The night to be much observed

Because the LORD kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honour the LORD for the generations to come. Exodus 12:40

We kept the tradition handed down for generations. We observed the special night which for the Israelites acknowledges their passage from slavery to freedom and which for Christians marks the date when Christ was crucified in order to free us from the slavery of sin.
It was a beautiful occasion. Simple, but full of the abundance the Lord has provided. Our meal consisted of two lamb roasts – perfect, without fat, like the Passover lamb. I was excited to be able to cook with my mother again as we created a sumptuous feast of lamb, scalloped potatoes, salad and dessert. Working together we put the meal together in about an hour and everything was cooked within two hours.
We made everything without yeast, as the night marked the transition into the first day of unleavened bread, where for Christians this means not only removing leaven from our homes but symbolically reflecting on the sacrifice of Christ, which has removed the leaven of sin from our lives.
As we sat down to eat our roast potatoes, the lamb – which was cooked to perfection in rosemary and olive oil and sliced expertly with mum’s electric knife ‒ we read scriptures, we shared the communal wine; and the blending of the Church of God and Catholic traditions, which was probably a first for humanity, had never seemed so sublime.
Everything about the meal was perfect: the potatoes were cut into thin slithers, covered in onions and bathed in a cream before being cooked in the oven. The pumpkin was melt-in-the-mouth good and the salad, which I made even with my limited experience of putting together salads, was the ideal accompaniment to the hot food.
Then the desert was another blessing from the Almighty. We used unleavened bread, the rice mountain bread from my beloved Coles to make bread and butter pudding. Not just any bread and butter pudding. This one was laced with generous servings of butter and jam to give it extra sweetness and was served in separate ceramic dishes for each diner.
The fellowship between us was also convivial and most of the discussions theological. For me this was slightly less engaging than the political discussions I am accustomed to but it suited the occasion. Fellowship, brilliant food, a reverence for the Lord. This is what we can expect and look forward to in God’s Kingdom. Praise be to heaven that we received our taste of this on Friday.

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One thought on “The night to be much observed

  1. I am blessed to note that the feasts celebrated by Israelites are still observed by todays Christians and most significantly keeping the traditions even though you are non-Jews. I was wrong when I assumed that these feasts are celebrated by observant Jews today. Your writing is an incredible eye opener, revelling the fact that for both Jews and non-Jews who have placed their faith in Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, these special days demonstrate the work of redemption through God’s Son.
    In a nut shell you have explored the significance of three Levitical feasts of Israel. The first four of the seven feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Weeks) have already been fulfilled by Christ in the New Testament. The final three feasts (Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles) occur during the fall, all within a short fifteen-day period.
    1) Passover (Leviticus 23:5) – Pointed to the Messiah as our Passover lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) whose blood would be shed for our sins. Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover at the same hour that the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover meal that evening.
    2) Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6) – Pointed to the Messiah’s sinless life (as leaven is a picture of sin in the Bible), making Him the perfect sacrifice for our sins. As you stated “….for Christians this means not only removing leaven from our homes but symbolically reflecting on the sacrifice of Christ, which has removed the leaven of sin from our lives.” Jesus’ body was in the grave during the first days of this feast, like a kernel of wheat planted and waiting to burst forth as the bread of life. Pointing to the next feast, The First Fruits.
    3) First Fruits (Leviticus 23:10) – Pointed to the Messiah’s resurrection as the first fruits of the righteous. Jesus was resurrected on this very day, which is one of the reasons that Paul refers to him in I Corinthians 15:20 as the “first fruits from the dead.”
    I am certain that by observing and celebrating these feasts we move to a greater understanding and appreciation for Christ’s death and resurrection and the future promise of His coming. As you beautifully culminate in your writing “This is what we can expect and look forward to in God’s Kingdom. Praise be to heaven that we received our taste of this on Friday.”
    I pray that every one that reads your article will taste to manifest this truth and enjoy the resurrected Christ who lives in our hearts today.

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