This year, the season of Pesach (Passover) has caused me to reflect on a few things: God’s provision for my salvation, the times in which we live, and what motivates me to do what I do in my life. In this blog entry, I want to share some of these thoughts with you, to encourage you to also reflect, and join me in fasting and praying for 40 days starting April 22 until May 31.
The story of the “Pass Over” is an amazing story, which reminds us of God’s unwavering love and faithfulness to deliver the Children of Israel from slavery. The way He delivered them from slavery – by showing His wonders through His creation and providing a blood covering to protect them from death – is such a strong foretelling of what He would ultimately do through His Son, Yeshua. Exodus 12:21-24 describes this provision:
“Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said to them, “Go and take for yourselves lambs according to your families, and slay the Passover lamb. “And you shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning. “For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you. “And you shall observe this event as an ordinance for you and your children forever.”
Just like God provided a lamb whose blood marked the doorpost of every home so that the Destroyer was not allowed to enter, so He provided a Lamb, Yeshua, that through faith in Him, we are marked by His blood once and for all:
“All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” Isaiah 53:6
This brought me to reflect on the times in which we live. Not only does Passover remind me of God’s great faithfulness, but also of the prophetic nature of the feast:
“And it will come about when you enter the land which the LORD will give you, as He has promised, that you shall observe this rite. “And it will come about when your children will say to you, ‘What does this rite mean to you? that you shall say, ‘It is a Passover sacrifice to the LORD who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes.’” And the people bowed low and worshiped. Then the sons of Israel went and did so; just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.” Exodus 12:24-28
The mere fact that I live in the Land God spoke about, and am able to celebrate, remember, and tell my children this great story is a clear indicator of the times in which we live! In fact, during our recent Passover Seder celebration, I was asked to make a toast for those who are still in the Diaspora. Before I did so, I read from Jeremiah 16:14-15
“Therefore behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where He had banished them.’ For I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers.
It is a great privilege for me to not only tell my children the Passover story, but to also explain to them these significant times, in which we are witnessing the fulfillment of God’s promises in front of our own eyes!
This caused me to reflect upon my life, and ask myself why I do what I do…what motivates me? In Exodus 12:15-20, the Israelites are given a very specific set of things they are to do, and to abstain from, during the season of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Indeed, one of the most stressful traditions before the Passover is the preparation of the house. Hours of hard labor are spent on cleaning the house from all leaven in preparation for the Passover. It’s a sort of “spring cleaning” on steroids!
This tradition made me think upon my own personal life. This tradition of cleaning and meticulously preparing the home in obedience to God’s command is beautiful and I believe important. But it ought to make us reflect upon the more important thing, which is the “leaven” (sin) in our hearts and our lives. We can continue to work on cleaning the outside all day long, but if the inside is still dirty, it is a matter of time before the outside will get dirty again. The mask that we put upon our lives can only last for so long before the truth is revealed.
This brings me to the 40-day prayer and fasting challenge. I want you to join me in a 40-day period of fasting and praying. Why 40 days you may ask? Throughout the Bible, the number 40 is a significant number connected to transition and re-birth: for 40 days the rain fell during the time of Noah; the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years; Yeshua was tested for 40 days in the wilderness, etc.
I am doing this fast as a means of reflection, repentance, and preparation for something fresh and new in my own personal life, my family’s life, and in our ministry, Hope for Israel. While there is nothing wrong in any of these areas, there is always room for growth and improvement. I am excited about what the LORD will reveal, heal, and challenge me to change in the course of these 40 days. Would you join me as we pray for one another, and seek the LORD for renewal and refreshment in our lives?
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