Saturday, March 27, 2021

Why Do I Observe Passover?

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Father, I praise You for  Your Son, Yeshua the Messiah, who paid the price for our sins.  He was crucified, shed his blood, died, and rose again.  He was the embodiment of the perfect, spotless Passover Lamb.  Only His blood saves us, just as the lamb's blood on the doorposts saved the Israelites that night in Egypt.


Thank You for saving us when we turn from sin to obey You, and accept Yeshua as our redemption for that sin.  Each year as we do the Passover seder, we remember Yeshua's blood, and body, and the wonderful story of redemption portrayed in the seder.  Thank You, Father, for Your mercy.
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Dear Gail-Friends, If you have never attended a Passover seder, this is an explanation of what we do:

 The Hebrew word "seder" means "order".  Each person in attendance has a haggadah (booklet) which has the readings and scriptures for the seder.  Our haggadah is for a Messianic service and therefore includes readings from both the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Scriptures.  Hopefully, you will one day have the privilege of attending a Passover seder, so I've decided not to spoil your fun by explaining every detail.  Suffice it to say that it involves music, dancing, singing, and of course, eating and drinking!

 In Exodus 12 and Leviticus 23, G-d commanded that Passover be observed forever.  Yeshua obeyed that commandment.  You may read about it in Luke 22, Matthew 26, and John 13.   He observed the seder just prior to going to the cross.  Knowing this, you will see what is called the last supper in a whole new light.  The entire seder is a picture of our salvation from sin through Yeshua.   His death, burial and resurrection are portrayed clearly and beautifully  in the Passover seder.  My prayer and hope is that you will be blessed to attend a Messianic seder, and that you, too, will honor G-d by observing the commandment to keep Passover.

The main focus of the seder is the seder plate, which has a variety of items which are symbolic and beautiful in their interpretation.  The photograph below shows a seder plate.  I will explain each element below:



The parsley (karpas in Hebrew), represents the hyssop which was used to apply the blood of the Passover lamb to the doorposts and lentils of each of the Israelites' homes.  The karpas is dipped in salt water and eaten.  The salt water represents the tears shed that night in Egypt, and also the Red Sea through which the Hebrews escaped. 

Matzah has been explained in my post here.

The horseradish (maror in Hebrew, for bitter herbs) are eaten on a piece of matzah.  This represents the sorrow, persecution and suffering of the people under Pharoah.  Just as the bitter herbs bring tears to our eyes, so did the suffering of our people bring tears to their eyes.  This also represents the sorrow of our lives before we accept Yeshua.

Next the bitter herbs are eaten along with charoset, which a Hebrew word also.  Charoset is a sweet mixture of chopped apples, nuts, and honey.  The charoset represents mortar used to make clay bricks by our people while slaves in Egypt.   Eating the bitter with the sweet represents the bitterness of Yeshua's death, and the sweetness of his sacrifice to set us free.    

The lamb shank bone represents the Passover lamb (Pesach sey), which is the symbol of our L-rd and Savior Yeshua.  The lamb had to be spotlessly perfect.  Yeshua was also sinless and  perfect in obedience to the Torah and the Father; therefore he could be the Passover lamb for the whole world.


Some seders include a boiled egg.  We do not because of its association with mystical religious rites of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Babylonians.  The egg is one of the symbols of  the fertility goddess Ishtar (aka Easter).  Father G-d told us not to participate in occult practice or worship any other gods before Him.  It must make him sad that people honor Ishtar (Easter) instead of Him on Passover.

There is more, so much more, involved in the Passover seder.  To tell it all would be to write a haggadah!  So, my desire here is just to whet your appetite for more.   You would be so blessed to attend a Messianic Passover seder and if you can't do it in person, you can see one online through Youtube.

In Exodus 12 and Leviticus 23, G-d commanded that Passover be observed forever.  Yeshua obeyed that commandment.  You may read about it in Luke 22, Matthew 26, and John 13.   He observed the seder just prior to going to the cross.  Knowing this, you will see what is called the last supper in a whole new light.  The entire seder is a picture of our salvation from sin through Yeshua.   His death, burial and resurrection are portrayed clearly and beautifully  in the Passover seder.  My prayer and hope is that you will be blessed to attend a Messianic seder, and that you, too, will honor G-d by observing the commandment to keep Passover.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Pesach to you and yours.
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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Equality Act

 

 


Please read this article by Franklin Graham, then PRAY,  and take action QUICKLY.  The House of Representatives passed this act on February 25.  The Senate will be voting on it soon.  Find and contact your senator at this LINK.   Urge them to vote NO.  You can also call the Capitol Hill Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

 We Cannot Remain Silent!
The Equality Act is a dangerous threat to our nation.

