We get to look at the second of the feasts God calls for His people to celebrate. This is the Passover. This one should be very fresh in their minds!
Passover is actually two feast rolled into one. The first night, the 14th of the first month of the religious calendar for Israel is Passover. The 15th of this same month begins the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Both these remembrances are in the very recent past for this group.
I don’t know for certain if the Israelites celebrated the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread while in the wilderness. God doesn’t stipulate here that this feast is to be remembered when they come into their new land, as He does with some of the later ones. So I’m guessing they probably did.
Thinking of their making new traditions reminds me of doing the same in my home. One of my traditions that started out just as something special one year is my stocking display. When my children were growing up we put our stockings out on Christmas Eve night. We would just lay them out on the table or couch. There wasn’t any special arrangement. When they got up in the morning they were always in the same place but filled. One year we lost their stockings so we set a snow boot for each of them on the stairs. I made sure to fill a plastic bag with their gifts and put that in their boot.
After they were grown and I had remarried and increased my family size, I got a wild hare and decorated by my tree by hanging stockings for all the family on the wall. Since that Christmas, my stocking tradition has taken on a life of its own. What started as store bought generic stockings with names written in pen hanging on the wall has evolved into handmade personalized stockings displayed as our centerpiece for Christmas. This year the stocking display has even replaced the Christmas tree. We are now building a town around the bottom of it with a train and all.
My point is that something originates all our yearly celebrations. With birthdays, it is a new birth (of course). With Thanksgiving it is the first meal commemorating the settler’s survival the first winter and the Native American’s assistance in their survival. I could go on but where would I stop?
God did something AMAZING to start this tradition. He had the angel of the Lord pass over those with the blood of the lamb on their doorposts. Then when the people left Egypt the next morning their bread had no leaven. This was the beginning but that wasn’t the end. The Passover celebration and Feast of Unleavened Bread have taken on new nuances over the years. Things get added or changed to better remind those participating of the meaning.
The GREATEST change was when Jesus became the Passover sacrifice for us. Passover took on an even deeper meaning to those who accept Him. We also believe that this one special sacrifice is why God started the whole tradition in the first place. Yes, God freed the children of Israel with the first Passover but He freed the world with the one Jesus personally partook in. I wonder if there will be one more special one when He gathers us all together in the end. When He calls His bride home will there be another Passover where those who belong to Him will stand in safety while the rest of the world reaps what they have sown? Will this be the Tribulation period? Will His call coincide with a Passover celebration?
Father God, thank You for ceremonies of remembrance. Right now we are in the midst of one of my favorite remembrance times; Christmas. The day we celebrate the BEST gift ever given. The day commemorating Jesus’ birth. Thank You for allowing me to make it special for my family. My traditions look nothing like that one holy night. My birthday cake for Jesus holds no meaning for some people but to me it wouldn’t be His day without it. Thank You for allowing me to find my own way to honor You Jesus on Your day. Happy Birthday Jesus a couple days early.