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Yesterday was Passover and Maundy Thursday.  Passover  marks the start of the Jewish Feast of Unleavened Bread that recognizes God’s salvation of the Jewish people from the bondage of slavery in Egypt some 4,000 years or so ago.   On the eve of Passover, on the night that Jesus was betrayed, he celebrated the Passover meal with his disciples and essentially telling them it was fulfilled in him, that the bread and wine of the Passover meal were symbolic of his own broken body and blood that would be shed on the cross just the very next day!  Spending time creatively hearing God’s word as I prepare my home for the festivities of each week not just Holy Week is vital to my soul care.

 Last Sunday Todd’s message was “What’s So Triumphant About the Triumphal Entry?  (After all Jesus was crucified by the end of the week).  He encouraged us to read through the parallel passages each day this week to review the events leading up to His betrayal, arrest, trial and crucifixion.

 Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11 and Luke 19:29-38 were my companions, while preparing dishes for the weekend and viewing scripture filled videos as I folded laundry and ironed for Easter.  The Matthew DVD by the International Bible Society is a new Southard must this year.  Helping set all my senses to the events of the week,  I sipped chicken broth and drank grape juice,  “Wild Purple Smash,” by Wylers.  

We enjoyed a not so traditional Seder evening meal and Todd read through the story of the Last Supper, discussing the significance of Christ in the Passover.  A restful simple evening which set our hearts to the things of God.  Wikipedia (hardly an authoritative source on the Passover, but adequate for my purposes) coached me on the significance of bitter herbs( we used cilantro). Several other additions and solemn insights came from a memorable evening with my friend Susan who allowed us to celebrate the Jewish Passover with her family last year.   They do not see Christ in the Passover.

One of the most searing memories I have of Holy Thursday was reading the story of the Passover to my daughter one morning in 2000 and later watching  two four year old girlfriends, one from a Christian home, one Hindu, swipe paint brushes above doorways and giggle up and down the hallways of our apartment building.  Seeds of simple faith at work in the heart of child.

“What are you girls doing?”

“Oh Mom we are putting blood above every door way so the angel of death will pass over all these families.”

I sat the girls down and told them in very basic language the rest of the story.  I was afraid they wouldn’t realize our Lord had paid the price of the guilt of sin by his life on the cross.  My daughter laughed again….”Oh Mom I told her already and they ran off.” 

“Jesus must appear to you and to your friend individually; no one can see Jesus with your eyes.  And division takes place when one has seen Him and the other has not.  You cannot bring your friend to the point of seeing; God must do it.  Have you seen Jesus?  If so, you will want others to see Him too.  “And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either” (Mark 16:13).  When you see Him, you must tell, even if they don’t believe.”

  Chambers, April 9

It is a Good Friday!

Rest in Him, Trish