1 Cor. 11:25, He took the cup, saying, this cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
Whether you are a believer, or a non- believer who 'feels' you ended up here accidentally, please be patient and read on, you will be blessed.
It all started for me three years ago, almost to the day. A few months prior, I was a lost soul, hopeless. I wanted to end my life. God was not ready to give up on me, or let me give up, and He carried me to a safe place. My first revelation was: I should never have felt lost as long as He was my Father. My whole view of life, and its purpose, changed in an instant. I knew, beyond a shadow of doubt, Only a true Divine miracle could have saved me. It was as though I had really died, and this new person, with a perspective previously impossible, was reborn. From that point, I was ever so close to my Savior.
It used to be, whenever I could fit Him in, I would praise God. I would go to church, most Sundays, and would maybe squeeze in a few minutes during the week, but, usually only if I needed something. Otherwise, I would ignore Him and deny Him glory. I considered myself a Christian, but, that was the extent of my being one.
My heart was changed that morning in February, when I woke up in the bushes, realizing I was alive and there was only one way that was possible. This is why my favorite scripture is Galatians, 2:20, "It is no longer I who live, but, Christ who lives in me..."
I learned, after that day, God is not an absent God, whom we should just fear, and try to hide from. He wants to be a part of our life. We must truly carry it in our heart that He wants to be involved in our lives, like a true Father. He wants us to focus on Him, in good times and bad times, and trust in Him with all our heart. As so many tried to tell me, I tell you, It is so true. Unfortunately, we humans usually have to learn things the hard way. This is what plants it in our heart. I so admire those who are blessed to have learned the true love of God strictly through faith, without the need of a tragedy to wake them up.
At the same time, I believed my marriage was important. I loved my wife, but had not yet discerned the truth. I had peace about that situation, as my priority was my Lord, and 'making up' for lost time with Him. I knew in my heart, He would take care of all my concerns regarding that, or any other issue in my life. If we just focus on Him, He will be faithful to us and supply us with all our needs. I learned to pray fervently. I didn't pray just because I needed something. I prayed for others and to honor Him. I meditated on the Word and what Jesus went through, to give me life, instead of the death and judgement we deserve.
We cannot conceive of His Passion in the midst of our selfishness. The name Christian is a noun, but, once we become one, it should become a verb (an action word).
One morning I was on my knees, praying fervently, in front of the Crucifix; crying so hard I couldn't see. How can we truly hate our sin if we haven't cried over it? As I prayed Psalm 51 (repenting for my lack of faith), I was completely focused on Jesus, vowing to be faithful, and asking Him to hear me and allow me to serve Him. For (some) reason, I was drawn to reach out to my left, as though (someone) had hold of my arm. I never turned my head in that direction, instead, I was still focusing on the Crucifix in front of me. Unaware it was even there, I picked up my Bible as it laid on a table, approximately three feet away. As I drew it toward me, it fell open to a page which was not full of a bookmark or 'post-it' notes, as it normally would. I stopped sobbing, and wiping my eyes with my right arm, looked down at the bottom of the page, as though in a trance, out of control of my own functions. I started reading aloud, Psalm 66:13-20. I couldn't believe my eyes. I read it again, this time the words broken by the uncontrollable sobbing.
My interpretation: I was making the same vows I made in times of trouble. But, this time I make them with everything I have. I cried aloud to Him and He was extolled with my words. If I had not truly repented, He would not have listened to me, but God has truly listened and has given heed to my prayer.
Can you imagine? You are talking to God, and wondering whether He hears you, and He answers you specifically. Out of 2,000 pages, I was directed to the one page that would only answer me to the point of no doubt. He heard me. He truly heard me. My heart was so full. I was already full of joy, but, now I was unstoppable. I was on fire. I couldn't wait to testify to others.
As a few days passed, I had given testimony to anyone that listened. More and more, though, something kept gnawing at me. It was like an uncontrollable conscience, almost guilty feeling. I felt as though I was missing something. It almost took away from the most perfect revelations which now filled my heart. It grew to eat away at me more and more as time passed. It was the verses God had given me. Not the context, but, the numbers, 13-20. Why would these numbers keep 'haunting' me. It got to the point I was troubled about it, assured I was missing something. I spoke to a couple of people about it, but, to no avail. After several days, I gave up on trying to figure out the mystery of '13-20'.
