Monday, April 18, 2011

Jesus: Peter, Judas and the Easter Bunny

The kids and I have been studying passover and how it correlates to the resurrection of Jesus the past few weeks. I think as Christians, it is important to remember the reasons why those old testament holidays were celebrated... it helps us to understand our christian heritage. After all, Jesus was a jew. He celebrated all the old festivals that are still celebrated today in Jewish culture. And while the jews were ordered to celebrate this feast forever as a rememberance...
And this day shall be unto you for a memorial, and ye shall keep it a feast to the ETERNAL; throughout your generations ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever

A rememberance of where the Lord had brought the hebrew people from, how He had grace and mercy upon them and He protected them from all the plagues. They were to remember and pass it down from one generation to the next. And so, we spent some time this week...discussing the life of Moses, How the Lord used him, the 10 plagues and how they affected the Egyptian people and how they would have built up the hebrew people to prepare them for this great journey and free them from captivity.... and how they remember by learning the symbols of a traditional seder dinner and it's signifigance. As christians I do think these truths are important.

But tomorrow... we will discuss the resurrection.

and I think that so many aspects of Jesus's passover meal with his disciples bore so much signifigance in regards to his resurrection. I mean it was a typical passover, right?

Of course not! They had just watched Jesus blaze triumphantly into town days earlier in a way they had never seen. sure He drew crowds, but not crowds that acheived the celebrity status they did that week. People followed them everywhere. He was th coolest cat in town. The disciples were now in the in crowd. right?

John 12:13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.
But once they finish their passover meal something changes. Jesus takes off his robe, wraps it around him in the fashion of a servant and begins to wash His disciples feet. Can you imagine? The God of the universe bowing before you washing your feet? And back then roads werent paved, they were sandy and trodden by every man and beast alike. And one by one He kneels in front of each disciple washing their feet. and Peter looks at Him and says probably something I would have said

 John 12:8(a)Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet.

and Jesus doesnt skip a beat...

John 12:8 (b) Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
Arent we often too much like Peter?
I am.
I fnd at this time of year I often scoff at the pagan symbols rather than focus on the resurrected Christ. Jesus. Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Humbled himself at this point to wash the disciples feet. An act of love. an act of service. an act of humility that forshadowed the rest of that week.
And before Judas left his feet had been washed by Jesus.
An act of forgiveness.
I bet that was one object lesson that stuck with him as he betrayed his Lord.
That night I think Jesus took passover to a whole new level.

John 12:26-27Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly
Then I think wow. I am not just like Peter. in a way I am like Judas too. I dont think I would sell out my Lord like he did... but don't I?
I mean.
There are clearly pagan symbols in Easter
Do I focus more on avoiding those symbols and bashing people that particapate in Easter egg hunts, and exactly which day the Resurrection falls on? Or do I even still practice some of those pagan in nature and word traditions? Or maybe the real question is.... does it even matter?

Do I think as Christians it is important to know the origins of the word Easter or even what the eggs & bunnies represent? yes. it is important to know what we honor should we choose to participate in sunch activities. But even the days of the week are named after pagan Gods. Does that mean I worship a Norse God on Tuesday? No. I simply name a day of the week. Likewise I think we get too hung up on exactly which Day Christ died. or Rose.

I think this is a holiday where it is widely accepted to attended a church service. But hearts are softened this time of year. God is AMAZING that way!

I guess what I am saying. Is whether we celebrate passover- teach it's signifigance to your children. It is part of your inheritance in Christ. But we are not jewish... we are grafted in- and I am so very glad of this! Remember...  and read through those last days and hours leading up to the cross. Jesus extended grace and forgiveness knowing exactly what Judas went to do. Let's not get lke Peter, thinking we are too good and always remember we are saved by grace. Be a servant and extend invitations to lots and lots and lots of people whether or not you know them, or are evn comfortable doing so. And if... you made it through this long winded post... and you havnt been to church in a few weeks, a few months, a few years, a few decades.... or maybe not ever. This Resurrection Sunday. Get up a bit earlier and race to your nearest Bible believeing Christ honoring Church and celebrate the Resurrected Christ. Perhaps you too will find the tomb empty and your heart FULL!

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