Tag Archives: Passover

Exodus 10-12; Ephesians 2

Captive 430 years.

40 The people of Israel had lived in Egypt for 430 years. 41 In fact, it was on the last day of the 430th year that all the Lord’s forces left the land. 42 On this night the Lord kept his promise to bring his people out of the land of Egypt. So this night belongs to him, and it must be commemorated every year by all the Israelites, from generation to generation. (Exodus 12:40, NLT)

A ruler’s hardened heart.

Signs of such magnitude, so all will know.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Return to Pharaoh and make your demands again. I have made him and his officials stubborn so I can display my miraculous signs among them. I’ve also done it so you can tell your children and grandchildren about how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and about the signs I displayed among them—and so you will know that I am the Lord.” (Exodus 10:1-2, NLT)

Modern day captive.

Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. (Ephesians 2:1-3, NLT)

Modern day hardened hearts.

Signs of such magnitude, so all will know.

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:4-10, NLT)

Father, Savior, King of my heart–I’m grateful for your work in my life, your love and mercy. Celebrating you, praising you. Saved by grace. Created anew. Grateful.

Courtney (66books365)

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Exodus 19; Luke 22; Job 37; 2 Corinthians 7

If you come to my house, chances are you will end up sitting at my favorite piece of furniture, the kitchen table. It’s made of solid black walnut grown and handcrafted in the hills of Arkansas. This table means so much to me; it seems that my family grew up here. It’s nicked and scarred. You can see the indentations left by my children’s pencils as they learned to write and work math problems. Around this table we shared countless meals and stories. It was here that our family identity was forged. If I only had one evening left to live, I would spend it here, breaking bread and listening to the stories of those I love best.

His last evening, shortly before he was betrayed, Jesus went to share the table with those he loved.

I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” Luke 22:15,16.

They broke bread and shared the Passover story throughout the meal. It was here at the table that his disciples found a new history and a new identity. They became the people of the new covenant. They heard words that would take a lifetime to appreciate.

For I tell you I will not drink again the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes. This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me… This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured our for you. Luke 22:18-20

My earthly table is one of life’s pleasures, but will one day be gone. No matter where I go, I am always invited, always encouraged to come to my Father’s table and be reminded of how he sacrificially loves me and whose family I belong to. As someone who loves good food and company, I want to celebrate the wonders of my Father’s table.

Kathy

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Ex.11,12:21; Luke 14; Job 29; I Cor. 15

I see death in every chapter. Death in Exodus to those without the mark of blood upon their doorway. Death to self in Luke for those who would be a disciple of Christ. Death in Job of everything he knew, his words a reminiscent and sorrowful, “I thought, surely …” And death itself in 1 Corinthians 15.

But there is also life: life for God’s chosen; life at the feast for the poor, crippled, blind and lame; new life beyond what we know now; and resurrection through Christ.

42 It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. 43 Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. 44 They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 NLT.

I think hard on the cost of discipleship, of the things I hold onto, even to the excuses I might give to decline God’s call: am I so busy that I do not attend the banquet he has prepared? This feast woven through chapters: of passover, the parable of the banquet–do I hold onto the comfortable and the dear like Job (even to things past?), or do I reach out and forward to earth and soil–a yes to transformation?

God speaks into my life and says, “Go!” and what is my reply? Am I making excuses? Am I waiting for someone else to do it? Has the salt lost its flavor? Lord, I want to make the days count–to be marked by you and your grace. Help me to work enthusiastically for you.

Paul says: But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. 1 Corinthians 15:10 NLT.

Lord, I don’t want my life to be marked by complacency. I don’t want to look back and see your invitation buried underneath a list of excuse. Help me to align my thoughts and my days to your will. (I know you will! I know you are!)

58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. 1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT.

Courtney (66books365)

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2 Chronicles 29, 30; Acts 19:21-41

Invitations, specially delivered.

I’m sensitive to words. This scene in 2 Chronicles 30 choked me up.

God invites: come back.

It’s the same invitation he offers the world today. He is gracious and merciful, still.

“O people of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, so that he will return to the few of us who have survived the conquest of the Assyrian kings. Do not be like your ancestors and relatives who abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and became an object of derision, as you yourselves can see. Do not be stubborn, as they were, but submit yourselves to the Lord. Come to his Temple, which he has set apart as holy forever. Worship the Lord your God so that his fierce anger will turn away from you.

“For if you return to the Lord, your relatives and your children will be treated mercifully by their captors, and they will be able to return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful. If you return to him, he will not continue to turn his face from you.” 2 Chronicles 30:6-9 NLT

Most of the people laughed at the runners and made fun of them. (I think I hear them laugh and mock today.) And this is where the tears sting–his loving, gracious invitation rejected.

But for those who did accept, joy spills in celebration. People clamoring for God, rule breakers and unpurified.

17 Since many of the people had not purified themselves, the Levites had to slaughter their Passover lamb for them, to set them apart for the Lord. 18 Most of those who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun had not purified themselves. But King Hezekiah prayed for them, and they were allowed to eat the Passover meal anyway, even though this was contrary to the requirements of the Law. For Hezekiah said, “May the Lord, who is good, pardon those 19 who decide to follow the Lord, the God of their ancestors, even though they are not properly cleansed for the ceremony.” 20 And the Lord listened to Hezekiah’s prayer and healed the people. 2 Chronicles 30:17-20

I see Jesus all over these words. He sets us apart. He tells us, “Come as you are.” Even though, in our own effort we aren’t properly cleansed (righteous, perfect), his blood–his sacrifice–our Passover Lamb, makes us so. He hears prayers. He heals.

That invitation in the hands of runners today, runners of faith. God calls, “Come to me. Worship me. I am gracious and merciful.”

Joy spills.

Courtney (66books365)

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