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Why Are We Different?

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Growing up in church, I associated the word Passover with two things: The part of the worship service liturgy that led up to Communion; and the movie The Ten Commandments, starring Charlton Heston, that was on TV every Easter weekend. I knew nothing of the Jewish celebration of Passover. 

Then I was invited to a Seder meal—the initial celebration of the eight-day Jewish feast (holiday) of Passover. In the retelling of the Passover story, Jewish families affirm to one another how God used Moses to lead the Hebrew people out of slavery in Egypt. Against the wishes of a powerful pharaoh, against the prevailing culture of the time, against the laws of nature, God gathered His people and led them out of bondage.

It was all fascinating to me: The reading of the Haggadah (the story of Israel’s exodus from Egypt), the Seder plate with its symbolic herbs and other foods—and the singing! A remarkable tradition that developed over the centuries is the Ma Nishtana—the four questions asked (sung) by the youngest child present who is able to do so. After all the singing, laughing, and celebrating, I came away with a question of my own:

Why don’t Christians celebrate Passover as the Jewish people do?

Jesus observed Passover with His disciples, as we read in Matthew 26:

On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” (v. 17 NIV)

The Last Supper was a Passover meal; Passover is observed every time we partake in holy Communion. As a partaker of both Seder meals and the Eucharist (Communion), I’ve asked some other questions: What are we celebrating when we remember Jesus’ death and resurrection? Why does God allow sorrow and suffering in the world? What must I do to be chosen by God? What will my life look like because of Jesus?

In thinking and praying about those questions, one concept emerges: FreedomGod’s intention toward us is that we shall be free. (see John 8:32) Freedom is of God, not mankind. We introduced enslavement into the world—not only enslavement of other human beings, but enslavement to our own desires, to destructive behavior, to our pride, to our hatred of others. The Bible informs us that God intervened in human history and freed His people from enslavement—and continues to do so.

This Passover, celebrate freedom. God sent Moses to deliver His people from enslavement and He sends Jesus to us today. What will our lives look like because of that? How will we be different? How will I be different?


Scripture is quoted from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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About The Author

Helen R.

Helen has been writing, editing, and proofreading for CBN since 1986. She enjoys cooking, the Oxford comma, learning piano, and birdwatching in her backyard.

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