Thursday, September 25, 2014

Some History to better understand: Jews/Christ/Passover/Birth of nation?

So how do any or all of those things relate to one another? Good question, hopefully in the end I'll have made the connection rather than completely confusing the issue!

Beside the fact that the Jewish leaders are trying to find some deceitful way to do away with this Jesus fella; we see there is the dilemma of the timing as well. Mark 14:1 & 2
 In verse 2 we read that they are afraid of a riot if they attempt to arrest and kill Jesus during this feast time; the time of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Which brings me to another question: ‘What is the Passover Meal and this Feast?’
To understand requires going back into History. History is OH SO important to understand many things! Hence the need for accurate recordings of history; passing down of history; to learn from history.
This feast was a way to celebrate their deliverance from Egypt 
as recorded in the book of Exodus.

The background story goes like this: there was a time of great famine across the land and a small group of about 70 people moved from their land in Canaan to Egypt. Perhaps you are familiar with this account. They were 11 of 12 brothers along with their father Jacob (also known as Israel) and their families. The 12th brother, presumed to be dead, was actually alive and well in Egypt holding a position of influence. Another fascinating story in itself which you should read about!
The search for food led Joseph’s brothers to Egypt where eventually they were re-united as family. He introduced them to Pharaoh who gave them land in Egypt to live upon. While there they multiplied greatly.  In fact their numbers increased so much that a new reigning Pharaoh became fearful of them as it seemed ‘the land was filled with them.’ Exodus 1:8 
And in verses 9-10 he shares his concern:
“Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us. 
10 Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous 
and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, 
fight against us and leave the country.”

To leverage control over them, he enslaves them. Taskmasters or foremen are appointed over them who oppress them with hard, forced labor. The hope was to make their lives so bitter it would decrease their number, but instead; the more they oppressed the greater they multiplied. And the Egyptians grew to hate these children of Israel. 
Israelites, descendants of Abraham. Abraham who had been told by the Great I AM, the Creator God that He would make of Him a great nation. And here they are captives in a strange land forced against their will into cruel, hard labor making life miserable and seemingly hopeless..

Sound like times in your life?  Ever feel chained to hard circumstances?
Sound like circumstances we hear about in current world affairs? People oppressed. 
The Everlasting Arms, represented by
the promises of God, will provide
the shelter we require
regardless of circumstances.
Their lives made bitter and hard by those who desire to leverage control over them?

But despair not! There IS a God in Heaven. God NEVER forgets His people, or His Promises!
No matter what it may seem like to our eyes.
Or how it may feel as we live the difficulties of life.
Yes, there is a plan and it is still unfolding around us, even as it was then for the Children of Israel.
His people cry out. He hears. He responds. There is a deliverer to come.
What does that have to do with Mark Chapter 14 and Jesus?
Patience please and hopefully, as I said earlier it shall come to together for us as I continue. But for now I’ll stop here.
Perhaps you may chew on it a bit and ponder it for yourself.

In the meantime I pray you rest in God's grace and peace to sustain you one day at a time.

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