Contributed by Brett Ahern
When we think about Passover, it's usually about the Hebrew's exodus from Egypt. For Christians it may also include John the Baptist's declaration, "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." And Jesus’ crucifixion at Passover time is often blended into Easter's observance.
God packed a lot into the roots of Passover because He is revealing so much of His heart in it. God structured three land transition events for Israel to occur in a row at Passover. Israel left Canaan and entered Egypt on Passover (Exodus 12:41), left Egypt for the wilderness on Passover and left the wilderness to enter the Promised Land about Passover (Joshua 4:19).
Each time it was a transition from one land to another, from one kingdom experience to another. This theme is utilized in the New Testament as part of the explanation as to what happens to us with our own personal Passover: accepting Jesus as our Messiah transitions us from the power of darkness into His Kingdom (Colossians 1:13-14). Much of Paul's New Testament teaching launches with, “Don't you know what has happened to you? You have transitioned! Why would you be that way when this is your new reality?”
Joseph had to heal the divisions in his family to accomplish his Passover mission. His brothers sold him into slavery and God raised him up in Egypt to a leadership role, where he was able to create healing situations in his family. He turned them from a callous mob into a united family, willing to lay down their lives for one another. He brought love home.
Miriam, Moses and Aaron each played a significant role in standing up to the Egyptian culture to accomplish the Exodus Passover for their people. Pharaoh ordered that all Hebrew male babies were to be killed at birth. Genocide had begun. Miriam participated in the rebellion when her mother placed her brother, baby Moses, in a basket to float down the Nile River. Miriam followed and risked death by volunteering to assist the royal family member who found him. Her name was popular throughout Israel's history, and appears in the anglicized version of the New Testament as Mary.
Joshua had to keep the people dedicated to functioning in divinely guided warfare to accomplish his Passover mission of taking them from the wilderness into the Promised Land. His name was also popular in Israel's history, and also appears in its anglicized form in the New Testament as Jesus.
Joseph's family was dedicated to unity, Miriam/Mary was dedicated to cultural rebellion for the sake of her family and Joshua/Jesus was dedicated to keeping the nation united and separated from the surrounding cultures, as they possessed the Promise Land. At Passover, God established the three freedoms needed to develop a liberty people, able to live life richly with God.
These three people also 'happen' to be in Jesus' family: Joseph, Mary (Miriam) and Jesus (Joshua). These three names are there again at His crucifixion. Christ's origin and destiny are infused with these three historical Passover experiences and persons. Uniting, rebelling and possessing are all needed for the fullness of Passover to be accomplished in us.
For Christians being Christ's active body, these are becoming our experiences and our personalities. This is who we are and what we do. We live Christ's life to bring people into their needed Passover experience so they are free to progress in their relationship with God: uniting with His family, rebelling against the cultural diseases and possessing the life of God's promises. Then they can go on to Pentecost's giftedness and Sukkot/Tabernacle's fruitfulness.
What is God developing in you this Passover? Unity, cultural rebellion or living in His Promises? What does this mean for your seven-week journey to Pentecost? Increasing your giftedness? Enabling you to develop more fruit of the Spirit?
In your service to others, does one of these apply to your life circle at this time; to a part or all? Is God calling you to a dedication for a Passover role this coming year? In what way?
It appears God's heart for us at Passover is for us to ask ourselves deeply meaningful, purposeful and transformative questions.