Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) IS the Passover! – Jeff Bernstein, founder of Gates of Zion
Ex 12:13 ‘Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
What friends do you want to bring to Jesus?
Today many Christians around the world celebrate Holy Thursday in remembrance of Jesus’ “last supper” (Pesach/Passover eve). It’s interesting that this year the Jewish and Christian celebrations of Passover nearly coincide.
Yesterday morning I received an email from Jeff Bernstein sent to his Gates of Zion followers stating:
“Tonight is Pesach/Passover eve. Today on the 14th day of what is the 1st month of the year at twilight each household of Israel killed the Passover lamb and put its blood on the doors of their homes. Passover as far as I know has been celebrated longer than any event in history. Jewish people have observed Passover for over three thousand years! How do we know it is Passover? Look outside this evening. The moon is full. When Israel departed from Egypt they did not have flashlights. God timed it perfectly. A full moon gave light so the entire nation could pack up quickly and leave 400 years of bondage in Egypt. Passover is a powerfully significant feast for both Jews and Gentiles who are grafted onto Israel’s olive tree. It is not that Passover points to the Messiah nor that the Messiah is found within the elements of the Passover Seder Meal. It is more powerful than that. Messiah Yeshua is the Passover!”
On Sunday April 5, Pastor Matt Gregory preached a powerful message titled “Contagious Christian Commissioning.” During that, he laid our four basic objectives that make up the “Job Description of a Contagious Christian.” Those included 1) Deeply understand the substitutionary atonement by Jesus, 2) Always remember what Jesus did, 3) Passionately share about Jesus, and 4) Expectantly live.
At the end of the worship service, Matt commissioned everyone to come forward and nail a card to a large wooden cross with the name of at least one friend they want to bring to Jesus. As part of this commissioning service, Matt challenged each of us to commit to:
1) Pray daily for my friend(s) by name
2) Invest in them as a good friend by caring and serving
3) Invite them to attend the worship service on Easter
4) Fast on Good Friday (April 10)
5) Share my story and God’s message with my friend
LORD Jesus, thank You for the feast of Passover to celebrate the greatest gift ever given. Thank You that through your death and resurrection, all those who believe and willingly receive your grace have resurrection life in You. Help each of us fully grasp the signficance of this momentous day and Holy Week. Transform us into contagious Christians, not just with the words we share, but with the lives we lead. Amen and Halleluah to You, the Passover lamb.
Blessings of the Day
1) 55 Maxims for Christian Living [see below]
2) Watch “God Pursues A Loving Relationship” – recorded Camtasia video for Week 3 of Experiencing God Through Journaling
Blessings for a joyful, meaningful and blessed Passover to all!
Fr. Thomas Hopko’s 55 Maxims for Christian Living
55 Maxims for Christian Living
by Fr. Thomas Hopko
1. Be always with Christ.
2. Pray as you can, not as you want.
3. Have a keepable rule of prayer that you do by discipline.
4. Say the Lord’s Prayer several times a day.
5. Have a short prayer that you constantly repeat when your mind is not occupied with other things.
6. Make some prostrations when you pray.
7. Eat good foods in moderation.
8. Keep the Church’s fasting rules.
9. Spend some time in silence every day.
10. Do acts of mercy in secret.
11. Go to liturgical services regularly
12. Go to confession and communion regularly.
13. Do not engage intrusive thoughts and feelings. Cut them off at the start.
14. Reveal all your thoughts and feelings regularly to a trusted person.
15. Read the scriptures regularly.
16. Read good books a little at a time.
17. Cultivate communion with the saints.
18. Be an ordinary person.
19. Be polite with everyone.
20. Maintain cleanliness and order in your home.
21. Have a healthy, wholesome hobby.
22. Exercise regularly.
23. Live a day, and a part of a day, at a time.
24. Be totally honest, first of all, with yourself.
25. Be faithful in little things.
26. Do your work, and then forget it.
27. Do the most difficult and painful things first.
28. Face reality.
29. Be grateful in all things.
30. Be cheerful.
31. Be simple, hidden, quiet and small.
32. Never bring attention to yourself.
33. Listen when people talk to you.
34. Be awake and be attentive.
35. Think and talk about things no more than necessary.
36. When we speak, speak simply, clearly, firmly and directly.
37. Flee imagination, analysis, figuring things out.
38. Flee carnal, sexual things at their first appearance.
39. Don’t complain, mumble, murmur or whine.
40. Don’t compare yourself with anyone.
41. Don’t seek or expect praise or pity from anyone.
42. We don’t judge anyone for anything.
43. Don’t try to convince anyone of anything.
44. Don’t defend or justify yourself.
45. Be defined and bound by God alone.
46. Accept criticism gratefully but test it critically.
47. Give advice to others only when asked or obligated to do so.
48. Do nothing for anyone that they can and should do for themselves.
49. Have a daily schedule of activities, avoiding whim and caprice.
50. Be merciful with yourself and with others.
51. Have no expectations except to be fiercely tempted to your last breath.
52. Focus exclusively on God and light, not on sin and darkness.
53. Endure the trial of yourself and your own faults and sins peacefully, serenely, because you know that God’s mercy is greater than your wretchedness.
54. When we fall, get up immediately and start over.
55. Get help when you need it, without fear and without shame.
Joseph Peck, M.D.
The Time Doctor
Author, I Was Busy, Now I’m Not
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Poem by Hugh Traulsen
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