Monday, March 29, 2010

Memorization Monday

This week is Holy Week. I've just read the conclusion to one of my
favorite bible stories ever! Its not so much the story, but what the
story means in the big picture of Christianity.
Joseph, one of twelve sons of Jacob, is sold to the Egyptians by his
brothers. This sets up the best story. In Egypt, after years in
service to the king then in prison, Joseph funds himself interpreting
the King's dreams and then overseeing a stockpile of food in
preparation for a famine. His family goes to Egypt to buy food. He
recognizes them. They all come out. Jacob dies. The family (12
brothers and wives and children who become the twelve tribes of
Israel) stays in Egypt. Then they become too big to the King and they
become slaves. Eventually God sends Moses to rescue them, but not
without a few plagues and hardening of Pharoh's heart first. The last
plague is the angel of death, which was avoided by sacrificing a lamb
and painting its blood on the doorposts. Thus was born the tradition
of the Passover lamb. A holiday that Jews take very seriously. Its
very meaningful. As it should be.
Thousands of years later Christ was crucified as our permanent Passover lamb.
I used to think that if the one little act by the brothers didn't
happen, the Jews never wouldve been slaves to Egypt. But we wouldn't
have our imagery and meaning of Christ as the Passover lamb and we
wouldn't understand or appreciate it. All of Jewish history would be
completely different. One small act by jealous boys and men set up
the greatest selfless act in all eternity!
Anyway ... At the end of the exodus story is the ten commandments.
Moses says, in Exodus 20:20,
Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to rest you, in order that
the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.
The Jewish people didn't know who God was. He didn't speak to them
the way He spoke to Jacob and Isaac and Abraham. This was really
their first personal encounter with God. All they had were stories
before. Now its real and personal. And God wants the best for them,
so He gave them rules to live by and a guideline for life. So that
they wouldn't sin and He could remain with them.
I get chills thinking of the importance of this story. I love it.
And in Holy Week its very meaningful as we prepare to remember
Christ's humble entry on a donkey into Jerusalem (yesterday ... Palm
Sunday), and the Last Supper celebration of Passover, Good Friday, and
ultimately Easter or Resurrection Sunday!
Thank you Lord for your Son.

No comments: