It wasn’t by chance that Jesus Christ’s crucifiction took place around the same date as the Jewish Passover; if we understand the meaning of the latter celebration we will see that there is more than just pure coincidence behind this happening (in fact, could the priests not catch and condemn Him earlier, as He walked among them all the time).
The Jewish Passover represents the commemoration of an important Old Testament event- the Jews’ exodus from Egypt and their protection from the last of the 10 plagues that God inflicted upon the Egyptians (the death of the 1st born). As prescribed by God, through Moses, the children of Israel sacrificed a lamb (without blemish= flaw) and took some of its blood and put it on the slides and tops of the doorframes of the houses they lived in. Because of this blood, the Jews were protected and the destroyer wasn’t allowed to enter their houses and strike them down (see Exodus 12:23). The blood of the Passover lamb thus meant protection from death and punishment.
In the Bible, humans are often referred to as ”sheep” (”The Lord is my Shepherd” says David in Psalm 23 verse 1 and the prophet Isaiah said that ”we all, like sheep, have gone astray”- ch. 53 verse 6). This is the metaphor God chose to describe us (less than flattering, as sheep are not the most intelligent animals on earth and are quite helpless. Without a shepherd they are lost, wondering about without a clear direction. That’s how God sees us and I think He knows us best.)
Jesus Christ represents that Lamb without blemish from the Old Testament, sacrificed for us so that we too can be set free from the influence of the ”destroyer”. Whether we believe it or not, we are influenced by two forces on this earth- by the Force of Good (which is Life) or by the Force of Evil (which is Death)- there is no space for neutrality. Gladly, we can choose between these two Forces. Jesus’ crucifiction is the Hand stretched by God who wants to free us from evil (from the slavery of sin, in biblical terms) and to give us life. Jesus Christ’s sacrifice is God’s gift to us. And like any other gift, it must first be accepted before it can be enjoyed. We won’t be automatically set free or protected if we ignore or refuse the ‘offer’.
Here’s what Easter means to me. It’s the remembrance of the following thing: ”For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
May we all live and celebrate Easter differently this year, thinking about the purpose of this holiday.
Let us open our hearts and receive God’s love hidden behind the crucifiction of the perfect Lamb, who died for us. And just as His blood means protection, His Resurrection means Victory. The battle against evil was won for us and that’s what we celebrate and rejoice over during this feast, honoring the Redeemer.
Please share this post with all those who would be interested in knowing or remembering the meaning of Easter.