope that not too many neglected to put the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of their home, but I know that some probably did not listen. In Scripture it is very rare that all people follow the Lord. We always find those who do not. From the text we have no indication how many did not obey, but we do know that those who did not obey the Lord experienced heartbreaking death in their home. We also know that this disobedience did not mean they were not allowed to leave the land of Egypt, they most likely did. Even these disobedient Israelites received their chance in inheriting the promised land, whether they deserved it or not. Even disobedience and the harsh experience of the 10th plague did not separate them from the faithful awesome delivering love of God. They paid a price for their disobedience, but they were still freed.
God is not far from our situation. God understands for He too paid a price. Jesus did not pay the price because of His disobedience but because of ours. Jesus went to the cross and died for our sins, even though He is the perfect lamb of God. Those of us who believe in the Gospel, no matter our own performance, will be delivered from death and suffering. Maybe not today, but God has promised us eternal life in His presence forever. God is a promise keeper, He will keep His word. Even when we disobey, and we all do, the truth of the Gospel remains, we have a secure inheritance and eternal life for all those who believe.
This holy week, my prayers are over those who know the Lord but are not necessarily following His ways. As a community, many in our midst may be missing these loved ones in our Holy Week services. If this is you, please know that God has your loved one securely in His hands. Let’s pray for these precious image bearers to come back, to repent, knowing that no matter what they have done or will do, nothing can separate them from God’s love in Christ Jesus.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Dan Sered and his family have been members of GRC since 2020. Dan serves as Chief Operations Officer of Jews for Jesus.