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    Passover for Christians?

    “Wait. Why should I care about Passover? I’m a Christian. Isn’t that a Jewish thing?”        I have frequently heard this response when sharing about “Passover for Christians”. Yes, Passover is a “Jewish thing”, but its also a “Christian thing”! The two are closely related. Jesus celebrated Passover all of His life, including the night before He was crucified. At that meal (Matthew 26:17-30), Jesus instituted the “Lord’s Supper” (Communion), which is one of the two ordinances we observe. By understanding the Passover story, our understanding of the Lord’s Supper is greatly enhanced.         Exodus 12 recounts the dramatic story of the Israelites and their deliverance from Egyptian slavery. In…

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    A new beginning for God’s people

    Exodus 12:1–14 is part of the lectionary readings for the fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, which is September 6th. Previously, God revealed to Moses that He would harden Pharaoh’s heart. Even though the Lord would perform increasingly severe “signs and wonders” (7:3) throughout Egypt, the nation’s ruler would refuse to listen to Moses. Yet, Pharaoh’s stubbornness would only intensify the great “acts of judgment” (v. 4) the Lord would use to bring His people out of Egypt. Furthermore, these miraculous deeds would prove to the Egyptians that the God of Israel was the sovereign Lord of the universe (v. 5). It’s helpful to remember that Egypt was polytheistic, which means the…

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    He Was Not What They Expected

    He criticized the prideful, religious elite and dined with criminals and tax collectors. He spoke to shunned women and healed unclean and contagious lepers. He welcomed little children and gave mercy to the desperate and the weak. (Para español, lea abajo.) “Who is this supposed King? He does not behave as we had expected,” they thought. They expected a warrior king, not a humble servant. They expected a savior from foreign oppression, not a Savior from their sins. They expected their long-awaited ruler to ride victoriously on a horse. The King of Kings rode peacefully on a young donkey. (Zech. 9:9; Matt. 21:5) They waved palm branches and put their…

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    Oh, That’s Why

    Jesus knew what lay in store for him that Passover night. He was on his way to the cross and would experience great agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, followed by Judas’ betrayal of him, Peter’s denial of him, abandonment by the other 10 disciples, and a mock trial held illegally at the home of the high priest. Bothfully God and fully human, Jesus knew that he was about to not only suffer a gruesome and painful physical death, but also separation from the Father as he bore the weight of our sins upon the cross. And yet, notice what Jesus said to his disciples at the beginning of this…

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    The Ultimate Wilderness – Series Finale

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Wilderness Wanderings Series Finale: Learning to Live the Zigzag Life AD 33, 9:00 AM Passover Friday, the Place of the Skull, a public place near Jerusalem.   Many people are coming and going, some stopping to see what was happening, observing three men on crosses, two criminals with Jesus in the middle.   A large crowd had followed the crucifixion detail out of the city to the place of execution, the place of the ultimate wilderness…  No one knew it was the ultimate wilderness on that spring morning. Not the Pharisees or the Sadducees, the instigators of the crucifixion. Not the high…

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    Around the Table: Why Gathering Matters

      Gathering is nothing new. All throughout sacred history, women and men have been gathering around tables to celebrate, reflect, feast, and remember. From Israel’s inception the sacrificial system ushered people into God’s presence and then around a table as they often enjoyed a meal as part of their offerings and festivals. In the book of Ruth, Boaz sat around the table with his workers, inviting an unknown Moabite woman to eat of his bread. In Psalms David celebrated God’s banquet table. And in the New Testament, Jesus gathered around tables with friends and sinners, and then he instituted his memorial supper around over the Passover meal as he and…