The next morning I was getting ready to go to the office. As usual, I was listening to my favorite radio sermons. Today, however, Chuck Swindoll was not giving his usual gospel lecture. Instead, he was interviewing a gentleman who was discussing the Passover. I listened with curious interest, as I wondered why a Christian broadcast would be discussing a Jewish holiday. As the man was giving his closing statement, Chuck asked him when is Passover this year. The man replied, "13th through 20th".
I fell to the bed like somebody 'sucker-punched' me. It was like data being downloaded on a hard drive. I stopped what I was doing and began praying. I remember the overwhelming feelings that had engulfed me; one of gratification and relief, the other so pleased, as I knew in my heart, He was pleased with me, that I got it. I felt so Blessed.
It was ALL about the blood; the Lambs blood. The first Passover was arranged by God so we could testify, if we didn't ignorantly reject it. In order to get His chosen people out of Egypt, God's last, and most convincing plague would take the lives of all the first born males. The Jewish people would be unaffected by death with the blood of a pure lamb painted over the door to their habitations. Pharaoh was finally convinced, and God's people were released from their bondage.
In the second Passover, a pure Lamb, Jesus, saved us with His blood. By just having faith, and believing in Him, God spared us from death for our sins, and released us from the bondage of them. This should be the most important celebration of all, to Christians. It is the event which allowed us to be called Christians and have eternal life with Him.
By celebrating Passover we are doing it only to honor the Father and the Son. It brings us to another level of relationship with the Trinity. Unlike other holidays which were originally inspired by Holy events, such as Christmas and Easter, Passover is all about devoting time strictly to our Lord, to Honor Him, for what He did for us; instead of going to a traditional church service, or saying a brief prayer before dinner. Rather than commercial invented baubles and events which lead us away from the true meaning of the holiday, Passover celebration is all about the Lord, and passing on the true meaning to others.
It is not difficult to celebrate for Christians. The hardest part is staying without sin. A traditional Jewish Passover starts with the Seder, or the ceremonial dinner, the eve before Passover officially begins. There is a strict menu and ritual that is adhered to. I have done it, and it is very spiritually rewarding. The whole Jewish Passover is to give thanks to the Lord for the first Passover, and to educate the children, so it is passed on and never fades from their memory. Christians can have an equally rewarding Passover celebration by just having Communion on the eve before the start. I recommend unleavened bread (or Matzoh crackers) and Mannischewitz wine (kosher). Typically, the leader of the family would gather everybody around the table and explain the reason and meaning of Passover. For Christians, obviously, we would explain both Passovers, and the connection. Then, after a prayer, you lift up the bread and ask the Lord to Bless it, in the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. Break the bread into portions and pass it (or matzoh crackers) to everyone. As you do this, you can recite from I Corinthians, 11:23. Now, you spend the rest of the week of Passover in constant fellowship with the Lord and do not sin.
Most Christians think Passover is during Easter, it is not. Although, we should celebrate Good Friday, when our Christ was crucified, Passover is not always during Easter. This year, 2009, it is April 8 -16. Just remember, the more we put into the celebration, the more we will be blessed for it. The blessings you will receive from your incomparable fellowship with our Lord are endless. Your descendants will receive blessings from your faithfulness. When I attempted to tell other Christians of the significance in Christians celebrating Passover, I usually got the same response..."I thought that was a Jewish holiday".
Most Christian Pastors and Evangelists will not recognise Passover, but there are a handful of churches which do. I recommend you check the search engines for your local area church websites and you will probably find one or two sponsoring a Seder, and the community is usually welcome. For a complete menu and the details of carrying out your own Seder. For an article with more of a Theologian view, read "Should Non-Jewish Believers Celebrate Passover", by Dr. John D Garr.
God led you to this article, the same way He led me to writing it. Please, don't pass up this wonderful opportunity to have a closer relationship with Him, and partake. God Bless you.
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