Christian Faith and Practice Through Passover

Hot off the production line, our new video Christian Faith and Practice Through Passover (and Unleavened Bread and First Fruits) explains the simple steps for believers to show our love of the Father and our Messiah Jesus the Christ by observing the Passover.

We talk about the biblical specifics, the difference between tradition and the Bible, the calendar, and circumcision. Following the Bible is easy. It’s the traditions of men that make it difficult.

Shalom
Bruce

Passover 2014

We are getting ready for our lamb barbecue tomorrow night, looking forward to spending time showing love for God by doing as He commands His people to do. We touch God and touch each other in an intimate fellowship that goes way past the physical markers and deep into a spiritual connection. His love flows to us, and our love flows back and between. We remember what God has done for His people, is doing, and will do. Remember means to speak or act on behalf of someone, which is why we can “remember” the future promises of God.

Some are speaking of the “blood moons” that will appear on this Passover and the Tabernacles celebration this year, as well as the same two holidays next year. I’m not big into that stuff, but it probably has some significance. Coupled with the increase in earthquakes, volcanic activity, and cultural degradation, we can definitely see that labor pains for the world are increasing. Maintaining our love for God through His commands is coming under attack at a greater intensity, but He said a “falling away” would happen before the end. Therefore be encouraged and keep your faith strong, standing on the Rock of His Word and our Savior Jesus the Christ.

I feel sorry for those who do not participate in God’s holidays, either because they just don’t follow God or because they classify His living oracles as “old” or “outdated” or for another group besides believers. Paradise awaits a change from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh, sensitive and trembling at His Word. All it takes is humble obedience to find out the nature of real love and spiritual renewal and refreshment. I feel sorry for those who choose their own way, like Cain, substituting their own understanding for God’s Word and offering slovenly disobedience through physical symbols such as ham and bunnies. The symbols show the disobedience in the balance of their lives, corrupt and unclean and spurning the love that is waiting. Compromise shows its fruit in sexual immorality and unfruitfulness through acceptance of behavior God said would cause death. No wonder they are known for hypocrisy. One cannot practice hate for God in trashing His commands and expect God to accept the resulting uncleanness using the cosmic eraser of Jesus. If we harbor iniquity in our hearts, our offerings mean nothing. “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:7)

Rejoice, children of God. Look up for our redemption draweth nigh. Stand strong in the Lord and the power of His might. Pursue righteousness through humble submission to every word of His glorious instructions. Hold fast to the hope He has given, practicing as best we can every tiny utterance from our loving God and Savior Jesus our Messiah. Eat His body and drink His blood, taking in every breath from God through His Word and breathing it back to Him. Rejoice as our meager offerings of obedience gain His regard and we find acceptance in Him because of our love and practice of His Word.

Shalom
Bruce

Draw Near

If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. (Exodus 12:48, ESV)

If any one term is the closest to the reason I follow the whole Bible, this is it. The term I’m speaking of is “come near.” In my view this is what Torah is all about. The term can be used for simply getting together (if we are talking about a pair or group of people), but when one of the parties is God it takes on a whole different character. We can “come near” God for judgment as in Malachi 3:5, or we can come near in love and intimacy. A similar term is “draw near.”

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8, ESV)

We “draw near” to God as we do what He says. The more we do, the closer we get. In humility we use His living oracles to wash the parts of us that get dirty. Though He has cleansed us wholly, we still need to wash occasionally.

Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” (John 13:10, ESV)

We are clean, but we still need to wash some in order to continue “drawing near.” Notice that Jesus did the foot washing during the Passover meal. Jesus continues to wash our feet by the washing of the Word as we “draw near” to Him through His commands. There is a continual cleansing by His Law because we are in a dirty world and sometimes we step in something odoriferous that needs to be removed. If we judge (cleanse) ourselves and wash our hands (or feet) then Jesus doesn’t have to judge us. His eye is on us for good and not for evil.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. (Psalm 32:8–9, ESV)

Shalom

Eating Out Without Leaven

When you’re on the road, trying to find food without leaven is a little more difficult than at home. Though each meal took a little more planning on a trip we took recently, that was time to reflect on God’s ways and the reasons for following them. Each menu decision was flavored with love for God, and God’s love for us. We wanted to skip leaven as He instructed because He loves us so much. We get to love Him back a little by slight diet changes. He dies a tortured, painful bloody death on an execution stake and we return a tiny bit of that love by eating crackers. What a deal.

Of course, it’s far more difficult to remove the sin, symbolized by the leaven, than it is to find a restaurant that isn’t centered around leavened bread. It’s a little hard to eat a sandwich without the bread. But a week making decisions about bread translates to keeping the removal of sin in focus too. And it’s a great kick start to a habit of removing a particular sin.

Passover 2013

The Passover meal is Monday March 25th. Tuesday the 26th and Monday April 1st are Sabbaths. From Monday night through Monday we will be eating unleavened bread with our meals. Before Passover we will remove all the food products with leaven in them from our home.

The Passover meal is a family time with a lamb barbecue. The lamb we roast with a marinade discovered by Susan and some allspice. We have walking sticks (staffs) and coats close by, and we don’t dally over the meal. We also eat some cheroseth (apples and cinnamon) and we use horseradish for the lamb (bitter herbs). There is some prayer and bread from His Word (Bible reading) to remember what Jesus did for us with His death and resurrection. He is the one who makes Passover and all it means possible. That’s why we burn up all our leftovers, and return a small part of His love by abiding in His commands.

If you’ve been celebrating the godless whitewashed pagan fertility feast of Easter, nowhere to be found in Scripture, consider abiding in His whole Word instead. Let the pagans have their day back, and worship with us in the God-anointed festival of Passover instead. Touch God and be touched through the new covenant of love from a heart of flesh for every Word from His mouth.