Friday, April 22, 2011

Living He Loved Me...

The title is taken from a Casting Crowns song, Glorious Day...."Living, He loved me. Dying, He saved me. Buried, He carried my sins far away. Rising He justified, freely forever. One day He's coming. Oh Glorious Day". This is what my kids and I hummed and sang to ourselves and eachother all day today.

Today. Good Friday.

I often struggle with finding ways to make this time as set aside and as special as Christmas. It just never seems to be. I tried this year. We counted our gifts and talked and talked about what He did on that cross, the separation from His Father, bearing that so we never have to. God loving us enough to become us, to be with us. Immanuel.

Maybe my timing was the first place I went wrong. Good Friday isn't really significant. There is no historical way Jesus (Yeshua) died on a Friday. Catholic tradition says so, but that certainly doesn't make it true. Even my 8 year old was quick to point at that Friday afternoon to before dawn Sunday morning isn't three days. Maybe the next place I went wrong was not focusing on the rest of the week (and maybe the last part of my problem is that my translation of the bible leaves something to be desired).

I want my kids to know, to really know what this week represents.

This week. Passover.

Passover. I'm in the process of learning more about the 7 Jewish feasts. I have real difficulties with the fact that most Christians don't celebrate these biblical feasts. Why not? Are my troubles related: the missing biblical tradition in our Christian tradition and the apparent missing reverence found in this week?

These Biblical feasts, these 7 major Jewish holidays coincide with the major beliefs of Christianity yet most of us don't pay them any attention. Yeshua, Messiah, He fulfilled the first 4 of the Jewish Holy Feasts:

On Passover the Israelites were protected from death because their doors were covered with the blood of a lamb. Jesus became the perfect Passover Lamb. The next day when Jesus is buried, in the grave This is the day The Feast of Unleavened Bread begins. The Israelites hurried to make bread for their trip out of Egypt. They were on their way to freedom. Jesus with His burial carried our sin far away. We are free. The Feast of the FirstFruits is the very next day. Moses led his people through the Red Sea. They began their new life. This is the very day we discover that Jesus lives. 1 Corinthians 15:23 calls the Messiah our first fruits. The first of those who will live again. This song just says it so nicely... "Living, He loved me. Dying, He saved me. Buried, He carried my sins far away. Rising, He justified freely forever...".

Seriously. We are losing so much of what this holy week means by not celebrating as God intended us to. And still we have The Feast of Weeks 50 days later. This feast celebrates the giving of the Commandments. This day also coincides with the giving of the Holy Spirit. The Law and The Love. The same day. How can we think that these dates aren't important to God?! How can we think that following Yeshua means we disregard all this that He came to fulfill. How is it that we talk of Easter Bunnies, colored eggs and baked hams?

These feasts will be celebrated forever, into eternity. The rest of the Jewish Feasts are just as important, The Feast of the Trumpets, The day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), The Feast of the Tabernacles. Yeshua, Jesus fulfilled the first 4...I'm gonna bet He'll do the same for the latter 3.... because "...one day He's coming. Oh Glorious Day. Oh Glorious Day".

So that's the answer. This Holy Week gets set aside and my kids will know it's special because I will keep the Feasts God commanded be kept. I will honor what my God honors. What is important to God will be important to me. "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts." (Lev 23:1-2)

This week is already set aside. Not because of anything I do but because of what He did.

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