Exodus 12: 37-51 (or whole chapter)
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Galatians 5: 1
The ‘Passover’ is being celebrated in Jewish communities at this time. It is a ‘Pilgrimage Festival’ that focuses on freedom; on liberation. The original Passover is detailed in the book of Exodus (chapter 12) which is currently one of the scheduled readings in the Anglican Lectionary. The parallels and connections with the Easter message are many and wonderful.
At this stage in their history the people of God were freed by His power from slavery in Egypt. A lamb was slain, without its bones been broken, and its blood painted on the doors of their homes, causing the Lord to ‘pass over’ them and thereby saving them from death. A special meal was eaten including bread without yeast; only those that were circumcised could partake. This circumcision a sign of the covenantal relationship they had with God. God’s people then set out on a pilgrimage to the land that God had promised them.
Easter celebrates the provision of freedom through Jesus Christ. Jesus the Lamb of God died for us; His bones were not broken (John 19: 31-37, Exodus 12: 46). Jesus’ blood became the means by which death is defeated; God’s judgement upon us now passes over us and onto Christ (2 Corinthians 5: 21) if we put our faith in Him and repent. This marks the beginning of a new covenantal relationship on the basis of grace and faith where it is our hearts that are circumcised through that faith (Deuteronomy 30: 6, Romans 3: 30). A new meal is celebrated in this new relationship, the Eucharist (or Holy Communion), where we remember Christ’s death and resurrection and Jesus as the bread of life (John 6: 48). We then begin a pilgrimage ourselves within His Kingdom to its fullness that He has promised us in eternal life.
We are currently hugely restricted in our freedom and the freedoms we have become so accustomed to. The ‘real’ freedom we have in Christ though, has not been diminished or lost at all! It is for freedom that we have been set free so in this time we must exercise our faith in Christ and not become imprisoned in our outlook or fall foul of unbelief taking us back into a form of slavery. We need to stand firm, convicted of our eternal destination, and walking this pilgrimage of freedom whatever our situation or circumstances.
To Ponder: Rev Kim spoke a few weeks ago on the imprisoned Paul (the apostle). Paul still lived in Christ’s freedom despite the loss of his physical liberty. What lessons can we take from today’s reflection and Paul’s example to help us and to glorify God this day?
Prayer: Lord help us to stand firm in the freedom that you have purchased for us. Give us life through your Holy Spirit and may the Holy Spirit so lead us that we keep in step with Him with His fruit becoming evident in our lives. Amen
From Galatians 5
Praise: Freedom. Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3f5dVlfMPY
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.