“And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be one you to destroy you...” (Exodus 12:3-13)
It is hardly imaginable what a horror the night of the Passover must have been. At midnight, a great cry rang out. There was not one house in the land of Egypt that was spared from death. On that night, the Destroyer had gone through all of Egypt and put to death every firstborn male. On this night, Egypt was one great nation of mourning.
But Israel, on this hellish night, was safe. She is safe because her houses have been covered by the blood of the Passover lamb. Seeing the blood of the lamb on their doors, the angel of death passes over and does not strike the children of God.
Instead of weeping and wailing, there are songs of rejoicing in the houses of Israel. And along with the rejoicing there is eating. The Passover lamb is to be roasted over the fire. It is to be kept intact, not even one bone is to be broken. As it is roasted, the lamb is suspended on two cross-shaped pieces of wood. This is to be a family meal. Outsiders are not permitted. Along with the lamb, bitter herbs are also eaten to remind the Israelites of their condition – they are not to forget the cruel bondage from which they are being delivered. And the clothes worn at this meal are those of people ready to travel at a moment’s notice.
As it was in Egypt, so it is today. There is not one household that has been spared from the enemy of death. Disease, accidents, violent weather, war – death has been very busy – making the whole world one of mourning. But for you, who are part of the New Israel, you are safe from this hellish night of death. In the midst of this night of death there is nothing but songs of rejoicing. You are covered by the Blood of the true Passover Lamb; the Lamb without spot or blemish; the Lamb whose Blood is now splashed on the door frame of your heart.
And along with the rejoicing comes the eating. For you, the Lamb of God was roasted over the fire of the Father’s wrath, being suspended on two cross-shaped pieces of wood. For you, not one bone was broken. And now, when all is ready, Christ, your Passover Lamb offers all of Himself to you to eat and to drink. This eating is to be a family meal. Along with this eating come the bitter herbs of sorrow and repentance. And you eat this meal clothed in your Baptismal robe, ready to leave for your eternal home at a moment’s notice. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Daily Lectionary: Genesis 24:32-52, 61-67 (25:1-26:35); St. Mark 8:1-21
Lenten Reflections have been written by Reverend Daniel J. Feusse. Pastor Feusse is pastor at Concordia Lutheran Church in Clearwater, NE.
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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