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Let’s Celebrate

By Pastor Jack Marbida

Before the pandemic began, it was so easy for people to get together to celebrate. There is overflowing food and drink, and laughter everywhere. Now it is almost impossible to get together. But we can all still feast on the word of God. Do you feel God’s goodness when you read His word? Like you are celebrating with Him? And while you are feasting on His word, you are being changed little by little.

When talking about celebrations, traditions come to mind. In the Philippines, come April and May, fiestas abound. You are welcome to eat in different houses during these celebrations. But why do you make a big deal out of these traditions? Do they bring you closer to God and make your relationship with Him better? These are good questions to ask yourself.

The Passover is celebrated in the Jewish calendar and this year, it was observed on March 28-April 4, 2021. Why is this important? In Exodus 12:1-12, the Bible tells the story of the Passover: “The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. 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. That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs. Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 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. On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 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. “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.

The Passover is simply God passing-over the houses of the Israelites so that they will not fall under His judgement. This was the 10th plague that God was going to let the Egyptians experience, the death of the first born sons. God knew pharaoh was going to let them go after this event.

Obedience. Upon studying these verses, you can feel the hand of God upon His chosen people, the Israelites. They were asked to to choose a young lamb to slaughter and share with others if needed. When you obey, there is a blessing waiting for you. You may not see it right away but God says so in the Bible. God has tasked everyone with specific duties that some do not take seriously. They may be simple things such as reconciling with family and friends and the like. But if you do not obey, you will not receive your blessing. That is why you can celebrate. When you obey, blessings abound

Freedom from slavery The Israelites already got used to life under slavery in Egypt. Nowadays, there might be sins that enslave you. Maybe because you have not fully surrendered and do not fully know your Savior, Jesus Christ. He died on the cross and became the passover lamb for you. These things continuously torment you. You may believe that some of the things you do can help you get away from these sins. But only Jesus Christ can free you from all of it. It is only by God’s grace that you live.

Ultimate Victory. Jesus says that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. You have to be free from the traditions passed on to you by previous generations to be able to receive this. The ultimate victory is for the Israelites to get out of slavery. For Christians, it is salvation for everyone. Ephesians 1:7 says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.’’ Even if you die on earth, you will be with Jesus in heaven. The Israelites marked their houses with the blood of the lamb. Christians mark their bodies with the blood of Christ.

Jesus is chosen by the people on the same day as the Passover lambs. He cleanses His Father’s home when the people are cleansing their homes of leaven. Jesus suffers and dies as the Passover lambs are slaughtered in the temple. Then He rises from the dead. He is the true Passover lamb. Because of Him, we are redeemed from bondage and slavery. Because of the blood of Jesus Christ, we are protected from the destroying angel and allowed once again to enter the presence of the Father. Truly, as John the Baptist stated, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Because of the obedience of the Israelites, we all have victory. When you have Jesus Christ in your life, you will have victory and peace as well. Celebrations nowadays may not be as grand as they used to be, but the feasting in your heart with the word of God can be done all the time. If you do not dwell in the presence of God, you cannot experience the feast. Read His word. Surrender your life to Him. Come to His table. Eat and drink. `


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