I am writing to you about a very dangerous piece of legislation—the Equality Act. The Biden Administration has said they want to pass this within their first 100 days. I cannot say this more emphatically—for people, for businesses, and for ministries of faith, the Equality Act is a threat to life as we know it in our nation today. It's a real game-changer.

The Equality Act will:

  • Designate schools, churches, and healthcare organizations as “public accommodations.” With this, schools, churches, and hospitals could be forced to accept the government’s beliefs and mandates about sexual orientation and gender identity. That would be highly intrusive and incredibly far-reaching. It will threaten everyday speech where people can be fined or lose their jobs for using the wrong name or pronouns.
  • Legislate that we allow boys in girls’ sports, boys in girls’ locker rooms, men in women’s shelters, and men in women’s prisons. It will force teachers and students to publicly pretend that a biological male is a female. Schools will be encouraged or mandated to instruct first, second, and third graders that they can choose to be a boy or a girl, or neither, or both, making biological sex (and science) a relic of the past.
  • Use the force of law across all 50 states to strip Christian and other religious ministries of their right to hire people of shared faith to pursue a shared mission. Can you imagine a Christian organization being forced to hire people hostile to its deeply held beliefs who have no passion for its beliefs, teachings, and mission? That doesn’t work.
  • Strip health professionals of their rights of conscience. It will force doctors and medical professionals who long to do no harm to engage in gender transition treatments such as hormone-blocking, cross-sex hormones or surgery. It is obvious that a Catholic or faith-based hospital should not have to perform gender transition surgeries that go entirely against all they believe.
  • Be a tool used by the government to deny or threaten accreditation to religious colleges and universities if they do not satisfy the demands of the secular Left to apply sexual orientation and gender identity to dorms, sports, places of privacy and even teachings. The Act could be used as a weapon to threaten the availability of federal student loans and grants to students at certain disfavored religious schools.

These are just a few examples. Friends, this is a pivotal time for our nation. The impact of this legislation is immense. We must not remain silent and accept what we know is wrong.

People of faith need to PRAY. Churches need to recognize the significance of this and pray corporately, asking for God's intervention and mercy to extend the religious freedoms we have been blessed with for so long.

In these fleeting hours before the Equality Act comes up for a vote again, we must act now!

Sincerely,

Franklin Graham

Monday, March 22, 2021

The Journey Is Too Short

 


An elderly woman got on a bus and sat down. At the next stop, a strong, grumpy young woman climbed up and sat down beside the old woman, hitting her with her numerous bags.
 
When she saw that the elderly woman remained silent, the young woman asked her why she had not complained when she hit her with her bags?
 
The elderly woman replied with a Smile: "There is no need to be rude or discuss something so insignificant, as my trip next to you is so short, because I am going to get off at the next stop."
 
This answer deserves to be written in gold letters: 
 
"There is no need to discuss something so insignificant, 
           because our journey together is too short."
 
Each of us must understand that our time in this world is so short, that darkening it with useless arguments, jealousy, not forgiving others, discontentment and bad attitudes are a ridiculous waste of time and energy.
 
Did someone break your heart? Stay calm.
The trip is too short.
 
Did someone insult you without reason? Stay calm. Ignore it.
The trip is too short.
 
Did a neighbor make a comment that you didn't like? Stay calm. Ignore him. Forgive that.
The trip is too short.
 
Whatever the problem someone has brought us, remember that our journey together is too short.
 
No one knows the length of our trip. Nobody knows when it will arrive at its stop.
 
Our trip together is too short.
 
Let us appreciate friends and family.
 
Let us be respectful, kind and forgiving.
 
Because we will be filled with gratitude and joy, after all
 
Our trip together is very short.
 
Share your smile to everyone....
 
Our trip is Very Short!
—Author Unknown
(copied from a Facebook post)