“The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.”
This is the Old Testament reading for Proper 18, the fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost. It will be read aloud on Sunday, September 10, 2017. It is a story all adult Christians have heard many times, as it is the most important element of the book Exodus.
While few Christians observe the “perpetual ordinance” of the Passover (reason for this reading being spotlighted deep into the Ordinary Time calendar) and devout Jews recreate the meal ordered by God, symbolically, the sacrifice of young livestock (enough to feed millions) dwindled after the fall of the second Temple of Jerusalem. The smearing of goat or sheep blood on doorways appears to be a once-in-a-lifetime practice, because (after all) the freed Israelites did not have fixed housing in the wilderness of the Sinai. However, the element of blood has been replaced by the ceremonial cups of wine that are ritually consumed during the Seder meal.
Remember how Jesus referred to the Seder matzo as his body and the cup of wine as his blood? The cup of wine he referred to was the third ceremonial cup of wine, called the Kos Shlishi, which follows the Bareich (Grace after Meals). This third cup (poured before the blessing (Birkat Hamazon) is commonly called the Cup of Blessing.
Therefore, the symbolism Jesus was pointing out was: A.) He was the unblemished sacrificial lamb, symbolized by unleavened bread; and B.) His blood must be smeared on the doorway of one’s soul, symbolized as alcoholic wine (not unfermented grape juice) being consumed that then circulates through the blood system, so when it reaches the heart one enters an altered state of being.
When Moses wrote what the LORD commanded of the Israelites – “This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.” – the focus placed on a “day” of “remembrance,” which is then seen as the calendar date the Israelites escaped death, the deeper purpose of this command is missed. Missing that deeper meaning means one misses the deeper meaning of the new covenant Jesus presented.
Christians may or may not feel an obligation to follow an order given by God to the Israelites. Christians may hate Jews because they think they denied Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah. Jews may feel they are blessed by God because they ritualistically follow an order by God, through Moses; and Jews may believe that blessing remains intact, regardless of how most of them today are still waiting for that promised savior to come.
The reality is that nobody gets to heaven because they eat unleavened bread (matzo or wafers) or they drink commemorative wine (Mogen David, not Welch’s). The deeper meaning of all Scripture is found by looking beyond the physical meaning and realizing a personal relationship with God. God is speaking directly to YOU in all stories in the Holy Bible (Torah, Psalms, Prophets, Gospels, and letters from the Apostles). Therefore, YOU have to hear God telling the same instruction He told to Moses: “This day shall be a day of remembrance for YOU. YOU shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout YOUR generations YOU shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.”
Because YOU (Christian or Jew) are not an Israelite in Egypt thousands of years ago, and YOU probably do not own any sheep or goats, much less know how to properly inspect one for blemishes or butcher one, YOU can only read God speaking those words to YOU symbolically. Jesus Christ is YOUR sacrificial lamb and YOUR human body is the home for YOUR soul. YOU will only escape the cycle of death that life on the mortal plane is when you stop making you (little tiny letters) the god (little tiny letters) of God’s soul.
Eternal death is the repeating of life in one physical body after another physical body, all temporal in their presence, while always seeing the Earth as your personal play world, with heaven little more than an idyllic dream world. Death is then reincarnation, where each human life is a repeated incarnation that leads to another physical end. It is like a record player reaching the end of a record and then beginning to play the same tunes again, only ceasing when one stops the record player from playing and takes the record off the turntable.
That breaking of the record, so to speak, can only occur when YOUR soul becomes protected by the Blood of Christ.
You are not filled with the Blood of Christ by professing faith and only eating wafers and drinking a sip of priest-blessed wine. When you have been reborn as Jesus Christ, then “YOU shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord.” The “day of remembrance” is when YOU stopped serving you (little tiny letters) and began serving God … as did Jesus of Nazareth from birth. This means YOUR Passover, from the reincarnation of death to eternal life, is a festival celebrated every day!
That day is like YOUR wedding day, when YOU married God, giving birth to the Christ Mind within YOU.
After that day, you are not just married one day each year, or for an hour each (or some) Sundays (or Saturdays), YOU are filled with the Holy Spirit forevermore.
At which point you act like God has set YOU free from you (little tiny letters).
I just thought it was important to point this out.