The Passover Celebration
“The Passover lambs were slaughtered, and the priests splashed against the altar the blood handed to them, while the Levites skinned the animals.” 2 Ch. 35:11
There were only a few days of the year that I was rather eager for them to arrive in my childhood days. What were they? Those were the days when we celebrated the birthdays of the village gods, who were mostly historical figures from the distant past.
I had no particular affection for those idols carved of stone or wood; the reason why I was so fond of the occasion was really the delicious food we got to enjoy during that day. Of course the meal was offered to the gods first, yet it remained untouched after it were supposedly consumed by the spirits. The banquet was actually prepared for humans, not for the divine.
Such was the essence of our worship in the village, really. The gods had been created for our sake, fulfilling a certain need we had, and after sticks of incense were burned and lip service had been paid to them, we were the ones who had the privilege to feast on the delicacies.
The gods must have known their place and had learned not to interfere with people’s daily lives. They basically remained behind the scenes until they were called upon on particular occasions.
“The Passover lambs were slaughtered, and the priests splashed against the altar the blood handed to them, while the Levites skinned the animals.” What sort of feeling and emotion does this simple narrative evoke in your mind? Did the people who were busily involved in the preparation of the Passover celebration ever entertain the thought that they were doing something with far-reaching spiritual significance?
Did they slaughter all the Passover lambs merely for their meat, and was the splashing of the blood merely for show? Was what they were eagerly waiting for the opportunity to sink their teeth into the meat and the fat?
Celebrations are reminders of things of the past and precursors of things to come. They serve no purpose unless they make a difference in the way we remember the past and anticipate the future. Celebrations are the occasions when we hearken back to our historical past and are reminded who we truly are, and what we will eventually become as a people of God.
As we look back at the far distant past, we can envision Passover lambs being slaughtered so that thousands of Israelites’ lives were spared. If we continue to trace back the thread of time we can also witness the Lamb of God who was slaughtered, and by his death on the cross and the blood he shed our lives are redeemed.
Isn’t this the real purpose of the Passover celebration, or any other celebration?
Friday, March 23, 2018 8:09:00 AM