Celebrating the evening of 15 April 2022 as a festival to Jehovah God
Tomorrow Friday, April the 15th of the year 2022 we remember what happened in the month Jehovah demanded it to be the first month of the year for the people of God.
“1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.” (Ex 12:1-2 NIV)
Jehovah had spoken about a “Passover to God”, where He was going to go through the land of Egypt on that specific night and strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, whether human or animal, and was going to bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt, because they should come to know that He, Jehovah is The God. And that day should be remembered year after year as a lasting ordinance, meaning a ritual practice “for ever”.
“13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. (Ex 12:13 NIV)
Tomorrow evening will be the beginning of a memorial day for us, where even not with many, because of the Corona limitations, we will celebrate the evening as a festival to Jehovah God, like it is already done from one generation to the next generation.
14 “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD—a lasting ordinance.” (Ex 12:14 NIV)
“10 You must keep this ordinance at the appointed time year after year. ” (Ex 13:10 NIV)
But the evening shall be more than just keeping a “Festival of Unraised Bread” like the Jews do.
For us, it is an extra special night, where we recognise that God has provided an other “lamb” for our families which was slaughtered as the Passover lamb.
As the Jews had to keep that word and ordinance that God had given, Jesus too, with his disciples kept to the law, and at that night also asked his disciples to remember that night. The reason Jesus was coming together in the upper room in Jerusalem was that they had to bring the Passover sacrifice to God who passed over the homes of the Israelites in Egypt when He hit Egypt with death but rescued them.
“26 And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ 27 then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” Then the people bowed down and worshipped.” (Ex 12:26-27 NIV)
It is our task to tell our children why we are gathering tomorrow night. that they come to learn how God rescued His people the first time, by deliberating them from the Egyptian slavery.
“that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD.”” (Ex 10:2 NIV)
“On that day tell your son, ‘I do this because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.’” (Ex 13:8 NIV)
“14 “In days to come when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘With a mighty hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD killed every firstborn in Egypt, both man and animal. This is why I sacrifice to the LORD the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons.’” (Ex 13:14-15 NIV)
Even when there are already centuries past, it is still necessary to tell our children how God’s Hand was with His People and how He still wants to be with us and saving us from any bondage.
“Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you.” (De 32:7 NIV)
The Israelites had lived in Egypt 430 years and at the end of the 430 years, to the very day, God’s entire army left Egypt whilst God kept watch all night, watching over the Israelites as He brought them out of Egypt.
Because Jehovah the God of gods, kept watch, all Israel for all generations will honour God by keeping watch this night — a watchnight.
“41 At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the LORD’s divisions left Egypt. 42 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.” (Ex 12:41-42 NIV)
People may find it strange that we keep the participation of the bread and wine only for baptised members. But as it was not up to foreigners to eat of the Passover meal, so it is still today.
“43 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “These are the regulations for the Passover: “No foreigner is to eat of it. 44 Any slave you have bought may eat of it after you have circumcised him, 45 but a temporary resident and a hired worker may not eat of it.” (Ex 12:43-45 NIV)
In addition to the deliverance of God’s People from Egypt, we remember that special ‘lamb‘ that God provided for all people in the world. It is the Nazarene Jew Jeshua ben Josef (Jesus Christ) who had prepared himself to do fully the will of his heavenly Father and therefore offered himself as a ransom sacrifice. It is thanks to Jesus’ sacrificial act that deliverance has now come to all who are willing to accept that sacrifice.
We celebrate it in community, even when not all in the same house of place, we consider us to be united by the bond of our baptism.
In the past we allowed visitors, friends and interested people to see how we remembered that day. But this year, like last year, the places in our ecclesiae are limited, and therefore our memorial service shall only be open to members of our community.
(Sorry folks. Next time, when Covid may belong to the past, you all shall be welcome again.)
Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: Het vieren van de avond van 15 april 2022 als een feest voor Jehovah God
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