Hello! Welcome to Monday Morning Coffee and Chat! Today I’m talking about celebrating Passover and Resurrection Sunday.
In Christ’s time, there were no Bibles. The Word of God was on scrolls, but the scrolls were precious and rare. People received the word of God, spoken by someone reading the scrolls, and they spent their adolescence memorizing the Scriptures.
There also were not chapters and verses within the Scriptures. Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, added the chapters and verses to the Bible in the early 13th century – nearly 1300 years after Christ’s death and resurrection.
If I said, “John 3:16,” most of you would know exactly to what I was referring. I wouldn’t have to say, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” I simply have to quote chapter and verse and you know it.
In Christ’s time, due to the memorization of the scriptures and the absence of numeric designation of chapter and verses, when someone was referring to a passage, they simply said the first sentence of said passage. That referred to the whole thing.
When Christ was on the cross, he said these words, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46).
I don’t believe that Christ was saying that God forsook Him while He hung on that cross. I don’t believe that God turned His back on Christ at that moment. *I* believe that Jesus was referring to Psalm 22 and the prophesy made by David so many generations before. The first line of Psalm 22 is, “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?” And in the tradition of that time, Christ would have been directing people to that prediction found within that Psalm:
I am poured out like water,
And all My bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It has melted within Me.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And My tongue clings to My jaws;
You have brought Me to the dust of death.
For dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They pierced My hands and My feet;
I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me.
They divide My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.
In fact, I believe that Psalm 22 specifically says that God did NOT turn his face from Christ:
…Nor has He hidden His face from Him;
But when He cried to Him, He heard.
So there are many interpretations that say that God cannot look at sin; therefore, He turned away from Christ in the darkest hour of His need. However, I believe that such interpretations are eisegetical, which means “not related to the text,” or, man’s biased interpretation based on Habakkuk 1:13:
You are of purer eyes than to behold evil,
And cannot look on wickedness.
Why do You look on those who deal treacherously,
And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours
A person more righteous than he?
Before translation, that verse in the original text does not mean that God cannot look upon wickedness, it means He cannot look upon it with approval.
I believe that this is an exegetical interpretation, which is to mean derived directly from the text: All throughout Christ’s ministry, the prophecies of His life and ministries were fulfilled. From the cross, He used precious energy and breath to utter a single sentence to direct those who would hear and tell the story of the prophecy of Messiah’s death — and remind them of the triumph. He was reminding those there that He would triumph over death as He told His disciples He would when he said in Mark 9:31:
“The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.”
Psalm 22 ends with God’s triumph.
Why does it matter? Because I think that it’s wrong to think that God cannot look upon sin. God is omniscient and omnipresent. He sees everything and knows everything. We might grieve Him, but His back is never turned.
He never turned His back on His Son, and He’ll never turn His back on you.
I hope you have a blessed day celebrating Christ’s resurrection from the dead.
Our daughter was 9 when our son Scott was born. Around that time, she learned that all of the magical beings in her life (Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy) were not real and she was devastated. Not because these magical creatures turned out false, but because we’d told her they were real.
It gave us a serious wake-up call as parents. I think a lot of it had to do with how well she could articulate how she felt about it, and how free she felt to come to us about it.
Not too long after, through a series of events and earth-shattering kind of happenings, Gregg and I turned our entire spiritual life around. We determined that we would love God with all of our hearts, all of our minds, all of our souls, and all of our strength. That took us out of a Sunday Christian with God over here on this peripheral plane and put Him right in the center of our cores. Because of that, so many things changed about the way that we eat, live life, pray, worship, spend, and definitely how we celebrate holidays.
As the boys (Scott now 11 and Jeb now 9) aged, they never had any of those magical beings in their dialogue, in their lives, in their focus. When a tooth comes out of a boy’s mouth, mom or dad hands him a dollar. Passover is celebrated as the Passover Lamb (Christ Yeshua/Jesus) was sacrificed for our sins, Good Friday is remembered and referenced back to Passover, Easter talks only of Resurrection and the fulfillment of the redemption. The Feast of Tabernacles brings us the celebration of the birth of Christ as well as God’s provision, and Christmas becomes only a time of the celebration of warm friendship and loving family and fellowship opportunities.
We host parties, decorate gingerbread houses (this year we’re doing gingerbread nativity scenes!), attend parties, exchange gifts, bake and bake and bake, and love on our family and friends. We do advent and light candles and teach about how Christ celebrated the Festival of Lights (Hanukah) and what that meant to Him.
There are no magical beings, no decorations depicting fantasy. There are gifts — but the kids each only get three, because Jesus only got three. (See what we did there, parents? HA!). And we don’t make it the most important time of the year, because to us, Christ conquering sin with His sacrifice tied into the Passover (the Last Supper) is indeed much more than the man-made holiday of Christmas.
So, we’re weird, and have been for years.
In the end, though, I think what happened in the timing of it all, in our daughter’s clear communication and our understanding of her feelings of betrayal and her emotions of anger and hurt, was that our shift away from traditional celebrations were one of the ways that God helped us protect our son Scott’s faith.
We don’t know if it’s Scott’s autism or his OCD tendencies, but he is unable to see the world with filters of gray. Everything is black and white. Santa falls into that category. Santa is a lie. Lies are bad, and are evil. Therefore, Santa is bad and evil.
He cannot shake this concept. To him, when he sees Santa, he feels anger. When he knows a child believes in Santa, he gets incredibly upset to the point of mournful tears that the parents lied to their child. He cannot separate any concept from that.
I was once in a mother’s group in a social media setting. We’d all been pregnant at the same time, due in the same month, and raised our kids online together. One woman in this group of about 40 mothers told me a couple of years ago that if Scott felt that way, then it was because Gregg and I had taught that to him — that no child could possibly think that on their own.
Clearly, this woman (1) didn’t know me, and (2) had never had to deal with the way an autistic mind thinks. Of course we didn’t teach him that progressive line of thinking. However, we taught him that lying is bad, and that the Bible says it’s evil. And, we’ve taught him that Santa isn’t real. Everything else, he’s worked out on his own.
More to the point, though, is that we believe that our change of heart happened when he was an infant, because in the end, we know that we’ve protected his faith in God. Why?
The other day, I had a conversation with Scott and Jeb. Scott was desperately upset about his upcoming 5th grade musical “Jingle Bell Jukebox.” Apparently, “all” the songs are about Santa (the drama teacher assures me only one song mentions Santa), and he is refusing to participate (which the drama teacher and us are totally okay with.) During the conversation, Scott said that he was so sad for kids whose parents went to church and did Santa, because their lies were hurting their relationship with God. He actually went on to say, “When the kids find out that Santa isn’t real, don’t you think they’re going to think that God isn’t real, too?”
I closed my eyes and silently thanked God for the conviction that had us change so many things in our lives so early in his life — so that he never has to take that black and white mind and try to rationalize us telling him that a magical creature is real, but isn’t, and a God he can’t see is real, but is. It would destroy everything about how he believes, how he trusts, and what he knows to be true. It would chip away at the foundation of everything he believes in until his faith would be left dangling on a precipice with no rescue in sight.
He’s big into pulling the mannerisms and actions/reactions of fictional characters into his dialogue — it’s one of the ways he’s able to relate emotionally with the world around him. A YouTube host he regularly watches said that when she found out Santa wasn’t real, it ruined her life.
Scott came to me and crawled into my lap (even at 11) and thanked me for not ruining his life, because he won’t have to experience the same terror as this Youtuber.
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