How matzah means freedom

My girls and I have been studying the events surrounding Easter, what Jesus last days on earth were like.  Today were made matzah bread and talked about the last supper.  I wanted to impress upon them not only the importance of the last supper, but the importance of this meal to the disciples as part of their heritage.

The meal that they were eating was in remembrance of the Exodus, pharaoh finally relenting and letting the Jewish people to leave the country.  It is a story of  freedom from slavery, and a story to remember the cost of that freedom.  It was a time to reflect upon all that God has done for His people.  While the people must have been elated to be free, it had to be a confusing time as well.  They had spent 400 years as slaves, what would they do now?  How would they live?  Where would they live?  

It is fitting that Jesus chose this celebration of freedom to declare the actions that would bring about our own freedom.  We have been in bondage to sin much longer than 400 years, and it can feel like an impossibility to truly be free of it, much as the Jews must felt at the thought of ever being free of pharaoh.  It would cost Jesus everything to provide this freedom, much more than the discomfort that the Egyptians experienced before freeing the Jews.  And yet the cost to those being freed is minimal, simply a willingness to follow, a desire to be free.  

It was a beautiful thing to see my youngest daughter's excitement to be eating something similar to what Jesus must have eaten that day.  To share in that with Him.  And it saddened me when I realized that despite the command to "do this in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19) I have so often missed the harsh reality of the sacrifice that was made for me.  Jesus endured terrible suffering, so that on the day of judgement I would not have to be given the punishment of suffering.  Jesus endured the humility of every sin I have ever or will ever commit so that when I stand before the throne His Father will not see those sins, only the sacrifice of His Son.  Jesus endured the pain of separation from God so that I will not have to.  And the most beautiful thing?  None of it was done out of obligation, but out of love.

In Matthew 26 we read about Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane.  He is in anguish about the path that lies before Him.  Three times He requests that if there is any other way, if God can accomplish the reconciliation between Himself and mankind in any other way to please let that be done.  Jesus knew that what was to come was going to be excruciatingly difficult.  And yet, He didn't turn from it.  He loves each and every one of us so much that if this was to be the only way He was willing to go through it.  Stop and think about that.  This isn't the case of making the choice between you going through something difficult rather than your spouse, child or loved one having to go through it.  Jesus didn't just die for those who loved Him back.

This is like going through terrible hardship for the person at work that said horrible things about you in order to get the promotion.  Or the burglar that broke in to your house and stole everything of value that you had.  Or the drunk driver that hit the vehicle your loved ones were in and killed them and still showed no remorse.  It's hard to understand why Jesus would chose to die for those that hated and despised Him, and yet He chose to die for each of them as well.

Only love can make you do that.  Have you ever had a family member that made some terrible choices in their life?  Perhaps they became addicted to drugs and began hurting those around them.  Or perhaps it was your loved one that was the drunk driver.  When you love someone, you don't stop just because of their actions.  You love them in spite of their actions.  THIS is what Jesus has done.  He chose to love us in spite of our sins.  

For me, that is what makes Easter so special.  That is what I want my children to understand.  We don't need to be perfect to approach Him.  He already knows all the dark places in our heart and He has chosen to love us anyway.  He has chosen to cover our sins with His gift of salvation.  

Like the Jews who were freed from Egypt, we have been freed from the slavery of sin.  We may not know what the future holds, but if we are willing to follow, God will provide for us a new life, one in which He will provide for all of our needs. (Phil. 4:19)  That is true freedom!


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