Does your family have any traditions that are times of celebrations? More than likely, you do. It’s a way that we stay connected to our heritage. There are some traditions that probably should be changed, but there are those traditions that are so rich in meaning that it would be detrimental to a groups history by bringing change. To this day, Jews still observe Passover and the Feast of Unleavened bread. What is significant about this celebrations? In our reading today, we will learn about the historical event that is still celebrated even now.
Read Exodus 12:1-42
Blood was shed almost immediately after The Fall of humanity to make a covering (Genesis 3:21). From then, we begin to see sacrifices given to God. The first time we see this happen, God would not accept the half-hearted harvest gift of Cain but received the firstlings of Abels animal sacrifice (Gen. 4:3-5). Now, God commands that the blood of each family’s lamb be placed on their doorpost. God would pass over each house with the blood applied and the meal observed but would take the life of each firstborn in the homes that did not follow the command. The house that was covered was saved from wrath. It is also interesting to note at this point that the word atonement means, “covering.” When Christ atoned for our sins, he shed his blood, covered us with God’s grace and saves us from wrath. What an incredible foreshadowing of things to come that God painted for us in the Old Testament.
God had Moses tell the people, “And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’s Passover” (Ex. 12:11). It sounds like God means business. I take this statement as two-fold. First, God is telling the people that the judgment on Egypt and the deliverance of the Israelites will be so complete, that the people will be quickly ushered out of the country. Secondly, it was an act of faith to take in the meal with their running shoes on. Do we have such confidence in God’s Word? God said he would deliver them and so they should be ready to go at the exact moment He says, “Go!” Is your life ready for an immediate act of obedience?
The reason given for making an annual tradition of the Passover and Feast of the Unleavened Bread was for the children, future generations. Sometimes, when we start to change a tradition, we hear someone say, “But, this is the way we have always done it.” That statement demonstrates a low understanding about the purpose of traditions. Traditions are not about preserving the old paths as an end to themselves. Instead, traditions keep history as a way to teach future generations. In this particular case, it was to show the children about God’s deliverance and favor on Israel. How many other traditions do we currently have that are kept for the wrong purpose rather than teaching future generations about what God has done in the past? Traditions can show us what God has done and can still perform today.