Pesach 1
For the week of April 7, 2012 / 15 Nisan 5772
Torah: Shemot / Exodus 12:21-51;
Bemidbar / Numbers 28:19-25
Haftarah: Joshua 5:2-6:1, 6:27


God's Story/Our Story/Your Story

For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you. (Shemot / Exodus 12:23; ESV)

Over the past while I have been very taken with seeing the Bible as God's story. As God's story, the Bible is the only true story of life. The world is full of many ways of looking at life. Each one of these ways is a story to some extent. Most cultures and societies carry with them a story of what life is all about. These stories might be deep and complex or simple and superficial, but it is through the acceptance of one story or another that most people find some sort of meaning in life.

The Bible tells us that God's story is one of rescue. God created a good world and filled it with life. Our first parents rebelled again God's direction and thrust the creation into death and decay. But from those earliest days, the Scriptures tell us that God's intent was to resolve our terrible predicament by destroying evil - both its source and effects. The outworking of God's plan, which forms the essence of this story, focuses on Abraham and his descendants, the people of Israel, as the chosen nation through whom God's rescue operation would be accomplished. Though Israel itself is part of the same predicament all people find themselves in, God in his wisdom through Israel would raise up a King, the Messiah, as Rescuer of all - all who trust in him.

In order to truly understand what it was that King Messiah came to do, we need to see his life, death, resurrection, ascendancy, and promised return against the backdrop of the story of Israel.

Passover, which we commemorate this week (evening of April 6, 2012), is a foundational part of Israel's story and therefore a foundational part of God's story. For through what God did for Israel long ago, we have a glimpse of God's intention for all people everywhere. It would be Passover specifically that Yeshua the Messiah would use to help his followers understand who he is and what he came to do as the climax of God's story.

The desperate bondage of Israel under the oppressive control of Egypt illustrates the plight from which we all need to be rescued. The slavery to which Israel succumbed, as awful as it was, pales in comparison to the servitude to sin and evil to which we all are bound. The powerful hand of God which rescued Israel in their helplessness reaches out to rescue us today from our oppressive bondage.

Passover calls Jewish people everywhere to reconnect with this story. At this time I am to tell my children, "It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt" (Shemot / Exodus 13:8; ESV). Though I wasn't literally there, as a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, I am intimately connected to this great event. I am a descendant of slaves, but I am a free man today. God's story is Israel's story is my story.

But Israel's story can be your story too. That which God did for my people and through them for me, he desires to do for you today - but far greater than what happened at the first Passover long ago. Just as the destroyer passed over those homes in Egypt who accepted God's direction to apply the blood of the Passover Lambs to their doors, so anyone who accepts God's direction to apply the Messiah's blood upon their lives will experience a greater rescue than that of physical slavery - rescue from sin, evil, and even death itself.

Just as Israel was set free to serve God in the Promised Land, so through the Messiah all people can be free to serve the God of Israel anywhere in the world. This is God's story; this is Israel's story; it can be your story.

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