Devotion Eighteen

A Blessed Season – A Retrospection

I am constantly amazed at how we all-too-easily become embroiled in controversy and become antagonistic, when another does not agree with our understandings of the season.  “It is Easter”, “No, it is Passover” – what a waste of valuable energy.  What does it matter?  Well, quite a bit for many of us, it seems.

I will not get into the differences and origins of each Festival, as that would take much longer than a devotion and would, eventually, become an apologetic.  However, I do want to bring both camps together, if possible, by returning to the focus of each.

Both Passover and Easter are founded in Yahweh, God, Elohim, El, no matter what Name you wish to attribute to Him.  In the Passover Seder we find the insertion of what is known as the ‘afikomen’, from the Greek, meaning ‘what comes after’ or dessert.  It is widely believed this portion of the Passover Seder was instituted by Messianic Jews, early in the history of Messianic Judaism, to refer to the death, burial and resurrection of Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus.  Indeed, for Messianic Believers the one-day Festival of Passover and the seven-day Festival of Matzah, Unleavened Bread, is all about our being saved from the bondage of Sin, as our forefathers were saved from the bondage of slavery in Egypt.  Then, on the second day of the Festival of Matzah, we celebrate a smaller but very significant embedded Festival of Bikkurim, First Fruits.  This was traditionally celebrated as the barley harvest, the first grain to be harvested in Israel.  Not coincidently, the Festival of Bikkurim is also Resurrection Day, the third day, when Adonai Yeshua arose from the Dead and appeared to many of His disciples.  We know, through His Sacrifice and Resurrection, He became our Goël, our Redeemer.  What a series of meaning is to be found in this Season of Redemption.

For Traditional Christians, this is the season of Easter.  Forget, for a moment if you will, Easter eggs, laid by rabbits, and chocolate Easter bunnies, which have nothing to do with the sacredness of this Christian Festival.  This 3-day festival celebrates the Lord Jesus’ Crucifixion, and His burial, on the day known as Good Friday, from the Latin, Viernes Santo, meaning Holy/Sacred Friday, and Easter Sunday/Resurrection Day.  So, do Messianic Believers have it right, when they claim Passover is all about Adonai Yeshua and His overwhelming Gift to us, through His pain and suffering and Resurrection and do Traditional Christians have it right, when they claim Easter is all about the Crucifixion and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus – Yes!

I implore all of us, Brothers and Sisters in Adonai Echad, the One True God, to forego the petty squabbling, the sharp self-righteousness often displayed during this season by all parties and return to what is important – the Heart, Our Mashiach, Our Messiah.  And for those reading this devotion today, please know God loves you more than you can ever imagine and He is patiently waiting for you to step forward to Him, in trust, to receive this Love in abundance.

May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly.