For Good Friday, the boys and I hiked to the large across on Monte Sano Mountain.
It wasn’t much of a hike. The trail is paved pretty much the whole way, and it only took about 30 minutes to get from the start of the trail to the cross. The point was to discover this unique icon in our city and to experience being at the foot of the cross on the day on which we remember Jesus’ death.
I’m so thankful I can look at the cross and be humbled by the death that occurred there but then also see it as a symbol of hope and victory and grace. Let us not forget either of those this Easter season.
On all other nights we eat bread or matzah.
On this night why do we eat only matzah?
On all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables.
On this night why do we eat only bitter herbs
On all other nights we do not dip our vegetables even once.
On this night why do we dip them twice?
On all other nights we eat our meals sitting or reclining.
On this night why do we eat only reclining?
My family, along with my church family and some friends from work, participated in a seder supper/Passover meal this past Sunday at my church. The supper was led by a rabbi of a nearby Messianic Jewish congregation. (A Messianic Jew is a Jew who believes Jesus is the Messiah). The same rabbi came to my church last year and I wrote about his teaching on the parallelism of the Old and New Testament scriptures, specifically the story of Abraham going to sacrifice Isaac as a foreshadowing of Jesus’ coming and death. This year, in both our Sunday morning service and at the seder, he taught the story of the first passover and pointed out the parallels between the first passover (as recorded in Exodus 12) and Jesus’ death as recorded in the Gospels.
The part that really hit me, that I had never known or realized before, was how the timeline of Passover events align with the timeline of Jesus’ death. In Exodus 12:3 it says each man was to take a lamb on the 10th day of the month and set it apart from the rest of the animals until the 14th day of the month. And then on the night of the 14th day every man in Israel was to kill their lamb. Fast-forward to Jesus times – Jesus’ triumphant entry (the modern-day Palm Sunday or Passover Sunday) occurred on the 10th of the month — the same day Jews were choosing their lambs for Passover. Four days later, on the 14th of the month, on the night before Passover, while Jews were at the temple killing their lambs, Jesus was killed. As the rabbi put it: as blood was running out of Jesus’ side, blood was also running on the altar at the temple. As lambs were being slain on the altar, The Lamb was being slain on the cross.
Wow. Just a-mazing. Ironic? Coincidence? There’s no way. What an awesome picture of exactly what Jesus death was — the final sacrificial lamb even down to matching step for step God’s original timeline for the Passover sacrifice. I shouldn’t be surprised, and really I’m less surprised than I am in awe. To me this is just another example of how awesome God is, but to Jews this is significant, crucial even to them being able to see Jesus as the Christ. The rabbi commented that he was not led to salvation by the Gospel of Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John but the Gospel of Jesus in Genesis and Exodus. How great it is that there is a way to Jesus for everyone, that there is a word there for everyone to bring us all, Jew and Gentile, to Him.
I took quite a few pictures of the boys on Easter, while thoroughly enjoying my new camera that hubby surprised me with at Christmas. One of the photos was so nice I decided to use it as the boys’ official spring portrait — that’s right, no high-price photography studio or goofy photographers tossing stuffed animals in the air and tickling my kids to make them laugh. I did it myself, and their smiles are natural and my memory of the experience is much better than of past photo experiences in cramped studios where photogs are running late and by the time it’s my kids’ turn they’re cranky and it shows in my photos. Not that I’m bitter.
I ordered a handful of 5x7s and one sheet of 8 wallets — just enough for grandparents, great grandparents, two aunts and me — and spent around $10. Because I use Target for regular prints all my photos are stored on Shutterfly so I naturally used Shutterfly to order these prints as well.
And I couldn’t be happier. Talk about saving money during the economic downturn! And the photo is great, don’tcha think?
More miscellaneous Easter photos