I've given lots of thought to this year's Easter menu. I'm leaning toward grilled steak, asparagus, deviled eggs, tangy pea salad, mashed potatoes with brown gravy, and apple pie. Not exactly traditional, I know. And much different than the meal served up thousands of years ago.
Remember the first Passover celebrated by the children of Israel? Moses shared God's instructions with the Israelites. On the fourteenth day of the first month of the Jewish year, every household was to sacrifice a one year old, male lamb that was without defect. Their meal was to consist of roasted lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs. But the meal was not the main focus of the celebration.
There were very important instructions regarding the blood of the slain lamb. Moses explained God's directions, "And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you," (Exodus 12:22-23; KJV).
What a beautiful picture! It provides a glimpse of God's ultimate plan. Fast forward many years, to the day when the perfect Lamb of God became the final sacrifice ever needed. As Jesus Christ hung on the cross, the sinless Son of God shed His blood to pay the sin debt owed by mankind.
Just as the children of Israel had to apply the blood of the slain lamb to the top and sides of their doorposts to avoid physical death, each person must put his/her faith in Christ's sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins, in order to avoid eternal separation from God. The Apostle Paul states clearly, "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ," (Ephesians 2:13).
The lambs sacrificed by the Israelites remained dead. The miracle of Easter is that Christ didn't remain in the tomb, He rose from the dead! He conquered sin, death, and the grave for you and me. His Word proclaims the truth, "And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay," (Matthew 28:5-6).
This Easter, enjoy a delicious meal and time spent with family, but choose to focus on the main reason we celebrate - the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for you, and His resurrection from the dead! Hallelujah! He is risen!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for sending Your Son to shed His blood on the cross to pay for my sins. Forgive me when I allow things to distract me from the true meaning of Easter. Help me to embrace Your sacrifice and share the good news of Your resurrection with others. In Jesus' name, Amen.