I know, no shocking news there.
But it always makes me think of the obvious things: the Triumphal Entry, the Last Supper, the Cross, and the Resurrection...
but especially the Last Supper.
The Passover Meal.
The first Passover marked the deliverance of the Israelites from slavery, from Egypt. They were instructed to pack their bags and eat with their shoes on their feet. They placed the blood of a spotless lamb over their doorposts and ate the lamb. Then the angel of death passed over them and wiped out the first born sons in Egypt.
After that first Passover, the Israelites were instructed to observe the Passover every year as a memorial of what God had done for them. They were instructed in the days leading up to the Passover to rid their homes of "chametz" (leaven). They were to search their home from top to bottom and get rid of anything that could potentially have the presence of leaven. For seven days the Israelites were commanded to not have leaven... no where with in their borders. Then they were to partake in a special meal called the Seder, each bit of the meal reminding them of some part of their time in Egypt. They were to retell the story of the first Passover. They were told to remember. They were told to celebrate. I was curious as to what this looked like today in the Jewish community. If you are curious too, here is a link to an article I read.
Leaven represents sin. Just as the smallest bit of leaven can cause an entire batch of dough to rise, the tiniest bit of impurity can skew the way we think, the way we talk, and the way we live. "Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened" (1 Corithians 5: 6-7, NASB).
In reading up on the Jewish customs for getting rid of "chametz" in preparation for the Passover, I was struck by the thoroughness of the search. Homes are to be "spot-free" from leaven. Not a trace. Do I even have a measure of that fervency in seeking out sin in my life? I realize Jesus gives me Grace that is sufficient to cover my sins and shortcomings. But doesn't He call me to a life of Holiness? (1 Pet. 1:16) I think of John 3:16 and Ephesians 3:18-19 and know that I am loved by God with such a great fervency...especially in the light of the approaching Good Friday. I need to take time to be fervent.
Since it is Spring (spring cleaning) and Holy week this week, I am doing some cleaning in my own heart.
It is long past time to clean out my heart. I need to find the unforgiveness I might hold against another that creeps out when I feel overcome by the urge to share with someone who has no business knowing what kind of wrong was done to me (gossip). I need to find the selfishness that causes a volcano of yelling and snappy words to erupt when people (namely my kids and my husband) don't do what I want them to. I need to find the pride that causes me to think I deserve more... Hmmm... I think I could go on a while... Spring cleaning in this temple is definitely past due!
My Prayers this week:
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
-Psalm 139:23-24, NASB
Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.
Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation; Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
That my mouth may declare Your praise.
For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
-Psalm 51:1-17, NASB
By the way, I have some other stuff on my heart to share this Holy Week. So do look forward to more tomorrow.