Remember. That’s what Passover was all about. The Jews were commanded to remember the day they came out of Egypt. The Sedar plate held symbols of events they were never to forget.
The egg was traditionally eaten during mourning.
Parsley, dipped in salt water, reminded them of tears shed in their suffering.
The bitter herbs reminded them of their bitter life in slavery.
The horoset reminded them of mortar used in building with bricks.
The shank bone of a lamb reminded them of the last meal eaten in Egypt.
The unleavened bread (matza) reminded them of the hasty departure, when there was no time for bread to rise.
When Jesus ate His last Passover with His disciples, He asked them to remember only one thing: “Remember Me.”
Remember My love for you. Remember what I have taught you. Remember what I am about to do for you. Remember My broken body. Remember My shed blood.
Good Friday is a time for Christians to remember these things. Remember what the cross means. Remember the price of hope and forgiveness. Remember the promises yet to be fulfilled.
Just as Passover marks the distance between slavery and freedom, so the cross marks the distance between death and eternal life. We must never forget!
A recent film release, “I Can Only Imagine,” tells the story of one young man’s painful past of verbal and physical abuse, and how that pain became a gateway of blessing to the world.
One wonders why God gave us the capacity to feel emotional pain. It lurks in the recesses of the mind, disrupting relationships and personal achievement. It poisons memories and lingers far beyond whatever caused it. It stabs the heart. .
Does emotional pain serve any good purpose? Yes — if we allow God to transform it.
Pain is the birthplace of empathy. We can only say “I know how you feel” if we have literally felt the pain that others endure.
Pain teaches us humility. It’s a reminder of our human frailty.
Pain causes us to seek God for comfort and hope.
Pain can be the catalyst for ministry to others. We are to comfort with the comfort we receive from the Lord.
Pain can be channeled into creativity, inspiring songs, poetry and books. It brings a depth of meaning that only comes through hard experiences.
Rather than seeking victory over pain, perhaps we should seek victory through pain. Let it purify the soul and become a bridge to deeper understanding of the suffering around us.
So — don’t waste your pain! Let it take you down the path to forgiveness. Use it to bring hope and healing to others. That’s what Jesus did.
Victory: When the Spirit slays the flesh!
What is “the flesh?” Our emotion-driven self-centered human nature. The flesh whines in self-pity, writhes in self-induced agony, and wants what it wants. The end result? Misery. Depression. Destructive decisions.
God knows what will really satisfy the human heart. He created us to have fellowship with Him. Apart from that connection, there is no true, lasting happiness. When we determine to say “No” to the flesh, the Spirit, with divine authority and power, moves against the forces that seek to drag us down into a pit of despair. He lifts us up. He conquers the deadly disease of “meitis.” He frees us from self and ushers us into the joy that only comes from linking our hearts with the will of God.
It’s not what others do to us; it’s what we do to ourselves that produces darkness in the soul. That inner dragon must be slain, and the Spirit does it, using the mighty Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.
More than conquerors? Yes! Through Him— the One who holds the key to our inner prison. The One who speaks to the storm. The One who releases us from the shroud of death itself. The Giver of peace. Jesus.
Is it a struggle? Yes! The apostle Paul declared as much. The flesh is at war with the Spirit. But when we side with the Spirit, the victory is assured. We win when we surrender our will to His.